NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2021

by | May 22, 2021 | News, NHL | 28 comments

The Bruins and Avalanche take commanding series leads, the Jets take a 2-0 series lead over the Oilers, the Predators battle back against the Hurricanes, Nazem Kadri gets an 8-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins pushed the Washington Capitals to the brink of elimination with a 4-1 victory in Game 4 of their first-round series. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask made 19 saves to set a franchise record for most career playoff wins with 54. Charlie McAvoy had three assists and David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist. Alex Ovechkin tallied the sole Capitals goal. The series heads back to Washington for Game 5 on Sunday with the Bruins up three games to one.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (NHL Images).

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller left the game following a high hit to the head by Capitals blueliner Dmitry Orlov. Miller was sent to a local hospital for tests. Orlov received a double-minor for roughing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Orlov could face supplemental discipline for that hit. Meanwhile, his club played what I consider one of the worst postseason games of the Ovechkin era. After three closely contested contests that could’ve gone either way, the Capitals were listless in Game 4 and find themselves facing elimination on home ice on Sunday.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 31 stops as his club beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in their opening-round series. Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves celebrated his birthday with a goal and two assists. Tyler Bozak replied for the Blues. The Avalanche can close out this series on Sunday.

The Blues played without defensemen Justin Faulk, Robert Bortuzzo and Vince Dunn. Faulk and Bortuzzo were both sidelined in Game 2 by hits to the head.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports Blues general manager Doug Armstrong wants a serious discussion in the offseason about player safety. That could become a front-burner topic within the league this summer following several puzzling decisions handed down this season by the league’s department of player safety and the growing criticism of those rulings.

Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 38-save shutout as his Winnipeg Jets blanked the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 on an overtime goal by Paul Stastny. Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held off the score sheet for the second straight game. With the Jets up 2-0, the series shifts to Winnipeg for Game 3 on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets are doing a good job neutralizing the Oilers’ dynamic duo of McDavid and Draisaitl. Hellebuyck is reminding everyone why he won the Vezina Trophy last year.

Matt Duchene scored in double-overtime as the Nashville Predators nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 for their first win in this series. Filip Forsberg and Ryan Ellis each had a goal and an assist. Sebastian Aho collected a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who still lead the series two games to one. Game Four goes tomorrow in Nashville.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an entertaining game that seesawed back and forth between the two clubs. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour claimed his team was “fighting the refs”, pointing out his club had been whistled for more penalties (14) than the Predators (six) over the last two games. Meanwhile, Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson missed this matchup with an upper-body injury.


NHL.COM: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri received an eight-game suspension from the department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during Game 2 of their opening-round series. The suspension began in Game 3 last night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Kadri’s third suspension for reckless postseason play. If the Avalanche sweeps their series with the Blues, he could return for Game 7 of their next series if it goes that far.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs captain John Tavares was released from the hospital yesterday but is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion. Tavares was injured during the first period of Game 1 of the Leafs’ opening-round series with the Montreal Canadiens after being accidentally struck in the head by the knee of Canadiens winger Corey Perry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Tavares makes a complete recovery and returns to action soon.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders are mulling a goaltending change after starter Semyon Varlamov’s shaky performance in Game 3 of their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rookie Ilya Sorokin was in goal for the Isles’ Game 1 victory filling in for the sidelined Varlamov, who returned for the next two games.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Chris Tanev spent the final month-and-a-half of the regular season playing with two broken ribs and a torn pectoral muscle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even with access to the best medical treatment, that still had to be painful for Tanev. Unreal.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Johansson suffered a broken left arm during Game 3 of his club’s 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Zach Parise will make his debut in this series. He was a healthy scratch in the first three games.

THE PROVINCE: As expected, the Vancouver Canucks signed head coach Travis Green to a contract extension. It’s believed the new deal will keep him in Vancouver until at least 2023.

WGR 550: Former NHL coaches Bruce Boudreau and Rick Tocchet are among those the Buffalo Sabres will interview for their head coach position. Interim bench boss Don Granato is also in the mix.


  1. So, Kadri gets 8 games and Wilson gets a slap on the wrist. I’m not defending Kadri here – the guy clearly suffers from terminal brain farts – but the inconsistency out of Parros is glaring.

