NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2021

by | Apr 27, 2021 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Connor McDavid leads the Oilers over the Jets, the Hurricanes clinch a playoff spot, the stars of the week are announced, a new broadcasting deal with Turner, the latest on Patrick Roy and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick and added an assist leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-1 rout of the Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers have 58 points, sitting one up on the Jets for second place in the Scotia North Division while McDavid has a league-leading 81 points. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced winger Zack Kassian was placed on long-term injury reserve. The Jets, meanwhile, announced winger Nikolaj Ehlers will miss the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid leads the NHL with 81 points (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets will miss Ehlers’ production. He’s second among their scorers with 46 points.

The Montreal Canadiens (51 points) opened a six-point lead over the Calgary Flames for fourth place in the Scotia North Division with a 2-1 victory. Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winner while Cole Caufield was held scoreless in his NHL debut. The Flames suffered another blow earlier in the day when they learned defenseman Noah Hanifin will require season-ending shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens control their fate as they hold a game in hand over the Flames.

The Carolina Hurricanes clinched a playoff spot despite dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Dallas Stars. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored the game-winner and collected three assists. The Hurricanes sit atop the Discover Central Division with 69 points, securing a third straight postseason berth for the first time since the franchise relocated to North Carolina in 1997. With 54 points, the Stars remain two points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they got a 39-save performance by Juuse Saros to down the Florida Panthers 4-1 to prevent the latter from clinching a playoff spot. Florida goaltender Chris Driedger left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. The Panthers sit two points back of the division-leading Hurricanes.

The St. Louis Blues regained fourth place in the Honda West Division with a 4-1 upset of the Colorado Avalanche. David Perron had a goal and two assists as St. Louis (48 points) moved a point ahead of the Arizona Coyotes. Blues defensemen Colton Parayko and Vince Dunn missed the game with upper-body injuries. The Avs played without winger Brandon Saad, who’s sidelined two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. They sit in second place with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Canadiens, the Blues control their fate as they hold three games in hand over the Coyotes.

A four-point performance by Evander Kane (one goal, three assists) gave the San Jose Sharks a 6-4 win over the Coyotes. The Sharks (43 points) sit four back of the Coyotes and five behind the Blues.

A 25-save performance by Marcus Hogberg gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Brady Tkachuk collected two assists while Drake Batherson tallied the winning goal. The Canucks played without goaltender Thatcher Demko as he suffered an undisclosed injury during the morning skate. The Senators, meanwhile, could be without Matt Murray (lower-body injury) for the rest of the season.

Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. The Ducks have dropped five in a row.


San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot, and Florida Panthers left winger Jonathan Huberdeau are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 25, 2021.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed practice yesterday with a lower-body injury and is doubtful for tonight’s game with the New York Islanders. Defenseman Justin Schultz (lower body) is also doubtful though he did skate in yesterday’s practice in a non-contact jersey.

SPORTSNET: The NHL has reportedly reached an agreement with Turner Sports on a seven-year broadcasting deal that includes three Stanley Cup Finals. This deal would give the league two television partners for the first time since 1998-99 as it recently reached an agreement to return to ESPN starting next season. The Turner deal spells the end of NBC Sports’ coverage of NHL games following this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The combined deals will reportedly provide the NHL $625 million annually in broadcasting revenue. That’s a significant increase over the $200 million annually on its current deal with NBC.

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy is exploring options for a possible return to the NHL as a coach or general manager. Roy was head coach of the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-14 to 2015-16 but stepped down citing a lack of input in personnel decisions. He’s also the long-time head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news sparked speculation among Montreal Canadiens fans that Roy could replace Marc Bergevin as general manager. Roy’s new agent, however, claimed they haven’t had any conversations with the Canadiens and no deals are imminent with any other NHL club.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Andrew Shaw yesterday announced his playing career is over after 10 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens. Multiple concussions cut short his career at age 29. Shaw spent seven seasons with the Blackhawks, winning two Stanley Cups and scoring 116 goals and 247 points in 544 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Shaw and his family in his future endeavors.


  1. If Murray is out for the rest of the season that’s all the more reason to leave him exposed in the expansion draft – repeated injuries, hefty contract ($6,350,000 cap hit) with 3 more years to run – extremely doubtful that Seattle would take him so why bother protecting him? In effect, they are stuck with him until the end of the 2023-24 season whgen he turns 30. Their best hope is that he comes back stronger next season and puts up good numbers which might make him attractive in a trade deadline deal.

    A couple of weeks back I listed how I thought Dorion would go for the expansion draft, citing the 7-3-1 option with forwards Tkachuk, Batherson, Paul, White, Connor Brown, Dadonov and Watson, D-men Chabot, Zaitsev and Mete and G Gustavsson all protected.

