NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2021

by | May 9, 2021 | News, NHL | 38 comments

Connor McDavid reaches 100 points in 53 games, the Leafs and Penguins secure division titles, the Predators clinch a playoff spot, John Tortorella reportedly won’t return next season as Blue Jackets coach, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reached 100 points in his 53rd game of the season in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. McDavid had a goal and three assists to become the first player to score at least 100 points in the same number of games since Mario Lemieux (126 points) and Jaromir Jagr (101) in 1995-96. Teammate Leon Draisaitl scored twice to reach his 500th career point. With 68 points, the Oilers are assured of second place in the Scotia North Division.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a remarkable achievement by McDavid. He’s the favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy this season as the most valuable player.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won its first division title in 21 years with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, preventing the latter from clinching a playoff spot. The Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit with second-period goals by Peter Engvall, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. They sit atop the North Division with 76 points. The Canadiens played without center Phillip Danault, who suffered a concussion during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montreal holds a 10-point lead over the Calgary Flames but the latter has three games in hand while the Canadiens have two games left in the schedule. The Habs need just one point or the Flames to lose one of their remaining games to clinch a playoff berth.

Ottawa Senators rookie Tim Stutzle tallied his first career hat trick as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Mark Scheifele tallied his 200th career goal for the Jets (57 points), who remain just two points ahead of the fourth-place Canadiens.

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched first place in the MassMutual East Division by blanking the Buffalo Sabres 1-0. Maxime Legace made 26 saves for the shutout while Jeff Carter scored the only goal. The Penguins finish the season with 77 points, two up on the Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter’s offense has really picked up since the Penguins acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline. After collecting just 19 points in 40 games with the Kings, Carter has nine goals and 11 points in 14 games with the Penguins.

An overtime goal by Conor Sheary saw the Capitals squeak past the Washington Capitals 2-1. Craig Anderson kicked out 28 shots for the win as the Capitals sit four points ahead of the third-place Boston Bruins.

The Bruins, meanwhile, dropped a 5-4 decision to the New York Rangers. Mika Zibanejad scored twice, including his 200th career goal while Boston winger David Pastrnak also tallied the 200th of his career. The Bruins (71 points) hold a one-point lead over the New York Islanders with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Islanders, they got two goals from Brock Nelson to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist for the fourth-place Isles.

The Nashville Predators clinched the final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Luke Kunin scored two goals for the Predators (62 points), who will face the Hurricanes in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one saw the Predators in this position two months ago. A six-game winning streak in late March sparked an impressive season-saving surge in the standings.

A hat trick by Alexander Wennberg carried the Florida Panthers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. The Panthers (77 points) have won five straight games to move two points ahead of the Lightning into second place in the Central. These two teams will face off in the opening round of the playoffs. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman missed this game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports Hedman’s been dealing with this injury since March 30 and he could face surgery following the playoffs. A hobbled Hedman will affect the Lightning’s efforts to successfully defend their Stanley Cup title.

The Vegas Golden Knights maintained their lead atop the Honda West Division with a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Reilly Smith netted his first career hat trick as the Golden Knights (80 points) hold a four-point lead over the second-place Colorado Avalanche.

Defenseman Devon Toews scored twice as the Avalanche nipped the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Andre Burakovsky extended his points streak to five games with two assists. The Avs (76 points) sit one point ahead of the third-place Minnesota Wild with a game in hand.

An overtime goal by Victor Rask gave the Wild a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. It was the final game of Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller’s NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild saluted Miller following the game by lining up to shake his hand. He ends his career with 391 victories, a 2.64 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and 44 shutouts.

Phil Kessel scored in overtime in his 900th consecutive game as the Arizona Coyotes downed the San Jose Sharks 5-4. Kessel also reached the 20-goal mark for the 12th time in his career.

