NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2021

by | Apr 17, 2021 | News, NHL | 38 comments

Taylor Hall scores again for the Bruins, the latest on Steven Stamkos, Adam Lowry re-signed, Zach Hyman fined, and more in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Taylor Hall scored his second goal in as many games and Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders 3-0. Curtis Lazar also tallied his first goal with the Bruins after coming over from Buffalo with Hall before the trade deadline. The Bruins (54 points) sit three back of the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the MassMutual East Division.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, so good for the Bruins in the wake of the Hall trade. They’ll be in good shape over the remainder of the season if he regains his offensive touch. It’s also worth noting Mike Reilly, acquired from the Ottawa Senators before the trade deadline, has two assists in his last three games.

Two goals from Tyler Toffoli enabled the Montreal Canadiens to edge the Calgary Flames 2-1. Jake Allen made 28 saves for the win as the Canadiens (47 points) opened a six-point lead over the Flames for fourth place in the Scotia North Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to take anything away from Toffoli’s timely scoring or Allen’s solid goaltending but the Canadiens caught a few breaks in this contest. They were outplayed but avoided disaster as the Flames clanked three or four shots off the goalposts.

The Vegas Golden Knights moved to within two points of the first-place Colorado Avalanche in the Honda West Division by blanking the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. Robin Lehner turned in a 16-save shutout while Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone each had two points. Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 47 saves.

Meanwhile, the Avalanche (64 points) has had three games postponed as a third player (Joonas Donskoi) tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week. They’re expected to resume action on April 17.

The Minnesota Wild got a goal and an assist from Nick Bonino to nip the San Jose Sharks 3-2, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. With 55 points, the Wild sit seven points behind the second-place Golden Knights while the Sharks (40 points) remain four back of the fourth-place St. Louis Blues.

The NHL announced its latest revision to its schedule by extending all North Division games through May 19. This move is being made to accommodate the Vancouver Canucks as they return to action on April 18 after nearly a month following an outbreak of COVID-19.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning still doesn’t know if captain Steven Stamkos’ lower-body injury is related to last year’s core muscle injuries that required surgery. He’s been placed on long-term injury reserve but coach Jon Cooper expects he’ll return to action before the end of the regular season.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed Adam Lowry to a five-year, $16.25 million contract extension. The 28-year-old forward was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His annual average salary will be $3.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable move by the Jets ensuring the big, versatile two-way forward remains on the roster. Cap Friendly indicates the Jets have $60.9 million invested in 13 players for 2021-22.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk on Thursday.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark is sidelined week to week with a lower-body injury.

SPORTSNET: Cole Caufield participated in his first practice with the Montreal Canadiens on Friday after being called up from the Laval Rocket. The 2021 Hobey Baker Award winner is on the taxi squad as salary-cap limitations complicate when they can get him into the lineup.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes will induct young hockey player and Coyotes fan Leighton Accardo into its Ring of Honor on Saturday. The nine-year-old passed away in November following a long battle with cancer. She was beloved by the players, coaches and staff from when she first spent time with the team.


  1. Sitting here sipping whatever coffee my wife picked up at Costco.
    Swayman looks like a younger Rask. Quick, smooth and in control.
    Hall, at times, looks like a younger Hall. Fast, strong and aggressive. Driving the play.

    Lazar looks like he is the same glue guy he was as a youngster. Loves the game.

    Promising, hope it continues.

    It will have too as the Rangers just keep winning after slow start. Once they got healthy and stuff cleaned up, they are a good team.

    • Since the trade this is a whole other team. They hit attack the puck make high percentage plays. Sweeny out did himself here. Aside from Hall Lazar has put an added punch that has been sorely missed for yrs. Reilly was a straight steal. Kids upped his playing to a new level. Swayz has been amazing. Now we have 2 deadly lines which should force teams to pay most of their attention to opening up easier nights on the 3rd line to start scoring. Once we get Carlo and Grizz back watch out. I know it’s only 2 games but again this is a whole different team from a week ago

    • Ray Bark,

      “Sitting here sipping whatever coffee my wife picked up at Costco.”

      BaaaaaaaaaHaHaHa, Yup!!!!

    • Lol @ Ray.

    • Joe, if you are reading the coffee comment was intended as a stick tab, not a shot.
      I appreciated the consistency and am a fan of the running gag.

      Almost Letterman like.

      • As long as it’s not high sticking, Ray. You could get a fine for that.

  2. Bad signing for Jets. Teams should no longer be paying 3M for a 3rd liner. The money goes to the difference makers on the top lines. The rest wouldn’t even be in the league if it wasn’t so watered down with twice the number of teams there should be for a quality product.

    Dubas is way ahead of the curve on this.

    • Poor take, Wendel. Adam Lowry is worth that contract all day long. The guy is criminally underrated.

      • No. He is an interchangable plug that does not impact games and is going to be paid more than twice his worth.

      • Wendel wait until the 3rd line plug Hyman gets paid!

      • You embarrass yourself by suggesting Hyman is a 3rd liner. Sheesh.

    • Yes Wendel I see your sarcasm.

