NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2021

by | May 11, 2021 | News, NHL | 46 comments

The Canadiens clinch the last postseason spot in the North Division, the opening day of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs is revealed, Jack Eichel talks about his season and the state of the Sabres, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens clinched the final playoff berth in the Scotia North Division in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. An overtime goal by Connor McDavid gave the Oilers the win after Canadiens winger Artturi Lehkonen forced overtime with the game-tying goal in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are expected to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round. However, they could meet the Oilers if they win their final game of the season and the Winnipeg Jets drop their final two games in regulation. The Jets sit in third place with 59 points, one up on the Canadiens.

Speaking of the Jets, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks. Jonas Hoglander scored twice for Vancouver.

A 36-save performance by Philipp Grubauer carried the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. J.T. Compher snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period. With 78 points, Colorado sits two behind first-place Vegas in the Honda West Division. The Golden Knights (39 wins) have one game left while the Avs have two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever tops the West will win the Presidents’ Trophy for this season’s best record.

An overtime goal by Justin Faulk gave the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings The Blues will face the Golden Knights or Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs.

The Carolina Hurricanes chances of winning the Presidents’ Trophy ended in a 5-0 loss to the Nashville Predators. Pekka Rinne picked up the shutout with 30 saves while Matt Duchene scored two goals. The Hurricanes finish the season in first place in the Discover Central Division with 36 wins and 80 points while the Predators finish in fourth place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes and Predators will face off against each other in the opening round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs beginning this weekend.

A 30-save shutout performance by Chris Driedger carried the Florida Panthers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Keith Yandle had an assist for his 600th career NHL points. Lightning forwards Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith and Daniel Walcott played together on what is believed to be the first all-Black forward line in NHL history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the win, the Panthers clinched second place in the Central and home-ice advantage over the Lightning in their first-round series starting this weekend.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images)

Taylor Hall’s overtime goal lifted the Boston Bruins past the New York Islanders 3-2. Bruins winger Ondrej Kase left the game with an upper-body injury. The win clinched third place in the MassMutual East Division for the Bruins, who’ll face the second-place Washington Capitals in the opening round of the postseason with Game 1 on Saturday. The Islanders will face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kase was playing in his first game since suffering a concussion in January. An update on his condition could be made today.

The Dallas Stars nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on an overtime goal by Jason Robertson.

Two goals by Joel Farabee gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.


NHL.COM: Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the North Division playoffs could begin once all the regular-season games in that division are concluded. Several games earlier in the season involving the Vancouver Canucks were postponed due to COVID-19. Their final regular-season game is May 19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would allow those Canadian clubs some extra rest while giving some of their banged-up players more time to recover before the playoffs begin.

WGR 550: Jack Eichel expressed his displeasure over the way the Buffalo Sabres handled the herniated disk in his neck during an end-of-season media conference call on Monday. He suffered that season-ending injury in early March. Asked why he hasn’t yet undergone surgery, he said it’s a contractual issue, saying the club decides what he can or cannot do to treat an injury.

The Sabres captain also revealed he suffered a sprained ankle during the season, fractured a rib several weeks before training camp and had a lingering abdominal injury from last season.

Eichel dodged the question of whether he’ll ask for a trade but admitted he has a lot of thinking to do regarding his future. He said he has to do what best for him and the Sabres must do what’s best for the organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s comments (which you can read in full by following the above link) raised eyebrows around the league. It sounds like he may have played his final game with the Sabres. I’ll have more in the Rumors section.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said yesterday it’s “self-explanatory” that Patrik Laine remains a key part of the club’s future. The winger is a restricted free agent this summer. However, his rights remain under the Jackets’ contract until 2022-23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine’s contract status prompted speculation suggesting he could be traded if he and the Blue Jackets failed to reach an agreement on a new deal. The winger yesterday confirmed his wish to remain with the Jackets.

