NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2021

by | Jun 6, 2021 | News, NHL | 35 comments

The Lightning push the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination, the Islanders tie their series with the Bruins, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning pushed the Carolina Hurricanes on the brink of elimination with a 6-4 victory in Game 4. They hold a commanding 3-1 lead in their second-round series. The teams combined for eight goals in the second period as the Lightning rallied from a 4-2 deficit. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each scored two goals and collected an assist.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That second period was the most entertaining of this year’s playoff thus far. A lack of discipline proved costly for the Hurricanes as the Lightning tallied three power-play goals on six attempts with the man advantage. The series returns to Carolina for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Mathew Barzal broke a 1-1 tie as the New York Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 to even their second-round series at two games apiece. Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves for the win while Casey Cizikas and Jean-Gabriel Pageau padded the lead with empty-net goals. This series moves back to Boston for Game 5 on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo missed this game with an upper-body injury that is suspected to be a concussion. He remains day-to-day.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin, and Minnesota Wild blueliner Jared Spurgeon are this year’s finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets need Pierre-Luc Dubois to make his presence felt if they hope to overcome a 2-0 series deficit against the Montreal Canadiens. He replaced suspended center Mark Scheifele on the Jets’ top line in Game 2 but his impact was minimal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois struggled throughout this season following his trade to Winnipeg from Columbus in January. He missed four games in February with a lower-body injury. Perhaps that’s an ongoing ailment he’s been trying to play through.

TSN: Speaking of the Jets, sidelined center Paul Stastny traveled with the team to Montreal for Game 3 tonight against the Canadiens. He missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury and there’s no indication if he’ll return to the lineup for the next two games.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars center Tyler Seguin is focusing on the last phase of his rehab from last fall’s hip surgery after missing all but the final three games of the regular season. He’s hoping to be fully healthy in time for training camp in September.

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild prospect Marco Rossi has resumed skating for the first time since January following complications from COVID-19. He was the ninth overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. It’s expected the 19-year-old center will be ready to report to training camp in September.


  1. As per yesterday ‘s comments on the Leafs …
    George is accurate , as there was also a comment from someone else , relating to Toronto’s core group of Tavares, Matthews, Marner , Nylander , coming in at 41 Million, half of the cap ..
    1. All forwards ? 41 million to fill out 16 roster spots ?
    Anderson is a goner , they will need to shell out 5-6 mil for another starting goalie
    Reilly – 5 mil and a new contract upcoming in 1 more year , probably not worth it , or just can’t afford it
    Muzzin – 5 mil
    Hyman -5 mil – If he doesn’t parachute out of Hogtownn, realize this team is going no where…
    . If everything is status quo, we will be at – 62 mil for 8 player , with 20 mil available to sign 12 players , to fill out the roster , leaving us with 1.5 mil per player .
    Is this feasible , NO
    Is the Leafs structure to build around their present core group , Ideal – NO !
    Tavares , Can you buy out his contract and send him packing ?
    They most likely won’t
    Will they finally realize Marner is not the guy !!!
    Columbus is not going to part with Seth Jones for him .
    Or the ideal solution , Dubais and Keefe should be relieved from their duties , they have failed …
    If Shanahan would like to join them , Great.
    Realistically this group of individuals upper Leaf group will be goners within 3 years anyways, and another massive rebuild !
    This is not my opinion , This will be FACT !
    Nylander is far from the worse individual , as per this mess!
    There is really just a band- aid solution and another early playoff exit for next year …
    Sorry to “piss” in your cornflakes , Leaf fans , but this is Reality !
    Mathews is an elite player, but another “stud” that goes missing, come playoff time ..
    There would be tremendous interest in him , as per a trade option , but not likely an option
    Good luck to them …
    Just a pathetic organization !

