NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2021
The race for the Presidents’ Trophy goes down to the wire, the Jennings Trophy winners are revealed, the Rangers fire head coach David Quinn, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights maintained their lead atop the Honda West Division and the overall standings by blanking the San Jose Sharks 6-0. Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a 19-save shutout and Dylan Sikura scored twice in the Golden Knights’ regular-season finale.
A hat trick by J.T. Compher carried the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-0 romp over the Los Angeles Kings. Phillip Grubauer kicked out 18 shots for his seventh shutout of the season. The Avalanche sits two points behind the Golden Knights with a game in hand. They can take over first place and win the Presidents’ Trophy with a win against the Kings tonight.
St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 31 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. David Perron had a goal and two assists. The Wild have finished third in the West while the Blues are fourth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs await the outcome of tonight’s Avalanche-Kings game to find out whether they’ll face the Avs or the Golden Knights in the opening round of the upcoming playoffs.
Connor McDavid collected two assists as his Edmonton Oilers nipped the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on an overtime goal by Dominik Kahun. McDavid has 104 points in 55 games. Nick Suzuki scored twice for the Canadiens.
The Ottawa Senators upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on an overtime goal by Josh Norris. Toronto’s Auston Matthews tallied his 41st goal of the season. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 24 saves in his first game since March 19 recovering from a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs will face the Canadiens and the Oilers meet the Jets in the opening round. One of those series is expected to begin next Wednesday while the other could begin the following day.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner are this season’s winners of the William M. Jennings Trophy as the primary goalies on the team allowing the fewest goals in the regular season. They gave up 124 goals.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers followed up last week’s front-office purge by firing head coach David Quinn after three seasons. Chris Drury, their new general manager, is expected to hire a more experienced NHL coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Post’s Larry Brooks cites sources claiming Gerard Gallant is the favorite. He won the 2017-18 Jack Adams Award for guiding the Golden Knights into the playoffs during their inaugural season.
SPORTSNET: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said captain Jack Eichel has not requested a trade. He said he wants to move ahead with players who want to win and be part of the Sabres’ organization, and that includes Eichel.
Adams admitted the Sabres have little interest in Eichel undergoing cervical disk replacement surgery because it’s never been done on an NHL player before. He said the team’s and Eichel’s doctors have agreed the best option is continuing a conservative rehab approach over surgery. The two sides also agreed to wait until early June to determine how to proceed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s comments on Monday about his medical situation, the state of the Sabres and his future sparked considerable trade speculation. Adams’ remarks won’t put a damper on that chatter.
Eichel’s not the only Sabre expected to be a fixture in the rumor mill.
Winger Sam Reinhart declined to comment about his future entering the offseason as a restricted free agent who’s also one year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Meanwhile, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen admitted he wouldn’t object to getting traded.
CALGARY SUN: Flames center Sean Monahan has been shut down for the remainder of their schedule as he will undergo hip surgery in order to be ready for the start of training camp in the fall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan faced criticism from fans and pundits over his performance this season. Perhaps that gets dialed back now that it’s been revealed he was hampered by an injury.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Gordie Howe’s family presented San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau with a stick from Howe’s 1,767th and final NHL game. The stick was in the Hockey Hall of Fame and will be replaced by one of Marleau’s from his record-breaking 1,768th game. The Howe family requested the Hall remove Gordie’s stick and present it to Marleau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A classy gesture by the Howe family.
THE SEATTLE TIMES: Luke Henman of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada is the first player ever to be signed by the Seattle Kraken.
Interesting signing by the Kraken. Originally, Henman (a 6′ 170 lb C in the Q) was taken in the 4th round 96th overall in the 2018 draft, but for whatever reason was never signed by Carolina.
He’s had a decent junior career, finishing the 32 games played this season with 16g 27a 43 pts. Wonder if they’re scouring the list of other such draftees never signed by the team picking them?
Krakken just want to show that they are open for biz
Knights did the same with Duke Reid…. never signed by Wild (6th round pick?)