THE SCORE: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane said filing for bankruptcy was a big weight off his shoulders. He considers it a relief that he didn’t have to hide his financial troubles anymore, calling it the end of that chapter of his life. Kane said the birth of his daughter 10 months ago helped him mature and accept responsibility for his actions.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: That relief was reflected in Kane’s play this season. He’s the Sharks’ leading scorer with 22 goals and 49 points in 55 games.

NHL.COM: The list of candidates for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was released yesterday. Among the notables is Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, and Washington Capitals blueliner Zdeno Chara.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending May 9, 2021.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman Ryan Lindgren to a three-year, $9 million contract extension.

ESPN is reportedly adding Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher as NHL analysts starting next season. The network declined to comment.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders have renamed AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Bridgeport Islanders.


  1. Good morning Lyle. With Eichel rumors now set to be an everyday conversation, I have a question. Are teams not in playoffs able to make trades with each other once regular season ends or was that a special circumstance last year?

    • Good morning, Slick62. Non-playoff teams are allowed to make trades with each other once the regular season is over. Whether that means Eichel gets moved during the playoffs is another matter. Unless the Sabres get a terrific offer, they could wait until after the playoffs to make that move. Given Eichel’s hefty cap hit, that might be a move that has to wait until the offseason when teams have more cap space to work with.

      • Can’t all teams make trades but the players arnt eligible for the playoffs?

      • I’m with Chrisms… I thought trades could happen anytime (outside of Christmas break)…. it was just that trades post TDL made those players playoff ineligible

        Handsome Jack trade (if happens at all)…. more likely come post SC and expansion draft

        Note…. HJ could end up a Krakken …. Francis can make trades… and will have buckets o’ assets post expansion draft and side deals

        Unlikely, but possible

  2. Sitting here sipping my BRC…. thinking back to last nights Bruins/NYI game …interesting to see Ross the Boss in the Islanders lineup having only played in 12 games this season but has played 3 of last 4 games ….must be getting ready for the playoffs …..

    Bruins/Caps should a very interesting series besides watching some good hockey with a lot of side show going on

    T Hall has really upped his game since the trade here’s hope that the Bruins can fit him in for next season but it’s going to take a few moves by Sweeney/Neely for that to happen

    One more if I may…….down goes Ondrej Kase and who’s surprised

    • Sitting here on the toilet, reading the contents of this Preparation H tube…I can’t seem to shake this itch that a bad breakup is on the horizon in Buffalo. Time will tell.

      • Is it true that Parros though innuendo was Italian for Preparation H?

      • FD


      • Ha

      • FD

        TMI…. but very funny 😎🤣👍👍

  3. Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher are two very god adds by Espn.

    Kase wow guy can’t seem to stay away from an injury.

    Eichel; Buffalo will trade before NMC kicks in, they don’t want to be hamstrung by the player demands.

    Columbus would be one prime location who desperately needs a #1 C

    Laine won’t be getting anything close to the $9m he wanted in Winnipeg, might have to take a short term show me deal.

    I don’t see Eichel in Boston much better options for Buffalo out there. Mind you Dahlin and McAvoy as a top pair d, would be special.

    Bos @ Wash starts Saturday how pump is Chara going to be.

    • Hi Caper

      Ray and BB would be good additions…. but God additions…. mmmmm methinks that is what Pierre Maguire has his personal moniker …. and shan’t be taken from him 😂😂

      • Pengy Lol, as we all know there is only one God in hockey and he was pushed out by the non believers.

      • Miroslav?

    • Caper….what else besides Carlo and DeBrusk would make Buff happy in a trade for Eichel

      Would a Studnicka & Frederic add get it done

      • Joe, i’m on the same page as Ray, it starts with McAvoy. Carlo, Debrusk doesn’t start the conversation.

        Start with McAvoy or Pastrnak and go from there.

        Personally i would stay away.

    • Methinks it’s McAvoy going back the other way Joe, or he gets traded somewhere else.