    Based on their play overall since then … and WHO they have been using… I’ve had a couple of second thoughts – more or less coinciding with JJB’s thinking, replacing Watson with Abramov and Mete with Josh Brown who has been VERY steady over the second half.

    So, barring some sort of pre-draft deal (which I don’t see happening where Ottawa is concerned) Seattle will have to choose from among goalies Murray, Daccord, Mete, Logan Brown or Tierney. The latter only has 1 year left on his deal ($3,500,000) before becoming a UFA so I doubt they go there. My guess would be either Daccord (currently out with a high ankle sprain) or the big young C Logan Brown.

    • Hi George

      I like your ideas re protection

      I just used the CapFriendly tool and clicked on those to see if there were any major vulnerabilities in ur strat… protection looked fair

      One thing I did notice is that it left only Tierny as a forward under contract for next year who met the qualifying games requirement

      I believe that under the expansion rules each team must, at a minimum , expose 2 Fwds and 1 D that are (1) under contract for next year (22/23) and (2) have met the 27/40 threshold

      The only other forwards (other than Tierney, after your protections above) on Sens per CapFreindly , that have met that 27/40 (see tick in right hand column on CapFreindly tool) are UFAs and RFAs (so not under contract)…Stepan, Anisimov and Dzingal are UFAs; all the rest (mostly RFAs) haven’t met the 27/40 threshold

      If CF has the right info, and Dorion wants to protect as you have, I believe they would need another Fwd who qualifies (under contract for 22/23 AND met the 27/40)…. trade?

      • Doesn’t Watson qualify?

      • Hi George

        Yes… sorry for the confusion…. I meant if you had kept to your original plan and had Watson protected instead of Abromov

        Sorry for the confusion

        Tierney is a possibility to get picked up

    • I’m thinking around the same thing and I agree they might expose Tierney, even though he is a tradable asset. Pinto has played so well, further complicating the center position in Ottawa. Regardless having Teirney eating up $3.5 million playing on our 4th line doesn’t help.

      Logan Brown also makes sense as he just needs a fresh start. I’d be really sad if we see Daccord go though. Starting goalies are so hard to predict and I’d like to see him and Gustavsson battling it out.

      I know the one off season move I want is to see Dorion do whatever we can to secure Dylan Guenther. When I look at this team, the glaring flaw I see in the future is a Top 6 RW & an elite goal scorer. Guenther would address this. Thinking of him playing alongside Stueztle & Brady makes me salivate! Also allows us to bring back the Forementon – Norris – Batherson line!

      • Yeah, JJB, Guenther would be a great pick. Unfortunately, McKenzie has him ranked in a tie for 2nd pick with Edvinsson – a D in Sweden – and with the way Ottawa has been playing and where they might finish, he might be out of reach unless they get really lucky in the lottery. Right now, overall, they sit 27th, just 1 back of Vancouver (although they have 7 games in hand!), 2 back of Detroit (Ottawa has a game in hand on them) and L.A. (who holds 2 games on Ottawa), 3 behind SJ (1 game in hand on Ottawa), and 5 back of 22nd place Calgary.

        And I have a feeling this group is going to continue to climb a spot or two before it’s over. On March 1 they had a record of 8 17 1 17 points 70gf 102ga – differential of -32.

        Since then they have gone 15 15 3 33 points 99gf 107ga – differential of -8. So, basically, a .500 club since the horrible start. And now that the kids are playing – and playing well – I just don’t see them collapsing. Unless Dorion and Smith pull an Eddie Johnson (the Lemieux draft) and begin playing every stiff in the system. Which won’t happen.

        As for who Seattle might pick, I agree that will likely be Logan Brown when you look at the comparisons. As I say, Tierney is a UFA after next season – why would they select him and have to deal with that in a year when they could choose a good young prospect?

      • The expansion draft protection requirements make it really hard for fans to track as they literally can change daily where certain players are concerned. In Ottawa, e.g. Joey Daccord just lost his eligibility since he was under a pro contract in the AHL for the two previous seasons and combined to play 10 games between Belleville and Ottawa this year before going on IR.

        In Tampa, Alex Barre-Boulet played two years in the A at Syracuse and has now played 8 games in Tampa. So if I have this right, if he plays 2 more games in Tampa he now has to be exposed to Seattle. Ross Colton by the same rules has now also recently lost his eligibility to be exempt.

    • If Murray plays well next year why trade him?

      • Why not if Gustavsson and Daccord play equally well and youngsters Sogaard and Mandolese continue to progress as expected?

        With the way Murray’s career has gone so far, when I say “comes back stronger and puts up good numbers” that’s more in the line of wishful thinking and hoping for an injury-free string of consistency. Should they get that lucky by trade deadline AND both Gustavsson and Daccord show their own worth, why wait for the other shoe to drop?

        Of course, if Murray is playing well and the others are faltering then sure, they’ll likely take the chance. That’s why Dorion gets the big bucks – to make decisions like that based on existing circumstances.

