NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2021

by | May 28, 2021 | News, NHL | 40 comments

The Hurricanes eliminate the Predators to advance to the second round while the Canadiens stay alive with an overtime win over the Leafs. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho tallied the overtime winner as the Hurricanes rallied from a 3-1 deficit. Aho scored twice and Dougie Hamilton netted the game-tying goal on an assist by Jaccob Slavin. Nick Cousins, Mikael Granlund and Ryan Johansen scored for the Predators.

Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

An overtime goal by Nick Suzuki gave the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens had a 3-0 lead at one point but the Leafs battled back thanks to two third-period goals by Jake Muzzin. Joel Armia scored twice the Habs. Game 6 goes Saturday night in Montreal with the Leafs holding a 3-2 series lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was the first game in this series that Montreal looked like the better team despite blowing that three-goal lead. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield’s heads-up play at his blueline picking off a blind pass by the Leafs’ Alex Galchenyuk set the stage for Suzuki’s winner. The Habs will become the first Canadian team in these playoffs to have fans in the stands as 2,500 people will be in attendance for Saturday’s game.

Game 1 of the second-round series between the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins is 8 pm ET on Saturday, May 29 in Boston.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek will be in the lineup for Game 7 tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights. Eriksson Ek was banged up in the previous game after crashing into the Golden Knights’ net in Game 6 but said he’s good to go for tonight’s contest.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights go into tonight’s game against the Wild without forwards Ryan Reaves and Peyton Krebs and defenseman Brayden McNabb. The trio was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri awaits his fate after appealing his eight-game suspension before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. A decision could be announced as early as today. Kadri was suspended by the NHL department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in the first round.

NHL.COM: The NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings of the prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft. University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power topped the list of North American skaters while winger William Eklund of Djurgarden in the Swedish Hockey League leads all international skaters.

TSN: Sports agency PBI Sports announced it represents former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. The announcement is seen as Rutherford showing interest in returning to NHL management. Rutherford stepped down as Penguins GM in January.


  1. Well, that was an interesting game. I thought for sure that, when the Leafs battled back to tie it up, it was game over. Now Leafs fans know why 3 teams decided they’d seen enough of Galchenyuk.

    One thing is now clear – the Leafs had better end this in game 6 because if it goes to 7 hold onto your hats.

    • Oops – I meant FIVE teams have seen enough of Galchenyuk.

      • It’s unlikely the Habs win the series, but it’s still a positive sign that the young players stepped up. Suzuki and Caufield have developed chemistry and Kotkaniemi has played well in the series. Bergevin – or whoever the GM will be – must provide KK with wingers with whom he can succeed.
        Of course, we were all treated to a boneheaded play to remind us all why Galchenyuk is no longer with the Habs.

      • George, you can’t hang that on Galchenyuk alone. Sandin was terrible and wore the goat horns on two of the first three goals with major graphs. You win and lose as a team and Galchenyuk has been a worthwhile addition. He’s been a good reclamation project for the Leafs overall, especially given his low cost.

      • OK. But here we’ll agree to disagree. And I have the results of 5 GMs who clearly see it differently. But I understand – hope does spring eternal.

      • I agree that the track record isn’t great George but he’s had two really good games, minus that last play.
        With 67% of the Leafs second line missing he’s surpassed the mark of what could have been expected.
        We don’t need him to be a 30 goal scorer next year, we just need a couple of above average months.

      • And don’t forget, Sandin is a rookie. Mistakes are to be expected. A veteran of what, 8 or 9 seasons? – should know better than to make a blind pass with speed demons on the opposite side.

      • I agree George it was a play maybe you can forgive as a rookie but by now he should of known better…like most things, he’ll need to move on and learn from it since so far he been more of a benefit than not. But perhaps exactly why some passed on him in the past. His mistakes are the very big or bad type unfortunately.

  2. Off topic , Ray mentioned it the other day , I hadn’t seen any articles until yesterday . The quote that stuck with me was
    “Rachel Dorrie of BMO analytics I rewatched every shift over the 4 games . I counted over 30 infractions against , the fact that HE DIDNT DRAW 1 speaks to what the nhl wants from its officials” How on gods green earth does Mcdavid not draw a penalty over 4 games , especially games 1 and 2 for me . That level of incompetence is hard to fathom from professional referees , unless they are directed to keep the whistle in there pocket . How else can ZERO drawn be explained ?
    Hellebyuk was better than smith , Winnipeg was more composed and deeper team and made less mistakes but the nhl / nhl officials have to be better , letting the players decide the games is great , so is allowing the best players a level playing field . Rant over .