      If BUF trades him for anything other than a projected #1D or C, they’re nuts.

      The vultures will be circling.

    • @Caper sadly Laine will get close to the 9 mill. It`ll take 7.5 mill just to qualify him

  4. Got a taste of the West Div final (and winner has, IMVHO, excellent shot at getting to SCF)… Knights (only had 15 skaters)…. could have clinched Preztrophy with a win… they outplayed all Avs; except Grubs

    That will be the best playoff series for sure

    Bruins v Caps is what the Dr. (Pengy) ordered 👍👍👍. Not by any stretch do I see Isles as weak… just that Bruins/Caps scarier

    The Leafs /Habs match up has come to fruition (as expected)… however , I thought it would have been entertaining if Habs had lost out ; and Flames lost next 4…. potentially leaving very last game of year… Flames/‘Nucks to determine final playoff spot

    Panthers nailing down home ice advantage…. wow…. and in dominant fashion (Vazy didn’t play well)…. but Kuch and Stammer will be in game 1

    Not sure why Oil played McD and Leon (risking injury) in a nothing (to them) game

    Were it me, I’d sit AM, MM, McD and Leon for the final two games

    Similarly in tonight’s nothing (save for setting the tone of the series) game Bruins v Caps…risk juries to their top guys??

    I’m jacked for the playoffs 👏👏👏👏👏👏👍👍👍👍👍👍

    Go Leafs Go
    Go Pens Go

    Does anybody know which Divs have been matched for the semis? Big factor when doing my draft pool

    • @Pengy. The interdivision matchups are unknown at this time.
      It will be 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. Where the seeding relies on regular season results.

    • “The semifinals will feature re-sorting of seeds based on regular season record.”—draftkings nation

    • Thanks Taz and Francis

      That was my biggest fear (for the most exciting SCF available)… if as I suspect, Bolts come out of Central…. then they’ll likely (unless Isles or Bruins come out of East) play Knights or Avs in the semis…. that match up should more appropriately; have been (IMVHO) in the SCF

      The gamble in my pool…. picking mostly (if available) players from Avs, Knights; or Bolts….. could very well end up knocking each other out in semis


      • However, if you think about it this is probably the only chance that your pens and your leafs fight it out in the SCF

      • Absolutely Taz… correct …. only chance ever (unless one of them goes West) that it could happen…. I’m not holding my breath… but if it did happen… 7 games all triple OT please …l would care less who hoists.. JT or Sid

      • If Tampa can’t get healthy, they aren’t getting past Florida.

        Right now, Goodrow, Palat, Stamkos, McDonagh, Hedman and Kucherov all out. Not sure if Kucherov will be ready at all.

        I don’t know that this team could handle Buffalo in a 7 game series Without at least 4 of those players healthy. Let alone Florida who just beat them down in the last 2 games out scoring Tampa 9-1.

        I think Florida or Carolina will come out. Tampa out round 1 if they don’t get healthy quick.

  5. Caper agree Chara will be pumped but if Boston plays Bruin hockey Chara will not be a factor of any kind. Wilson will be the straw that stirs the series. Boston needs to stay focused and just out work them not much heart on that Capital team. Goaltending should be in Boston’s favor.

  6. Bruins/Caps game tonight ….will anyone show up

    • Have Booth and Fucale play 1 on 1 for 60 minutes

  7. Grubs stole the game for the av’s… Mac looks hurt…newhook is the real deal!

    • Finally, someone in here mentions the Avs. “Guts, Guts all over the place”. In case anyone doesn’t notice the Knight’s brought their A game and the Avs withstood it and then some. J.T. with a clutch goal on a great play from Newhook. That was ral big boy hockey going on in that game. I don’t know if you eastern cats can appreciate it?

  8. Anything not broken on Eichel?
    As I mentioned yesterday, he has missed an awful lot of time in his short career.

    Now he’s needing a neck surgery that will more than likely have him missing a good chunk of next season of not the entire season.

