NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2021

by | Apr 20, 2021 | News, NHL | 63 comments

Patrick Marleau sets the league record for most games played, Kirill Kaprizov sets a franchise record, the stars of the week are revealed, Alex Edler is suspended and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau played his 1,768th career game to pass Gordie Howe for the most in NHL history as his San Jose Sharks dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Mark Stone scored twice as Vegas overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and the shootout. Alex Tuch scored the game-winner. With 66 points, the Golden Knights move two points up on the Colorado Avalanche into first place in the Honda West Division.

San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Marleau on his remarkable achievement. His record won’t be broken anytime soon. The closest active players are aging stars Joe Thornton (1,669) and Zdeno Chara (1,598).

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored to set the single-season franchise record for points (37) by a rookie in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who sit third in the West Division with 59 points. The Coyotes (45 points) hold a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the fourth-and-final playoff spot.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the Edmonton Oilers over the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Connor McDavid led the way with a goal and two assists. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury suffered following a collision with Oilers forward Alex Chiasson. Edmonton forward Jujhar Khaira also departed in the first following a hit by Montreal defenseman Alexander Romanov. The Oilers (56 points) moved within a point of the second-place Winnipeg Jets in the Scotia North Division while the Canadiens are fourth with 47 points.

The Calgary Flames missed an opportunity to gain ground on the floundering Canadiens as they were upset 4-2 by the Ottawa Senators. Connor Brown scored twice and Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Senators. The Flames remain six points back of the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators did the Canadiens a favor by beating the Flames. The Habs have won just three of their last 10 games and would be out of a playoff spot if the Flames weren’t having their own difficulties. Barring a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes, the Canadiens will likely back into the postseason and become first-round roadkill.

An overtime goal by Yanni Gourde lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Tampa Bay blew a 2-0 lead as the Hurricanes rallied back to force the extra frame. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Discover Central Division with 63 points, holding two games in hand over the Florida Panthers. The Bolts, meanwhile, remain a point behind both clubs.

Speaking of the Panthers, they got two goals from Frank Vatrano to double up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Sam Bennett tallied his first goal with the Panthers since being acquired from Calgary at the trade deadline. Jackets forward Max Domi was a healthy scratch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The race for first place in the Central could be closely contested for the remainder of the regular season.

The Nashville Predators got a big two points in a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Calle Jarnkrok and Luke Kunin each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who hold fourth place in the Central with 51 points while the Blackhawks sit four points back.

A shootout goal by Denis Gurianov gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. With 48 points, the Stars moved past the Blackhawks into fifth place.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski, New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin, and Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 18.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman on Sunday.

TORONTO STAR: Hyman will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a sprained knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are likely breathing a sigh of relief that Hyman’s injury wasn’t more serious than it is. He should be recovered in time for the playoffs in a month’s time.

NJ.COM: The Devils signed 2020 first-round pick Alexander Holtz to a three-year entry-level contract.


  1. Only this morning I was thinking how pleasant it would be to have a compendium of the hockey events the night before leading to the morning Tweets. Thank you!

    (lighting candles for Zach Hyman)

  2. Nice to see very good back-to-back games by Matt Murray.

  3. Ok Bruins your next 3 are against the Sabres 5-3-2 last 10; better bring your work boots these won’t be automatics, Sabres work extremely hard.

    Calgary, Habs giving you a chance, Ottawa much like Buffalo are not giving you 2 easy points.

    If your not ready to play and play hard for 60 minutes, well you’ll lose.

  4. Yes, the Habs will, at the very best, limp into the playoffs. But we must remember that countless mediocre teams have backed into the playoffs and then upset stronger teams. We all thought they’d be roadkill in last year’s Return to Play.

    • People hope the exception is the rule, bad team beats good team, but it’s in reality not, it’s just the exception.
      The bar dropped so low for this franchise, it used to be cup contenders now it’s hopefully playoff bound.

    • I watched the Oil Habs game last night.
      That was a really good, fast & physical hockey game.
      Playoff like.

      The Habs played pretty good and had their share of chances early until McDavid to it to another level last 10 minutes or so.