    • Exactly George🙆‍♂️

  2. Bye caps Orlov should be suspended for remainder of playoffs. Left his feet deliberate attempt to injure.

    • Whoever moderates jinx’s, Rick was just kidding. Ain’t over til it is.
      Orlov’s hit was a little late and somewhat reckless, but was more a reaction play than a cheap shot IMO.
      The shot to the chest with the hands is a normal play by D-men in that situation. He got beat a bit reacted late, got them a little high.
      I don’t think he will be suspended, nor should he IMO. The penalty seemed right.
      It kind of looks like Miller’s head hits the ice but the replays last night kept cutting off that part of the video and then the angle from the top.

      Hope he’s OK and gets back soon.

      If Orlov gets suspended that would be a blow to the Caps. Really good player.

      • Orlov needs at least a game to send a message to stop more late hits. That was way too late for this era of the NHL. And Orlov has been a solid 2way player this series. Caps gone next game if he is out

  3. “Blues general manager Doug Armstrong wants a serious discussion in the offseason about player safety. That could become a front-burner topic within the league this summer following several puzzling decisions handed down this season by the league’s department of player safety and the growing criticism of those rulings.”

    Roundabout way for the league to move in an overdue direction. The new TV deal means a cleanup is on the way, emphasis on the players not the DOPS.

    DOPS functions with the regulations and direction of the NHL executives and owners.

    For years the big hit and fighting was encouraged with the claim that fans love it and demand it, those fans are a shrinking base of what the league is after, an expanded following.

    They could easily change the rules on headshot checks taking intent and principle point of contact out of the equation making it an easy call, full stop.

    The refs and DOPS shouldn’t be in a position to equivocate. Penalty should be automatic and DOPS should give automatic punishment on the basis of offense number.

    They did the same thing with over the glass delay of game penalties, intention and deliberateness completely removed from calling the penalty.

    • Hi HF30

      Yep… things must be revamped re DOPS and consistency in calls and punishment…. I need to cite but one player… Wilson… to show that the system is not only inconsistent; but unfair and in complete disarray

      One thing I’d like to have as mandatory…. exponential length of suspensions for repeat offenders

  4. Milk cartons everywhere in Edmonton this morning are sporting a picture of Connor McDavid with the caption, “Have you seen me???”

    I admit when I’m wrong and brother was I wrong about the Caps and Bruins … B’s want it more, Caps stars are playing soft … but typical B’s fan who wants Orlov suspended … the refs looked it at and changed the call from a major to a double minor … stop the homer bias and move on, Miller has done way worse over the course of his career …

    and Rod BrindAmour, please stop crying, when your team allows five goals in a game you deserve to lose … waa waa waa

    funny coming from Doug Armstrong who has Robert Bortuzzo on his club, one of the league’s greasiest cheap shot artists … hypocrite.

    • Good Morning Ed!
      Agree on the Orlov hit but Miller isn’t a dirty player. Neither is Orlov IMO.

      WTF is with Oilers? Oil fans are starting to freak out here. Not generating offence and getting totally shut down by Jets.

      Nervousness? Squeezing stick? Thinking too much?

      Try letting em run Tippet. Gotta try something.

      • Ray Bark,

        Connor Hellebuyck is what’s wrong with the Oilers.

        He’s dialled in for the playoffs and that makes the Jets a dangerous team.

        Strength of 3rd and 4th lines and hot goaltending make winning playoff hockey.

        ilers are firing beachballs at Connor Hellebuyck.

      • Hellebuyck has been good, but Oilers are making him look good too.
        They aren’t generating enough chances to beat any tender, let alone a very good one like him.
        If you don’t have goaltending you can’t win, fair enough, but it is your best players not your bottom 6 that need to get it done HF30.

        At the end of the playoffs, it is the big guns from the winning teams that have produced. The ones that haven’t, lose. Always that way, always will be.