    • Yeah sure … repeat, over and over and over and over again – do you pray to him each morning?

    • He leads the Jets in hits, he plays against opponents top players, he is on the top penalty killing unit, he is a leader on and off the ice, he gives the Jets a fantastic look down the middle behind Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois. He is a big, dependable and hard checking and he even chips in some offence. There aren’t many teams in the NHL with that combination of size and skill at the centre position.

      Who wouldn’t want a ‘plug’ like that for 3.25? You know what he is, you know what you get, he works his butt off and is a favorite player with both the fans and his teammates. Not a bad signing at all.

      • Generally nothing happens for either team when he is on the ice. That makes him a drag on the entertainment of the game. For being a speed bump, he should be in the 700k – 1M range. These slugs grow on trees and no one, not even his immediate family would pay to see him dumb down a game.

      • Well said FlyingV

      • Wow you’re clueless aren’t ya Wendel? I thought you’d at least comment how it’s a shame Caufield can’t get into games due to MB cap misuse.

  3. I agree with what everyone else is saying.This is an entirely different team than it was two weeks ago . They’ve got confidence they play with killer instinct they look like they can win any game & every game Hall is playing better, I never knew Reilly was this good Curtis looks like he’s a keeper Buuuuuuut the icing the cake is Swayman I’ve been watching bruins hockey for over 40 years. Swayman’s the best goalie I’ve seen since Timmy. He is nhl ready NOW. Even though I hate Rask the bruins will probably resign him. There’s no way he will make 7 mill. Halak see ya later.

    • Just last week you were calling for everybody to be traded … typical finicky fanboy Bruins homer …flippity floppity …

      • As I said before there are some people on here I like you’re not one em Ed. So go bother someone else!

      • LOL Rick. Good luck with that. The guy’s a troll with Velcro

  4. Stamkos would miss 6 games if he cut himself shaving…

    • After 3 games I’m not declaring anything other then we got 3 wins.

      • Exactly Caper, but the team has a different look and you can sense optimism.
        Or I am seeing my own hope?

        If it was BUF, it would be wait til we play a good team, but sweeping Isles is an accomplishment to build on.

        Still believe only hope to play for a cup in the finals is to have the best goalie on the ice as we still can’t line up against the best line for line.

        Healthy Rask and a kid with lots of confidence and no scar tissue is interesting.

  5. As a fifteen year resident of Vernon BC it does my heart good to see Curtis Lazar getting some love for a change.
    Expectations for him as a prospect were too high and, when he didn’t become the player everyone expected him to be, he took some ridiculous criticism.
    He has always been a hard-working player with some skill, a great team-mate and a solid citizen.
    It looks as though he’s in a great situation now where he’s recognized for what he is, not what he isn’t.

    • Ya BCLeafFan, and he handled that criticism by staying positive and working hard. Now he is carving out an NHL career. Good on him.

  6. Maybe I’m listening to far too much Montreal 690 talk radio, but Knuckles Nilan has me believing that the Habs biggest issue at this point is coaching, especially in the defensive zone.

    Youngsters & veterans alike seem lost as to what their assigns are in their own zone. They look like Timbits players by times with multiple players chasing one opponent & not in a systematic fashion.

    The coaching the staff really needs to take Shea Weber aside & explain to him that he is a defensive D-man, not a rushing D-man. Twice again last night he jumps up in the play in the offensive zone, only to turn the puck over & then take forever to recover & get back into his own zone.

    Speaking of lack of speed on the Habs, why oh why does the coaching staff put Weber, Staal & Perry all out on the ice on the same shift, especially in the second period when a bench changes must be done in a swift fashion??? Changing direction for all three is a huge challenge when the puck is turned over.

    If they are looking to fill the void on the Danault line created by the Gallagher injury, I would give Jake Evans every chance to do so. Paul Byron has not returned to form since his concussion injuries. His decision making skills use to compliment his speed very well, now he seems to be slowing his play down to think about how the play is unfolding. He seems to be fighting the puck constantly.

    Although Evans won’t be able to replicate Gallagher’s nuisance effect, he skates very, first in on the forecheck, cycles the puck well down low & will go to the net. In Laval, when asked to play with more offensive minded players was able to chip in offensively.

    Rant done,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,maybe!!!

    • Uwey, I can’t figure out why the Habs lurch from crap game to crap game, but it surely cannot be coaching.

      Julien was a Cup winning coach with about 18 years NHL coaching experience. He couldn’t coach? Ducharme has of course much less NHL experience but coached in the CHL, winning the Memorial Cup and won gold as coach of at the World Juniors. He can’t coach?

      So if these guys can’t coach the Habs, exactly who can? There are only so many variations on game plans and at some point it is about the talent available and the execution.

      Systems, line combinations, set plays … no. It’s on the players. Look how good the Sens look some nights with mediocre talent but a strong work ethic.

      • LJ,

        Some very good points, lets start with my take on Julien;

        I believe Julien’s coaching style works well with a strong veteran group. The fact that the all important center position is heavy on youth & inexperience hindered the way Claude wanted to coach. The adjustments he tried to make to rectify that issue seemed to throw the entire game plan off & snowball more often than not.