An overtime goal by Max Domi lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Detroit Red Wings 5-4. Seth Jones collected three assists for the Jackets.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline cites sources saying John Tortorella won’t be returning as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets next season. His contract expires after this season. Tortorella is the winningest coach in franchise history, guiding them to four playoff appearances in six seasons, including the first playoff series win in franchise history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella won the second of his Jack Adams Awards in 2016-17 for his efforts in getting the Jackets into the playoffs that season. However, the club struggled throughout most of this season, sparking speculation some of the players were growing weary of his demanding ways. He reportedly intends to continue his NHL coaching career.

NHL.COM: The league will relax its COVID-19 restrictions on fully vaccinated teams and players for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

TSN: Some players on Canadian teams have started receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with Canadian federal and provincial protocols. The Toronto Maple Leafs will begin receiving their shots today.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Brett Connolly are both in the NHL’s concussion protocol and won’t complete the club’s final two games of the season.


  1. Big game Rask as usual blows it again. Start Swayman in the playoffs. Never fails with this guy when they need him the most he never delivers.

    • Not sure you can blame Rask. Rangers had a ton of scoring chances. Bruins didn’t give much of an effort in front of him.

    • I really dislike that goalie. I’ll be a happy fan once he leaves.
      To his credit, some of those shots were pretty hard to stop though.

  2. Mcdavid . Wow . I’m not sure which stat is the most impressive but more 3 pt games than 0 point games is a strong one to show how strong his season has been .
    And for those who continue to claim it’s a 1 man show I’ll leave this
    League rank
    Power play 1st
    Penalty kill 11th
    Goals per game 7th
    Goals against per game 9th .
    Great years for mcdavid , Leon , JP , archibald , nurse , Barrie , larsson and smith and solid seasons from a host of others . With cap space looming and prospects like Bouchard , Broberg , samorukov , mcleod , lavoie , Holloway all steaming up the pipeline . Good time to be an oilers fan .
    I don’t view them as a top contender THIS season but I do group them in the second tier of contenders and not too far off the top group including the likes of Vegas , Tampa bay , Colorado and possibly Carolina but with mcdavid and Leon they have a punchers chance

    • Bobby Orr the greatest player to ever lace on a pair skates said it best “ Connor could pass us all”. You could see it in his eyes and his demeanour when he stepped out on that ice he was not going be denied. Brilliant player my fav team the bruins, my favourite player to watch Connor.

      • Craig and RWM

        Best player ever (and my fav all time) Orr…. I played Centre but was so mesmerized as a kid with his ability to play D… I had thought of switching. What a player… he was, and remains, just so far ahead of anybody

        My fav player right now is still Sid; but my fav player to watch… McD… No McIffs McButts or McMaybes …. it is entertainment at the absolute highest level… he never needs to hear “gentlemen start your engines “…. he starts in 5th gear…. then accelerates…. zip zip zip… he’s a Roadrunner on crack… with eyes in the back of his head, thinking the offensive side of game at thrice the speed of others; then add to that the deft touch of stick on puck, tape to tape passes, roof daddies right left and centre

        McD will get the McHart, McArtRoss , and McTedLindsay

    • An impressive number by McD. However, IMO it has to be taken into consideration that he feasted on the Jets, Sens and Canucks for 27 games or so, something that won’t happen if things get back to normal next season. He’ll be playing more games against teams that know how to play defense with real defensemen ie.Vegas etc.

      • You forgot Montreal in that “etc”

  3. Happy Mother’s Day to all Mother’s posting here; and to all others… Happy Mother’s Day to your mother’s, wives; spouses; daughters

    • I should have added this , I second that pengy

  4. McWow… again….why take your time at getting to 100…. casually over 4 remaining games…. when you can do it in 2 periods…. holy smokes Batman

    82 game pace of 155 points. 29 points in last 10 games. WOW

    Leon… gets his 500th point

    Oil already know that they are in and hosting… rest McD and Leon… avoid injury

    Happy day for me…. both my fav teams clinched first…. I thought Suzuki was going to tie it late 🤯, and great work by Legace… shutout👍👍👍👍.

    Leafs… rest AM and MM….. don’t want injuries.