      Shout out to Puljujarvi, goal, assist and sh*t disturber all night. Created the turnover on McDavid’s unassisted goal as well.

      Who likes celebrating goals more than that guy?

      Still think the Habs will figure it out and be a really tough out for whoever they play. Deep team who will compete. Not as far away as some fear, but I have been wrong before and might be about them.

      • I have to admit, Ray, that Puljujarvi’s play has been a pleasant surprise (to me anyway). Looks like he finally realized that nothing comes automatically and decided to buckle down and play within the team structure.

      • Ya George he grew up.
        I shouldn’t be one to criticize when I think what I was like at 22.

      • Heh. Please don’t remind me!

  5. Good for Patrick Marleau.
    Good for hockey.
    Thoughts and prayers for Minnesota tonight. It might be a rough one.

    • it wont be just Minn, and certain people are giving reason for a do over

      • Fair enough, Joe. Thought and prayers for anyone impacted by tonight’s decision.

  6. Throughout sports history troglodytes have dismissed and insulted athletes that have broken records of loved ones instead of embracing them.

    The hatred shown to Hank Aaron for beating and obliterating the homerun record is an example.

    What I find repugnant isn’t the opinion but the incessant need to repeat it like a pieceworker.

    • Amen to that. But then, all that one does is repeat the same themes – over and over and over and over ad nauseam.

      • You ought to know …

      • Point to ONE instance ed. But then, with your pain-in-the-ass approach to every comment your own posts have long since worn thin in here. Give up the theme of trying to appear tough. Real tough people have no need to advertise.

      • I’ll point George as one of the posters i can find agreement and disagreement with at various times but always respect it.

        If we always agreed we may as well be talking to our respective mirrors.

        Giving an opinion a couple of times or discussing an issue with different people isn’t the same as playing woody woodpecker with an opinion.

        It isn’t about being right, it’s about dialogue and maybe learn from a different perspective.

    • First round roadkill, Lyle. Succinct and accurate!

  7. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But like everyone else’s that’s all it is in the final analysis – your opinion.

  8. a damn fine opinion sir …

    • I agree.

    • Of course you would say that Ed. Marleau’s paid his dues. While he might be in the last throes of his playing days, lasting this long and staying in good shape is more than most of us do.

  9. If you think the NHL is more watered down now than in 1979-80, you have lost your memory.
    Or simply ignoring the reality of the seasons following the merge of the WHA teams into the NHL.

    You are also choosing to ignore how many more countries are represented in the NHL with players.
    It is 17 in case you’re wondering.
    Ignoring the improvements in coaching and development in these countries. A lot of Canadians contributing to that actually.
    Especially that really big one just south of us.

    Watch a game from that era, and watch one now. This isn’t hard to figure out.

    Is anyone saying Marleau is better than Howe? Nope.
    But he played more games.
    Good for him.

    Maybe Caper is right about cancel culture? If we are shaming Marleau for having a really good career.

    • Well, I should also add that Marleau has been, imo, a really good player.

      What I was agreeing with is:
      A) that he is not in the class as Gordie Howe as a player
      B) that this Marleau longevity record is really, really suspect as a “record”.

      It is an “NHL” record, nothing more.

      The same kind of approach that diminishes the great Russian players of yesteryear.

      The same kind of viewpoint that diminishes Rod Laver’s achievements in tennis.

      Yeah, Marleau, he has managed to hang around.


    • Correct Rattus, it is an NHL record.
      Thanks for stating what we already know.

      The record is suspect because Russians from the Soviet communist era are not included and it diminishes them?
      Rod Laver analogy?

      Seems like your reaching sir.

  10. The single-season franchise record for points is THIRTY SEVEN (37) for the Minnesota Wild????? Is this piece saying no one has ever scored more than 37 points in a season for the Wild?

    • Lyle,
      That Minnesota franchise record is for their rookies.

  11. What wrong with you? Marleau has accomplished something special. That’s all dude. You don’t like it, it affects you in some way? Sorry but most people get it and appreciate the milestone.
    Speaking of, has anyone seen the twitter feed of congrats to the man? This one with Austin and Mitch is my fav, mainly because of the cameo by Thornton!


