NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 17, 2021

by | Jun 17, 2021 | News, NHL | 8 comments

The Canadiens tied their semifinal series with the Golden Knights, the Leafs re-sign Jason Spezza, the Blue Jackets made some organizational changes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 29 saves as the Montreal Canadiens held off the Vegas Golden Knights for a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of their semifinal series. The Canadiens took a 3-0 lead on goals by Joel Armia, Tyler Toffoli and Paul Byron while Alex Pietrangelo tallied both Golden Knights goals. Habs defenseman Jeff Petry returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined by a hand injury in Game 3 of their second-round series against the Winnipeg Jets. The series shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Friday evening tied at a game apiece.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by Montreal following their usual template of taking a lead and relying on Carey Price to help them maintain it. The Canadiens enjoyed a strong first period and got to Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with two first-period goals. Byron gave them breathing room with the eventual game-winner late in the second.

Price was outstanding after the first period as Vegas outshot the Habs 27-11, including robbing Alec Martinez of what looked like a certain goal in the second period. His teammates maintained their physical style, outhitting the Golden Knights 53-45. They also blocked more shots (26-18) and were strong in the faceoff circle, winning 58 percent of the draws.

Kevin Hodgson is the 2021 winner of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award. He’s the executive director of HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society).

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed Jason Spezza to a one-year, one-way contract worth the league-minimum $750K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good depth signing by the Leafs. The 38-year-old Spezza played well this season with 30 points plus five in the postseason skating mostly in a fourth-line role. He could’ve gotten more on the open market but wanted to stay in Toronto. Spezza indicated he would’ve taken less if he could. Having earned over $88 million in his career, he really doesn’t need the cash at this stage of his career.

Speaking of the Leafs, Martin Marincin’s NHL career appears to be over as he signed a contract with Czech club HC Ocelari Trinec. The 29-year-old defenseman spent most of this season on the Leafs’ taxi squad, appearing in just nine games. He played five seasons with the Leafs and two with the Edmonton Oilers before that, netting 34 points in 227 career games.

CBS SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook underwent surgery on his right knee this week. He’s expected to be fully recovered for the start of next season in October.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted former captain Rick Nash to director of player development and hired former Jackets players Derek Dorsett and Mark Letestu as development coaches. Former minor-league goalie Brad Thiessen replaces Jim Corsi as their goaltending development coach.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have filed a motion to dismiss a former player’s lawsuit alleging he was sexually harassed by Bradley Aldrich, the club’s former video coach. 


  1. Alec Martinez will have nightmares after Carey Price robbed him last night.
    Way to go, Carey! Doing BC proud again.

  2. Craig Simpson in his usual unbiased commentary claimed CP blocked the shot with his pants while showing repeated replays of the blocker getting to it.

    Point of interest, Ducharme has been using the Tofolli/Suzuki/Caufield line last minute of all periods.

    Seems like quite the investment for the future.

    Spezza- good signing, his determination is what is needed from veterans.

  3. Spezza comments for sure going to land him in hot water with the NHLPA though, who absolutely go banana’s when players sign under market value and go for the “win” instead. I personally love that commitment and as a Sens fan I respect the leadership that Spezza shows in doing it. He is stepping up and taking those paycuts since he has had a lucrative career which keeps his fellow team of players also getting pays!

    As for this Habs team, you just can never count them out. Through these playoffs they have been a different team and it feels like Price is just motivated. I am taking the winner of this series as the cup winner.

  4. Jeff Petry was a star last night, made all the difference in the world …

    As much as I would like to see two heavy weights like Tampa & Vegas go after the Cup I find myself rooting for the underdog Habs …

  5. That’s a wailing injury to the fingers that makes your eyes bleed…. sorry… had to. Those eyes looked awful.

    Firstly, yes I know that 1 injury (Stephenson) forced shuffling on all 4 lines that really screwed with the chemistry…

    But… that said…. Knights did exactly what Leafs and Jets did… took Habs for granted. Knights started the game appearing to have Bolts on their minds; Habs had energy, P & V, and solely the game at hand on their minds. Price played great.

    Let me state the Captain Obvious once again…. Knights, and perhaps Bolts; maybe even Isles…. do NOT underestimate this Habs team… they are a very good team

    Do I think Knights can beat Habs… if they collectively spend the rest of the series with the overconfidence (and brazen underestimation of Habs) that they did to start last night’s game… the answer is no. If on the other hand, they realize their talented adversary, respect the Habs ability; and play like the Knights can (and have)… then yes, Knights should take the series

    Brown in replacing Stephenson really hurt. Brown seemed lost out there last night; and the 4 lines changed …..looked discombobulated to start

    Price was spectacular

    The Flower would obviously want the “change-up” goal back; and he gambled and lost on his poke-check…. was a beauty by the speedy mighty mite Byron BTW

    If Knights want to win next game….(1) If Stephenson a no go…. Glass HAS to replace Brown… that’s a must; (2) the entire Knights team must respect and be prepared for the play that the Habs have, and more so, will have even more of, in Montreal

    Without #2…. get behind Leafs and Jets for your Tee Off times

    Re Spezz….. thank you once again for taking a home town discount….league min $ for a Center (who can and has moved up the line-up) …. 10-20-30…. while only getting 12 mins a game; scored goals often that turned the tide of the game….57% on the dot….. now that is a very favourable contract👍👍👍👍

    • Pengy,

      I doubt very much that VGK players and coaches underestimate the Habs.

      That is something the media and fanbases who buy into the pronouncements.

      Knowledgeable like yourself and a few others have been loathe to predict winners and cautioned against taking the NYI and MC lightly and some others chuckled and called for sweeps.

      Regarding the Habs i’ve said all along that they are a team built for the playoffs so nothing they do surprises me but I don’t know how far they will go.

      The truth is that all four teams in the semis are built for the playoff and have a real shot, that makes for the best hockey.

      • Hi HF30

        Sorry if I was inferring that they (Knights) overtly underestimate (talking in dressing room of sweeps) Habs…. But subconsciously I think (that’s me vicariously surmising so take that with a grain of salt) many on the team had (1st period last nght) more on their minds re Bolts than Habs

        Yesseree …. Habs ; Knights; Bolts are built for playoffs

        I disagree re Isles

        Their roster make up is irrelevant. How they are “built” is irrelevent.

        Their style of play/modus operandi/system is unchanged reg season through playoffs…. Designed NOT “to win” but more appropriately stated “to NOT lose” (defense ALL game; when an opportunity strikes; and note every game has opportunities; that time and that time only can you think offence…. the Lou mantra)

        The Ilse style is extremely boring; I’m not entertained at all…. but credit where credit is due…. It works

        To me…. The offensively gifted Barzal; has his talents grossly under-utilized there

        Isle’s could (but win’t) trade him for a defensive style top C; get an extra asset (or 2 ) in the trade; and still end up in the same place ….. again, just my opinion

        Needless to say…. Jnights v Habs…. Entertaining

        I can’t attest to that for the other series

  6. The knights will beat the habs in five games Tampa in six