NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2020

by | Aug 24, 2020 | News, NHL | 16 comments

The Bruins and Golden Knights are victorious in the opening games of their respective second-round series, the Capitals fire head coach Todd Reirden, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves for the win. Victor Hedman scored twice for the Lightning, who also lost defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the third period to an undisclosed injury.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Lightning. They were dominated through the first two periods by the Bruins, who took a 3-0 lead before Hedman’s goals made it interesting. There could be an update on McDonagh later today.

Robin Lehner turned in a 26-save shutout while Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, and Alex Tuch each had a goal and an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 in the opening game of their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights blew this open with three goals in the second period. They outshot, out-skated, out-hit, and out-chanced the Canucks. Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves got under the skin of Canucks winger Antoine Roussel, goading him into taking a misconduct penalty in the third period and taunting him for the rest of the game.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights had to deal with an off-ice issue before Game 1. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury attempted to distance himself from his agent’s provocative social media post criticizing coach Peter DeBoer over his client’s lack of playing time.

Referring to his agent, Allan Walsh, Fleury felt he was “just trying to protect me a bit.” He indicated he’s spoken with DeBoer and Lehner and doesn’t want to be a distraction. “I just want to be behind it and move on,” he said, adding he’s focused on winning and what’s best for the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walsh’s post and Fleury’s response is sparking speculation over his future with the Golden Knights. I’ll have more later today in the Rumors section.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals yesterday relieved Todd Reirden of his duties as head coach. The move comes shortly following the club’s elimination from the opening round of the 2020 playoffs.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports the Capitals seek an experienced replacement to keep their championship window open.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Reirden was outcoached by Isles bench boss (and former Caps coach) Barry Trotz in that series. His firing has generated a lot of conjecture over his possible replacement. Experienced options include Mike Babcock, Gerard Gallant, and Peter Laviolette.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (leg injury) won’t be playing in Game 2 against the Dallas Stars tonight. Defenseman Erik Johnson (undisclosed) is doubtful while Matt Calvert is listed as unfit to play and day-to-day.

WEEI.COM: The Bruins re-signed backup goalie Dan Vladar to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $750K. It’s a two-way deal in the first two years and becomes a one-way deal in the final season.


  1. These late night games killing me… I PVR them then have to watch starting at 5 AM

    Two dominating performances last night.. Bruins and Knights

    Knights more dominating of ‘Nucks than Bruins over Bolts; but two games with a severe ice tilt

    Bruins top line just plane scary

    The Roussell v the big man (Reeves) game within a game; was fun to watch

    Avs down 3 key players for game 2 …. not good…. could go down 0-2 in series

    Re Reirdon … slight surprise but I guess Caps trying to switch it up… would rather have had a coaching trade (has that ever been done ????) …. Caps and Pens

    • Maybe the Capitals re-visit Boudreau? They had some pretty good seasons with him at the helm.

      • That’s certainly possible George

        Of course I’d rather have BB on Leafs’ or Pens’ benches

    • Rierden for Sullivan??? Delusional …

    • I didn’t the Bruins were dominant. They played well early but I thought TB had the better of the play in each of the last 2 periods.
      Halak was good, Bruins PP was good early and a great play by Bergeron led to the back breaker early in the 3rd, but as far as who controlled more of the play I give the slight nod to TB.
      Maybe that is just because the B’s were playing with the lead and were conservative.

      • Possibly Ray

        I was looking at the game as a whole and to me Bruins were (overall game) the better team and not fractionally

        Just my view on it

      • Agree Ray, TB owned the second out shot Boston 18-7 dominated down low. Not sure what other folks were watching.

        Boston took the 2-0 lead and sat back.

        As you mentioned the third goal killed TB.

        I think Victor Headman new best friend is Charlie McAvoy as both goals were redirects off him.

        As I said yesterday one of the keys for Boston to win this series is the special teams, yesterday they did that and won the dot.

      • Ya, tough one for McAvoy Caper. Especially the last one as Halak was all over it and Charlie moved his leg to block it. Natural reaction so don’t blame McAvoy just a tough break.
        But to your point when you sit back like that you give up more shots and the odds of one or two going in goes up.
        Halak made some big saves in this game too. He looked confident and focused. Hope he can get and stay hot. Would be huge.

  2. I’m pretty sure the Lightning are just cursed. Almost every year these injuries just kill them!

    • Injuries are part of the game, weak excuse …

      • Yeah Ed,

        Beyond ridiculous to think you can just replace guys like Stamkos, Hedman, Mcdonagh etc from your farm system.

        If you could… why bother with those pesky expensive contracts in the first place?

        Another one of those things often said, but is once again…. a shortcut to thinking.

    • And that’s a weak post ed vanimpe.
      If you don’t think injuries to key players doesn’t impact the outcome of a series I would like to hear the reasoning behind it.
      Of course it is next man up, and teams do their best to deal with it, but if these backups were just as good why aren’t they playing instead of the guys that got hurt?

  3. Old Hockey Fan.
    All the names mentioned on here as possible coaching candidates have all been former coaches. Same old names keep reappearing .
    The reason they are available once again could be because they have all been fired before.
    Do you really believe that these old men are going to bring new ideas and strategy to the game that will make them and their new teams overnight success stories ??
    Move on old dinosaurs….let some new young guys have a kick at the can….the worst thing than can happen to them will their end up getting fired, just like you did.

    • Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been. If an older coach is re-hired elsewhere after being fired maybe it’s because the hiring team looks at the positives in his past and not the circumstances foisted upon him by a bungling GM who then adhered to the philosophy that it’s easier to fire a coach than 23 players.

    • Also most people learn from their mistakes, and don’t repeat them.
      It’s what experience is all about.

  4. Almost all teams go through injuries Boston didn’t have their leading goal scorer for most of Carolina series and now their top goalie leaves. Tampa is not cursed they are blessed with loads of talent and most experts picked them knowing Stammer may not play. Boston won in 2011 with arguably their best playoff performer Horton out with head injury. If team gets to final with all their horses it’s a rarity. How a team does with injuries shows depth and desire.