NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2020

by | Aug 3, 2020 | News, NHL | 16 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s games plus updates on Mark Schiefele, Patrik Laine, Tuukka Rask, Dougie Hamilton, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Nazem Kadri scored with a fraction of a second remaining in the game to lift the Colorado Avalanche over the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in round-robin play. Ryan Graves also scored for the Avs while Philipp Grubauer made 31 stops. David Perron tallied the sole Blues’ goal while Jordan Binnington made 36 saves.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was outstanding in a losing cause for the Blues, especially in the first period when the Avs dominated his teammates. Their play improved as the game went on but the Avs still had better scoring chances.


Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves to shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in Game 1 of their best-of-five qualifying round series. Cam Atkinson netted the game-winner and Alexander Wennberg got the insurance goal with an empty-netter. Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen turned aside 34 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets’ grinding style sucked the life out of the Leafs’ offense. Not that they didn’t get some quality chances but Korpisalo was superb, robbing Auston Matthews in the second period with a flashy glove save.  

Jared Spurgeon scored twice and set up the winning goal while Alex Stalock had a 28-save effort as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 to take Game 1 of their qualifier. Kevin Fiala netted the game-winner with a power-play slapper in their first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s experience came through in this game. They effectively neutralized the Canucks’ young guns while creating quality scoring chances of their own. Canucks winger Micheal Ferland could get a call by the NHL department of player safety after appearing to spear Ryan Hartman on the Wild bench.


A three-goal second period powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Boston Bruins 4-1 in round-robin play. Flyers goalie Carter Hart made 34 saves for his first-ever NHL postseason win. Michael Raffl had a goal and an assist but left the game in the third period with an apparent leg injury. Jaroslav Halak was in net for the Bruins as starter Tuukka Rask was deemed unfit to play. His status for Wednesday’s round-robin game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is uncertain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers played as though this was a playoff game, while the Bruins seemed to treat it as an exhibition contest. Yes, it’s only a round-robin that determines final seeding for the playoffs, but that doesn’t excuse what seemed like a halfhearted effort by the Bruins.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper kicked out 40 shots in a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. Christian Dvorak had a goal and an assist while Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel each collected two assists. Filip Forsberg scored twice for the Predators. The Coyotes lead the series 1-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out my take on this game here.


TSN: Sara Orlesky reports a source claims Mark Scheifele’s apparent leg injury isn’t believed to be long-term. The Winnipeg Jets center was hurt during the first period of Game 1 of his club’s qualifier against the Calgary Flames following a collision with Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk. Scheifele left the game in obvious pain and didn’t return. He’s not expected to play in Game 2 tonight.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets coach Paul Maurice doubled down on his accusation that Tkachuk deliberately injured Scheifele. Maurice also provided no update about the condition of winger Patrik Laine, who also left Game 1 with what appeared to be an injured hand. Per league protocols, the Jets can’t reveal the full details of their injuries.

CALGARY SUN: Flames coach Geoff Ward defended Tkachuk, claiming his winger was trying to finish his check but Scheifele’s sudden shift in direction caught the Flames winger off-balance as they collided into the boards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is similar to the Matt Cooke incident with Erik Karlsson in 2013. Cooke’s skate blade accidentally sliced Karlsson’s Achilles tendon, but he was accused of purposefully injuring the blueliner.

Like Cooke, Tkachuk has a reputation for cheap shots, which could explain why Maurice felt that hit was a deliberate attempt to injure Scheifele. In this instance, however, I agree with Ward that it was an unfortunate accident. 

TSN: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos remains questionable for today’s round-robin game with the Washington Capitals. He’s still dealing with a lower-body injury suffered during Phase 2 training.

THE NEW & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton remains sidelined with an undisclosed injury. He could be a week or so away from returning to the lineup.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula received a one-game suspension for an illegal check on Edmonton Oilers winger Tyler Ennis during Game 1 of their qualifying-round series on Saturday.


  1. I was surprised at Caggiula suspension

    Real-time full speed looked awful and I would heave said yes

    But when they slowed it down (as they have to when reviewing for possible discipline) it was clear to me that principle contact was NOT the head. Head only from movement after the initial (and main point of) contact

    Leafs-Jackets…. tough loss… could have gone either way… both goalies played well; one of them wants one shot back.

    Unfortunately if Jackets win the next one; IMHO Leafs golfing next week…. and Karma will not get them Laf though

    • Should have been longer, he hit him in the head, what are you watching???

      • Real time full speed looks like head

        When they slow it down like they showed on TV… hits body first and then momentum of both athletes has it following through the chin etc

        To me as I said…. full speed… yep and sit him; slowed down … to me nope

        Fast or slow it certainly didn’t look intentional

        The ruling and subsequent punishment has been finalized… ‘tis what ‘tis

    • Dude, he got nothing but chin. That’s why he was pulled for concussion protocol. You need to watch it again.

      • Thanks for that key observation! Where’s the chin located on the body again?

      • Depends on how many you have. Some may be considered more the neck area

      • Real time full speed looks like head

        When they slow it down like they showed on TV… hits body first and then momentum of both athletes has it following through the chin etc

        To me as I said…. full speed… yep and sit him; slowed down … to me nope

        Fast or slow it certainly didn’t look intentional

        The ruling and subsequent punishment has been finalized… ‘tis what ‘tis

    • I can’t understand why Ryan Reeves wasn’t suspended for his elbow hit to the head (I can’t recall the name of the opposing player) during an exhibition game. It was as bad as the Caggiula hit! Yet, the NHL turned a blind eye (probably because he’s a Vegas player).

  2. Columbus surprised me I thought Toronto would have zero problem with them. Two things stood out to me first Jones and Werenski are unbelievable and controlled the game and Marner didn’t show much for the Leafs.

    • Obe, just the opposite for me. This isn’t a good matchup for Toronto; as Columbus plays a heavy game and apply pressure in all areas.

      The leafs have the better players up front, but this is an important challenge for Toronto.

      If they lose to the Blue Jackets, Dubas then may realize that the team still needs more grit.

    • I find Columbus typically plays the type of game that Carolina did when Ayres was in net. Smother everything and skate hard after every puck.

      I don’t watch a lot (any) of Columbus prior to this and while I had read about their reputation as a hard-working team, it really shone through. There were two Jacket’s forechecking every puck and just really making the Leafs uncomfortable by taking time away. So many of the Leaf’s offensive zone entrances were interrupted and when they got in, they were largely kept to the outside. The couple good chances were kept out by some beauty saves by Korpisalo.

      Toronto needs to get some bodies to the net, or this is going to be over quickly I think.

  3. Lyle I know the information is elsewhere, but my go-to for NHL news is your posting. You summarize beautifully the Hockey News of the Day.
    Could you include a short score recap with your daily morning headlines?

    • Appreciate the suggestion, Mark, but due to time and space constraints, I’m unable to provide short score recaps. The link I provide to NHL.com will give you all the info you need. Cheers!

  4. With respect to Matt Dumba, how would you like to play against this D

    Matt Dumba
    Seth Jones
    Darnell Nurse
    Dustin Byfuglien
    PK Subban
    Trevor Daley

    • Nice one, Caper.

  5. My “dark horse” (NYR) quickly transforming into a plug – lost again to Carolina and now on the verge of elimination.