NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2021

by | May 20, 2021 | News, NHL | 24 comments

Avalanche and Hurricanes take 2-0 series leads, Bruins up 2-1 over the Capitals, Jets take Game 1 from the Oilers, the order for the 2021 Draft Lottery is revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick powered the Colorado Avalanche past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 in Game 2 of their first-round series. Joonas Donskoi also scored twice for Colorado as they took a 2-0 lead in the series. Avalanche center Nazem Kadri received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during the third period. Faulk left the game and didn’t return. Game 3 shifts to St. Louis on Friday.

Colorado Avalanche captain Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was closer than the final score indicates as the Blues overcame a 3-0 deficit with two goals and scored again when MacKinnons made it 4-2. Kadri could face supplemental discipline given his playoff suspension history.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 32 saves for his first career postseason shutout to blank the Nashville Predators 3-0 in Game 2 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho scored twice and Warren Foegele also tallied for the Hurricanes, who have a 2-0 series lead to Nashville for Game 3 on Friday. Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin missed the game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators’ goaltender Juuse Saros did his best to keep his club in the game with 28 saves, several of them on high-quality scoring chances. Once again, the Predators’ anemic offense was their undoing, especially on a power play that went 0-7.

The Boston Bruins took a 2-1 lead in their series by downing the Washington Capitals 3-2 in double overtime. Craig Smith netted the winner following a turnover behind the Washington net. Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston while Alex Ovechkin and Nic Dowd replied for the Capitals. Game 4 goes Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s taken overtime to decide every game in this series thus far. Ovechkin wasn’t pleased with the miscommunication between goalie Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Justin Schultz that led to Smith’s goal.

Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 32 shots to backstop the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 series-opening win over the Edmonton Oilers. Dominic Toninato broke a 1-1 tie with his first-ever NHL playoff goal while Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and an assist. Jesse Puljujarvi replied for the Oilers. Jets forwards Nikolaj Ehlers (shoulder injury) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (undisclosed) remain sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid defensive effort by the Jets as they held Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl pointless in this contest. Game 2 goes tomorrow night.

The Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 in their final game of the season. Calgary winger Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals. Flames forward Dillon Dube left the game with an upper-body injury.


The full order for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery was revealed yesterday. The Buffalo Sabres have the best odds (16.6) of winning the lottery. The Anaheim Ducks (12.1) have the second-best while the expansion Seattle Kraken (10.3) has the third-best.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list by following the link above. The Arizona Coyotes are included in this list at 11th with 3.1 percent odds but they forfeited their 2021 first-round pick for violating the 2020 NHL Draft combine rules.

STLTODAY.COM: An NHL investigation showed several COVID tests initially showing several members of the Blues tested positive were in error. Several players, including goalie Jordan Binnington and winger Vladimir Tarasenko, were forced to miss the morning skate while awaiting clarification. David Perron, Jake Walman and Nathan Walker remain on the COVID protocol list from their positive tests several days ago.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Evgeni Malkin traveled with the Pittsburgh Penguins to Long Island yesterday. He missed the first two games of his club’s series against the New York Islanders with a suspected knee injury. Sidelined backup goalie Casey DeSmith remained in Pittsburgh.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Shea Weber will be in the lineup when his club faces off tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Weber missed the final eight games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: John Davidson is returning to his former job as president of the Columbus Blue Jackets less than two weeks after being fired as president of the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Rangers, they hired Mike Grier as their new hockey operations advisor.

CBS SPORTS: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday. He also dealt with a rib injury toward the end of the season.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said he suffered a neck injury on April 20. He won’t have to face surgery and expects to be fully recovered for next season.

ESPN.COM: Former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Meghan Duggan is joining the New Jersey Devils as their manager of player development.

TSN/WGR 550: Former NHL forward Jussi Jokinen is hanging up his skates after 21 pro seasons. He collected 563 point in 951 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks from 2005-06 to 2017-18.

Former NHL forward Derek Roy is retiring after 18 pro seasons. He netted 524 points in 738 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers from 2003-04 to 2014-15. He spent the past five seasons playing in Europe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wishing the best of luck to both players in their future endeavors.


  1. So Buffalo actually has close to 20% chance at picking 1st overall. Including Arizona just helped teams above them from falling back, while making chances of teams behind them moving up that much less likely.

  2. That Taylor Hall goal last night was a thing of beauty. I’m enjoying the chemistry that he has developed with Smith and Krejci so quickly and actually seeing consistent second-line production from my Bruins for the first time in years.

    I’m hoping Sweeney figures out a way to keep that line together for next season.

    • @double
      I agree that line clicks and complements each other. Krejci hometown discount or not is key

  3. The Colorado Avalanche better be wearing their big boy pants tomorrow night …

    and any cheap shot that Robert Bortuzzo gets is warranted and enjoyable from this end …

    Pens should have made Malkin stay home …

  4. 2021…. it’s been a while since the Bruins and Krejci had wingers to produce on that 2nd line …..Lucic & Horton

    BRC is especially good this AM

  5. Who has more brain cramps, Kadri or Wilson?

    How many games will he get?
    Should repeat offenders fines go against cap space?
    Should the NHL begin running players out of the league?

    • The answer is, Kadri. While I haven’t watched either series from start to finish it seems that Wilson understands that playoffs call for better judgement and self control.

      Were I Colorado I would be seriously pissed at the prospect of losing a center to suspension. MacKinnon and Landeskog have come to play and having the team hurt by Kadri’s bone headed plays has got to be frustrating for them.

