NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2021

by | May 6, 2021 | News, NHL | 53 comments

The Jets clinch a playoff spot, T.J. Oshie get a hat trick the day after his father’s passing, Marc-Andre Fleury and Anze Kopitar reach milestones, the Blues salute David Backes and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets became the third team in the Scotia North Division to clinch a playoff spot by blanking the Calgary Flames 4-0. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for the shutout, Blake Wheeler collected his 800th career point and Mark Scheifele got his 500th career point. The win moved the Jets into third place in the division with 59 points, two up on the Montreal Canadiens.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they failed to secure a playoff berth by falling 5-1 to the Ottawa Senators. Erik Brannstrom collected three assists and Shane Pinto tallied his first NHL goal as the Senators have won seven of their last nine games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 57 points, Montreal still holds a 10-point lead over Calgary, though the latter has a game in hand. The Flames playoff hopes, however, are now hanging by a thread.

Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie (NHL Images).

T.J. Oshie scored a hat trick the day following his father’s death as the Washington Capitals doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Oshie’s performance, however, was overshadowed by several brawls between the two clubs in the fallout over Capitals winger Tom Wilson receiving a fine for roughing Pavel Buchnevich and injury Artemi Panarin in the previous game between the two clubs. Wilson left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury while Buchnevich received a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking Capitals winger Anthony Mantha in the face.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Oshie and his family. His hat trick was a fitting honor to his father and a better story than that clown show of a game. With the win, the Capitals regained first place from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the MassMutual East Division with 73 points and hold a game in hand over the Penguins.

The Dallas Stars playoff hopes suffered another blow as they fell 6-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Erik Cernak had a goal and two assists for the Lightning, putting them into a tie with the Florida Panthers in the Discover Central Division. Both clubs have 75 points but the Lightning holds second place with a game in hand. With 56 points, the Stars remain four back of the fourth-place Nashville Predators.

Meanwhile, the Predators dropped a 4-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice and collected an assist for the Jackets.

Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 490th career victory as the Vegas Golden Knights nipped the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Pietrangelo. Fleury moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time wins list. Kirill Kaprizov scored twice for the Wild. The Golden Knights (76 points) maintained a four-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Honda West Division.

As for the Avalanche, they blew a 2-0 lead to fall 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks. Tomas Hertl scored twice and Evander Kane collected three assists for the Sharks. With 72 points, the Avs are one point ahead of the third-place Wild.

The St. Louis Blues failed to clinch a playoff spot in the West Division following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Troy Terry tallied the winner in the shootout. During the game’s first timeout, the Blues honored Ducks winger David Backes with a video tribute commemorating his 10 seasons in St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backes, 37, is in the final season of his contract and is expected to retire.

Anze Kopitar collected his 1000th career NHL point to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Sean Walker collected three points and Gabriel Vilardi tallied twice for the Kings to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Coyotes, meanwhile, have been eliminated from postseason contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar’s been a model of consistency for the Kings throughout his 15 NHL seasons. He has 50 points on the season, marking the 14th time he’s reached that plateau.


TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Foligno is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss tonight’s game against the Canadiens and likely Saturday’s contest as well.

CBS SPORTS: Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle suffered an undisclosed injury during Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils and should be considered day-to-day.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere received a two-game suspension for boarding Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Mark Friedman.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan is recovering from triceps surgery three weeks ago. An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, Ryan hopes to remain with the Wings. Meanwhile, teammate Tyler Bertuzzi underwent back surgery last Friday and is expected to be fully recovered in time for next season.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed goaltender Anton Forsberg to a one-year, $900K contract.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks TV analyst Ed Olczyk will become the lead NHL game analyst for Turner Sports. He’ll join Kenny Albert as Turner’s top team on TNT when the network’s seven-year contract begins next season.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported if the Seattle Kraken select a player in this summer’s expansion draft who received a bonus on July 1, they will have to re-pay that player’s previous team. The Kraken must also draft at least $48.9 million under the salary cap.