    • Ken, when I see the bitter reactions to those opinion articles by Koshan, Traikos and, yes, Simmons, I recall what Jim Vipond said years ago (I’m pretty sure it was him) – “many among the Leafs faithful don’t wish to hear what they should hear … only what they want to hear …”

      • Yes George that can be said about any teams fan base and due to the unfair coverage and chatter this team creates its as i said days ago about too bad the Leafs couldn’t advance now we have weeks of hearing every dumb thing that’s could be said, be repeatedly all summer long. the proof is in the pudding. It comes in stages and goes round and round…starting with players, then coaches and management, and finally the fans. Its like lather, rise repeat. Quite entertaining to me

      • Ron, you’re absolutely right about all franchises having fans like that . But let’s face it, the problem is there are only a handful of teams in the league that generate a lot of back-and-forth positive/negative chatter in these pages, and are frequented more often in the subject matter, and at the top of the list are the Leafs, followed by the Bruins, Penguins and Habs – the other Canadian-based teams pull up the rear, while of those in the U.S., I can only think of L.A. and Philadelphia where there might be several posts in any one thread from more than one individual.

        Yeah, that doesn’t make it palatable or understandable for devoted Leafs fans and it would likely take a book written by a psychologist to get to the bottom of the phenomenon – but it just is what it is.

    • You have to love the core of Toronto, fan or not. But the cost of that core is and will continue to kill this team.

      It’s easy to shut down good / great players in the playoffs when there’s nothing to worry about behind them.

      Bringing in a bunch of low cost dinosaurs wasn’t or isn’t the answer. Thornton, Simmonds ? Even Spezza who did perform well , but is pushing 38 years old. How long can you expect him to contribute?

      Bogosian is not an everyday guy. Tampa rolled 7 d-men last year because he and Schenn were not exactly pillars back there.

      Toronto from forward 7 down needs an overhaul. And defense from probably scratch. Muzzin is 32 and Reilly will unaffordable with the current cap issues .

      No, Seth Jones isn’t the answer. He’ll make the cap situation even worse.

      I don’t see a way to fix this team quickly enough in the timeframe of Mathews contract. Tavares, while desirable to some teams would be hard to move without taking a lot of salary back, ditto Marner. I don’t think Nylander provides the cap space needed to overhaul the bottom 6 and defense.

      • Seth Jones would be a tremendous help to the Leafs. A young, mobile, two-way RD is something they lack. But it’ll come at a cost. Marner or Nylander.

      • As I mentioned, without moving Marner or Tavares, Jones will make cap issues worse than they are today.

        I say above Tavares would be hard to move, but Columbus may be exactly the team that needs and can afford him. Moving Nylanders cap hit will basically put them right where they are after next year. And I don’t think Columbus jumps on Nylander for Jones anyway.

        I’d imagine Jones will command 8+ on a new deal.

    • To everyone, “This is not my opinion , This will be FACT !” is 100% the very definition of opinion.
      Very little or any of what you said should be considered as fact. Sorry.

      Continue on with you poor opinions of a team which your blindness that stems from your hatred of the team make all comments about the team a bit fallacious. I’d welcome meaningful debate but I won’t expect to find any here with the exception of a few lurkers and a couple regulars.

      • Ron, instead of reacting to negative posts about the Leafs – or at least what you regard as negative – why not just refute what others are saying re the top-heavy cap situation being at the root of the problem? Provide your take on how they can build a contending team (beyond the first round) while retaining those top 5 cap hits. Who do you see as potential additions to replace the 12 UFAs – who have to be replaced or re-signed – who can then give them the depth needed to succeed. Who do you think needs to be dealt if it’s absolutely necessary to free up space – and what teams can you see taking them on?

        Wouldn’t that be more productive than just calling out the obvious “haters” – to use I term I detest?

        I do understand your exasperation, I truly do, and at least you, Pengy and Old Blue Dig have hung around following another bitter elimination, unlike Roger (Price is washed up) Laurin, Wendell17Higgins and Vinnie, who have likely been busy dismantling the bunting they put up along Young Street to celebrate the championship they assured us was imminent.

  2. The bruins have to score more than one or two goals on Varlomov or this series is over whoever wins game five takes the series. I still would be more confident with Swayman.

    • The sky is falling in Boston again …

    • Maybe Rask should move to right wing, Rick. That way you could put, what’s his name, in net and Rask might help with the scoring end of things.

  3. I don’t think it matters who win between Wpg and Mtl or Bos vs NYI; the cup will be between TB vs Col or Veg.

    Not giving up hope, there just better teams.

    • Wrong Cappy !,there is only one team capable of knocking off Tampa or Colorado & you know who that is. I would be more confident though if Ed Van was directing hockey operations he appears to know everything.