    • It happens all season too Craig, just not as blatant as this series. Refs could call 5 penalties a game that are infractions against McDavid. When they play MTL make it 10 as that is their game plan, to obstruct McDavid and Draisaitl. Can’t blame them why wouldn’t they when it works?
      It happens to all the really good players, McDavid is likely the most because how he plays with speed and he is the best player in the NHL.
      Not all series have been called the same way, there have been games with plenty of PP’s. For some reason this one was, at least the first 2 games like you said.
      Is suppose he needs to snap on the ice or to the press and embarrass the league, but he doesn’t do that. Isn’t wired that way. Doesn’t dive either, but pushed through it.
      Brind’Amour, told it like it is the other day. The Oilers should too.

      • Well Ray, maybe Tippett should have publicly complained. Keefe complained when Chiarot and Weber cross checked Matthews during the season. The result was that Chiarot barely touched Matthews and got a cross checking penalty earlier in the series.

        Now before any Leaf fans tip over, I don’t have any problems with Matthews and if the Leafs can manipulate the refs, good for them.

      • Oh I know it happens all the time , with all stars at times , with mcdavid nightly , as is the game plan when teams know nothing is called . I don’t expect 30/30 called , not even 20/30 or 10/30 even , but 3/4/5 of those have to be called , to keep players honest , to protect the stars at least a little bit and to allow some skill to still prevail . Not 1 drawn is flat out crazy . He doesn’t complain , Tippett rarely speaks up , I don’t get why or how it’s good for the nhl

  3. What a story for Eklund, I swear that guy has been climbing the rankings like mad! Same with Mason McTavish!

    I think Habs & Leafs end up going to Game 7! Not sure why, just a gut feeling. I wonder what kinda of fallout there would be if the Wild upset Vegas, who are a top Cup pick! I mean Vegas or Colorado is the consensus out of the West …

    Carolina v Tampa is going to be an entertaining series! Carolina is a much more defensively sound team with better goaltending than Florida. They are also a more seasoned playoff team. I’d still probably favour Tampa, since Kucherov is back! But I feel this series is going to be the series of Round 2! Though, Vegas v Colorado would be tight as well!

    • Who cares if there’s a fallout in Vegas?

  4. Any owner looking to mortgage his future and sell his soul to the devil will be interested in Rutherford …

    • You left out the part about the 2 Stanley Cups.

      • Howard, I think it is 3

    • Depends on if their soul is worth two cups.

  5. That set play by Carolina on the Dougie Hamilton tying goal, was thing of beauty. What a time to bring that play out.

    Talking about McDavid not drawing penalties, did you not see Draisaitl crossing checking Scheifele 6 times in a row without a call. They may not draw penalties but they also got away with alot of deliberties.

    Carey Price almost blew it last night, luck for him for a brief moment Alex Galchenyuk thought he was still a hab.

    • @ Caper Carey Price almost blew it??? If it wasn’t for him the game and the serie would be long gone. We clearly didn’t watch the same game/serie.

      • George at present he is tied with Matthew for 3rd in team scoring with 4pts and +2

        So let’s give him a little break for now.

    • Caper, as I say above, there’s a reason why the Habs, followed by 4 other teams, decided they’d seen enough of Galchenyuk’s lapses while waiting for the “potential” for being a # 3 overall pick to shine through.

      Despite putting up decent enough offensive numbers in his 478gp with Montreal (108g 247a 355 pts for an 82-game average of 19g 42a 61 pts), and being awarded a $4.9 mil contract, the Habs ran out of patience waiting for the gaffes to end and so dealt him to Arizona for Domi.

      There he played 72 games, scoring 19g 22a 41 pts (82-game average of 22g 25a 47 pts), before shuffling off to Pittsburgh for Kessel + a 4th round pick. There he hung around for 45 games scoring 5g 12a 17 pts before even Rujerford had seen enough. and off he went to Minnesota with Addison and a 1st Round pick (? ?) for Zucker where he played 14 games with 3g 4a 7 pts.

      Ottawa then signed him as a UFA but even with a re-building team he managed just 8 games scoring 1 goal before moving again, this time to Carolina, for Dzingel. Clearly, they wanted to part of him as he was put on waivers the next day and, when unclaimed, sent to the AHL.

      For some reason, Dubas then thought he might be useful and so sent Carolina two warm bodies for his services and there he has contributed 4g 8a 12 pts in 26 gp – for a much-reduced cap hit of $1,050,000.

      In the total 165gp since leaving Montreal, he has scored 32g 46a 78 pts for an 82-game average of 16g 23a 39 pts. A far cry from a 3rd overall pick. Meanwhile, the brain farts continue.

      • You`re right about Galchenyuk worst case of gas in a long time. Way too many farts but Keefe is a yes man and do what he`s told and Dubas is a slow learner. If they resign him yikes but to be fair on that overtime gaff show me which leaf player besides Campbell wasn`t in the middle of a brain fart. There was enough farts for all of them

      • George, please do not do my performance appraisal. I need steady income.