    Again, fantastic player when healthy, But I’m not giving up a boatload of assets and taking on 10 million per to watch him sit home and in street clothes all the time.

    Buyer beware!

    • Gotta say it is tempting from a B’s fan perspective to take a run at him Captain.
      But ya, back/neck injuries are concerning for the long term.

  9. Come on Chevy, what are you waiting for? Time to let Paul Maurice go. This team is paid very well and clearly underachieving. PoMo will never take them further so let’s make the move. Send a message to your players and maybe light a match under some people who have become very comfortable under an underachieving regime. No point in waiting til the off season to do the inevitable.

    • Your handle says it all, you are Tripping … name me one other HC in the league who could have gotten more out of those d-men he was handed … “Chevy” is the problem, not Maurice …

      • Eddie, Paul Maurice has never won anything. He has taken this team as far as he knows how. We are now in our Claude Noel moment, he can’t take us to the next level.
        Yes, the defence has holes but do we need to provide Maurice an all star team to get any results? Other teams easily step into our lanes and disrupt flow, so change the system not just the line mates. He makes the team play slow. Consistently out coached and now the team has lost its drive because no matter what they do it doesn’t work. I think Chevy has drafted well, developed well, done the best he can with trades, the only criticism … too loyal and slow to change the coach.

  10. Sorry to hear ESPN’s announcement of Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher! If they add Ed Olczyk and Kevin Weeks, I’ll be even MORE thankful for the NHL Center Ice Package as these are my … um … 4 least favorite broadcasters.

  11. Jake Evans is one of the NHL feel good stories, a late draft (7th rd) from Notre Dame who was a hail mary pick.

    This kid keeps improving his game and continuously blows past his supposed ceiling at every level.

    Coaches love him and he reacts to each setback with a jump in performance.

    He has climbed the organizational chart and is primed to challenge Danault.

    Many teams have these kinds of guys and they tend to make the playoffs really interesting if/when they make it their coming out.

    • It is one of the *Habs feel good stories. No one outside the organization really cares.
      An NHL feel good story about a 7th rounder is mCkenzie Weegar

    • HF30, Notre Dame….Hail Mary – not bad.
      His goal last night was a beauty but he might need a touch longer before he becomes the immaculate Canadien.

    • confidence and TOI , any hockey player will tell you they play better when the coach has confidence in them and gives them more ice time. That translates into more confidence in themselves. Evans play is paving the way for Danault’s exit in the off season. Evans works hard , his linemates work hard , they fed off each other and they have been noticeable. Lots of speed but not much size on that line. Lets see if this carries over into the post season.

  12. As Chief Gillespie says to officer wood when he falsely arrests Tibbs in the Heat Of The Night “ Yeah Oooohhhhhh Yeaaaaaah! Taylor’s not under the microscope on the second line, Cassidy told him When he first met him “I don’t you to be the top scorer on the team I want you to help us win”. Lookatthat lookatthat! Also Eichel will become a bruin and we won’t have to give up Chuck to do it. It’s part of the business. Richelieu finishes his career in Boston

    • Rick…have you been experimenting with psychedelics?

  13. Oh I forgot what a waste of a number one draft pick Kase. I have never seen such a delicate flower in all my life, to be honest with ya I had a bad gut feeling he would never make it out of that game without an injury. The guy is made of paper machete . His journey in Boston is over we’ll be lucky if we get a roll of used hockey tape for him now.

    • Rick, you need to remember the whole trade.
      It was a first, Backes and $4.5M of his salary.
      I think getting them to take Backes was more expensive than getting Kase.

      Hall wouldn’t be playing for the B’s right now without that space.

  14. George…. if I remember right from last year… your Bday was early May?? I think?? 83 now or soon?

    • May 9 Pengy … same day as Mother’s Day. And yeah, I turned ephytly-3