  4. Post loss Shanahan identifying they need a killer instinct now…..after the last 3 years….. is pathetic. Dubas would not know a killer instinct. Amongst other things Keefe was outcoached. His having been outcoached not been written about enough.

    Leaf fans can only hope that the Board are having Board only meetings right now. Turning around this franchise needs new eyes, new decision makers, a new vision for the structure of the team. And no limits on what they might do.

    Watching the games yesterday and imagining the Leafs taking those teams on was very discouraging. The Leafs have made progress in that they have tradeable assets ( including Marner who will fetch more than many think) but they do not have the correct vision in the Executive Suite. Changing that is a Board and/or President level decision. Anything else as they say , would be changing deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Shanahan, Dubas & Keefe have had their run. They did not get the job done and do not in my opinion deserve another chance.

    By the by, a good friend of mine is a season ticket holder. He listened to the management press conferences last week told me he did not know whether to throw the radio against the wall or vomit. Sarcasm coming….he will be overjoyed if 6’3″ 230 lb Matthews wins the Lady Byng. The NHL award annually given out to the player who demonstrates the most pacifist instinct.

    • Old Blue Dog, is it possible that the “Board” is at the root of the ongoing problems? “Board” = “Committee” and we all know how that Committee-designed horse turned out


      To be sure, sole ownership hasn’t always been beneficial either (Buffalo, Melnyk in Ottawa, NYR as recent examples), not to mention Pal Hal in Toronto, but is there any example of where a pro franchise won a major championship when run by Committee?

      • George, did you forget the Raptors? Same company, same Board.

      • Thanks Ernest – I did forget about them … the same Board that couldn’t hang onto Leonard, hung onto Lowry until he became unproductive and impossible to deal for anything significant and, most importantly, could still lose the GM who built their winning team.

  5. Austin Matthews is up for an award for gentlemanly behavior? Ask the female security guard in Arizona just how gentlemanly he acted towards her? He looks like a pervert with that stupid mustache …

    • Isn’t there a bridge you should crawl back under?

    • Ed, I agree. That mustache is absolutely ridiculous.

      • It is ridiculous and I have seen some great jokes about it … but then I remember being young and taking crap from old farts about my appearance and how did I feel? I pitied them, of course, and figured they’d be dirt-napping soon enough.

        Matthews is maturing, and speaking mostly intelligently to the media, and taking the abuse from Chariot and rising above it. Far from being “rag dolled” because he is afraid, I saw it as a focused superstar keeping on point. And I am a Habs fan.

        Captain Underpants is growing up and possibly illustrating why second chances are important. I have a lot more respect for the young man than when he broke in to the league. Good for him and the Leafs.

      • Dirt napping? Lol. Boy, that makes me feel real good, considering I’m 83. I guess, from your comments, that it’s somehow negative to reach old age, and that you have no plans to do so. On behalf of all seniors, save your pity and don’t let the door hit your sorry ass on the way out.

  6. cid:14818B35-BEF6-4427-970D-C986B6B614AB

    • ?

  7. My above link didn’t sync

    It was a picture of Matthews and Marchand , chatting during warm up …

    Mathews said to Marchand ,”Hey Marchie – wanna go for a few beers after the game ?

    Marchands reply, “What’s the point, “You always Go home after the first round! “

  8. My above link did not sync

    It was Matthews and Marchand, chatting during warm up

    Matthews said to Marchand,”Hey Marchie , wanna go for a few beers after the game tonight !

    Marchand’s reply, “ What’s the point , “ You always Go home After the First Round !”

  9. Awesome !!
    Old Blue Dog !
    U R Bang On !!

  10. Slaavin better win the Bing. 20+ minutes a game, playing against the leagues top players and averaging over 2 minutes per game on the PK! ONE minor penalty! Unreal.

  11. Hi …. since Leafs, roster and Cap on tap for discussion again today…. I reiterate for the nth time…. 1/2 Cap spent on 4 Fwds…. not winning cup

    Below is a cut/paste of what I posted a few days ago…

    “ Leafs… keeping the big 4; Campbell ; Reilly; Muzzin; Brodie; and re-signing Hyman and another goalie… with the Phil retention….that’s $15 M to max $16 M left for 13 spots… AND…. they need to improve with that little of space

    And…. next year back in East…. fighting for 3rd…. if they drop to 4th…. are they going to have more points than 5th in Metro

    No matter what…. $15 M for 13 spots….. does not even get them past the second round

    There MUST be a shift in roster make-up/design”

    Roster next year with quality like this year…. and back in “normal” East Div…. I have a very strong feeling it is battling for WC spot

    To improve…. 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds needs to change… AM and JT (his choice) won’t be going.