      • Yeah, but how could they have known this would happen with Kadri?

      • The Leafs have entered the conversation…

      • kadri has contributed next to nothing the last 2 months..

      • @fcl, well played!

  6. Where is pengy haven’t heard from in a while hope everything is good

  7. As happy as i am with the win, i’m as disappointed with the lack of push back by the Bruins.

    Krecji game has not been good, giving the puck up quicker then usual, might be a little intimidated.

    Coyle stats says he had 5 hits, please show me 1. Not sure what constitutes as a hit but certainly not what i’m seeing.

    Marchand is the Bruins driving force, he is leading by example and showing a ton of energy.

    Ovie, what was that? Wow leave it for the room.

    • Ya Caper, totally different game called by refs in OT. Bruins were dominant in that environment though. I was worried that after controlling the play for that long you often see a brain fart and a goal against, this time went for B’s. They deserved to win that game.
      Marchand needs to put the stick on the shoulder move away. Dillon punched him, Marchand gave one back and there was no call until the anointing of the knight move.
      I like how the Coyle line is playing against the Caps big guys. Krecji is moving the puck sooner than usual. Got drilled again last night.
      Rask solid, Samsonov outstanding until the last play.
      Shut up Ovie, the game would have been over sooner without your tender standing on his head. Like you say Caper, that stays in the room. Even then, they forked up, they know it, worry about the next one and stop complaining about the one you can’t change.

    • Agree Ray, the stick crap needs to stop and not that he got a penalty for it which could’ve cost the bruins the game should be a stop to the antics.

      Rask hasn’t played his best yet, steady as she goes.

  8. They see everything; They see nothing

    Regulation vs OT

  9. No question these ot games have been exciting. I only hope they can settle a few of these games in regulation. By the time the next series roll around they maybe too pooped to pop. Okay Rask has been pretty good I still have my doubts about his ability to win the big games. But I don’t mind him proving me wrong I don’t like the guy. Hopefully he’s out to make a point. I still have some question marks with this guy. Hall has been a force and must be signed. No one, but no one can say that wasn’t a beautiful goal by Taylor. When Ovechkin broke his stick over the boards I loved it. I replayed it a couple times just to get a little satisfaction. Whatever happens play your game hit bodies but don’t go overboard surprised by Cliftons play. Cassidy must have had a little chat with him before hand.

  10. I’m not a huge Rask guy either but without him two years ago we don’t win first round let alone get to game 7 of finals. Rask was easily best player in playoffs. So what I’m saying is he can steal a game and series. I seen what everyone seen Ovi yelling at someone but in my opinion that gaff is Schultz’s fault Sam left it on a tee for him. Maybe Ovechkin was yelling at a Ref he always is blames everyone but himself sad really. I’m not a Reilly fan he isn’t very good in his own zone I would start Tinordi we need a big body and they are playing Griz and Charlie on PP anyway. Bruins dominated OT for sure.

    • No idea who’s fault it was Obe. You can see Schultz start to turn right until he realizes Samsonov is leaving it for him. Too late. Which worked our for us. Karma for the non call on Pasta perhaps.
      Not sure if there is an agreed upon default or even if either of them was communicating. If in Edmonton you know Smith is playing it. Can’t tell with these 2.
      Maybe that is what Ovie was pissed about, talk to each other. He would be right about that. Just a time and place issue IMO.
      Or it was the refs, just seemed he was looking at those 2.

      • Ray Bark,

        Any way you slice it the gaffe is made by Schultz. He had no business peeling away in the first place.

        At minimum he should have gotten the inside track to block Smith from rounding the net and support the clearing pass.

        I could be wrong but looking at the play I didn’t see a Capital on the right boards or corner to clear the puck to.

      • Probably Habsfan30?
        Not sure what you mean that he has no business peeling away though. If Samsonov is playing it, he absolutely peels away to receive it. That is what he supposed to do.

        Watch the next Oiler game and tell me what they do with a tender that plays the puck all the time. You expect the goalie to make the play, other wise he shouldn’t be playing it.
        If Samsonov isn’t playing it, obviously Schultz shouldn’t.

        When Schultz hits the slot on the way back, they look at each other for a split second. Schultz look over his shoulder and decides to start peeling right. Samsonov leaves it as he thinks Schultz is coming to get it but Schultz is looking over his left shoulder already.

        I don’t know if he is a tender who usually plays it or not. Looks like Schultz thinks he will for a moment. I know that much. Is the other D calling for it? Is anyone else giving directions? If nobody is talking, that is a problem.

        No idea who screwed up.


      • Ray Bark,

        Schultz and Smith are racing for the puck, Schultz can’t/shouldn’t peel away because Samsonov couldn’t/shouldn’t try to clear it to Schultz through Smith.

        It wasn’t a feasible play to expect and he realized it too late.

        I’ve been watching Carey Price for years so I’m very aware of goalies handling the puck including how differently Jake Allen does and to your point, how the D reacts to both of them.

        In that play, Smith and Price would turn and put the puck up the middle or right boards, Allen would put it in the right corner, neither of them would try to play it through Smith to Schultz on the Left.

    • Obe, Tinordi brings toughness but his skating and passing ability are not close to what Reilly brings.

      I would like to see Frederick enter the game but there is no one to take out. I would take Wagner out but he hasn’t played himself out of the lineup.

  11. Lottery spoiled. Rangers with their 1.0% odds win the first or second spot and Brian Burkes head finally explodes. Then the Rangers selected a highly touted player, insert them directly into the NHL and they have a less than impressive debut.