FLYERS ALUMNI: tweeted the passing of former NHL player Jim Johnson at age 78. Johnson spent eight seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Flyers and Los Angeles Kings from 1964-65 to 1971-72. An original member of the Flyers, he spent nearly five seasons with the club. In 302 NHL games, Johnson had 75 goals and 186 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and former teammates.


  1. “than that clown show of a game”

    Perfectly described but exactly what Bettman and the NHL department of player ‘safety’ created by their poor handling of the situation in the first place.

    This is supposed to be a game where you can’t wait for the puck to drop as opposed to feeling let down because the league decided to drop the ball instead.

    • “Clown show” is a perfect description. What happened was an inevitable result of Wilson’s thuggery and the league’s refusal to do anything about it. Is that what we want for the game we love? The NHL had better wake up and do something about the officiating and the DOPS before the goons who’ve been pushed out of the league return.

      • And the fans loved it. I want to see this garbage out of the league but until the fans boo instead of cheer why should the league get rid of it. Me? I turn the channel or take a piss or get a beer when fights break out. I’m sure I’m the minority

      • Yes, you are in the minority Chrisms. I liked seeing the Rangers stand up for themselves. I liked seeing Buch do what he did as I would bet a paycheck that Mantha was not only giving it to him physically, but verbally as well. All part of the intimidation game that is real whether we like it or not. He is disadvantaged size wise, so did what he had to.

        It is a fast, violent game with no out of bounds and you get to carry a stick. There is an unspoken agreement between men, call it the code or whatever you want to call it to keep the equilibrium. When someone like Wilson steps outside “the code” everyone knows it, everyone on the ice feels it.

        The league didn’t step up and keep things in balance, so the players did. They had too.

        Violent spectacles have been around as long as we have. The Roman Collosseum draws millions of visitors a year. We’ve evolved since then, no more live fights to the death at least.

      • No live fights to the death yet.

        But fights that lead to death? Most likely I believe.

      • Chrisms, yep.

  2. Yesterday JJB posted that he hoped, with Chabot and Josh Brown done for the season, that Eric Brannstrom would get more ice time. Well JJB, last night he did – and boy, did he ever respond! The other 2 rookies on D – Bernard-Docker and Alsing – were very steady.

    And on their 5th goal Formenton showed his blazing speed.

    • George, I bet you can’t wait for the 21-22 season to start.
      Battle of Ontario, here we come.

      • BCLeafFan, it will certainly become interesting again, although even this season they’d played the Leafs hard for the most part (the Leafs get that from a lot of teams knowing they are on TV with friends/family probably watching). So far they’ve scored 28 against Toronto giving up 32 and have won 3 with an OT loss.

        They also won the season series against Montreal going 6 and 4, including 3 OT/SO games, scoring 31 times against 24. They’ve handled Calgary too. It’s that other damned Alberta team that they couldn’t beat for love nor money, and in their early season games were also hammered frequently by Vancouver and Winnipeg – although that’s been turned around in recent meetings.

        But the, there is little similarity between the Ottawa line-up then and the one they’re icing now.

    • Sens certainly looking good… future is bright

      Speed and confidence abound… 👍👍

      I haven’t followed Sens other two first rounders…. how are Sanderson and Greig doing?

      What about Jarventi?

      • Pengy, Ridley Grieg has played 21 games with Brandon Wheat Kings and has 10g 22a 32 pts and is a +17 – he’s also showed his feistiness with 39pim

        Sanderson opted for 1 more year at U of North Dakota where, this past season, he played 22 games with 2g 13a 15 pts and was a +20. In the World’s Under-20 he played 7 games with 0g 2a +7.

      • And Jarventie, with Ilves Tampere in the Finnish league has 14g 11a 25 pts in 48 gp

      • Thanks George…. things looking even better for Sens 👍👍

    • Oh my God did the team ever respond! Dadonov scratched in favour of Abromov as well! The Senators are currently playing like one of the best teams in the league. The speed from their youth is incredible. But most impressive I gave to say is how solid their defensive game is becoming, from forwards and defense.