Both players “fair” in their overage Jr year
Henmen may never play a game in the NHL
Reid hasn’t (now 25)
Knights made a big deal (in media) about the signing… basically “formally” kicking off the team
I suspect this move is the same for Krakken
Krakken also need to fill a depth (minors) team. They’ll be getting 30 players (some may be UFAs) from the expansion draft and possibly a few more (side deals)
If all 30 are non UFAs (unlikely) and say they pick up 5 more in side deals; plus Henmen…. 23 man NHL roster, 13 in minors… will need more.
I expect likely a few more of these; perhaps a college player or two; KHL?, Swedish, Finnish and Czech elite leagues?, Swiss League
Won’t be splashy big signings… but they have to build somewhere
They don’t have an ahl team till next year so the rush to fill the minors ain’t as big. Gonna have to loan ahl players to other teams.
Absolutely re rush… however they do need to have a “pool” of loaned AHLers to draw from (injuries, if they trade a roster spot for picks etc)
I would think that they would like to have in around 40 contracts (50 allowed) at/near start of next season…. as at now…. if they select from EVERY team, a non UFA player…. they’d be at 31
Will be interesting come expansion draft time
Congrats to the Flower and Lehner on their Jennings
Dominant wins by both Knights and Avs last night
Knights dressed 17 skaters last night, 15 against Avs…. for cap reasons
They outplayed Avs for most of the game… lost 2-1…. had they dressed 17 for that game and 15 against Sharks… still would have beaten Sharks and better chance of beating (or even getting to OT) Avs. If they had just got to OT in that game… they’d be Prez trophy winners already … puzzling choice on when to do 15 skaters, when to do 17?????
Anybody here know why league is delaying setting up part of schedule of playoffs?
Only one Div matchups still TBD…. only one playoff game scheduled …. and that was scheduled AFTER Pens and Isles had finished the season BUT before Caps/Bruins had???
TSN keeps buzzing about other playoff games could still be set for Sat…. with 2 days notice????
Leafs…. pick up your socks. Great effort by Sens… absolutely…. but Leafs… PICK UP YOUR SOCKS
avs could return the favor tonite..starting jonas in net…
Who would you rather play Wild or Blues?
I think I would rather play the upstart Wild.
Even if you beat the Blues they will hit you and take a few chunks out of you. Plus they have had playoff success recently.
If you are hoping/planning a long run, I think you would prefer to avoid that in RD 1.
Pengy, my take from last night’s Leafs-Senators game was that the Leafs (who did outshoot Ottawa 33-28) were more intent on making sure that a rusty Andersen wasn’t embarrassed in his first game back from injury.
Also, this isn’t the same Ottawa team that went 2-12-1 in their first 15. Since then they’ve more than held their own against all teams – except for that one led by some guy named McDavid. Hell, if they had managed just 4 out of 10 against the Oilers they’d have been in the playoff picture. And a handful for whoever they faced if they had make them.
They’ve also played the Leafs very hard over the 9 games, losing the series 5-4, scoring 32 while giving up 35. In fact, if you take out the one lop-sided loss to the Leafs (7-3 back on Feb 18 when Coburn and Gudbranson were primarily spectators on the ice), they split the other 8 games, outscoring the Leafs 29-28.
Exactly George, I think it’s fair to consider Ottawa’s season a success. They finished the season with only 1win less than Montreal and played hard almost every night. Now the pressure starts though as next years expectations will be that they are in the race for a playoff spot. The future looks bright in Ottawa and personally I think they have the management team to take them to the next level. Can’t wait for the battle of Ontario to mean something again. That was some fun hockey to watch.