    • I won’t waste my time viewing such a nothing event. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with the reactions given the pathetically low hall of fame entry standards from the No Hit League.

    • Saw that Ron, solid work!

    • Look, RM, I’m OK with it.

      For what it’s worth – whoopee.

      Don’t get bent out of shape, but the “Woo Hoo!” aspect is quite over-played, imo.

      So, yeah, it’s a deal.
      Just not a big deal to me.

      And also, I suspect, not a big deal to a very large number of hockey fans.


      Hope you can live with that.


    • Good stuff. Thanks for the link

    • Good post, Ron. Nice find. Congratulations on your milestone achievement Marleaud!

      What’s wrong with the people who only post controversial comments based on trash that has been collected from under their bridge in order to get a reaction you ask?
      They are not true hockey fans. They use this great sport as a cover for trolling. If it is not trolling, then I don’t know what it is because it is certainly not based in reality.
      It is one thing to say people are entitled to their opinion, which is why this site is great, but it is another to say that in my opinion an Orange is the same colour as a Goldfish and so should be forced to live on Europa so more baby Alpaca’s can get their own Macadamia Nut tree farms.

      So much gibberish with the sole intention to be disingenuous, disrespectful and devoid of any real substance.

      So sad.

    • Well said TheFlyingV

    • Rattus, you and Wendel make me yawn . Talk about boring comments, being a troll is not interesting.

  12. I’ve played against NHLers from back in the day and to say that there is a saturation in players is a joke. Spme of these players would have had a hard time making a midget travel team these days. Yes in the mid 70’s that was probably true as the leagues (NHL & WHA) were predominately Canadian, over 95% in 1970, there was an obvious reason.

    The one thing that the WHA legacy brought us was the influx of Europeans due to the amount of players needed to supply that many teams.

    The fact is there are far more skilled players worldwide to supply the teams and few players from back in the day would even make rosters today

  13. Howe’s one of the top three players to have ever played the game I only mark Orr ahead of Gordie. Read Jeremy Roenick’s book he has an entire page dedicated to Marleau calls him one of the laziest, most selfish players he’s ever seen in the league. To have Marceau surpass the great Gord isn’t even worth reading about.

    • You’re putting credence into something Jeremy Roenick wrote?

      • Once jr was in a funny commercial with anson carter for the nhl network in its infancy. That’s about the only thing he’s ever done worth noting… off the ice.

      • Yes I am Georgie Porgie read the book! Now back to your pudding and pie.

      • Oh, really adult of you Rick. So clever. Gee, I’m devastated. Schmuck.

      • I like how Patrick Marleau responded to some of the comments made by J.R.

        “I want to win more than anyone. Just because I don’t jump up and down acting like a buffoon on the ice doesn’t mean I’m not into it.”

        I’m assuming you are referencing: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey. It is an interesting read but I think some people like it more than others because they also like to drop F-bombs every 2 seconds instead of speaking to others like an adult. We all swear from time to time but P.M.’s description of J.R. is far more accurate than the reverse.

  14. It’s the record for most games played in the NHL, not the most goals, most points, most ppg, most penalties, most Stanley Cups, highest plus minus, most years played, most industrious, most teams played for.

    Surpassing Howe for most games played is what he has done and if one of the reasons you revere Howe is his longevity for the number of games played, have some respect for the player who beat his record.

    • Pretty sure Howe liked Marleau. Marleau told a story about playing mini sticks with his kids in the hall way before a game. Howe came around the corner, grabbed the stick from the elder Marleau and started playing with the kids.
      He was 80.

      2 small town Sask guys. I would bet money Howe would understand and appreciate the accomplishment, and if he was alive would be there when Marleau beat his record.

  15. Scrub? How many games have you played, Einstein? Or, should I say, Jeremy?

  16. I have to believe that if Gordie Howe, or any other mortal, played in today’s NHL without a helmet and with only the protective equipment available in Howe’s era, he wouldn’t last for more than a few seasons before sustaining a career-ending injury. The fact that many players of Howe”s era did last for many seasons suggests that games weren’t as difficult or hazardous for a 6-foot tall man in the days when a man that size was exceptional, pucks flew at a slower speed,, and almost all the players competing were drawn from the relatively small pool of 20-million people who lived in Canada.

