NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2021
The Lightning takes a 2-0 series lead over the Panthers, the Penguins and Golden Knights tie their respective series, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominees are announced, the Red Wings re-sign Jeff Blashill and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves to backstop the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 3-1. Tampa Bay leads the series 2-0. Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning while Mason Marchment replied for the Panthers. The series shifts to Tampa Bay for Game 3 on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vasilevskiy was the difference maker as the Lightning took an early 2-0 lead. The Panthers outshot the Bolts 24-13 over the second and third periods but could only get one shot past the former Vezina Trophy winner.
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 37 saves as his club held on for a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders to even their series at a game apiece. The Penguins got first-period goals from Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter while Josh Bailey replied for the Isles in the second period. The series shifts to Long Island for Game 3 on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid bounce-back effort for Jarry following his shaky performance in Game 1. Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov looked rusty in the early going as he returned to action after missing a week with a lower-body injury.
Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 34 shots and Alex Tuch scored twice as the Vegas Golden Knights tamed the Minnesota Wild 3-1 to tie their series 1-1. Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Vegas while the Wild’s Matt Dumba opened the scoring. The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strong goaltending was the theme for the winning teams on Tuesday. Fleury also played well in his club’s 1-0 overtime loss in Game 1.
The Vancouver Canucks doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2 in their second-to-last regular-season contest. Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko made 38 saves while Brock Boeser, Tyler Myers and Travis Hamonic each had a goal and an assist. The two clubs will play their season finale tonight.
NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares are among this season’s 31 nominees for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings agreed to a contract extension with head coach Jeff Blashill. Details were not released. Blashill’s current contract was to expire at the end of this season. Meanwhile, the Wings announced captain Dylan Larkin is recovering from an undisclosed injury and is expected to be ready for the start of 2021-22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings also revealed assistant coach Dan Bylsma won’t be back. Wings general manager Steve Yzerman believes the club’s improvement this season earned Blashill at least another year behind the bench.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks have informed GM Jim Benning will return next season.
THE PROVINCE: There’s speculation former Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin could return to the club in front-office roles. Meanwhile, there’s still no indication if head coach Travis Green will receive a contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The news of Benning’s return won’t please his critics. Meanwhile, uncertainty remains over Green’s future in Vancouver. Benning signaled his intent in January to sign Green to a contract extension but he’s gone quiet in recent weeks about those negotiations.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Young Canadiens Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alexander Romanov and Cole Caufield will be scratched from Game 1 of their upcoming series-opening game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme wants to go with a more experienced lineup to open the series but benching those kids isn’t sitting well with Habs fans on social media. Their unhappiness will grow if that veteran-laden lineup drops Game 1 to the Leafs.
Speaking of the Canadiens, the province of Quebec will be easing some COVID-19 restrictions later this month. As a result, the Habs could have 2,500 fans at the Bell Centre for Game 6 against the Leafs on May 29.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming there is a Game 6. The Leafs are the heavy favorites in this series. Most experts predict they’ll eliminate the Habs in four or five games.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon will miss Game 3 tonight against the Washington Capitals with an injured hand. He’s listed as day-to-day. Blueliner Kevan Miller suffered a cut in Game 2 but will be in the lineup for tonight’s contest.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have parted ways with Scott Gordon and Kerry Huffman. Gordon was head coach of their AHL affiliate while Huffman was the assistant coach.
THE QMJHL: The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced Guy Lafleur’s No. 4 will be retired across the league starting next season. Lafleur wore that number when he starred with the Quebec Remparts from 1969 to 1971 before becoming the first-overall pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 draft.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens defenseman and NHL player agent Gilles Lupien passed away yesterday from cancer at age 67. He won two Stanley Cups with the Habs in 1978 and 1979, playing 226 career NHL games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Lupien’s family, friends, former teammates and clients.
Jim Benning will be back. Rangers fire everyone? SMH. Congrats Chris Kreider on his King Clancy nomination.
Winnipeg plays Edmonton tonight; one might think the key to success is shutting down McDavid and Draisaitl, which is true but the biggest need will be to stay out of the penalty box.
