NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2021

by | May 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 14 comments

The Bruins tied their series with the Capitals, the Avalanche and Hurricanes draw first blood in their respective series, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Brad Marchand’s goal 39 seconds into overtime lifted the Boston Bruins over the Washington Capitals 4-3 to even their best-of-seven first-round series at one game apiece. Boston winger Taylor Hall scored the tying goal late in the third period to send the game into the extra frame. Garnet Hathaway scored twice for Washington, who got a 44-save performance from goaltender Craig Anderson. Capitals center Lars Eller left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Questionable officiating saw this game deteriorate into a sloppy contest. Game 3 goes Wednesday evening in Boston.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and set up another in a series-opening 4-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists as the Avalanche broke the game open with three goals in the third period. Jordan Binnington kicked out 46 shots for the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was the only reason this game was tied through two periods before the Avs blew it open in the final frame. This series will end quickly if he doesn’t get more help from his teammates. Games 2 is on Wednesday evening.

The Carolina Hurricanes got two goals from captain Jordan Staal to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Nino Niederreiter tallied the game-winner by snapping a 2-2 tie early in the third period. Juuse Saros turned aside 33 shots for the Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators defeated the Hurricanes in the final two games of the season but the latter took six of eight in their regular-season series. The Canes dominated the play through the final two periods of this one. The two sides face off again in Game 2 on Wednesday.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and winger Brendan Gallagher played in the Laval Rocket’s 2-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies last night. Price and Gallagher were on a long-term injury conditioning stint with the Habs’ farm club before their opening-round series against the Maple Leafs. Price allowed two goals on 15 shots while Gallagher had two shots on goal and a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.

ESPN.COM: The NHL department of player discipline handed a one-game suspension to Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Blake Coleman in Game 1 of their series on Sunday.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs promoted Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser to senior director of player development and Danielle Goyette has joined the department as a director.

Speaking of the Leafs, TSN’s Kristen Shilton reports defenseman Ben Hutton has a non-COVID, non-hockey-related medical issue that is being monitored by the team.

NEW YORK POST: ESPN hired Leah Hextall as the first woman to do play-by-play as a regular part of a national NHL TV package. She did play-by-play of an NHL game last season for Sportsnet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall previously worked for CTV Winnipeg, NESN and Sportsnet. Hockey runs in her family. She’s a cousin of Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall and her grandfather was Hall of Famer Bryan Hextall. 

AWFUL ANNOUNCING: Veteran NHL reporter Frank Seravalli has decided to leave TSN after six seasons. Speculation suggests he might join ESPN or Turner Sports ahead of their coverage of the NHL starting next season.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have offered up Canadian Tire Centre to the city and the province of Ontario as a mass vaccination site.

TSN: A civil lawsuit has been filed against Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen alleging he sexually assaulted a young woman in 2017.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A lawyer representing a former Chicago Blackhawks player in a sexual assault lawsuit against the team intends to call a former teammate to the stand as a witness in the case.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Tanner Kero to a two-year, two-way contract.


  1. Hopefully for Virtanen this matter moves quickly. I understand women need to be heard, but… Virtanen was 20/21 in 2017. The whole “me too” movement has been in full swing for awhile. Maybe the woman is telling the truth, but her story would be a lot more credible if she had come forward earlier. In 2017 the narrative has been that men are guilty until proven innocent. Did the post traumatic problems just kick in? Was it after Virtanen signed new contract? Again, maybe it’s true and I’m totally supportive of woman coming forward, but at this time and place, it makes more sense to come forward when incident happens. Was their a police report from back then that I’m not aware of?

    • Your points are meritless. No offense to you, it’s just plain ignorance of the case. It’s really not something we ought to discuss being this far/separated from the case and not personally knowing the parties.
      With that being said, opinions as always always encouraged but know with this topic, the likelihood of coming off sounding right or make a “good point” won’t be seen as much as you think.

      • Ron, my point is the quicker the facts come out the better. If Virtanen did something wrong, he’ll get no sympathy from me. But to be fair to him, he should have his name cleared just as public ally as he’s already been shamed. I’m not going after the victim. I just think in this day and age, the victim is more likely to be believed if they come forward right away.

  2. Questionable officiating? Didn’t have an issue, twice pulled a single player out of a scrum, once a Bruin another a capital.

    The only call i would question would be the Wilson diving call; however that was more of a reputation call, just like Marhcand gets from time to time.

    We’ll take the win and move on to game 3.

  3. Great Bruin win important victory Marchand has a great release. Watched Colorado game wow they are flying might be the team to beat. Kadri still is a clown but that top line is unreal.

  4. Carolina is in the best position they have been to win the cup since their miracle cup run. It would be weird if they did it again and we said that Carolina only wins the Cup when a Staal is on the roster and for it to be a different Staal than the last one!

  5. I really like Lauzon, but if Clifton is gonna play Ovie like he did last night, he can certainly stay in the lineup.
    Someone needs to straighten Dowd out so he quits running around like he has been. He’s been pretty effective through two games. He’s been hitting everything that moves.
    I’d switch Freddy for Wagner.
    The boys had their 2nd Covid shots before game one and played the same way as they did after they had their 1st shots against Buffalo…………let’s hope that the sluggish play is out of the way now that they’re fully vaccinated.
    Rask was good. Hope he can keep it up.

    • Ya SOP, Rask was good, especially early when WSH stormed out of the gates. Not sure how that game goes if we didn’t get the first goal. Huge IMO.
      Pretty soon the deflections stop finding the only puck sized hole available. WSH has 1 goal that was shot directly into the net, their last one last night.
      The whole Dowd line has been good, and a major pain in the ass.
      I like Clifton’s jam, like Lauzon’s too and his size. Liked what Lauzon did to Ovie in game one scrum. Clifton seems like a gamer, fine with either one.
      Marchand plays better when he stirs the pot and he is good at it. Makes me laugh, obvious but covert at the same time if that makes sense? Punched the wrong guy in the can though.

      • Sounds like TD Garden will be at full capacity for the next set.
        Brad always performs well in front of a crowd.

        Quick question.
        If Boston faces Fla in the playoffs and the Panthers fans throw rats on the ice after a goal, something, something, Marchand?

  6. Great comeback for the bruins. I will say this Taylor has been incredible he looks like The Hall the first yr in Jersey, but Rask has got to play better, somehow I get the feeling Swayman wil get in eventually and when does Rask will never see another minute in a b’s jersey.

    • Rick, I like Rask, glad we have him.
      Top 5 in the league. Year after year after year.
      IMO they try to resign him.
      All depends on $$ and term.
      Swayman has started as good as anyone could have possibly hoped. Outstanding.
      10 games does not a starter make though.
      And handing the starting job to a kid with only 10 games would be a mistake not only for the team, but for Swayman IMO.
      Hopefully Rask takes less and they start to share the net with Swayman taking over as the starter in a year or 2. Assuming he keeps playing well, which is a big assumption. History is full of flash in the pan goaltenders.

  7. blues tried to beat up the av’s….it backfired

    • Landeskog dusted off Schenn pretty good and he’s thinks he’s a tough guy but he picked the wrong guy to tangle with. A little concerned about the AVS careless management of the puck at times. Otherwise, a great game and if it wasn’t for Binnington, the game would have been 6 or 7 -1. . They need to play better in Game 2. GO AVS!!!

  8. The Bennett hit on Coleman reminded me of the Coleman hit on Brady Skjei a few weeks ago. Skjei ended up with a concussion, it went unpunished by player safety. I can understand game officials missing calls but not player safety.