    Carter…. fantastic pick up. 👍👍👍👍

    Under no circumstances can Sully play Ruhweedel in the playoffs… I have no idea why he put Ruhweedel in for Friedman. No idea. If Friedman was ailing (I’d not heard that)… then Riikola should have gone in. CR almost cost them not 1, not 2 , but 3 goals against. Kudos abound to Max for saving the day. 👍👍👍First NHL shutout ever👍👍👍😲

    When was the last time that a Presidents trophy comes down to a head-to-head game , with Div rivals; in the 2nd last game of their season…. that just could be the case … Knights beating Avs Mon gets Knights the Prez trophy… Avs win in reg… they can still get Prez trophy 😎😎😎

    • Has anybody heard yet re Semi match-ups? Which Div plays which Div?

      Will make a big diff re draft pools

    • Let’s just add another weird spin to this season

      7 teams have finished their regular season; yet the 29th placed team in the league (points …, as at right now); can STILL make the playoffs 🤪🤓🥸😎

  5. Great achievement by McDavid but don’t forget it was done playing against the same 6 teams all season.

    Does he achieve this remarkable number in a usual 82 game schedule.

    Next season will tell.

    • so did Draisaitl – and he’s 21 pts behind
      so did Marner and Marchand (same 7 teams) and they’re 33 pts behind
      so didMatthews and MacKinnon (same 7 teams) and they’re 35 pts behind

      and on and on

      Condensed divisions – full schedule – he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the pack

      • No way McDavid scores 155pts next season.

        Yes I will put my money where my mouth is.

        $1000 per bet

      • Can someone remind me again how many teams orr played against in a season? Oh, wasn’t it five? but He got 100 points in 53 games, it’s amazing. I don’t think anyone’s point totals increased because of the teams they aren’t playing against as much as their points totals might be increased by the familiarity of the teams they do play over and over again, but you can’t argue against 100 points in so few games

      • And no one else will hit 100. So what?

    • There is no taking away what McDavid has accomplished. Sure, he avoided playing some top teams this year but he also missed playing some pretty weak teams. And the condensed schedule didn’t make it easy.
      100 points in 53 games works out to 155 over 82. That would be tied for 14th most in NHL history with Steve Yzerman’s 1988-89 season. In case anyone was wondering, a couple of guys named Gretzky and Lemieux take up the top 13 spots.
      Happy Mother’s Day to my wife and to all the wonderful Moms out there. Special shout out to the Hockey Moms.

    • So Matthew play against the same 6 teams so does that mean his 40 goals mean nothing like u said about McDavid 100 points

    • The same can be said for Marchant, MacKinnon, Crosby, etc. Let’s quit trying to water down McDavid’s accomplishments this year. He’d be the star in the league above the NHL if there were one.

    • I doubt they’ll cancel any games as the results could affect draft lottery %

    • George O, it isn’t as simple as that.

      I’ll bet my bottom dollar he does not repeat next year.

      Head and shoulders no, not really. 32pts on the PP

      Matthew does not get enough credit for being head and shoulders against the rest for scoring 40 goals.

      As I said he won’t repeat when he has to play the best in other division.

      Remarkable fest yes but * applies.

  6. Rask sucked yesterday. Good thing he had his rest.

    • Attaboy Cappy all these journalists and broadcasters saying the blame doesn’t rest on Rask are nuts, the first two periods the bruins looked pretty dominant the roof caved in the third it’s up to Rask to hold the Fort, & once again he proved under pressure he can’t do it. Let him and Halak walk go with Swayman & Vlad. I played hockey up my late teens I wasn’t good enough to make the ohl And sometimes I played in pain as well as working in pain and sickness I can’t stand Rask he’s a taker not a giver. Johnny Bucyk said he saw Orr play with some horrible injuries he didn’t even know how he made it on the ice. When I think of supreme effort guys like Orr Bergy made & guys like Sawchuck and see Rask not available games because he filled up on chicken wings and beer the night before the most important game of the year a number of years back. I get sick to my stomach. Yeah Rask is good reg season goalie, howeverin the playoffs he never seems to have the drive or ambition.