  2. Matt Murray injured again. He’s young, he’s athletic, What’s the deal? This guy misses a ton of time for a starting goalie. I just don’t get it. Bad luck maybe?

    • I’m wondering that as well Randino. I’ve seen heavier collisions between people using walkers in a mall than the one that caused him to leave the game. We’ve gone down this road before with Hasek – hate to think it becomes a regular occurance.

  3. As the good book says, may God bless and keep Patrick Roy…..far away from us.

    Calling on Wings fans, Jon Merrill, what’s the deal? Is it just the eye test over a limited sample or is this guy a really good D?

    Cole Caufield, it’s just one game but this kid is the real deal. He found empty spots all night and got more shots on goal than any forward, goals will come.

    Coaches don’t get enough benefit or blame other than emotional reactions usually. Coaches like Darryl Sutter, Alain Vignault are stifling their own and opposing teams.

    Unlike some I enjoy tight low scoring games for the chess mentality, strong goaltending, hard hits, turnovers etc

    These coaches have one speed only whether they are one goal up or down, dump it in and run the machine on spin. an attempt to run the cycle till either draw a penalty or a defensive breakdown on account of avoiding a holding or a hook .

    Crash the net so often that goalie interference is frequently ignored.

    I don’t mind the one on one battles that the refs ignore, eg Giordano/Anderson, Tkachuk/any D, D cleaning the front of the net (as long as its consistent)

    The corner cycling is a result of rule change gone wild, players can present their backs knowing full well that if they get planted on the boards they will draw a penalty.

    Every team does it but in my mind it’s a question of degree AND are they trying to come out with the puck or just cycling for the sake of cycling, reasons mentioned above.

    Andrew Shaw, a Hawk to the end, he was a great rental in Montreal, heart and soul player who proved the will to win can overcome talent. Best wishes to Andrew, Chaunette and kids.

    • Let’s all avoid the rush and put Caulfield in the Hockey Hall of Fame now, why let him play and prove anything?

      • Ed he never said hall of fame . He said he looked good in his first game . I thought he looked great and was not out of place in a very tight checking playoff style game . I think he has a very bright future . The Habs sure need someone who can score lets hope he is the real deal.

    • I hope MTL hires Roy for GM.
      And if they struggle he should fire the head coach and put himself there as well.

      • You are an Oilers fan, are you not, Ray? Does your wish for Roy to be the Habs’ GM have ulterior motives? Read his bio on Wikipedia.

        Roy had volatile outbursts as a player (declaring he was done playing for the Habs to the team president), lost it as an Avs coach and nearly broke the partition separating the teams benches in an attempt to get at the other coach, was charged with domestic violence (and was frankly lucky to get off); his wife divorced him shortly thereafter. Both his kids were involved in significant violent incidents while he was their junior coach.

        Roy was a superb goalie and what we can charitably call his high octane emotion likely was a key to his success as a goalie.

        But as a GM? If you want a ticking time bomb in your team’s management Ray, then I wish you good luck. But first I wish you a second thought about that. There is no way Geoff Molson will hire that incendiary device.

      • Gotta agree with that sentiment. Roy – like Keenan and Tortorella if he’s canned in Columbus – has burned his NHL bridges.

      • LJ, I am a lifelong Bruins fan (started as a 4 yr old in 1969) who now lives in Edmonton.
        I do root for the Oil unless they play BOS.

        I was hoping the Habs did it because I root against them more than any other team as they beat my Bruins for a significant portion of my adult life.

        From the outside Patty Roy seems like a dick. Who was also a really good goalie. Avs got better when he left and Joe got rid of the barking in his ear.

        HOF player though.

  4. One team that will fall into the category of “I wouldn’t want to play them” in the playoffs – if they make it – is Dallas! 7-2-1 in their last 10 and just 2 back of Nashville with 2 games in hand.

    Big one tonight for them against Carolina – who they’d play in the first round should the Hurricanes finish 1st.

    • George as a TBL fan I would rather play them in the first round than Carolina. I am not so sure I would hazard a guess which one of the two Dallas would want to play if they get in

      • I think they’re concentrating on just getting in ShaneinTampa – likely couldn’t care less who they play. As the past few years have demonstrated, a 1-4 upset is not rare. Don’t forget, if they all are healthy this is the team that went deep last year.

    • Tampa, Florida , Carolina and Dallas are a toss up in the playoffs. I think Florida is the most under rated team of the four. Tampa is the defending champ and will be toughest team to knock out of the playoffs. The road to the cup goes through Tampa. Florida, Tampa and Carolina are playing for last change which may be the difference maker. I wouldn’t count Nashville out of the mix.

  5. No way Seattle touches Matt Murray … horrible contract, injury-prone and declining play …

    and with Andrew Shaw retiring there is one less spot picking cheap shot artist in the league …