NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2020

by | Aug 25, 2020 | News, NHL | 3 comments

Islanders blank the Flyers, Stars take 2-0 series lead over the Avalanche, the mental challenge of life inside the playoff bubble, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Semyon Varlamov made history with 29 saves as the New York Islanders blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Varlamov became the first goalie in franchise history to record consecutive playoff shutouts. Defenseman Andy Greene’s first-period goal proved to be the game-winner. It was also his first postseason goal in 10 years, with the last also coming against the Flyers.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders did a fine job neutralizing the Flyers with strong defensive play, solid goaltending, and an aggressive forecheck. Many of the Flyers’ leading scorers are struggling to find the back of the net in this postseason. Their playoff bubble will burst if they don’t address this soon.

The Dallas Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2, taking a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. The Stars tallied four goals in the second period, including two on the power-play. Joe Pavelski netted his team-leading seventh goal while Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs’ inability to score with a 5-on-3 when the game was tied was the turning point. Esa Lindell’s controversial goal late in the second period gave the Stars a 4-2 lead that the Avs couldn’t overcome. Colorado also came into this game without goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Erik Johnson. Both are sidelined indefinitely following injuries suffered in Game 1.


SPORTSNET: The NHL’s received no positive COVID-19 tests for the fourth straight week inside their Edmonton and Toronto bubbles.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (via Chicago Sun-Times): Bubble fatigue is becoming a mental challenge for teams participating in the NHL’s return-to-play plan. Close confines, daily COVID testing, restricted access, monotony, and separation from families are weighing heavily on everyone.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly indicated the league is “actively trying to minimize” the length of the playoffs because of “the dynamics and constraints of ‘bubble life’”. He added the league “will continue to pursue all ‘move up’ opportunities aggressively as we go forward.” The league is still checking with health officials to determine if families can join the players within the bubbles before or during the Conference Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the most part, everyone involved is doing their best to cope with this situation. Nevertheless, it’s apparent the league will try to keep the postseason moving briskly to complete the schedule as quickly as possible.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh is a game-day decision for tonight’s second game of his club’s second-round series with the Boston Bruins. McDonagh left the third period of Game 1 with an undisclosed injury.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins might have to turn to rookie backup goalie Dan Vladar for Game 3 against the Lightning tomorrow night. Jaroslav Halak is expected to start Game 2.

THE SCORE: Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk suffered a concussion against the Dallas Stars in their first-round series. Defenseman Rasmus Andersson suffered a broken foot and forward Sam Bennett had a torn triceps muscle.

STLTODAY.COM: Long-time Blues forward Alexander Steen indicated he intends to return for his 16th NHL season, which would also be his 13th with the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Steen is frequently mentioned as a cost-cutting candidate as the Blues attempt to free up salary-cap space to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo and blueliner Vince Dunn. Steen, however, carries a full no-trade clause into next season.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings yesterday re-signed forward Robby Fabbri to a two-year, $5.9-million contract extension.



  1. “makes most sense”?

    imo, anything makes more sense than something which makes no sense at all.

    Good morning all.


  2. Congrat to the NHL and the NHLPA with their Covid-19 test. Job well done.

    As i often refer to the Tournament as the Covid Cup and has no bearing on the 2019 – 2020 regular season. The condense playoff schedule is just more proof of that.

    This is about naming a champion and as quickly and safely as possible.

    What it isn’t about is having the best athletes performing at their best and providing the best entertainment.

    You don’t have to look any further then the Boston vs Tampa series; as this 7 game series has not one but two sets of back to back games in a 7 game series. Or 3 games in 4 nights.

    This does not put the best product on the ice and both teams may not put their best team on the ice as they may need to be rested especially the goalies.

    The NHL so far as trimmed 3 days of the max and said they will continue to do so when there is an opportunity to do so. I get that, but don’t forget your still trying to sell the game and the performance should be at its highest peak.

    Last thought on Rask, he went home apparently for what was thought to be a family medical emergency of one of his daughter.

    For me he doesn’t need a reason other then wanting to be with his wife and young family, good enough for me, these are challenging times.

    Friends come and go Family is forever; Take care of yours.

  3. I freaking wish Pavelski had signed with the Jets. One of the only worthwhile UFAs in the last couple seasons.