      • You aren’t really surprised at the Oil, are you Ed? After McDavid, Draisaitl an Nug there is quite a drop off in production. The plan against the Oil is pretty simple: slow down McDavid, and when a team has one line to focus on …

    • Typical flippy floppy Caps fan…

  5. Morning Ed maybe have a coffee first than start typing.

  6. Big mistake by the Islanders to change goalies after a game 1 win. The Hockey Gods were clearly displeased.

    • Hi Brock

      This Pens’ fan loved that Isle’s coaching blunder

      Wishing for more of same Isle’s coaching blunders

  7. Watching the NBC broadcast, I would’ve thought the Caps were dominating the Bruins.

    Game two I commented on how often they but the camera on Ovie while he is sitting on the bench and spitting.

    Last night game they start out with a 10 second live shot of Ovie sitting on the bench.

    Eddie O could only talk about Washington PP and how they need to change it or a good scoring chance by the Capitals.

    Boucher jumped in a couple of times and said you have to give the Bruins PK some credit, their doing a really good job.

    I dont mind the announcing but boy does Eddie O want to see some magic from Ovie and Carlson.

    • I thought we were watching the Washington broadcast thus far.

    • I complained to my wife about the same thing boys. Bruins played a complete game last night.
      Deserved it again.

      • Ray, I haven’t watched to much of that series but is there a bigger homer in sports than the NESN announcer Jack Edwards?

      • The difference is that Jack is paid by NESN to broadcast Bruins games. He’s our play by play man.
        The guys on NBC are a national broadcasting team. They’re supposed to be impartial, unlike the Bruins broadcast team. Or the boys on RDS or the other broadcasters in a specific region.
        I’m not a huge fan of Jack, but he does what he’s paid to do. Call Bruins games. Bring excitement to the Bruins fans. You know? Like he’s paid to.

      • S.O.P, Edwards brings more than excitement. He has crossed the line on more than one occasion. Not what most of us want to see.

      • Wait, I thought you were making a point about Jack being the biggest homer in sports?

      • S.O.P., isn’t that part of his homer Shtick?

  8. 8 for the repeat offender Kadri…appropriate

    That said…. this just ups Wilson’s headhunting mantra IMHO…. he has the heart and support of Parros behind him

    George… fully agree… this $5K “slap on the wrist” for the League’s absolute worst offender is incredulous

    Re Bruins win…. earned and deserved… period

    Orlov… I agree this will be reviewed…. but Parros history of being light on Caps (Wilson and Ovi’s attempt at castration/circumcision getting minor rebuffs)…. let’s me conclude likely nothing

    Very hard to tell on replays shown…. from back angle looked like head contact and from front inconclusive

    Late for sure…. if other angles show principal contact was chest… then nothing extra

    He got 2 minutes only (the other two was for the roughing after when he and Coyle tussled after)

    To me the call should have been either (A) 2 mins interference (late) and 2 mins roughing (with Coyle) or (B) if he (Ref) deemed the hit roughing… 2+2 and then 2 for roughing with Coyle

    Result likely…. Parros to Orlov “silly and bad move , don’t do it again, let’s have Coffee sometime”

    Avs…. I think series is ver now… Grubs … wow

    Preds…. that was an exciting game 👍👍👍

    Hellebyuck absolutely stealing the series…. HUGE difference maker

    Hoping to see Pens play as they can , and effectively ensuring (with win today) likliehood of last ever NHL game played Iin the
    Nassau Collesium

    JT… speedy and full recovery good sir

    Leafs..l pull your socks up!!!

    • Pengy I wouldn’t say Hellebuyck is stealing the series; yes playing well but alot of credit has to go to the team defense. They are closing the gap and giving McPointless no time.

      Most of the Oilers chances are from the outside yes they had a couple of quality chances.

      The Jets are playing a very good defensive structure game. Boy do I like that Stanley kid.

      • And now they go home for 2 – in a province/city that has the highest per capita infection rate in North America, and where the premier has announced a series of rigid gathering bans/closures. But not where it will affect a hockey game!

        In other words, what they’re saying is, hockey can go ahead because, well, they’ve taken the proper precautions, whereas Manitobans in general are a bunch of dummies?

      • Hi Caper

        I cede your credit to the Jets defensive play; but that defensive play and another goalie…. and I’m not convinced by any stretch that McD , Leon , Nuge get no points so far

        Next game will be very interesting…. Jets win… series over; Oil win… door is open