NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2021

by | Apr 9, 2021 | News, NHL | 26 comments

The Hurricanes and Islanders move into first place in their respective divisions, Viktor Arvidsson tallies a hat trick for the surging Predators, Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone, the Blackhawks and Panthers swing a five-player deal, the Canucks re-sign Tanner Pearson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes took over first place in the Discover Central Division by blanking the Florida Panthers 3-0. Alex Nedeljkovic had a 24-save shutout performance, Sebastian Aho collected his 300th career point and Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (57 points) sit one point up on the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

A four-goal first period powered the Lighting to a 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ryan McDonagh scored twice and Yanni Gourde collected four assists for the Lightning, who lost captain Steven Stamkos in the third period with an undisclosed injury. No update was provided on his condition. The Jackets made defenseman David Savard a healthy scratch as a precautionary measure ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. The Lightning and Panthers are tied with 56 points but the Lightning hold second place in the Central with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Savard sits atop TSN’s Trade Bait list. This move means the blueliner could be playing elsewhere by Monday’s 3 pm ET deadline. Jackets captain Nick Foligno is also on TSN’s list but he played in this game, which suggests he could be finishing the season with the Jackets barring a significant trade offer before Monday.

Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson (NHL Images).

Viktor Arvidsson tallied a hat trick as the Nashville Predators crushed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1. The Predators (45 points) have won nine of their 10 games and hold a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth place in the Central.

Meanwhile, Chicago fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1 as Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists. The Stars sit three points back of the Blackhawks.

The New York Islanders took over first place in the MassMutual East Division by edging the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brock Nelson. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were held scoreless in their first game with the Isles since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. With 56 points, the Islanders are two points ahead of the second-place Washington Capitals.

Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist while rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman kicked out 31 shots for his second straight win. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 266th career power-play goal to move into second place on the all-time list. The Bruins (48 points) opened a six-point lead over the Flyers for fourth place in the East Division.

Kris Letang and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins romped to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. The Penguins (52 points) moved to within two points of the second-place Capitals.

Third-period goals by Devin Shore and Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Mike Smith turned aside 39 shots for the win as the Oilers (52 points) hold a one-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Scotia North Division. Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed the game with an undisclosed injury.

Winnipeg, meanwhile, doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 38 stops and Kyle Connor collected two assists. With 43 points, the fourth-place Canadiens are eight back of the third-place Jets.

Two power-play goals by Pavel Zacha carried the New Jersey Devils over the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich each had a goal and two assists.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks acquired forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, prospect forward Henrik Borgstrom and a 2021 seventh-round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is in line with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s stated willingness to use his cap space to absorb a bad contract if the return comes with a promising young player. Connolly’s contract isn’t onerous for the Hawks ($3.5 million annual average value through 2022-23) but it was for the Panthers as the veteran winger fell out of favor in Florida.

The prize for the Blackhawks is Borgstrom, a promising young forward who struggled to crack the Panthers’ lineup. He could have a better chance to establish himself as an NHL regular with the retooling Blackhawks as they transition toward younger players.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have cleared cap space for perhaps another move or two before Monday’s trade deadline. Cap Friendly indicates they have $16.4 million in trade deadline cap space. I’ll have more about the Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TSN: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is unavailable until next week because of a lower-body injury.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is recovering from an upper-body injury. However, he’s expected to miss the club’s next two games.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (lower body) remains questionable for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed winger Tanner Pearson to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $3.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing received mixed reviews among pundits and fans on social media. It’s not because Pearson’s a bad player or that the contract is an overpayment. He’s become a dressing room leader and a good second-line winger.

Critics, however, point to other depth signings by Canucks GM Jim Benning (Sven Baertschi, Sam Gagner, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Jake Virtanen) as cap dollars poorly invested when young stars like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes will soon be in need of significant raises. They fear the Pearson signing will further squeeze the Canucks cap space, leaving little room for other moves once Pettersson and Hughes receive their new contracts.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jacob MacDonald received a two-game suspension by the department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman on Wednesday.


  1. More ridiculous officiating.4 mins on one play on one player Bruins had a 4 on 3 devolving blow the whistle. Ridiculous penalty on Zboril. But another game the beat the team and refs so that’s good. Bruins 7-2-2 over the last 11 still have 3 games in hand. Seems the funk is gone Miller’s return has a bit to do with it. Now if we can get Mac Carlo and Rask back we are looking real good.

    • Rask who? Haha…Swayman’s been stellar so far.

      • Yea that don’t fly with me 2 games is hardly a good measuring stick in my book. I think a yr or 2 under Rask is the smart move. Regardless of what fans think Rask is an elite goalie who owns a bunch of records for Bruins and NHL. Halak is gone without question

      • Oh I agree Bergy. Just making a joke hence the “haha”

    • and your team won??? waa waa waa … grab a kleenex … Bruins aren’t going anywhere …

      • Ha ha says you. You are a Pitt fan correct? I’ll wager they will go further than them. We haven’t been healthy all year. Our back end especially 12 different defenseman have suited up this season. That’s not counting the number of forwards. Through the first 20 or so games we’d cat momentum and COVID protocol would stop us for a week twice. But I’m ok being an underdog kinda like 2011. No one expected the bruins to pull it together but they did. We need a top 4 D and will be fine on forward lines. Especially with guys like DK and Smith putting up points constantly over the last 10-15 games.

      • Don’t expect a civil reply Bergyboyzzz … trying to engage in a civil debate on ANY issue with a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon … no matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and then strut around like it won.

      • I’d love to be able to buy the know it all poster, “ed vanimpe” for what he’s worth, and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.
        Who’d need bitcoin with that return?

      • You guys cracking me up lol 😝

      • George, that sir was fantastic! Well done.