    Leaving MM (very few suitors due to cap hit) and WW

    WW… with his cash to cap hit low and his recent play…. EXCELLENT trade chip

    Our Habs colleague on here presented…..

    WW/Sandin/Engvall for Jones….. that’s a game changer and I like it

    Jones eating up 25 to 28 minutes every night; AND still with Reilly, Muzzin; Brodie, Holl…. and just the diff in Cap of WW to SJ saves most of the chunk needed for the Hyman raise

    So instead of the 10 positions at the top with $15-$16 M left for 13 spots, it’s

    AM, MM, JT, Hyman; Campbell ; Jones; Reilly; Muzzin; Brodie; Holl; another goalie; 6th and 7th D; Phil retention…. that’s $12-$13M left for 10 Fwds

    4th line and depth Fwds… near/@League min….leaving $8 M to $9 M towards top 6 wingers

    Leafs must change 🤬😡💩

  12. Hey Ron Moore
    Good luck to you and I hope you live for another “55” plus years , Finally witness a Stanley Cup in Toronto
    Realistically , knowledgeable people on here, and you not being “1” of them, will observe the present situation. Vision, as per executive management is not the Right Choice ..
    Board of Directors will hopefully address the situation, in the foreseeable future, Sooner, than later ….
    Burkie was gone a minutes notice , as will be the same here
    YES, Keefe was out coached. In the Montreal series …
    Marner hasn’t scored in 18 playoff appearances !!!!!
    Change will be Coming
    Simple Math !!!
    Captain Obvious … Columbus would be an ideal fit for Tavares , but pyjama boy has a no trade clause …
    Maybe bring in Tortorella for a year or 2 , See how the floaters enjoy that ride…

    • The math is quite simple. No team has ever won a Stanley Cup with a 10 million dollar player. The Leafs have 3. Two are ridiculously overpaid. It is impossible to build a Stanley Cup team with only 50 million for the rest of your roster. Look at the salaries and the production of the 3rd and 4th liners in Tampa Vegas Carolina Colorado New York and Boston. The Leafs can’t win with minimum guys throughout their bottom 6. They are not getting what they pay for from their top 6 and getting exactly what they pay for from their bottom 6. Time to figure out a way to trade Marner and even more importantly divest themselves of Tavares ( probably impossible). Everyone can see that except Shanahan, Dubas and Keefe.

  13. TML are not the only team that is under scrutiny and realistically it’s the Toronto media passing for National that is hated, not the local Toronto folks.

    The Habs are under just as much scrutiny by the local media and some fan base.

    Bergevin gets run out of town with regularity by some media folks.

    Price has been getting dumped on since his new contract.

    Coaches get run out of town.

    Drouin has been dumped on after being adored in the trade.

    Some Montreal “reporters” STILL dump on the Weber/Subban trade.

    Ducharme was being run out of town a few weeks ago and getting dumped on for being out coached by Keefe.

    Talk about a fickle fan base who jump on and off the bandwagon, most of them nostalgic for times they never experienced.

  14. This is not on the coaches, the GMs, or the players, this is on the NHL itself.

    What other major league all but throws their rulebook on the window & calls infractions completely different between their regular season & their playoffs like the NHL does.

    It’s insanity, a sport or a league where the regular season & the playoffs are two completely officiated games/seasons cannot grow a large fanbase when those of us who follow the game on a regular basis cannot understand what is & isn’t a penalty on many nights???

    I can imagine there are many new fans that got mesmerized by the skill, speed & finesse of the regular season NHL, that are walking away in disbelief to how the playoff season looks more like rugby being played & skill is being smothered by mixture of WWE & rugby skills.

    It’s insanity at best.

    • Uwey,


      The strike zone changes in baseball.

      NFL nobody can figure out the flags or the non calls.

      NBA travelling and charging are adventures in the playoffs.

      New Orleans can tell you all you want to hear about officiating 🙂