      The more I watch the club down the stretch the more I’m convinced that we don’t go out and do much in the off-season. Unless we can get a Hyman or a Saad in free agency.

      Focus on getting our guys under contract and continuing to work our youth into thr line up and giving them a low pressure situation to succeed.

      On Forsberg Signing. I like it, I know goaltending depth is everything, but with Murray, Forsberg, Gustavsson, & Daccord all basically NHL ready, do you think the signing means they are expecting a goalie to be taken at the expansion draft?

      • As I mused yesterday JJB, I figured they could re-sign Forsberg in case Daccord is taken by Seattle – if that’s the way it goes the goaltending depth to start next season will be Murray, Gustavsson (who will be protected), Forsberg, Sogaard and Mendolese. If, however, Daccord’s high ankle sprain – or depending upon what goalies, if any, are taken by Seattle before they get to Ottawa – has Seattle looking at someone else (Logan Brown?), then we’ve got a real log jam at that position. One way or another I think Hogberg is the odd man out.

      • Also, that switch from Dadanov to Abramov is intriguing. Although I figured Dadanov to be on the 7-3-1 protected and Abramov exposed, it will be interesting to see how this develops over the remaining games. Could they be show-casing Abromov for the draft – or is it a case of getting to see him perform over a strech of games before making a final decision? The wheels turn …

    • George, I tip my hat to your Sens. Well coached and full of pee and vinegar. Full marks for the win.

      Meanwhile my guys went for a pee and never returned …

      • The more I look at it the more I am certain they it will either be Dadonov/Brown or Dadonov/Teirney that they expose. I don’t think the Sens would mind losing Dadonov and his cap in order to have a little extra flexibility for their future and to see if they can nab a depth right wing or even top 6 RW in free agency (not that there is a lot coming).

        I also think it could be worth noting, that even with the logjam, guys like Colin White shift and can play on the RW. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing overall, if say Pinto & L. Brown both show they are ready to play or if we create a larger log jam by shifting Stutzle to center.

        It feels almost silly that we have so many options available to us right now. I also don’t think it is out of the realm of possibilities that the Sens offer an entice on Murray for Seattle. They may be willing to risk a Forsberg/Gustavsson/Daccord rotation next year. Not sure it would be the right call, but I don’t count anything out.

    • DJ Smith should be considered for coach of the year.

      He has out coached teams many times this season with his extremely young, extremely inexperienced lineup & a rotation of mainly castoff goaltenders.

      The message he is selling is without a doubt being bought by his players.

  3. This is what happens when teams are left to police themselves. Did anybody not see that coming?

    As mentioned to the point of Nauseam last night, had Wilson been suspended ONE game none of this takes place.

    Probably in the best interest for Washington to have left Wilson at home last night. Good on the Rangers organization for this response to their star player being rag dolled with no disciplinary action. Someone had to do SOMETHING other than give Wilson a stern talking to.

    It will be interesting to see the Parros / NHL response to that Buchnevich cross check to the face of Mantha.

    How do you suspend Buchnevich and save face ? Buchnevich played the most undisciplined / angry game I’ve ever seen him play. Can you really blame the guy?

    The NHL needs to do a better job of protecting their players, or you’ll see more of the same. And I don’t mean just the Mcdavids, Crosby’s, of the game. I mean ever player.

    • The whole of story is not being told about the Buchnevich/Mantha incident IMHO.

      I saw what was happening on the ice prior to that incident. Mantha was hacking, slashing & spearing Buchnevich in the legs & ankles on several occasions prior to. If I saw the crosscheck correctly, it was Mantha coming at Buchnevich who finally blew a fuse.

      I am not condoning Buchnevich’s actions, but this is what happens when the officials on the ice cannot control the play.

      The NHL is a copycat league, if the Caps win with style of game, many teams will try to replicate that style of game & set the league’s already sketchy image back by several decades.