      • LJ, LOL – I didn’t create the history – just summarized it. And it speaks for itself. I could have added that, after registering a +14 in his first 48 games with Montreal, he’s been a steady minus F to the extent that, collectively, he’s a -62 for his career (half of which came in his -31 season with the Habs in 2027-18) – including a -3 with the Leafs this season.

      • Yes, you have your facts straight, George. When Galchenyuk was traded from Montreal Gazette writer Pat Hickey detailed the parental interference of Galchenyuk’s dad in his coaching, extending from junior to the Canadiens.

        Maybe Galchenyuk has learned his lesson and is sincerely trying to be a good pro. I wish him well, just not as a Leaf. And not in this series.

    • Sam in reference to last night game.

      Price should’ve both Muzzin goals. Yes the second one was tip, but close the damn pads.

      First Muzzin goal was just brutal. Wasn’t touch by anyone he was clearly out of position.

      I expect a save on both them goals just by being in proper position.

      Last night was a first in history for me; it was the very first time in my life that I was actually cheering for Montreal. Even hollering at the TV.

      • Caper stop it.
        I get you luv hockey and all, but cheering for either MTL or TOR isn’t good for you.
        Go play 9 holes, walk the dog, watch Seinfeld reruns, whatever, but stop it.

      • No, Ray. Caper has passed the first test of the Mensa society. He is on the path of true enlightenment.

        It is those confused wretches that cheer for Edmonton, or worse, Boston whose mortal souls are in danger.

        Good news, though Ray (and others). There are de-programmers who have success with the Moonies are available. A few sessions with them, a dunk into the sheep dip, and you may join the enlightened.


      • I knew what a Moonie was (forgot about them) and had to google namaste.
        Well written post LJ, don’t change sh*t, stop it Caper or you will regret it long term.

      • You’re a good sport, Ray.

      • Lol. That was excellent!

  6. Who had Minny taking Vegas to 7 games?

    I’m hoping for a Wild victory in the process eliminating one of the Cup favorites.

    • When any series gets to 7 games all previous bets are off. As the leafs will discover if they don’t win tomorrow in Montreal … with 2500 rabid fans on hand.

    • Not I good Sir

      Not sure if you saw game 6…. that call could be the blown “Pavelski” call of the ‘21 playoffs

      If you didn’t see it ….. as I’m flipping between things on iPad… I get a flood of “your not going to believe it” texts from many of my budz

      So I get on the iPad and return to where I had left off watching the game…..

      3rd ; after at least 3 cleary missed/ignored infractions on Wild; Knights pressing….. Knights score

      Stripes huddle …. “no goal” …. “goaltender interference”

      Telecast shows multiple angles…. no interference , plain and simple

      The call came from head on ref, 35’ away; his view completely blocked; other ref’s angle blocked; linesman’s viewpoint certainly not clear

      No problem right …. Knights can challenge… easy peezy… clear as day…. they did with unbelievable confidence after watching the replays… there was NO intereference

      Toronto “couldn’t discern enough clarity to overturn the obvious mistake” (quote from telecast (as he chuckled)

      Instead of Wild on their heels; score tied 1-1; Knights pressing to end series…

      score remains 1-0; Wild get PP…. score…. result…. game 7

      Two times in 3 years that one horrific blown reffing call could cost Knight’s a series

      Knights win tonight ; all is moot

      Knights lose….. wow

      and Knights down 3 (as at time of this post) with Covid protocols

  7. 2,500 is like a BBQ not a Stanley cup playoff game. Montreal will need Price to be Price and Toronto needs Campbell to not be himself and stop a few. If this goes 7 Leafs will be shaking in their boots and Habs will have nothing to lose. Can’t see either one beating Winnipeg anyway but who knows with injuries and bounces.

    • It’s still 2500 more than we’ve seen so far in any Canadian rink

    • Campbell has been quite good this series. I think he can be afforded one bad period.
      Either team can beat Winnipeg, Winnipeg rolled over Edmonton since they have zero secondary scoring which is not a problem for either the Leafs or the Habs.
      Both teams also have better defense than the Oilers, regardless of how marginal. It took 3 OT wins, this sweep was a lot different than the blues getting swept.

    • Montreal has nothing to lose right now with Tarvares out and no real sign of Matthews or Marner showing up. Toronto`s now put all the pressure on themselves showing this group doesn`t have the killer instinct. The Jets must be licking their lips right now. The question is can Nylander keep up his play hope so my faith in Matthews and Marner to step up isn`t that good right now

  8. Galchenyuk’s play was bad BUT keep in mind why he was at the point in the first place.

    Bogosian made the bonehead move of pinching in the first place.

    Might explain why he was dumped twice for nothing and one of them was Buffalo.