NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2021

by | Jun 10, 2021 | News, NHL | 39 comments

The Islanders advance to the semifinals, the Norris Trophy finalists are announced, plus the latest on Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders advanced to the semifinals of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 6-2 victory over the Boston Bruins to end their series in six games. Brock Nelson scored two second-period goals to snap a 1-1 tie while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the win. Brad Marchand tallied both Bruins goals. The Isles face the Tampa Bay Lighting for the second straight year in the third round.

New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders were the better team in this series. They took control of this game in the second on those goals by Nelson with Kyle Palmieri making it 4-1 in the final minutes of the frame.

The Bruins were without sidelined defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller. Goaltender Tuukka Rask acknowledged he was hampered by a nagging injury, raising questions over coach Bruce Cassidy’s decision to play him in this crucial game.

Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are this year’s finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele still doesn’t believe he deserved a four-game suspension for charging Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans during their second-round series. “I thought I was going to be tried to be shut down by (Canadiens center) Phillip Danault,” said Scheifele. “Instead it was the Department of Player Safety that shut me down.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele shut himself down. He let his frustration get the better of him. Rather than accept the Game 1 loss and put the focus on rallying back in Game 2, he made a reckless hit that took himself out of the series. It contributed to the Jets getting swept from the second round by the Canadiens. Scheifele’s suspension is his fault. The sooner he accepts it the better.

Speaking of Evans, he resumed off-ice training yesterday after suffering a concussion from Scheifele’s hit that sidelined him for the rest of the second-round series. There’s no timeline for his return to play but Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said he could return at some point in the semifinals. Defenseman Jeff Petry could also return for the semis after injuring his right hand in Game 3 against the Jets.

SPORTSNET: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers claims he felt 100 percent during the playoffs but revealed he suffered a posterior labrum tear in his shoulder and a first-rib cartilage fracture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injuries affected Ehlers’ play as he managed just three points in six games. He enjoyed perhaps the best performance of his career during the regular season, tallying 46 points in 47 games.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin hired Ray Shero as senior advisor. Shero is the former general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks hired former Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Shaw as an assistant coach. He’s expected to help the Canucks improve their porous defense.

THE SCORE: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban will serve as an ESPN in-studio NHL analyst for the remainder of the playoffs. The company is also reportedly hiring NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, as well as A.J. Mleczko Griswold and Ryan Callahan. Turner Sports, meanwhile, is bringing about NBC/Sportsnet analyst Anson Carter.


  1. Rask’s used up his last of his nine lives he won’t be a bruin next season krecji unless he goes for at least three cut gone Miller and debrusk gone. I didn’t watch the game last night I knew what the result would be Should have put in Swayman. Same ole same ole. The Isles won’t get by Tampa after what I saw against the canes. Vegas vs Tampa for the cup. Tampa wins again

    • If the Islanders and their relentless forecheck and smothering D – backstopped by a good goalie – can’t get by Tampa, perhaps it’s just as well that Boston didn’t advance because that could have been an embarrassment of extreme magnitude – even with Swayman in nets.

      Grzelcyk looked lost out there and the one-line team simply couldn’t do it all. After them the Bruins had nothing threatening up front.

    • Rask is not the one to blame. The Bruins weak team defense is what did them in. It seems that on all of the Islander goals, the shooter was left free in the slot or right in front of the net.

  2. Pageau was excellent in the B’s vs. Isles series and the Isles 4th line is my favorite grind line in the NHL.

    Thinking Hall punched his ticket out of Boston. When the going gets tough he is not noticeable.

    • Hall might stay but those last games devalued his next salary

      • How low can he go … or put another way, how high are teams willing to go for yet another who can put up big numbers in a clutch of nothing seasonal blowouts, but who just hasn’t been able to do it when the going gets tough?

        From a highwater mark of $6 mil per to a series of “show me” contracts, I wouldn’t bring him in at anything over $2 mil on a 3-year deal. And before anyone points to his 39 goal 93 point season in NJ, preceded by a 27g 53a 90 pts one in Edmonton in 2013-14, I remind you that Jonathan CheeChoo once had 56g 37a 93 pts in San Jose in 2005-06, followed by a 37g 32a 69 pts. A few short years later he was in the KHL.