  4. As much as I dislike Washington right now, happy for one of their guys that I do like. Condolences to Oshie family and congrats on 1st game back hatty. Missed most of convos yesterday but would like to clarify Wilson scrum. Wilson punched a prone Buchnevich, who was already taken down by a defenseman. Strome then tried to pull Wilson off and was taken down by another Caps player. Enter Wilson again, who began to punch Strome. Panarin then grabbed Wilson, he didn’t “jump” on him! Watch replay. He was lifted off his feet as the bigger, stronger Wilson stood up. What happened after was a disgrace. This would’ve just been a typical after the whistle pushing and shoving match. Only difference was Wilson, who entered fray with only intention being to let off steam by punching anyone and everyone he could.

  5. I was looking at the standings and see that Arz is eliminated but Blues weren’t showing as confirmed for making the playoffs???? It took this slow mind a bit of time to realize that Kings could still (doubtful but mathematically possible) make it in

    The discrepancy in GR is throwing the standings perception a curve….. for instance the following statement is technically true….. “The Pen’s can finish their season in First, but end up not even having home ice advantage “….Bruins and Caps have 2 games each AFTER Pen’s season ends

    Here is another weird but true statement…. “After Pens season has finished, Canucks are guaranteed to be in last place in the North, but can still make the playoffs”…. as at Pens season end (Saturday about dinner time); ‘Nucks will have 8 full games yet to play ; will be (at dinner time on Sat) in last….. but “can” get to 59 points (would need to win out so not happen’ , but “could”) and Habs are at 57 now….. crazy days

    NHL has said they may start playoffs in other Divs before North finishes….. that’ll screw up draft pools….. who do you pick in late rounds (usually take a 9th rounder or 19th rounder [of 10 rounds] pick of a leading scorer on a team you know will be eliminated in first round [that player likely to get more points in 4 games than available depth player/7th DMan on the team you believe is winning the cup…. let’s say Vancouver get’s in…. I’d pick Boesser in the 7th round if say Knights only had say McNabb and Holden left available ; Avs only had Nemeth and Belmaere left; and Bolts only had Savard and McDonnaugh left….Boeser should get more points in 4 games than those guys get in 24 or 25

  6. Rangers v Caps…. well … expected but not that much that early…. still not deterring Wilson… I’m not convinced of a true UBI…. probably sore knuckles … coach probably said…. sit it out…. otherwise you’ll end up in a position we’re you could get suspended….. Mofo should have ALREADY been suspended… the Buch punch (while prone and face down) alone (in conjunction with Wilson history… that right there is suspension….. in summary…. almost all of those fights last night were caused by one man…. whose actual title needs to be changed to “Head of Department of Player Endangerment”…. there is no way that his collective decisions this year have made players safe

    What’s he going to do re Buch and the cross check to Mantha’s face…. suspension or fine (which by league rules will be max $5 K )…. makes Wilson decision an even further mockery; do nothing… open season on cross-checks to the face

    Ghost got 2 games…. a proper suspension… Wilson got fined 🤬😡💩🤬😡💩👎👎👎👎👎

    Parros has destroyed confidence in the system

    Can you imagine if Paul Kariya was in that position instead…. Wilson would have been gone for life just for the Carlo hit

    Fire Parros, ban Wilson

    • Pengy, agree on both. Tired of hearing about Parros college education. The guy was an enforcer. I recall seeing he had over 160 majors in his career. I’d say he’s taken more punches to the head than Ali ever did. What exactly was Wilson doing out there anyway? Does he usually kill penalties? Maybe Laviolette should’ve been fined as well. As I’ve stated before, Wilson was incensed by earlier roughing call where Rangers ended up scoring on PP. Laviolette spent a minute screaming at refs and basically did his usual enabling act, sending Wilson back out there to wreak havoc. I’ve seen many a Ranger game where taking a bad penalty in offensive zone gets a player benched. Not Caps coach. He encourages Wilson’s antics.

