NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2021

by | Apr 30, 2021 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The Penguins and Capitals clinch playoff berths, Ryan Miller to retire at season’s end, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals both clinched playoff berths as the Penguins edged the Capitals 5-4 on an overtime goal by Jake Guentzel. Kasperi Kapanen scored twice for the Penguins while Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists. Both clubs are tied with 69 points but the Capitals hold first place in the MassMutual East Division with a game in hand. Capitals defenseman John Carlson was a late scratch and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images).

A 25-save shutout by Semyon Varlamov gave the New York Islanders a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers. It was the Isles’ fourth win in their last 10 games, leaving them four points behind the Capitals and Penguins. Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the league fined Islanders center Mathew Barzal $2,000.00 for embellishment during an April 22 game against the Capitals.

Third-period goals by Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand lifted the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. With 64 points, the fourth-place Bruins sit one point back of the Islanders while opening a six-point lead over the Rangers.

Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had two points to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Jakub Vrana replied for the Red Wings. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Discover Central Division with 73 points.

An overtime goal by Sam Bennett gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Florida rookie goalie Spencer Knight picked up his third win in as many games. The Panthers sit two points behind the Hurricanes.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his 30th win of the season by shutting out the Dallas Stars 3-0. Ondrej Palat, Blake Coleman and Brayden Points were the goal scorers. The Lightning (70 points) sit one point behind the second-place Panthers. The Stars (54 points) remain two behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators.

St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as his club nipped the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Kevin Fiala had a three-point game for the Wild as they rallied from a 4-2 deficit to force the extra period. The Blues (52 points) have won four straight games to open a five-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for fourth place in the Honda West Division. The Wild are in third place with 66 points. Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Auston Matthews tallied his 36th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist for the Leafs, who sit atop the Scotia North Division with 69 points. The Canucks have dropped four of their last five games. Earlier in the day, the Leafs placed defenseman Zach Bogosian (shoulder) on long-term injury reserve.

The Calgary Flames kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Elias Lindholm scored twice for the Flames (47 points), who’ve won four of their last five contests and sit four points behind the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens. The Oilers are in second place with 60 points.

A two-goal performance by Yegor Sherangovich powered the New Jersey Devils over the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3, eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced goaltender Carter Hart will miss the rest of the season with a sprained MCL in his left knee.


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller has announced his retirement at the end of this season. He’s spent 18 seasons in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and the Ducks. Miller spent nearly 11 seasons with the Sabres, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2009-10. He leads all American-born NHL goalies with 390 wins and sits second with 44 shutouts and 794 games played. He’s 14th on the all-time wins list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller was in his prime during his years with the Sabres, backstopping them to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007. He was also named MVP of the 2010 Winter Olympics as Team USA won the silver medal in Men’s Hockey. Best wishes to Miller and his family in their future endeavors.

TSN: The NHL is expected to reach a decision between June 1-5 as to where the winner of the Scotia North Division will play its home games. Discussions between the league and the Canadian federal government are ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The ongoing closure of the Canada-US border to non-essential travel and traffic could mean whoever comes out of the North Division will have to play all their remaining playoff games in the United States. That means the league will have to find a suitable venue to host the Canadian team.

THE AHL: announced the Calder Cup won’t be awarded this season. Instead, the Pacific Division will hold a tournament to decide its division champion. The first-place teams in the other four divisions will be named division champions.

CALGARY SUN: Original Flames co-owner Byron J. Seaman passed away last weekend at age 97. He was among the ownership group that moved the Flames to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980 and held a stake in the franchise for the next three decades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Seaman’s family, friends and the Flames organization.


  1. That move by krejci last night to set up Hall was vintage Krecji circa 2011. I very nearly dropped my Lah lah on my foo foo when I saw that. Taylor’s playing like there’s no tomorrow, Krejci’s rejuvenated and Coyle scored a beautiful goal. I’m actually enjoying hockey again. Swayman needs to start Sat.

    • Until the Bruins lose their next game and then you’ll want everybody traded … flip flop

      • Good morning Ed!

      • Ed don’t bother me I won’t bother you. Now why don’t you back for a nice nap?

  2. Looks like Brad Marchand is getting more ink for scoring the 5th goal (empty net goal) in the 5-2 victory.
    Does anyone know how many empty net goals Marchand has this year? Seem I remember about 3 in the last 10 games and I’m wondering if he’s the king of empty net goals?
    Anyone know where you can find a list showing the leaders of empty net goals in the NHL?

    • Not sure about that, but I’m pretty sure he’s the king of shorthanded goals.
      What’s the old adage? They don’t ask how, they just ask how many?
      Brad Marchand is one of the best all around players in the NHL. Who would you suggest the Bruins have on the ice during a defensive zone face-off, shorthanded, on a 6 on 4? My money’s on Marchand and Bergy.

      • Marchand is top active short handed leader in goals and points. Tied for 20th all time in goals and 15th for points.

    • He’s scored 5 ENG’s so far this season. There’s 5 or 6 guys sitting at 4 ENG’s, including Sid, Rust and Sids other winger.
      So, you are indeed correct. He is the king of empty net goals, thus far.
      Now I’m gonna go see how many of those 5 were shorties.

    • Found it!
      Brad Marchand leads the league in empty net goals with 5. 18.5% of his 27 goals are empty net goals.
      Auston Matthews leads the league with 36 goals (no empty net goals).
      Conner McDavid is 2nd with 28 goals (one empty net goal – that’s 3.5%).

      When 18.5% of your goals are empty net goals, would you consider that … um … padding the stats? Obviously Bruce Cassidy likes to help Marchand with his goal production or he wouldn’t be on the ice when the opposing team pulls the goalie.