      • George, Cheechoo had those numbers with Thornton in his prime and Marleau in his prime.
        Then in Ottawa
        Hall had those numbers with Zajac and palmieri.
        Not sure if that is a fair comparison.
        Hall isn’t getting 8M per but I would venture somewhere are 6-7M

      • Hall is the poster boy for all that glitters … He has been injury plagued for four of the last five seasons. His last big season was 2017. Yes, this season was short, but 8 million should get you way more than 10 goals. And against the Isles he scored 10 less than that.

      • Yes, CheeChoo played with some very good linemates … but he produced thanks to that and so, for the time anyway, received good coin. Then he could never repeat it.

        So did Hall in Edmonton – and while you can’t compare Palmieri and Zajac to Thornton and Marleau, they were no slouches either. Hall’s never been able to come close to that season since. And look at what Palmieri has been doing for the Islanders.

        If some GM meets Hall’s demand for a longer term and gives him anything over $2 mil per, they better not be counting on clutch performances. Should he leave Boston – or if they decline his services – wherever he winds up will be his 5th team since leaving Edmonton (unless Holland brings him back 🙂 ).

    • Fergy22 – Pageau was THE most lamentable loss among the Senators purge of recent years – Stone too, but unlike Stone, who turned down as good an offer as he got in Vegas because he didn’t want to go through a re-build, Pageau never asked to leave.

      He does it all game in game out and so far in this playoffs he’s played 12 games with 3g 10a 13 pts and is a +10.

      • George, as someone living in Ottawa I am fairly exposed to sens talk. That team on paper was unbelievable, not sure how things unfolded the way they did.

      • agreed George , he has improved every year since coming into the league. JGP can play up and down the lineup and also does not shy away from a bump and grind game. Very affordable cap hit.
        Taz , the Sens let talent go , the organization took heat but they did a nice job restocking with the picks obtained. While Karlsson , Duchene and Stone leaving left a bad taste in some fans mouths I bet those fans feel different today seeing the return & the performance of those draft picks in addition to the poor performance of Karlsson and Duchene. The team would have been hamstrung for years to come if they would have signed them.
        Now while saying all this Melnyk needs to hold true to his commitment and spend $ to retain talent.

      • No doubt Fergy, Ottawa will be a force to come for many years if all works out.
        Brady Tkachuk seems like the next Marchand but bigger. Won’t be long before we see 4-5 sens going in the top 30 of fantasy drafts.

  3. said Scheifele. “Instead it was the Department of Player Safety that shut me down.”

    He shut himself down and is still delusional about it.

    The sky is falling today in Boston. Those three first round picks that Don Sweeney whiffed on a few years ago is killing them. Their head of scouting really let him down. Passed on Barzal which, granted a lot of teams did but this one came back to bite him. Rask wasn’t great but this is what happens when a team relies on one line to score. You win a round but never make a deep run.

    • Agree on Sheife…

      Bruins same issue of depth that keeps haunting them. It is also the injuries… being healthy sometimes puts you over the edge this time of year. The Isles lost an important player BEFORE the trade deadline and replaced him. Other than Wahlstrom(3rd line) they are intact

    • He has a companion in delusion, Ed. Hellybucyk has declared that the Jets are close to a dynasty.

      I get that losing hurts and that the Jets underperformance in the playoffs is getting to them, but man, if those two represent the collective mindset of the Jets, look out Winnipeg.

  4. Great comments on Hall, George. On last night’s game, the Bruins came out flying then quickly ran out of gas. The Isles beat them to the puck all over the place and deserved the win.

    While I agree with Rick on one level, that Tampa will be exceedingly difficult to beat, this Isles team is a machine that I’m enjoying cheering on. If they didn’t have a chance of winning, they wouldn’t still be hanging around.

    • I agree Rock. Writing them off before the series even starts is not wise. They play 100% to the “don’t panic – stay the course” system instilled by Trotz, and Lamoriello makes sure he has all the ingredients needed to play to that system.

      Whereas many teams go into panic mode in the playoffs if they fall behind early in a game, the Islanders just keep the same relentless pace without change … and that can lead to some opposition frustration if they’re used to the other team trying to open up, because it’s at that stage they realize they are going to have to work hard, every shift, for the full 60 minutes. And some fail the task.

      • And through this playoffs the Bolts have certainly shown moments when they forget that it is playoffs. The shear talent they have has carried them through. Is there a good chance they beat the Islanders? Yup, I’d call them the favourites… The Bolts should prepare for the Islanders that showed up when facing elimination last year. The guy check Islanders. They are deeper, better goaltending, better checking, better defense … just an all around more complete team.