        As for Ducharme, my biggest concern is that even the veteran Dmen do not seem to understand what their assignments are & the forwards are totally baffled, young & old alike. I’m questioning whether Ducharme & Richardson are on the same page??? Plus , it is one to be the at the top in a junior coaching career against your peers, but quite another thing to be competing against the top professional coaches in the world best league. Ducharme’s reply to being out coached seems be throwing the lineup in the blender everyday & hoping it will bring victory the following game.

        As for it being on the players on the ice, yes there is something there as well, starting with the captain. He is what he is game in, game out. He is incapable of elevating his game when it is required, in fact my opinion is tries to elevate, but again he is not capable of doing so, creating issues for his team on the ice. Thus is something your captain cannot do in important games. Maybe this group does need the core leadership group, Price & Weber, to be the strong silent types, maybe this group needs more emotion from their leadership group. Price did show some emotion when Subban was here, but they were both vilified for the high five, low five show of emotion they used by both the media & the team management. There seems to be “a no fun can be had” requirement to play for the Habs these days. Interviews by the players are so monotone that they all sound the same with no emotion in their voices when they speak.

        Drouin’s time in Montreal has expired IMO. Watching him as a junior here in Halifax, I often got the sense was incapable of using his line & team mates. He very often did things on his own by controlling the puck & circling the offensive zone sometimes three times on an offensive play before making a play. That is all well & fine when you are one of the top skilled players in your league, but when you play against the best in the world on a nightly basis, you need to utilize those on the ice with you, being a puck hog doesn’t cut it.

    • Uwey,

      i was hoping Evans would be moved up to the Danault lie as well, very good 200 ft player, hard on the forecheck, and has proven to be extremely coachable.

      They got out of the D-zone better last night, there are answers to a hard forecheck, I’m sure you noticed the numbers of alley oops used that forced the Calgary D to back off.

      As for the D-zone, Ducharme is turning it over from zone to man to man which I think is a problem and exposed the Weber/Edmundson tandem.

      You’ll notice that the Habs D keys in on the puck carrier and chases him to the other wing almost to the blue line before backing off. Weber is too slow for that, Edmundson was uncomfortable with that system in Carolina.

      Ducharme seems to be making the calculation that the D will grow into it by the time the playoffs come around.I really wonder what Luke thinks.

      • habfan30, good observation on how the Habs D relieved pressure last night. Didn’t see enough of the game to notice a switch in defensive zone coverage, will take your word for it.

        I have to wonder if we will see Merrill and Gustafsson, two D who can skate the puck out of our end. That would be a welcome addition for as much as I think Romanov will be solid right now he doesn’t have that aspect to his game.

        Evans had one terrific game a while ago and then reverted to form. He is a strong skater and has a terrific work ethic but those are about the limits of his skill set — at this point.

        Neither Evans nor Byron are the answer on the Danault line. Caulfield would be a far better experiment — if the cap ever allows him in.

        One improvement I would like to see is the forwards carrying the puck in whenever they can. Currently the first choice seems to be dump, don’t recover the puck, and chase it up the ice.

      • hf30,

        Do you not think that was Calgary’s game plan, forcing the Habs to dump it out into the neutral zone with a 50-50 chance of retrieving it, as opposed to skating the puck out in a controlled fashion???

        I give no kudos for that being a coaching strategy!!!!!

        Outshot 29-20 isn’t a sign of a strong game plan. If Jake Allen doesn’t stand on his head with the Flames hitting two crossbars & goalpost, the results are almost exactly the same as Wednesday night’s game!!!!

  7. Ray I have to admit your coffee line was awesome but tell your wife to buy it from small business Costco has enough money. Bruins young goalie is the future for Boston it’s not fluke he plays position very well and calm. Hall will sign long term loves it in Boston. Reilly looks good in black and gold their fun to watch great back to back wins.

  8. Question the Adam Lowry signing yes a good signing

    Why did it have to happen now?

    Lowry an ufa at season end, could’ve resigned in the off-season after the expansion draft.

    Now the Jets have to protect Lowry and expose another player.

    Don’t get the rush, unless I’m missing something.

    • Caper,

      I’m guessing that several teams with UFAs have behind the scenes deals worked out with the teams they are now playing for that very reason.

      The deals will be signed, sealed & delivered after the expansion draft.

      So is it possible that Lowry is indeed the player that they want to expose, thus with term makes him even more intriguing to Ronnie Francis???

  9. Ray… love ur coffee line 👍👍

  10. Re Bruins

    Certainly have had an uptick in last 3 games… obviously some due to the new infusion but also I believe , playing like they can … they had a lull… no showing their true colours … Bruins are a good team

    This Div is tight …. if the two Pennsylvania teams win in reg today and tomorrow, and Bruins win in reg tomorrow …. 1st to 4th in East separated by 3 points

  11. Pengy not sure a team playing 500 hockey with their top four D men out should be called a lull. I said get healthy and they will be a tuff out I like their chances. Your Penguins are playing well without some of their top players.