      • From a serious pens fan though… you can’t bring up injuries as a reason to think it’s why Boston isn’t as competitive as the pens… pens have significantly more man games to injury lost than Boston.

      • Chrisms so the fact we’ve played almost all season with only 2-3 NHL caliber D is just an excuse? Lol I’m not one of those unrealistic spoiled sports fans who doesn’t take everything into consideration. I mean yea every team has injuries but we’ve played with 4 AHL guys all season.it’s not an excuse it’s fact. I get it you guys haven’t been able to beat us regularly in a long time. And with that depleted D core we are still 4-2 against the Pens. So I get the hate. Must drive you and Ed nuts

      • Not a good take, Bergyboyzzz. The kids clearly are NHL calibre defensemen, or at least they’ve shown to be thus far. Secondly, taunting usually results in bad Karma. Any team with Sid, Geno and Letang deserves respect. They’ve won more cups with their core than we have.

      • Thanks sop. Begy. I only argued that injuries are a very poor point to bring up comparing the teams. Pens had their top 4 lhd all out earlier this season. Much of their top 6 has been out for the season.

        I have desire to see the bruins in the post season. Rask almost singlehandedly beat them in the conference finals years ago. Bergy is almost as good a leader as Sid!😝. Marchand can take over a game. The pens just can’t seem to buy a win in that stadium.

        But there are almost no teams that can out whine the pens on injuries… certainly not the bruins.

  2. Sitting here sipping my morning coffee was very happy to see the Bruins play hockey for a full 60 minutes with a very depleted hockey team …play the young goalies ROS get rid of those other two

    • Joe, what kind of coffee you having this morning?

      • Lol…….Black Rifle & thanks for asking

  3. Some guy Ricky dicky said put a fork in them Bruins will be sent to slaughter house Washington will destroy them. Dicky said they were to beat up an AHL team I said never count out the Bruins with Bad Brad still playing. Ricky maybe Washington needs a fork in them they haven’t looked very good lately lots of talent no heart. Swayman will win a Vezina in next3 years the kid is that good.

    • The Bruins, even with their s*&t-load of injuries, are still a very good team and if they get healthy by playoff time they WILL go deep.

  4. I have to say, I don’t recall seeing that before.

    A double minor and a minor leads to two 5 vs 3 goals for Washington.

    If the order of the penalties were reverse it would’ve been just one 5 vs 3 power play.

    What a shorty by Marchand just wow.

    • Ya Caper, he is the straw that stirs the drink for the offence.
      That was the best B’s goal I have seen all year.
      Swayman seems really calm considering his experience. Smooth and in control. Hopefully it lasts.

  5. The Jets/Habs game was pretty decent, one couldn’t tell which team was rested and which was on the second night of a back to back.

    The Jets were very opportunistic and deserved the win.

    The Habs outshot, out chanced, out hit, forced more turnovers but looked out of synch and in my opinion was a surprising failure to adjust to the Jets simple forecheck.

    It’s a 2 man check, one foreward off to the Right of the net the second forward chasing around the left, jamming the D.

    It was only the 3rd pairing of Mete and Romanov that handled it easily.

    This was an epic coaching fail because the Jets did it all game and there was no adjustment.

    I expect a big adjustment

    • habfan30,
      “The Habs outshot, out chanced, out hit, forced more turnovers”

      They do that most nights don’t they? That is why I have posted on here a few times that MTL is a scary team to play in the playoffs and should get more credit than they do.

      They control the play 5 on 5. They generate more scoring chances, more high danger chances, but have a lower shooting % than other teams in the North. Plus their goaltending is only average and the worst among the 4 playoff teams in the North.

      It will be interesting to see what prevails come playoff time. High end talent at the top vs more but not elite spread throughout the line up.

      They own the Oilers, so as an Edmonton native I hope they don’t meet up in RD 1.

      • Ray Bark,

        It’s clear that the Habs don’t have elite scoring, it’s all done off the rush and swarming.

        It just goes to show how important coaching and how it could make or break players.

        The Habs game is predicated on a fast breakout, which only Mete and Romanov excel at. Luke Richardson (D-men coach) needs alternative schemes.

        I’d like to play TO in rd 1, they are the easiest team to beat in the playoffs.

      • Stahl had a rough night no points minus 2. I still think that was a bad move even tho he got the OT winner his first game.did Gally get hurt before or after they traded for ES?

  6. Don’t count out Bruins

    They weren’t even expected to win last night’s tilt but did despite what I perceived to be “biased” “slanted” reffing

    Bruins 3rd and 4th goalies looking good 👍👍👍 (for Bruins fans) but 👎👎👎(for Pens, Caps, Isle’s fans)

    Pens back to “normal” play last night… good turnaround Victory

    Lyle, you mentioned Tanger and Zucker with a G & A…. but Pens “new” longpants Zohorna…. also had a G & A; and came close on 2 other occasions

    6’6” 229…. Burkie didn’t realize he had a longpants “in house”

    Every time I hear his name … I think of (to the Knack’s tune “My Sharona”)…. “Pen’s Zohorna”

    Small sample size (4 games) for the big man…. 2G 2A , 4 points, +3 in a total of just less than 37 mins…. so 3.27 G per 60; 3.27 A per 60; 6.54 PP60

    Again small sample…. but 👍👍👍👍 re the “new” Big Man

    Rodrigues doing very very well recently 👍👍👍

    Jarry was 917 overall last night , 950 at 5 on 5 ; and both goals were certainly not on him 👍👍👍👍

    McC flying 👍👍👍👍

    Malkin skating; Blueger on verge of return; Kappy progressing towards return👍👍👍👍👍

    Again … with a healthy Pens roster…. an offensive (not defensive such as Glendenning) 3C should be their TDL target 🙏🤞🙏🤞