  5. Said Scheifele I thought I was going to be tried to be shut down by (Canadiens center) Phillip Danault”

    That’s exactly what happened as Danault shut him down and frustrated him all night.
    He was losing his cool and displayed it as the night wore on in skirmishes after the whistle.

    We all saw it and we get frustration, lashing out, McD gives a hard elbow now and then, Matthews gives crosschecks here and there, illegal hits but within the boundaries of the game.

    Scheifele has to put his big boy pants on and take responsibility instead of blaming DOPS and now the media for not pumping the Jets tires.

    He also said “the way you handle setbacks is what defines us so that’s the mentality I’m taking.”

    He’s defining himself as delusional.

    • habsfan , do you think Danault has finally accepted that his future role on the Habs is as a shutdown Dman ( a la Carbonneau ) ? he is a valued member of the team just not as a 1-2 center IMO

      • Fergy22,
        I think that the whole Danault thing is taken out of context.

        The line of Danault, Gallagher and Tatar spent two years covering and outscoring the best lines in hockey.

        Gallagher and Tatar aren’t considered defensive specialists only and I think that’s what Danault was trying to express, that he is integral to the Habs top scoring line.

        I think that Ducharme, Bergevin and Danault recognize exactly how valuable he is.

      • I hope so Fergy. After this playoff performance all NHL teams interested in him will want him to play/ be that role. The money will only follow him as the player he has proven him can be, not unproven dreams he might have. If his agent has any sense, they will work to convince to get him to see that. Habs fans love him in this role. They value him in this role. I think if he resigns with Montreal, it will be in part because he has accepted this role.

      • Let’s hope that Danault has accepted this role. Both he and the Habs would be better off if he has. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a solid player and I really like him. But he’ll never be a big point producer and he’s certainly not a goal scorer. In the long run, Suzuki and Kotkaniemi will produce more offensively than he will. Danault is a player who’ll chip in 45-50 points per season while playing solid defense. That type of player is very valuable but he’d be fooling himself to think that he’s capable of more or that anyone would pay him true first line Centre money. I’d say 5 years at $5m. AAV would be fair for both sides.

      • You didn’t ask me, but I am not so sure Danault has accepted his role. He didn’t double back and snap up that 5 million/season offer from the Habs. As Howard points out below he isn’t an offensive contributor and at this point in his career isn’t going to become one.

        I’d like to see him back and can barely tolerate the 5 million. If he wants more, then sadly, goodbye.

      • habsfan x2 , Howard , LJ , all good points. Habs should ask Charbonneau to spend some time with Danault, maybe a day on a lake the two of them fishing, a good place to talk 1-1. People may not know but Carbo was a prolific scorer in Jr and even his first couple of years in the AHL. He was told by Habs management that they needed him to fill the defensive center role, there was a void after Jarvis was traded. He accepted that challenge and became one of the best at it , he had a good career not being the go to offensive guy.

      • I hope Carbo – or anyone else representing the Habs – can get him there Fergy22.

    • What is Sheifele supposed to say when he is asked about the suspension? Is he supposed to lie and say ‘I lost my mind and tried to hurt him?’ or ‘no comment?’ I respect him more than ever for speaking his mind. He used to give vanilla interviews with ‘pucks in deep, linemates so talented, 60 minutes, 110%, etc.’ It seems Wheeler, Copp and maybe Laine have rubbed off on him and he is more confident to say what he is thinking. Until now we had to rely on sages like habsfan to read his mind and post it on social media to know what players were thinking.

      The more I see the check the more I see about what Sheifele did right. stopped skating at the top of the circles, slowed before contact, shoulder in, primary contact was the body (in contrast to what I had initially saw and reported), hit was immediate to the play in a critical area of the ice where clearing the area typically considered to allow heavier contact. Playing the body was a legitimate option in the circumstance, Evans knew the price of cutting to the net. If Evans had missed the net on the wrap then it is a great hockey play by MS and a great hit. If Evans doesn’t get injured it sets the tone for the next game. The hit was clean, wasn’t late, high, it was a new rule charging call for coming back hard to defend. I am not buying what all the mind readers are selling about the alleged psychotic break MS is said to have experienced. He has been a squeaky clean player through his career and been in higher pressure situations often – the shoe doesn’t fit.

