NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2021

by | Apr 28, 2021 | News, NHL | 21 comments

The Panthers and Lightning clinch playoff berths, the new broadcasting deal with Turner Sports is announced, the date for the 2021 draft lottery is revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and collected three assists as the Florida Panthers defeated the Nashville Predators 7-4. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett each had three points. With 69 points, the Panthers clinched their first playoff berth since 2015-16 and sit two points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Discover Central Division. Ryan Ellis tallied twice for the Predators, who sit in fourth place with 56 points.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning also secured a postseason spot with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Brayden Point had a goal and two assists and Alex Killorn scored two goals for the Lightning, who sit one point back of the Panthers in third place. Chicago defenseman Adam Boqvist suffered a broken right wrist in this game and is done for the season. The Blackhawks (49 points) are seven points behind the Predators with two games in hand.

Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal scored twice and picked up an assist as his club beat the Dallas Stars 5-1. Andrei Svechnikov picked up three assists. The Stars remain two points behind the Predators.

A 41-save shutout by Elvis Merzlikins carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 1-0 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings. Patrik Laine and Oliver Bjorkstand tallied in the shootout. Earlier in the day, the Jackets announced goaltender Joonas Korpisalo will miss the remainder of the regular season with a lower-body injury.

The Washington Capitals regained first place in the MassMutual East Division by blanking the New York Islanders 1-0. Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves for the shutout and Daniel Sprong netted the only goal. The Capitals (68 points) sit one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who sit four up on the Islanders.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Boston Bruins. David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall were the goalscorers for the Bruins (62 points), who moved within a point of the third-place Islanders.

The New York Rangers remain four points back of the Bruins by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin kicked out 36 shots.

Third-period goals by Yegor Sherangovich and Mikhail Maltsev gave the New Jersey Devils a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers to snap their 10-game losing skid.

The NHL and Turner Sports officially announced their seven-year media rights agreement yesterday. Regular-season, Stanley Cup Playoff and Stanley Cup Final games will be televised on TNT and TBS starting next season and running through 2027-28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Combined with the NHL’s new broadcasting deal with ESPN, this agreement will pour $625 million annually into the league’s coffers. That’s a significant increase over the $200 million annually the league was receiving in their current deal with NBC Sports.

THE SCORE: cites a report by TSN’s Frank Seravalli saying the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery will take place on June 2.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs forward Miroslav Frycer passed away in the Czech Republic yesterday at age 61. He’d been battling a series of health problems brought about in part by alcohol abuse earlier in his playing career.

Frycer and his family defected to Canada from communist Czechoslovakia in 1981. He spent nine seasons with the Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers from 1981-82 to 1988-89, spending seven of those seasons with the Leafs. In 415 games, Frycer scored 147 goals and 183 assists for 330 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Frycer’s family, friends, colleagues and former teammates.


  1. Dallas is two points behind Nashville with two games in hand. They are on the road for their last seven games and playing the top teams in the division, Tampa, Nashville, Florida, Tampa, Tampa, Chicago & Chicago.

    Nashville’s five remaining games are Dallas, Columbus, Columbus, Carolina, Carolina

    • That lone remaining DAL-NAS game will certainly have a playoff feel.

  2. A couple of days ago I raised the question as to how the playoffs will be handled vis-a-vis the Northern Division finalist and the 3 U.S. divisions should the quarantine protocols remain in effect.

    Yesterday this article appeared which suggests they don’t have a clue and that final decisions won’t be made until essentially the last minute. With the way Ontario, B.C., Quebec and Alberta hospitals are reeling in the face of the rapid spread of the variants, I have a feeling that, whoever emerges from the Northern Division will have to play all their ensuing games in the U.S.


    • Yep George

      NHL and “ don’t have a clue ” …. does not come out of left field

      I would agree that North winner advancing, playing in Semis has a fair chance at playing those games all in the US…. to be fair in that circumstance…. that series should be played at a neutral site… otherwise effectively North champ plays all games as a “visitor” while their semi’s rival gains the advantage of a minimum of 3 true home games

      NHL still hasn’t even said how they will determine the match-ups North v East/West v Central? North v Central/East v West? North v West/East v Central….. or how they rationalize the match-ups (most points v lowest points… how can they compare that…. which Div winner gets “home” ice advantage ??

      It’s Nuckin’ Futz

      • Although I’m sure your comprehensive well thought plan is better … aight

      • Go away you cynical, non-contributing, dour,
        malicious would-be “tough guy” loser.

      • I like the NHL on NBC, NHL Network, and USA it is more personal… I think going to ESPN is a big mistake they barely cover hockey on sportscenter.