  7. “ Blackhawks TV analyst Ed Olczyk will become the lead NHL game analyst for Turner Sports. ”…. congrats Eddie O

    Can we have a guarantee the Maguire will NOT be seen or heard on any NHL broadcasts over the next decade 🤞🙏🤞🙏🤞🙏

    • Hear Hear!!!!!

    • Along with being a VG hockey analyst Ed Olczyk is a VG racehorse handicapper…

      • I watch him every year on the Derby broadcast

  8. I actually like Ottawa and George knows I really admire Dorian.

    But it feels a little like decades of the Leafs. When the play offs are settled and other teams were in and Leafs were out. The Leafs started to win and Leaf fans started to dream in technicolor of the next season.

    To their upcoming dismay.

    • The difference, Old Blue Dog, is that, unlike those Leafs teams which were always festooned with veterans looking for contract renewals, this Senators team is doing it with a roster full of high-end rookie prospects – the result of some very good scouting and drafting (and trades).

    • Yeah George you’re thinking of a worse Leafs team…remember there have been a lot. I think he means the current edition.

      Anyway, don’t buy into a young team just yet. You were warned…oh and I don’t mean they are gonna suck but they will break your heart when you know they should win but don’t because they should of won.

      Good times ahead.

      • Oh don’t get me wrong – I know that all those young kids are not going to become keepers – there will be some sophomore flops – history clearly proves that. Just that I’ll be more happy to see them going into a new season with mostly promise than dragging along a few tired old veterans playing out the string – as they did this season.

        As for the current Leafs, I don’t see them breaking any hearts – for older legs like Thornton, Spezza, Brodie etc., having played a condensed 56 game schedule is a lot better than having gone through an 82-game grind with a lot more travel in between.

        When they hit the playoffs they know it will be their last kick at a Cup and so I think they’ll surprise more than a few along the way. Edmonton is their biggest road block to come out of the North – but they’ve played them pretty evenly over the season. Just concentrate on limiting McDavid and Draisaitl as much as possible and they should win it all up here.

        How things go from there will depend on a lot of factors – will they be able to play any games at home? if not, do they get a neutral site where they can be comfortable. And, of course, who they get in those quarter finals.

        Vegas and Colorado are the cream of the crop, followed closely by Carolina and Tampa Bay (I’m not sold on the Panthers).

  9. Two of Pitsburgh Washington Boston and Islanders will be gone after first round very fortunate for other divisions. To bad they didn’t do cross over to the North with matches like Toronto vs Islanders and a Boston Vs Edmonton. Tired of watching same teams playing each other.

  10. Mantha got what he asked for last night from Buchnevich but the Caps will cry like little babies … Parros boxed himself into a corner, interesting to see what happens here … it was viscous and warrants a suspension imo …

    I thought the Rangers gained respect last night even though most of those guys are not known for fighting … my only disappointment was that Garnet Hathaway didn’t get pummeled like he deserves to be …

    • Ed, agree!!! I think Hathaway gets under my skin more than Wilson! Disappointed Rangers didn’t bring up Geertson from AHL. Buch definitely should get at least a game.

      • Wilson would’ve cleaned Geertson’s clock……

        the Rangers just dont have anyone in that department but I’m sure that will change this offseason for them

  11. Wondering how many people tuned into the Ranger vs Capital game.

    We all knew what was going to happen and it did.

    Disgrace yes but people tuned in just to see.

    Go on YouTube and see how many views.

    I seen one media tweet that read ” If your going to play hockey I’m turning the channel. ”

    This is not me agreeing with it, but wierd that people seek out the violence.

  12. As far as Ottawa goes, I don’t put much stock into what they’re doing.

    Team is competitive yes, give up a ton of goals, not expected to win.

    There is no pressure in Ottawa to do anything, their having fun.

    Next season the expectations change and there was be pressure to win and grow as a team.

    Let’s see what they can do with new expectations.

    I don’t see them as a playoff team next year but will provide competitive hockey.

