NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 2, 2021

by | Jun 2, 2021 | News, NHL | 14 comments

The Lightning takes a 2-0 series lead over the Hurricanes, the Vezina Trophy finalists are announced, the 2021 Draft Lottery goes tonight, an update on Jack Eichel and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A third-period goal by Anthony Cirelli was the game-winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. Alex Killorn opened the scoring in the second period for the Lightning. Andrei Svechnikov got the Hurricanes on the board late in the third. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for the win as the Bolts were outshot 32-15. The series shifts to Tampa Bay for Game 3 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck left the game with an injured right leg following a second-period collision with teammate Warren Foegele. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour said it didn’t know the extent of Trocheck’s injury but indicated it didn’t look good. An update could come later today.

Losing their second-line center would be another blow to the Hurricanes’ forward lines. Winger Nino Niederreiter is out for the series with an undisclosed injury suffering in practice before Game 1.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

Speaking of Andrei Vasilevskiy, he joins Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights and Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche as this year’s finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the fourth straight season Vasilevskiy has been named a finalist, winning the award in 2018-19. It’s the first time Fleury and Grubauer have been honored.

The 2021 NHL Draft Lottery goes tonight at 7 pm ET at league headquarters. The Buffalo Sabres have the best odds of winning after finishing with the worst overall record, followed by the Anaheim Ducks. The expansion Seattle Kraken has the third-best odds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL Draft will be held virtually on July 23-24. Follow the link above for full details on the lottery rules and this year’s top prospects.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has reached the end of the rehab period for the herniated disk in his neck. If he still wants the neck surgery that team doctors haven’t been comfortable with, he has the right to take the team to arbitration. If he doesn’t agree with the arbiter’s decision, he can ask for a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The surgical procedure Eichel prefers has never been done before on an NHL player. The team doctors’ preference is for continued rehab. It’ll be interesting to see what unfolds if Eichel feels he hasn’t made much progress with his current treatment.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted goaltender Tuukka Rask has been battling nagging injuries. However, he doesn’t feel there’s any reason to believe Rask won’t be ready to play against the New York Islanders tonight in Game 3 of their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask appeared to struggle during the Bruins’ overtime loss in Game 2. If that continues in Game 3 we could see backup Jeremy Swayman for Game 4.

TSN: Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield in Game 2.

WINNIPEG SUN: The province of Manitoba will allow 500 fully-vaccinated healthcare workers into the MTS Centre tonight for the Winnipeg Jets’ opening game of their second-round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin said he suffered a sprained shoulder during his club’s series against the Vegas Golden Knights. Teammate Joel Eriksson Ek played through a knee injury suffered in Game 6. The duo won’t require offseason surgery.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed defenseman Kevin Connauton to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Cap Friendly, Connauton will earn $825K at the NHL level. He spent most of this season on the Panthers’ taxi squad, seeing action in seven games.

TSN: The Pittsburgh Penguins have given teams around the league permission to speak with former general manager Jim Rutherford before his contract with them expires at the end of June. Rutherford stepped down as GM in January for personal reasons.


  1. Carolina out in four nothing left. if there’s even the slightest falter in Rask Thurs yank him. The amount of pain and injuries all stars Terry Sawchuk & Johnny Bower played through and their incredible will and talent to win was nothing less than spectacular. Rask gets a tummy ache and he’s out for the season. Put Swayman in he’s ready he will carry the bruins to the next level

    • You have no idea what Rask’s health issues are Rick. Rumor has it was a back issue that kept him out earlier. Which I am sure you played through when you were in the NHL.

      • If they play Rask Thursday they will lose how much more clear do I have to be. It’s like clock work Rask’s annual unravel. Swayman has to start.

      • I don’t really care who starts, as Swayman might catch fire, but I would go with the vet unless his injury prevents him from being effective. Swayman is the break glass in case of emergency option IMO.
        I am simply calling you out on you calling out Rask as being a pussy.
        Drives me nuts when keyboard tough guys do that, and I am sure me doing so annoys you.
        But I’ll keep doing it anyway, which I am sure you will too.

      • Well said, Ray.

  2. Vazzy for the “Vezzy” ?

    I’d love to see The Flower win it 👍👍👍

    Eichel has gotten what he wants before from Sabres; so I expect him to continue to push re surgery

    Pens have given “permission to speak” with Jimbo….. I think all here who have read my thoughts on Jimbo before ; know what’s going through my mind on that one

    George , and other Sens fans… 4.5 % chance at the “Power” lottery !!!

    • One of the knocks against maf for the hof is he never won the vezina. I hope he wins to silence that argument but I believe he is a 1st ballot anyway

      • With you on that Chrisms


    • Ray it’s probably best we don’t bother one another. I think Rask is a choker and flyweight when it comes to pain management you have your opinion I have mine. If we were together in a room I don’t think we’d get along. So you go your way I’ll go mine.

  3. Good morning everyone. I was traveling yesterday and unable to post, so this comment is a day late.

    So the improbable comeback is complete! A well deserved victory for the Habs. As everyone knows, I have spared no criticism of Bergevin. With the series victory, though, he will remain GM for now and he should. He has one year left on his contract and he will get to serve it out, but I wouldn’t rush to extend him yet. The team is still far from being a contender and a return to the regular divisions next year will make getting to the playoffs tougher. Let’s see how things go. I’d bring Ducharme back as coach as well, with a 2-3 year contract.

    As for the Leafs, same old story. Talent gets you there but character is needed to keep you there. Obviously, the big guys didn’t come through. It wasn’t just the Tavares injury – it’s not as if they’ve had playoff success even with him in the lineup. A better supporting cast is needed, which may be difficult given cap constraints I’d bring Spezza back. However, It’s time for Jumbo Joe to retire. The series proved that, once the playoffs start, he just doesn’t have the speed to keep up. Galchenyuk remains an enigma. Good offensive talent which doesn’t consistently show up. A defensive liability. His offensive production with the Leafs suggests a solid third line winger, but he doesn’t have the defensive skills necessary for a third line role. I expect the Leafs will sign him to a one year prove-it deal. Playing second line minutes with Nylander and Tavares may give him the opportunity to present enough offense to offset defensive liabilities.

    • Nick Foligno … Wayne Simmonds … Joe Thornton … Zach Bogosian … Jake Muzzin … aren’t they “Character” guys??? How much more “character” did they need? The stars choked, plain & simple …

      • The stars have to have character too. So far, they haven’t shown it.

      • Well, if this type of disappointment and criticism doesn’t build character, nothing will.
        Can’t hurt.

  4. Hard to believe this is Fleury’s first Vezina nomination.