      • I don’t get the Rask hate and that he jokes.
        2019 playoffs, got to game 7 and lost.
        2019 Playoff #’s – 2..02 GAA. 934 sv%. (Better #’s than Binnington)
        15W vs 9L.
        What a choker.
        Won the Vezina in 2013/14.
        In those playoffs he choked to with a 1.98
        GAA and .928 sv%
        12 &7.
        The year before he sucked to with a 14&8 record .940 sv% and 1.88 GAA.

        Perhaps you are simply just angry because he left the bubble to be with his sick young child?

        Rask is a great tender and has played exceptionally well in the playoffs.
        The #’s don’t lie.

  7. Alex Belzile played a very good game last night, looked good against each line and had a primary assist.

    Who’s Alex Belzile?


    Hab fans know he’s an undrafted 29 y/o who has earned a spot through vim and vigor but not an NHLer.

    TML won the game which was much closer than expected and indicative of an unknown playoff.

    TML are short some players but to be honest a team missing Byron, Danault, Drouin, Gallagher, Weber and Price is a shadow of itself playing down the stretch limping into the playoffs.

    There is clearly a strategy of resting or not rushing players back from injury that remains to be seen if it will be effective.

    • Have your drink of choice at hand habfan30. It is not a given that the Habs will make the playoffs. I liked their gutty performance last night with such a depleted line up but they still need one point in the next two games. It is unlikely but possible that the Flames or Canucks can win out.

      And if they do there is no falling back on injuries as an excuse. The team was healthy during their extended funk two months ago. It’s up to them now, banged up or not.

  8. As I have predicted first month into the season, TO vs MON and EDM vs WIN. Eventually having McDavid vs Mathews and Mathews go on to win his first STANLEY. Exciting times. Go Leafs Go

    • I never understood those “i told you so’s.” Do most folks tune them out the first time and tune them out the second time too?

      • I do

  9. If Ottawa eliminates Calgary from the playoffs tonight, does the NHL cancel the final games against Canucks to move along with the playoffs or

    Start the playoffs and still let Calgary and Vancouver finish the season.

    If all seatings are finalized and McDavid has his 100pts cancel Saturday game
    Or play it to see if Connor can get to 112pts.

    Does other divisions start and the North catch up later.

    • A couple of things to consider before cancelling the final games, Caper, one would be local TV contracts and the other would be bonus clauses in players’ contracts.
      I hope they do cancel those games if they are meaningless but they probably won’t….. and some players will get injured and stuff like that.

    • Posted above in the wrong location, Caper … as I said above, it’s doubtful that any games get cancelled because that will skew the % chances at the lottery for non-playoff teams, some of which can still move up or down 3 or 4 positions, it’s that close.

      • That makes sense George.

  10. The sky is falling in Boston yet again ..

    how the Pittsburgh Penguins won that division, especially with all of the injuries is beyond belief … I totally underestimated that team but now is when it counts … another first round loss and I can see major changes to the “core” …

    and what is happening is exactly what I was afraid of … too much time between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs …

  11. While the achievements of McD and AM aren’t historic they are incredible.
    They aren’t “feasting on the North” at all.
    Each division has defensively weak teams that allow much more goals.

    Avg Team GA by div:

    Central- 1264 GA avg, 158
    East- 1320 GA avg, 165
    West- 1273 GA, avg 159
    North- 1085 GA, avg 155.

    Feasting on the weak North shows it not only isn’t weak it’s right in line with the rest of the league and that includes the brutal time zones.

  12. Amazing job McDavid!

    Another win in Ottawa against one of the better teams in the division. Stutzle shows that amazing creativity, Brown continues to have an excellent seasons, and Gustavsson turns in another strong game. Pinto also shows he is probably just coming right to the NHL next season.

    I’m starting to ask myself if Gustavsson might go into next year the defacto starter!? Sens continue to put it together and move forward in their development.

    Let’s hope for no sophomore slumps next year.