32% of McDavid points come on the PP and 38% of Draisaitl whose 15 of 31 goals come on the PP or 48%; Leon ranks 44th in the league 5 vs 5 goals.
Stay out of the box and the Jets should take care of business.
The fact that the league made Calgary & Vancouver play those meaningless games shows just how clueless they really are … from top to bottom, from Bettman to Parros to Daly … but
the delusional and most clueless award goes to Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme … he’ll be selling used cars in Montreal after this series …
Speaking of clueless, Calgary recently passed Ottawa, dropping them from 22nd overall to 23rd – now Vancouver, with 1 more win, can drop them to 24th – a difference in %, however slight, at winning the NHL draft lottery.
Which is why the folks bitching about starting the playoffs later in the North and moping about Calgary and Vancouver playing meaningless games have been off base.
Seedings for Seattle draft and junior draft are dependent on standings and teams could have moved up or down a slot or two in this past week of “meaningless” names that shouldn’t be played.
As you have pointed out it can make a difference.
hf30, thats a pretty strong opening statement.
Sure the game should be played but do they need to be played?
They can just go off point percentage no? Just like last year these are strange circumstances.
What is the Leafs/habs series goes 7? They would be a lot more tired than another series that went 7 but the opponent was off for 4-5 days of recovery time.
I’m not bitching and moaning, just saying there were options and I’m not sure what was considered
The Habs/Leafs series starts one day later than the Jets/Oilers series, how is recovery time impacted?
I imagine that TV was the deciding factor in not starting the North series on the same day, allowing Canadian viewers to watch both live.
There will be much bigger schedule challenges regarding the team coming out of the North than the impact of waiting for Calgary/Vancouver to finish the season.
hf30, looks like I had a bit of a duhh moment.
Ed, not only the standings for draft purposes, but do you know if the NHL had to fulfill contract obligations for those who had the rights to broadcast those games?
What the consequences would be by not playing?
I don’t have a clue, do you?
Habsfan30, the point Caper was making, and myself was the delay in the starting of the Leafs/Habs series.
What happened between CGY and VCR and draft seedings had no bearing on that series.
Not disagreeing with the playing of those games, just the delay in the starting of the playoffs.
My guess is it also had more to do with TV again and how to schedule.
Chrisms, I think this is the first time I’ve ever replied to one of LJ’s comments. Small sample set maybe?
My point being, salty is Ed’s schtick, no? Countering or refuting the content is fine but constantly telling Ed to cheer up or even worse knocking him personally for his negative responses seems a little too mean spirited and too personal, imo.
Randino, sorry but I adhere to the old adage “what goes around comes around” – I, for one, have never turned the other cheek.
Sorry tandino. Just being a wiseguy in general.
ducharme didn’t draftt kk instead of brady.
ed, may I recommend a cup of Joe’s Black Rifle Coffee to start your morning? It will be a better alternative to the urine you must surely drink, as almost every post you make is bitter, caustic or sarcastic. You might even put bit of sugar in the coffee. Why not try it? It might improve your view of the world and make you just a bit happier.
LJ, every reply you make to Ed’s comments are filled with the exact same bitter, caustic, sarcastic tone. Maybe taking some of ones own advice is in order here?
Every reply you make to ljs comments about Ed’s comments are filled with the same blah blah blah blah order here?
LJ … I wish it was my BRC but I’m just a satisfied customer
Geez Louise ….. B’s are a -$170 tonight ….. worked last game $10 on the Caps
Hopefully you lose a bundle.
Wouldn’t mind seeing the Bruins swapping out Wags for Frederic just to get Wilson going in the wrong direction but he would have to switch wings
Ya see what you’re saying Joe, Wilson seemed more tame in the last game though.
Cassidy trusts his vets like Wags.
Luved Marchand jumping into the bench with Hall last game great moment for us B’s fans.
Still not feeling great about this series, but better.
Ray….. I think Fred can get Wilson to bite every little edge helps …. lots of times 5th games in a 7 game series is usually the key game I think tonights game very key