    • The only “stock” one should absolutely give is they are going in the right direction and so far so good. Their fans should be thrilled because the future is looking brighter than it has in years.

      • Well it was 2017 that they were one game away from the finals.

        I wouldn’t call that years.

        It was a very good team. The players that left and what they were able to do in a short time is impressive. But we’ll see what the next 3yrs look like.

      • George O there is a different level when the expectation changes and winning is expected.

        That is the next level, now there playing injured teams and the role of spoilers it fun time.

        Personally i hoping Drake Batherson has a great career as his Dad family are from Cape Breton and the small town of North Sydney. So we claim him as our own.

      • He also works out in the off-season with Crosby, Marchand and MacKinnon – so if anything rubs off from them it can only be good 🙂

    • Caper, no one would be putting ANY stock into what they are doing had they continued with the way they performed over the first 15 games – 2-12-1 28gf 52ga.

      Since then they’ve played41 games and have gone 19 15 4 with 120gf and 127ga.

      41 games isn’t exactly just playing well down the home stretch. The hole they dug for themselves in the first 12 – while playing a clutch of tired old veterans and receiving less than adequate goaltending was too much to overcome – but even so, had they not gone 0-10 against the Oilers and had managed anything close to a .500 split, they’d be in the playoff picture now.

      You’re not impressed – that’s fine, that’s your prerogative, but forgive a few of us if we choose to see a light at the end of the tunnel based upon the performances of our top picks over the past 3 years. Will some falter? Probably. As I say elsewhere the sophomore jinx is very real. And I haven’t seen anyone say they think they WILL be in the playoff mix next year. But I will go on record as saying they are going to be a bigger handful for a lot of teams than many expect and that there will be more teams behind them in points when the season ends than there will be in front of them.

      • This exactly! Our horrible start to the year is masking the progress this club has made and how good they have actually been this season. Over the past 35-50 games, the Sens have been playing .500 hockey. 12 of the players in Ottawa are 25 or under, not including goaltenders. Dadonov is the only player on the whole team over 30 now who plays a regular role.

        I’m not writing home and saying the Stanley Cup is coming to Ottawa in the next two years. But this team is already more competitive than what people are saying and have a lot of room to grow. We haven’s seen the best of Stutzle yet. Norris, when you look at his EV stats is playing ELITE hockey. Pinto has already proven that at such a young age, he will be at worst a very good 3C with an unknown ceiling. Batherson is finally getting a chance and our young defense is stepping up, our goaltenders look promising.

        Some of these will surely let us down (thinking like Colin White). But we are a competitive team and this team could contend for a playoff position as early as next season. We may stumble along the way, but our direction is very good and our future is still full of potential.

    • Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal will go back to playing Boston and Tampa Bay next year and that might temper expectations a bit. I was really pumped about the North division but I have to say that it will be good to have some variety next year. I’m sure the players can’t wait to get back to a regular schedule.

  13. when I watch Hathaway playing I’m thinking of Sean Avery & Matt Cooke ..

  14. My prediction that Parros will quietly resign soemtime mid-summer, that’s how sports leagues work. they can’t admit they blew it but I imagine Parros is on his way out when things die down.

    • I would prefer a committee of people made up of the likes of; Bob Gainey, Pat Lafontaine, Brian Trottier, Keith Primeau, Brian Leetch, Chris Draper & Trevor Linden, or reasonable facsimiles instead of fringe players making up a committee.

      • Uwey, as the old saying goes, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Anyway, I don’t think the NHL would be keen on paying the salaries of a group. But I agree. What needs to be done is to appoint someone like a Bob Gainey – not necessarily someone who was a major offensive force throughout his career, but someone like Gainey – but younger – who had a long career and was respected throughout the league for his honest, hard-working approach to the game.

        Surely there are a number of those still around rather than settling on a one-dimensional goon – regardless of his college credentials.

      • Yup, someone like a Shane Doan would fit the bill.

      • Perfect example DoubleMinor.

      • Agreed DoubleMinor