NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 4, 2020

by | Aug 4, 2020 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Recaps of Monday’s games, plus updates on Tuukka Rask, Micheal Ferland, Michael Raffl, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s first NHL career playoff hat trick led the Edmonton Oilers over the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3, tying their best-of-five qualifying round series at one game apiece. Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up three assists. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has a goal and an assist while teammate Alex DeBrincat collected two assists. Chicago rookie Dominik Kubalik was held scoreless after tallying five points in the series opener.


Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series isn’t what you’d call a defensive struggle. Indeed, it’s been a throwback to the freewheeling style of the 1980s: fast-paced, high-scoring, sloppy, and entertaining. It’s my favorite of the qualifiers thus far.

Andrei Svechnikov tallied his first playoff hat trick and Sebastian Aho collected three assists to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the New York Rangers 4-1. Artemi Panarin replied for the Rangers. Svechnikov’s hat trick was also the first in franchise history, including its years as the Hartford Whalers. The Hurricanes hold a 2-0 series lead and can wrap things up today in Game 3.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a dominant performance by the Hurricanes’ one-two punch of Svechnikov and Aho, and by the team as a whole. Their aggressive forecheck overwhelmed the Rangers, smothering their offense and forcing them to play catch-up throughout the game.

Nikolaj Ehlers’ third-period goal snapped a 2-2 tie as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Calgary Flames 3-2, tying their best-of-five qualifying round series at a game apiece. Jansen Harkins and Adam Lowry gave the Jets an early lead but the Flames tied it on goals by Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett. It was Ehlers’ first NHL playoff goal. Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big bounce-back win for the Jets after dropping Game 1 and losing scorers Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine. No word yet as to when those two will return to the lineup, but their teammates did a fine job compensating for their absence.

The Pittsburgh Penguins evened their series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 victory. Sidney Crosby opened the scoring and Jason Zucker tallied the game-winner late in the third period. Jesperi Kotkaniemi replied for the Habs, who were kept in this game by Carey Price’s stellar goaltending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were more dominant in this contest compared to the series opener, generating more quality scoring chances and keeping the underdog Canadiens on their heels. If not for Price’s performance, the Penguins would’ve enjoyed a wider margin of victory.

Four unanswered third-period goals by Mark Stone, Nate Schmidt, William Carrier, and William Karlsson powered the Vegas Golden Knights over the Dallas Stars 5-3 in round-robin play. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen assisted on all of his club’s three goals. Before the game, Stars’ Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson and Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner took a knee during the national anthems in support of racial equality.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to take anything away from the Golden Knights’ comeback, but the Stars gave this game away. They were in control entering the third period but sat back on the lead and it cost them.

The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Washington Capitals 3-2 in round-robin action on shootout goals by Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. The Capitals played without defenseman John Carlson, who remains sidelined after leaving last week’s exhibition game against the Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Still no word on when Carlson will return. He could be back before the end of the week. 


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Tuukka Rask was back in the Bruins’ net during practice yesterday after being “unfit to participate” over the weekend with a cough. He was tested multiple times for COVID-19 before being allowed to return.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Michael Raffl will miss some time after suffering an undisclosed injury during a round-robin game Sunday with the Bruins. Raffl appeared to be favoring a leg as he left the game following a collision with Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland received a $5,000.00 fine for spearing Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman during Game 1 of their qualifier.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings have loaned prospect defenseman Moritz Seider to his old German club (Adler Mannheim) with the understanding he’ll return to the Wings for training camp ahead of next season. The NHL’s 2020-21 campaign is tentatively slated to begin Dec. 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect more European prospects on the seven non-playoff teams to follow the Red Wings lead. Given the usually long off-season facing those clubs, it’s best to try and get those kids some playing time where possible.

SPORTSNET: The NHL received no positive COVID-19 tests during the first week of Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan. Over 7,000 tests were administered during that time.  


  1. Hi Lyle, minor thing you have Kane where it should be Laine.

    • Fixed, thanks Caper!

  2. 7000 tests and none positive ! Great job I did not have high hopes for this I am really glad I am wrong on this one ! Lets hope know one screws this up .

  3. Tuukka Rask said he checked off his form that he had a cough and was held out until he had two negative test.

    This is great the NHL is this strict and certainly going to help them be more successful in controlling any outbreaks.

    My concern would be, will you say you have a cough the further your team is in the playoffs or if its and elimination game?

  4. Re. “ The NHL received no positive COVID-19 tests during the first week of Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan. Over 7,000 tests were administered during that time. ” 👍👍👍👍👍

    Re Tuuka doing the safe thing… cough; pulling himself until proven Covid free…tough personal call… but we’d not have challenged it if he’d been positive and his move saved infecting other Bruins…. so IMHO 👍👍👍👍👍

    Oil/Hawks game…. love the high scoring games…. good pushback by Oil 👍👍👍

    Stranglehold now by Canes… to be honest… I thought this was going 5 games (still could)

    Re Toews interview and responding in French…. didn’t know he was bilingual …. tres bien 👍👍👍

    Jets win w/o Sheiff/Laine …. good on ya 👍👍👍

    Re Pens win…. Phew…. great effort by Pens… again Price playing out of his mind. Atta go Sid. Zucker scores to make up for relativelylackluster performance. Geno needs to have a breakout. Marleau out ; Rodrigues in please. Great game Sheary and Guentzel.

    I was very very afraid that JJ was dressed; did nigh cost two goals again (thank you thank you thank you Murr for spectacular saves). JM was forced to play JJ because Sully over-ruled his plea to sit him; but JM cut JJ’s 5on5 ice time by 5 minutes and that helped tremendously. Still pins and needles when he’s on PK

    Overall … Pens win… Phew 😌… but yeah 😁👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

    • Breath easy Pengy. The Penguins got stronger at the trade deadline and the Habs got weaker. This is a very uneven match.

      Even Price’s superb play won’t carry them to victory.

      • It’s the next series that Pens fans are worried about …

      • Hi LJ and Ed

        I AM worried about this series. On paper for sure Pens have the advantage; but Price is playing spectacularly and Geno has yet to break out; and there is always the underlying JJ factor 🤯

        I’ll breath easy if Pens win next game as I can’t see Habs winning final 2…. but if Pens lose the next game 😭😡🤬

        Marleau out; Rodrigues in

        JJ out; Riikola in

        Then I can breath easy

    • Was a great performance by the Pens for sure. I was watching closely (saw the middle 40 minutes but missed the start and end unfortunately due to work) to see if I could justify my comments of a sloppy Pens team from Game 1 and realized what I was seeing. The Pens dominate the possession throughout, good passing, good control; then when it comes time to shoot it seems like the shot selection is obvious or poor because Montreal finally gets into the lane or gets a stick on it. Can’t argue with results though; absolutely dominant game.

      Didn’t get to watch my Flames lose to the Jets either; but gotta give the Jets credit to win that without two of their top five. Looking forward to catching the full game tonight! 5-6 games per day is just awesome 🙂

  5. The ice seems to be better in Edmonton than in Toronto.
    I continue to be impressed by the tournament overall.
    I had my doubts but I’m sure glad to be wrong.

    Thanks, hockey Gods.

    • One of the advantages of playing in Edmonton is the ice at their new arena is reportedly the best in the league.

      • They have the best ice, the best player and some of the best alumni in league history.
        I despise them so.