NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2021

by | Jun 26, 2021 | News, NHL | 23 comments

The Lightning return to the Stanley Cup Final, the Cup Final schedule is released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final. The defending champions beat the New York Islanders 1-0 in Game 7 of their semifinal series. Yanni Gourde scored shorthanded in the second period while goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in an 18-save shutout. Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov turned aside 30 shots.

Tampa Bay Lightning pose with Prince of Wales Trophy (NHL.com).

Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Erik Cernak returned from injuries for this contest. The Bolts also defied superstition for the second straight year by touching the Prince of Wales Trophy, traditionally awarded to the Eastern Conference champion.

The Lightning will face the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning defeated the Islanders at their own game in this contest. They played a suffocating defense that stymied their opponent’s offense. The defending champions’ depth made the difference against a team that pushed them to the limit.

It was a disappointing finish for the Islanders. but they served notice that last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Final was no fluke. They could remain among next season’s Cup contenders depending on what moves management makes this summer. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill update.

The NHL released the full schedule for the 2021 Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and Canadiens. Game 1 begins on Monday in Tampa Bay. Game 2 will be on June 30. There will be a two-day break between Game 3 (July 2) and Game 4 (July 5). Game 7 if necessary will be on July 11.

TSN: A lawyer representing a former player who alleges he and a teammate were sexually assaulted by the Chicago Blackhawks’ former video coach in 2010 has made a request for 31 requests for documents from the club related to the allegations. The player claims the Blackhawks covered up the incident instead of reporting it to the police.

The Blackhawks have filed a motion requesting the case be dismissed because it wasn’t filed within a limitation period. The club also said the former player’s complaint should’ve been made via a worker’s compensation claim. They have publicly declined to comment due to the ongoing lawsuit.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins re-signed forward Trent Frederic to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.05 million.

WINNIPEG SUN: Pascal Vincent, head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, is leaving that position to become an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hired Ryan Hardy as their Senior Director of Minor League Operations. He takes over as the GM of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers.


  1. I wish they had just let Frederick walk useless, also gotta let Rask go it’s time. Tampa wins cup in 6

    • I also wish Bruins had let Frederic go. Would love him on the Rangers.
      Tampa in 5

    • Would have loved Fredrick on the Pens, exactly what they need … you are clueless …

      • Habfan30, don’t know why anyone eyes need to be open.

        That D is solid play big and physical and keep the front of the net cleared.

        Perry and Stall two veterans that seem to control the play every time they are on the ice.

        Josh Anderson also a nice trade. Wanted him on Boston.

        And the kids are alright.

        But the puck stops with Price and the D. How many net crashed have you seen, how often was Carey made to feel uncomfortable? It’s been a team effort.

        One question for you, any news on Drouin?

        That would’ve been one of the storey lines for this series, the trade.

        I believe Tampa has a little bit of preparation against Montreal as they and the Islanders play a similar game.

      • I hope everyone realizes that they’re still playing Claudes systems, with minor tweaks, right?
        It’s a good system. Just doesn’t always work out over 60 minutes. Puck luck, bad bounces, lack of hustle, game management, etc.
        Cassidy still does a fairly close rendition in Boston.

      • Caper,

        The eye opening would be in regard to what has been the Habs top line of Gallagher/Danault/Tatar during the season.

        Folks here were saying Habs were weak down the middle and both Suzuki and KK weren’t ready.

        Folks were saying Price and Weber were overpaid and under performing.

        There is no real news on Drouin just nonsense about him not being on the team next year. Nonsense because he’s contracted at $5.5 for two more years and his reason for not playing is unknown. If nothing else Habs will put him on LTIR and get cap relief.

        The Four Clydesdales make “The Trade” a non-story, not to mention a full pipeline of D- Romanov, Fleury, Brooks, Norlinder, Guhle.

      • Habfan30, have to disagree with you on one point.

        I wouldn’t call the trade a non factor because Sergachev is a huge factor for Tamp as he plays over 23 minutes a game.