      • That’s one way to look at it, although flawed, but the proper way to view it, in my opinion is, he’s out there because he’s one of the finest defensive forwards in the show. Cassidy has him and Bergeron out there to supress goals, not score them. The latter is just an incredible bonus caused by relentless forechecking while being down a man.
        My statement is easily backed up by Marchands pk totals, both this season and throughout his stellar career.
        He’ll be in the hall of fame at the conclusion of his amazing career if he can find a way outta your head.

      • Exactly, ShoreOrrPark – Marchand is exactly the kind of tw-way player you want on the ice when the opposition is trying to tie the game in the dying minutes with an empty net … and the opposition knows it … they likely spend as much time trying to keep an eye on him as they trying to get in position to score.

        I’m not surprised Matthews doesn’t have an empty-netter – tremendous offensive talent but being a tight checker at the same time is not in his make-up.

        A better stat would be, how often does Keefe put him out there to protect a lead?

      • IMO Matthews has come a long way defensively George. At least when he plays the Oilers!
        Might have something to do with having guys like Spezza who win 55% plus of their face offs that start the shifts with the goalie out.

        It is kind of a weird stat?

  3. Brad Marchand sits 3rd in the league with 27 goals 5 of them empty nets. Take away the 5 empty net goals and that would put him in a tie for 12th in the league, without checking to see where he would rank subtracting the others empty net goals.

    Padding his stats. When a team pulls their goalie this means they are trying to tie the game or get closer.

    So yes naturally Cassidy should keep the best empty net goal scorer on the bench; after all, we want the tight competition and let see if they can tie the game and force ot. This way we can all be excited to watch 3 vs 3.

    • Ha! Now that was easy to decipher.
      Identifying sarcasm isn’t always my strong point, but that post was just dripping with it.

  4. @Shoreorrpark – Thank you but Marchand isn’t “in my head.” I’m just reading today’s column and wondered why he received ink for an ENG which was the 5th goal in a 5-2 game?

    What IS in my head is a picture of Marchand – 2019/Stanley Cup Game #7/0:00 mark of the 3rd period in Boston. Marchand was in tears while the worst team in the league on 1/13/2019 was taking the Stanley Cup home from Boston for the 1st time in franchise history.
    Rask was the MVP because the Boston dominated game 7 but there’s no way STL would have won that game without Rask’s .800 save percentage (4 goals allowed on 16 shots).

    It was ALL priceless for a lifetime Blues fan!!! : )

    • Yeah. That was a big win for the Blues. That was a tough one for me personally, because St. Louis has always been my second favorite team. I loved Bernie Federko and Brian Sutter.
      I’ll defend Marchand all day long, but you lost me at Rask. I don’t care for the player.
      Congratulations on that Cup win in 2019. The Bruins won one in 2011. Been in the finals a couple of other times since then. Winning is great!

  5. BTW Wayne Gretzky had 56 empty net goals. Did he ever win the Selke?

    • @BCLeafFan: You’re comparing “The Great One” to Marchand? I don’t want to make comparisons. But if you do, wouldn’t Marchand and Sean Avery be a better comparison?

      • That’s just plain stupid.
        You know better, right?

      • Every other team in the league would give their eye teeth to have a Marchand. NO ONE would want a Sean Avery.

  6. If I’m coaching Boston I put Marchand and Bergeron on the ice to start the game at the end of close games when up a man or down a man their pretty good a hockey. Best two way hockey players in NHL and it’s really not close.

  7. You out there, Pengy?

  8. Classic example of people cherry picking stats to make a point.

    Who do you put on the ice when the other team pulls the goalie? the guys who will protect the lead and get the win.

    Full disclosure , can’t stand the Bruins and I think Marchand is a pig….but he’s a great player and his ENG are a bonus, just shows he knows where to be on the ice and can break up the man advantage.

    • C’est mon petit cochon, etc je l’aime.

    • Habfans30 I appreciate that you can’t stand Boston but can still have a civil discussion.

  9. One thing I like about this years schedule is that the teams that are competing for playoff spots in each division are playing each other in the last 6 games. In the Central Division Florida & Tampa play each other the last two games of the season. Nashville and Carolina play each other the last two games. Dallas has to beat Tampa, Nashville & Florida to get in.

    Dallas has to beat Nashville Saturday or their odds of making the playoffs will take a big hit. They would probably have to win the next three games which are @Florida, @Tampa and @Tampa.

    • Carolina looks downright awesome! Scary good team to try and beat 4 of 7 times. I’m not certain it can be done. They look great from top to bottom.

  10. Here’s who Marchand compares with, with regards to empty net goals
    1. Gretzky 56
    2. Hossa 40
    3. Ovie 39
    4. Mario 33
    5. Iggy 32
    6. E. Staal 31
    7. Marchand 28
    7. Jumbo 28
    7. Bure 28
    7. Trottier 28
    8. Teemu 26
    Fair comparison by BCLeafFan. In fact only 4 of those aforementioned players still play as of today, and Marchand is the youngest on the entire list. Fair to say, he’s breathing some pretty rare air in that department.
    Rent appears to be pretty cheap where Marchy currently resides. 🤔
    Seems to be a pretty empty space.

    • If I had a knowledge of who played with whom in short-handed situations in past seasons, or the time to research it while this topic is up for discussion, I would have liked to discover the effect of a center’s faceoff-win percentage on a linemate’s number of empty-net goals.

      The NHL records for faceoff-win percentage go back only to the 2005-2006 season. It will come as no surprise to you that Bergeron leads all active players with 57.62. Maybe, he’s helped Marchand some.

      • 100%!
        Bergeron is wonderful.