    Both players’ records are remarkable in their contexts, but that of Jaromir Jagr is an amazing and timeless example of the the effect of hockey becoming a world game. He played in 1,733 games, generations into the NHL modern era, and he played efficiently until he was 45 years old.

    • And that while spending 3 of his prime seasons in Europe…he could’ve had a crack at 2,000 career games if he had stayed in North America and not had work stoppages etc.

  17. I 👏 to Marleau, lot of luck and health to play that many games

  18. You brag about the leafs being a top team but they are only competing cause an American boy who would even exist in hockey if it weren’t for expansion is leading them. Wendell should weeping tears of gratitude to expansion and bettman.

    • No i would far prefer 6 teams again and no Matthews.

    • So your effusive affection for mathews is all over now?

    • I prefer a high quality product, dont you?

    • I think Matthews is of pretty high quality.
      You’re dying on the wrong hill, Wendel. Your arguments are foolish and not very well thought out. So many contradictions in so few posts.

    • Yup. That’s why expansion is so good. The product has never been better.

  19. Ovie should retire. How dare he attempt to join the top 5 greatest NHL goal scorers of all time.
    His pursuit is nothing more than a blemish on the good names of those who came before him. How selfish and disrespectful can one player be?
    In fact, all current and future players should pull chute before they come close to breaking any past records or achievements.
    What was that kid in Minny thinking?
    Let this be a lesson to McDavid and Matthews, stay in your own lane and leave the records alone!

    Just to show I’m not biased, Marchand better stop scoring shorthanded points or I won’t be able to cheer for him anymore.

    • 2422,

      lol, well put

    • Fantastic analogies Shoreorrpark.

  20. Just because there are more teams and players doesn’t mean the league is watered down. The current NHL talent pool has the top players from all over the world not just Canada. Players that are bigger, stronger, faster, train year around, have better equipment, skate better, and have access to more & better coaching. The playing ability of current NHL 4th liner’s and third pair defensemen has never been better.

    I grew up in Michigan and was a huge Gordie Howe fan but had never met him until later in life. He was in North Carolina signing autographs and promoting hockey long before we had an NHL team. I had a chance to talk to him and it was clear how much he respected the new generation of hockey players and the game of hockey.

    What Marleau has accomplished does not take away from the Gordie Howe legacy, it adds to it.

    As George said we each have our own opinion and that’s mine. One thing I am 100% sure of is that Gordie Howe would never have called Marleau a scrub or belittled what he has achieved in his era. Mark Howe’s statement on behalf of the Howe family reflected that.

    • Well said!

  21. The only people claiming hockey is watered down from the glory days of a 6 team league either didn’t watch it or don’t remember it.

    The league then was made of Canadians who worked at summer jobs and were out of shape.

    They smoke, they drank, they were dirty and they were glorious SOBs.

    They were products of poor families for the most part, used and abused by owners, GMs and coaches.

    Reporters in original 6 cities, shaped the perceptions we had of the league and it’s players along with the magnificent announcers who painted a glorious picture.

    Same goes for baseball and football, athletes today arrive as professionally prepared players, they are better, there are more of them, they come from all over the world.

    Great players of the day like Stan Mikita, Leo Boivin, Leo Labine, Dave Keon, Camille Henry, Henri Richard wouldn’t even get a tryout today.

    Bottom line is judge each era for its time and enjoy the game of today.

    • You got it.

    • Good post but I disagree about the great players of the Original Six era.
      If they were prospects today, they would train year round, have skills coaches, play in professional atmospheres with competent coaches in the years leading up to their drafts, and would have had scouts watching them all the time.
      I saw Bobby Orr play for the Oshawa Generals and I can say with certainty that he would have been a superstar in this NHL, he would not have been drafted by Boston – no draft then, the infamous “C” card instead – and he would have had a much longer and healthier career. His knee problems began in his final year of junior hockey and, in today’s environment, he would have had much better medical treatment at the time, not playing on a bad knee throughout the Memorial Cup playoffs and major surgery down the road.
      That era and this are like night and day – simply no comparison.