Oh yeah Ron – the expectations go up for sure and that will be the most interesting aspect to watch – i.e., how each of the kids handle it. Having the veteran presence on D who can actually skate – Zaitsev, Brown, Chabot – will help back there, as will a combined veteran/sophomore tandem in goal (Murray – hopefully a reasonably healthy Murray – and Gustavsson), and up front there’s Connor Brown (who’s had an outsanding year (thanks Toronto), Paul, White and Tkachuk (hard to think of him as a “veteran” but he is now) and one of either Dadonov or Tierney (whichever one isn’t plucked by Seattle as neither will be protected). As JJB says, if Dorion can swing a deal for a youngish veteran RW with term from one of the dozen or so cap-strapped teams – or grab Hyman off the UFA list – that will be perfect.
For my grandson and daughter-in-law’s sake – good luck to the Leafs. They should win the North. I would think Andersen should get the final start against Winnipeg as part of his tune-up before the playoffs – unless the plan is to start Campbell in the playoffs, in which case he’ll need some game action since there’s a few extra days in between the season ender and the start of the playoffs.
Sorry if I inferred anything negatively on Sens… Sens played very well last night (and have done so very very well lately) and definitely have a bright future…👍👍👍
Per TSN… not sitting major Leafs was rationalized by Leafs wanting to gain more points … finish higher in standings… looking at leapfrogging other non Div teams in standings, . for potential home ice advantage if they (Leafs) get to the Semis, and if matched to that team
With that in mind… they (Leafs) should have been playing “playoff type” hockey last night…. IMHO they didn’t… and thus my “pull up their socks” comment
Playing like last night MIGHT work v Habs; UNLIKELY to work v Oil or Jets; will NOT work against any of their likely semis opponents (Knights, Avs, Bolts, Pens, Bruins, Caps) …l and that’s IF Leafs get to the semis
Probably, had Keefe started Campbell in goal, the Leafs might well have concentrated on winning the game – but as I say above, the players also knew that they couldn’t free-wheel against the Senators and have a rusty Andersen face a bunch of 2 on 1s etc. He’s their teammate and friend and, like it or not, subconsciously they were obviously intent on making sure he wasn’t left out to dry. They knew this wasn’t the same Senators team they faced earlier and that this young bunch were likely intent on finishing the season with a win and a bang on TV against the Division leaders.
Matthews forced an OT with a nice unassisted goal – unfortunately someone missed a key assignment just 9 seconds into the OT. I’m sure they’ll hear about it in the film room.
Regarding Quinn, a new broom sweeps clean … Drury wants his own man behind the bench before Dolan runs out of patience with him like he did with Gorton …
The Maple Loaves get the easiest draw in the first round by far but things might be different when they move on to the next round …
and Marleau is a joke …
oops … Cole Caufield for the Hall of Fame!
Ray must be busy this morning…Hi Ed !
Habs played a full complement of Oilers and pushed it to overtime despite dressing a depleted team.
Allen, Anderson, Danault, Drouin, Edmundson, Gallagher, Petry, Price, Staal, Toffoli, Weber didn’t play.
Belzile, Frolik, Gustafsson, Ouellet, Ylonen, Merrill and Fleury did play and made a game of it.
Playoffs are a new season and the regulars will be dressed, it will be interesting to see if they go as far as they feel they can.
Depends on which Habs team shows up. They have had more personalities than Eve this year, and I still don’t know what to make of them.
My take is that the Leafs have better scoring by a long shot (principally but not exclusively thanks to Matthews and Marner), and have played better team defense. I think the Habs have better defensemen overall and are better in goal.
Which goalie gets hot? Who gets unexpected scoring? Does a big player get injured? These are the things that have much influence in the playoffs.
The only team in the North that concerns me are the Jets.
Habs will probably face the Leafs and Oilers and they are both beatable in a series.
Styles make the fight and in the playoffs the Habs have the advantage of rolling 4 lines that can both shut down and score.
Danault and Evans have proven during the year that they can shut down the big boys.
It’s going to be interesting 🙂
Well the howe families gesture should be enough to silence the wieners who denigrated marleau achievement. But it probably won’t.
Here Here! Ed need to get bigger panties. It appears the ones he has are too tight.
Great gesture by the Howe family. Classy!