      Perhaps he said something in the scrum that incriminated him? That doesn’t make sense either. I am with Sheifele that the suspension was over-the-top and not in line with the play. A fine or single game would have sufficiently appeased reasonable fans who were shocked by the optics of the outcome of the play.

    • Another GM might throw a pile of cash @ Danualt and that team’s fan will boo him when he gets paid $$$$$, shuts down the opposing team top line but gets 30 pts.

    • HabFan30,

      Wow, Schieffele is a noted number one center with no history at all of dirty hits. The hit to Evans was just like the hit to Balzille by Muzzin in the regular season that wasn’t called and shouldn’t have been called. Every team that loses gets chippy toward the end of the game to make an impression that it’s not over. If Shea Weber ran Hyman trying to score on an empty net and got 4 games you’d be furious too. Schiefele is right to protest 4 games – he deserved 2 games at most. And what’s all the crap about frustration and cross checks? Are only Montreal defense men allowed to cross check? When mediocre middle to bottom 6 players hit or cross check it’s just hockey but when stars do it it’s a sign of something wrong? This is playoff hockey where everyone hits and is hit. Matthew’s illegal hits? What are you talking about? He’s up for the Lady Bing? Your comments make me wonder if you know anything about hockey at all or are just another homer who can’t see past their own biases.

  6. I don’t know what the bruins are going to do, virtually no prospect pool and team not good enough to contend

  7. Agee 100% with Scheifele! He is ABSOLUTELY correct. The player safety board is a joke! NO he did not deserve a 4 games suspension based on the players board of safety history with suspensions.

    No Rask should not of played last night or game 5 he wasn’t a 100%. Game 5 was the time to make the change and if Swayman failed you come back with Rask in game 6, with extra rest and a little more time to heal.

    It’s no coincidence that Barzal play took off after the Carlo injury, the Bruins missed him.

    For two games I watched with less then 4 minutes and Cassidy putting the 4th line on the ice, wasting precious moments. Cassidy was out coached and out coached himself by putting Rask in the net in game 5 and 6.

    Matt Grzelcyk was in over his head the last two games and particularly last night, he almost singlehandedly handed the game to the Islanders

    I would protect Lauzon over Grzelcyk in the expansion draft. Matt was suppose to take over Krug role but in the end it was McAvoy getting first PP minutes.

    Taylor Hall 3yrs @ $5m otherwise best of luck.

    Islanders 4th line, awesome; big, strong, physical and clean.

    As i said the other day, i don’t believe Boston or the Islanders have a chance against TB. Now Boston has no chance and the Islanders a little chance.

    • Caper….. Grzelcyk can play in regular season when playoffs roll around he can’t stand up to the pressure of constantly being hit … agree don’t protect him. Right now the Bruins have the #1 line … Coyle & Smith that’s about it on D the only one they can count on is McAvoy …..so that’s 6 players and the rest are expandable….. very worried about Carlo and his health

  8. Bruins FO is going to be very busy this off-season ….the bottom 9 is going to need a makeover and the D needs a rebuild they are a turnover machine that loses coverage constantly

  9. First, may I be allowed to nominate Mark Scheifele for “crybaby of the year?” Admirable that you called it like it is Lyle. Why must he continue to be about me, me, me and how long will he cry about this? He should look in the mirror for the problem, announce to the world that he made a mistake, he’s sorry that he put his team in this position, that he will learn from it and most of all – apologize to Jake Evans and hope he has a full recovery.

    Congrats to the Saints! Oh … um … the Islanders! What a great series! Remember, these were only 2 points apart in the regular season.

    • Will Scheifele be a man (and man up) or a mouse?

      Or has he already answered that question?

      • I think that’s what surprised Evan; Scheifele manning up.

      • Nasdaq40,

        He answered the question with his whining”

        Scheifele said he only felt he had two options: hit Evans, or allow Montreal to score.
        He chose to do both, hit Evans and allow the goal instead.

        The correct answer for a mature individual who is a team leader for a question that he knew was coming was:

        The DOPS made the decision and I respect it, in hindsight I should have made a different choice and wish Jake Evans all the best and a speedy recovery.

        Case closed.

        Instead he replied like a petulant child and is trying to make the punishment the story not his predatory hit.

        FYI this stopped being a story in Montreal last week.

      • Mark is the typical crybaby that thinks it’s never his fault, you never like to see injuries but seeing him unconscious on the ice would make a lot of people grin