NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2021

by | Jun 14, 2021 | News, NHL | 22 comments

The Islanders defeat the Lightning in Game 1 of their semifinal series, Quebec Premier Legault pushing for more fans at Canadiens home games, Stephen Johns retires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A 30-save performance by Semyon Varlamov carried the New York Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their semifinal series. Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders while Lightning forward Brayden Point spoiled Varlamov’s shutout bid. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the Bolts. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Tampa Bay.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid defensive performance by the Islanders in shutting down the Lightning’s potent offense. This game marked just the second time in these playoffs the Bolts were held to just one goal.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Quebec Premier Francois Legault spoke with his public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda, about allowing more fans into the Bell Centre for the Montreal Canadiens’ semifinal home games against the Vegas Golden Knights.

I’m pushing Dr. Arruda but we have to be fair,” said Legault. “We have to look if we can (have) more people (while) respecting the rules that are necessary because we need to go gradually in order not to see a bump (in COVID-19 cases) in the next few weeks.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are currently allowed to admit 2,500 fans to their home games. Perhaps it’ll be doubled to 5,000. This push is linked to the fact the Vegas Golden Knights are now back at full capacity in their arena. However, it’s doubtful we’ll see a full house in the Bell Centre for this series.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Stephen Johns announced his retirement yesterday via Instagram. He detailed his battles with depression after missing considerable playing time to post-traumatic headaches over the last three seasons. He intends to travel across the United States to help people struggling with their mental health.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johns’ playing career was cut short by head injuries. He spent just four seasons in the NHL, with 33 points in 167 games. Best wishes to him in his future endeavors and in his battle with depression.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Eric Gelinas to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level. He last played in the NHL in 2016-17 with the Colorado Avalanche and spent the last three seasons with Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League.



  1. That was painful to watch

    It’s like experiencing root canal

    I had the game taped

    Watched the first period; then after that just FFWD to the goals and watched last 3 minutes

    To me, just not entertaining at all

    It (the “rope-a-dope” / “defensive” / “trap” ) works… Isles won…. but it just does not entertain me, at all

    • Isles played a great road game. They’re not playing to entertain, they’re playing to win.

      • Hi Vincois

        No challenge from me on their strategy. As I said, it worked for them.

        My interpretation is that they are NOT “trying to win”; but are , IMHO, more appropriately defined as trying “not to lose”

        The end result is the same …. they are up 1-0 on Bolts; they advanced against Pens and Bruins with that style…..it’s just extremely tough (I call it “excruciating”) to watch that style

        That’s me though… I like to see goals….4-2 or 4-3 or higher games are great; end-to-end rushes; sustained onslaughts in offence; great grit and determination 👍👍👍👍👍

        Others may like the 1-0; 2-1 games

        To each his own

  2. Varlomov may be the best goalie in the league right now. Having a goalie like that can win you cups.

    • Hi Rick

      Carly did play great, yes

      That said; the stifling defensive style of play shut down the Bolts; and Varly did have clear sight lines on most shots

      Vazy let a five holes in that he’ll want back

      • Varly not Carly

  3. I wonder if after every Lou Lamoriello New York Islanders win; if Brendan Shanahan says “Damn!”

    • Why?
      Ahh forget it, it probably dumb.

    • Lou has always been good at his job, but he did try and keep Tavares in NY. Rumored to be at a minimum of 12M/year. You aren’t doing it Caper, but many fans do give him credit for letting Johnny go. That wasn’t the case.
      This team would look different, and likely still successful, but different and with less depth.
      Sometimes when you lose, you win I guess.
      So would the Leafs.

      • Did you go fishing, Ray?

      • I sure did SOP.
        Fishing was really good, and weather cooperated.
        Highly recommend the area.

        I didn’t see game 5 or 6 for B’s.
        Kind of glad I didn’t.

  4. Same way Lou’s Devil teams won.

    • Don’t forget Uncle Lou’s parting gift to the Leafs – a three year contract to Patrick Marleau.
      Thanks, Uncle Lou.

  5. In Long Island, analytics get thrown out with the trash, along with excess hair (mullets, beards and dandruff).

    Old school.

    Watching these games is like watching paint dry but it wins hockey games.

    • Hi Frank

      I’d rather watch paint dry…. LOL

      BTW, how’s Aunt Sally doing?

  6. It’s an overused cliché but Trotz brings Structure to whomever team he coaches and although it’s boring and mundane and pedestrian his teams are always competitive … and say what you want about Varmy but without Sorokin the Isles are golfing …

  7. Very effective game by the Isles. Don’t count them out in this series, even against a strong Tampa team.
    How about the way Kucherov sold that late penalty call on Brock Nelson! Quite the acting job. Almost as good as the one that got him on LTIR. What are the odds that, once the season is over for Tampa, Kucherov will announce that Nelson’s hit caused a serious injury that’ll keep him out till next year’s playoffs.

    • Ok Howard so you have a hard on for Kucherov. Now say something productive

      • Learn to recognize sarcasm, Shane.

    • I believe it’s Stamkos’s turn to sit out next season to circumvent the cap

  8. We seem to have watched a different game, those who are or aren’t encumbered by pre-conceived notions.

    The shots on goal were even

    In fact the Islanders usually get as many shots on goal.

    Clogging up the middle is something most teams try to do, including TBL.

    NYI doesn’t pinch the D as far or as often.

    Lou gets blamed for Jacques Lemaire’s system that was taken from Scotty Bowman’s cup winning teams.

    The days of head man the puck and skate skate skate are buried in the past.

    TBL cross seam passes, cross rink breakouts and cycle time down low to wear down the D has been emulated by most teams.

    IMO the NYI had more and better scoring opportunities than TBL in this came.

    Varlamov may have won it for the NYI but Vasilevsky kept TBL in it.

    • Good assessment Habfan. The Islanders outplayed Tampa in game one and stuck to their system. If there’s good news for the Lightning, The Islanders only managed 2,goals both of which in some ways were gifts. The turnover from Stamkos could be classified as idiotic since he did it twice in the same play. That led to Barzal’s goal. Their second goal Vasilevskiy usually stops in his sleep. By his standards it was a major gaffe.