        There are very few at ESPN that give a hoot about hockey Linda Cone, Buccigrass, Levy..

        I hope they bring in Gary Thorne he was such a good hockey commentator..

    • two different directions George; the Bruins in early May will be expanding the limited capacity from 12% to 25%

      Pengy to your point, no i don’t see neutral sites being a thing. Teams that are allowed fans will want that extra revenue no matter how small and i don’t see the NHL saying anything different.

      Toronto would get lots of love in Buffalo and Winnipeg in Minny or North Dakota.

      • Caper, with the way the Jets have been stumbling I wouldn’t figure them to be in the mix. Someone needs to get it into their skulls that you don’t develop playoff mode down the stretch by flipping a switch.

        If the Habs (who hold a game in hand on the Jets) can win tonight against the Leafs, they pull to within 4 of the Jets and should they pass them, Winnipeg would have to start the playoffs against the Leafs.

      • Jets look to fair better against Leafs than Oilers. Oilers have had their way all year vs Jets.

      • Totally agree with that assessment. And as an STM in Tampa, should the Bolts get to the point where they had to play a Canadian team I would be pissed if we couldn’t go watch the home games. Hey if it is Toronto the Leafs would get love as they seem to wherever they go. And what the hell, we already have the Raptors playing in our barn and the Jays are playing in Dunedin just 30 min away. It would be a teifecta!

  3. sitting here sipping my BRC thinking back on the Bruins/Pens game last night …as a Bruins fan nice to see the Bruins skate with this Pens team and take the body out hitting the Pens 50-25…with Carlo still out this might be the best lineup the Bruins could start as far as up & down hockey with the physical play

    • Hi Joe

      Tim’s in hand

      Re “ as a Bruins fan nice to see the Bruins skate with this Pens team and take the body out hitting the Pens 50-25”

      As a Pens fan …. not nice to see 👎🙁😢

  4. The other day I joked about giving Swayman and the Perfection line the day off (for last night’s game) as they had played so well recently

    I got the partial request filled… Swayman out Rask in…. and Rask turned in an excellent game 😭

    Bruins stepped it up and played an excellent defensive game (blocking tons of shots) and capitalizing on chances
    As a Pens fan, after last night’s game…. my wishes would certainly not be for a first round match-up with Bruins
    I certainly do not lay the blame on this loss with Jarry…. Pens were outplayed… correct outcome based on the performances of the two teams

    Had Carter’s goal been the second overall in the game (making it 1-1 then) perhaps the urgency/energy switch could have been turned up for Pens

    Pens v Caps… must come out with at least a split IMHO
    Good news in that Gino and Turbo are coming along and both should be ready for playoffs and perhaps before then

  5. NYR 6 games remaining – NYI x 2, Wash x 2 and Bos x 2

    Bos 8 games remaining – Buff x 2, NJ x 2, NYR x 2, NYI, Wash

    The next 4 games the bruins certainly have the easier schedule and need to make them games count.

    Boston finally got a pp against Pitts 1 in 2 games; ironically the PP they got wasn’t a penalty.

  6. Taylor Hall now playing like the player I saw few years back not that shell in Buff. What’s surprising isTaylor is decent two way player and the goal he scored the other night is an elite players goal.Best players since the trade in order Brad Swayman Charlie, Krecji and Hall. Best Poster Cappy.

  7. Boston will finish ahead of Islanders all though personally I would rather play Penguins but either way you just have to win baby.

  8. I’m loving being back in division with Boston. For the most part I couldn’t have cared less about them for many years with exception of that conference final. Now I got a good healthy fan hate growing again.

    • Happy for you Chrisms!
      B’s need to get past either the Isles or Pens to avoid the Caps in RD 1.
      Hopefully Caps get banged up and we get by them as well in Rd 2.
      Islanders preferred Rd 1 opponent and if they wouldn’t mind beating the Rangers tonight and putting that relentless dog down for good, that would be perfect.

    • I love Sid, and I never even think about the Penguins as a rival, however, I too am enjoying the new found animosity between the fan bases.
      Thanks Covid!

  9. Carolina completed a 6 game road trip playing Tampa, Florida and Dallas. They took 9 of 12 points on the road trip but lost some key players. The good news is Teravainen returned to the line up last night.

    Carolina is lucky Nedeljkovic cleared waivers earlier in the season. He has been Carolinas most reliable goalie. (20GP 1.94 GAA .932 SV%) If Mrazek hadn’t been injured, Nedeljkovic would not have played enough games to be an RFA and would have been a UFA at the end of the season.