        As you’ll get to appreciate his game in the finals.

      • Caper, I don’t see that Habsfan called the trade a non-factor. He’s saying Drouin’s absence is a non-factor and it is because the Habs haven’t missed him.

        Too bad for Drouin as a human being but everyone knows the trade for Sergachev was a disaster for Montreal.

        That said, it’s hard to realy tease out what the Habs would look like without that trade. He wouldn’t likely be on the team, and he is 1.3 million cheaper.

        Who on the Habs existing roster would not be there had that extra 1.3 not been available? That’s the price of Perry and Staal and there is no question without them the Habs would not be in the finals. Just one example of how a bad trade cannot be judged in isolation.

      • Crap, sorry to be clear Edmunson wouldn’t likely be on the team and he is 1.3 million cheaper.

  2. Claude’s system, any system, works well with great goaltending. That might be the biggest difference between Montreal in the regular season and now.

    • Ain’t that the truth, BCLeafFan.

    • No team succeeds without goal tending for sure, but the differences in the Habs between the regular season and now are numerous. Just one example which – sorry but is glaringly obvious – is the play of their young forwards, and their older ones.

      • LJ,

        Its more than goaltending, Ducharme has made systematic changes.

        The d plays more man on man than the pure zone under Julien.

        The breakout has more options than strictly off the boards under Julien.

        The support on entry is totally different.

        The powerplay has five moving parts now as opposed to static players before.

        This is Ducharme’s team now, very different from that of Julien.

      • I have no idea if Ducharme made changes to CJ’s system, haven’t watched close enough.

        What I do know is Julien didn’t coach his guys to chip it off the boards/glass unless there is no other option or you have no time to look as you are about to get popped.

        The reason I know that is because no NHL coach does. Heck, we didn’t coach it in bantam and it wasn’t coached to us.

        You always want to leave the zone with speed and possession.

      • 100%, Ray.
        I stand firm in my assessment. It’s the same system, with minimal tweaks, and some different players executing it.
        We watch virtually the same thing in Boston.

      • oh, oh, but SOP, you are surely not watching the same thing in Boston – unless you are watching the Habs 😉 Is there a conversion taking place involving you and Ray? That would be ever so jolly.

      • Ha! Far from it, LJ. I admire the way they are playing, that much is very true, and as I’ve stated many times before, I covet several of their players. I’m not on the bandwagon, but I’d be OK with seeing Price, Weber, Perry, Gallagher, Byron and Danault hoisting the Cup. Wouldn’t shed a tear if they didn’t, but as I’ve said before, Bergevin has done a masterful job, and I’d like to see him rewarded for it.
        I’ll watch with great interest. It’s a great story they’re writing.

  3. Whew! Who could follow that description of the Stanley Cup Finals schedule? We went from naming a day to dates to missing games 5 & 6 and listing a date for game 7.

    Permit me to simplify:
    Game 1: Mon, June 28 @Tampa
    Game 2: Wed, June 30 @ Tampa
    Game 3: Fri, July 2 @ Montreal
    Game 4: Mon, July 5 @ Montreal
    Game 5: Wed, July 7 @ Tampa
    Game 6: Fri, July 9 @ Montreal
    Game 7: Sun, July 11 @ Tampa

    The really simple version is Mon, Wed, Fri, Mon, Wed, Fri, Sunday.

    • Nasdaq40 nice.

      Disappointing no Saturday night hockey in Canada.

      I’m not cheering for Montreal; but, I will say it’s disappointing that they don’t get to have a full barn.

      It would be insane!

      • Agree, Caper. Even the Lightning and their fans would rather have a full house in Montreal. There are still ghosts in the city, and when players like Yani talk about playing back in Montreal there is a little change of tone in their voice. It was the same for Marty and Vinnie in 2004.

  4. Great call on the Drouin/Sergachev deal Mr. Caper
    Of all the great moves Izerman made-this was a masterpiece-