NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2021

by | Jun 9, 2021 | News, NHL | 32 comments

The Lightning eliminated the Hurricanes, the Golden Knights push the Avalanche to the brink of elimination, the Masterton Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 29-save shutout carried the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 to win their second-round series four games to one. Brayden Point and Ross Colton were the goal scorers. The Lightning awaits the winner of the Boston Bruins-New York Islanders series in the semifinals.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By eliminating the Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers before them, the Lightning are serving notice that they still have the depth in talent to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Vasilevskiy is also showing everyone why he’s a Vezina Trophy finalist for the fourth straight year. He was superb in this series.

The Hurricanes remain a rising force. They’re very close to breaking through as a Stanley Cup contender. Much will depend on how management handles the offseason, particularly the expansion draft and the contract negotiations with defenseman Dougie Hamilton and head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

The Vegas Golden Knights overcame a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 Game 5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on an overtime goal by Mark Stone. Brandon Saad and Joonas Donskoi scored for the Avalanche but Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault tallied in the third period to set the stage for Stone’s OT heroics. The Golden Knights hold a 3-2 series lead and can wrap things up Thursday night in Las Vegas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs controlled the play through the first and second periods. Turnovers, however, proved costly as the Golden Knights capitalized for all three goals. The winner of this series faces the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, and San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau are this year’s finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

An independent arbitrator upheld the eight-game suspension of Avalanche center Nazem Kadri. He’s already served seven games of that suspension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Would the Avalanche be on the verge of elimination if Kadri hadn’t been suspended? Maybe, maybe not, but his reckless hit on St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in the previous series hasn’t helped matters.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was fined $25,000 by the league for his post-game criticism of the officiating in Game 5 of this club’s second-round series with the New York Islanders. Bruins winger Nick Ritchie was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield during that contest.

Injuries have sidelined Bruins forward Curtis Lazar and defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller from Game 6 tonight.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Yannick Weber has signed a three-year contract with ZSC Lions in Switzerland. Weber spent the past 13 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators and the Penguins. He played only two games for the Pens this season, spending most of his time on their taxi squad.

THE SCORE: Toronto’s CN Tower was lit in red, white and blue to honor the Montreal Canadiens as the last Canadian team still standing in the 2021 NHL playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I bet that went down well in the heart of Leafs Nation.


  1. Depends on which knight kadri injured before being suspended again.

    • Who’s gonna question the size of Vasilevskiy’s pads?

      • Who says that’s an issue?

  2. When will players learn? We want to see GOOD HOCKEY, not concussions which could end playing careers.

    It would be good karma to see the Avs eliminated in game 6 with Kadri in the press box after a direct hit to the head which potentially could end the career of Justin Faulk.

    It was good karma to see the Jets eliminated with Scheifele in the press box for his direct hit to the head of Jake Evans.

    Players who choose to play outside the rules with direct hits to the head need be shown this is PROHIBITED and receive 20, 30 and 40 game suspensions. PROHIBITED – the same as making contact with an official (Dennis Wideman in 2016).

    With 20 to 40 game suspensions, players will get the message or be in the press box where they are not able to deliver potentially career ending, direct hits to the head. GREAT HOCKEY will prevail and our players will not have concussions ending their careers.

    • Nasdaq40,

      I happen to agree with you and the NHL has clearly been taking this direction during the Bettman years, too slowly for some and “ruining” the game for others.

      Under his reign the game has been growing globally, players are more involved, fan bases are growing, TV exposure has widened.

      There are however many grizzled fans (myself included) who remember hockey played a different way.

      It was hard hitting, take no prisoners professional gang wars on ice.

      There was no “code” when it came to fights, no letting up if a guy went down, most, not all, great players were ruthless fighters as well.

      Guys like Wilson and Kadri were regular Joes in the day when TML won a Stanley Cup.

      As has often been said, never saw fans leave their seats in the arena or homes when a fight broke out……rubberneckers slow down to see crash sites too.

      Now, MOST of us have adapted and recognize the game’s growth and changes. Younger fans have been brought up with the new game and are the future of hockey.

      • Agreed! I’ve been watching hockey for 50+ years but with boards like concrete walls (remember when a player was checked into the end boards and they waived 3 feet both ways at the top?) and the game being SO fast, direct hits to the head must be outlawed.

        On old footage, the first thing that’s so obvious is the difference in speed of the players and of the game.

        Go Habs!

  3. The folks running the CN Tower sure know how to add insult to injury.

    I guess the Leafs can spin this by pointing out that blue and white are the Leafs’ colors and Leafs nation has been seeing red since their Game 7 loss.

    • Howard

      Nice… gave me a chuckle this morning

      • Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Two drink minimum. Which I imagine is less than Leafs and Pens fans have been drinking lately.

      • My wife is mad at me.

  4. I know the games need to be played but does anybody something other than Tampa/Vegas cup final?

    Didn’t Pengy call it a few months ago?

    • Hi HF30

      The way Bolts played this series and the way Knights played in last two periods in game 2 through end of game 4; AND 3rd period onward last night…. looking more and more like that SCF match-up

      That said…. underestimating and/or taking for granted; an Avs comeback; or the Habs determination; or Bruins resilience ; or the Isle’s smothering (read “extremely boring”) defensive style …. could block that Knights v Bolts SC. If those 2 teams keep “the pedal to the metal”… then, IMHO, they are destined to meet in 2-3 weeks time.

    • I don’t consider predicting the two best teams in hockey playing for the Cup anything near being Nostradamus … you must impress very easily …

    • I agree, it is likely to be Tampa vs Vegas in the finals this year and I find it a long shot we seen any result other than that … but then again, I also thought it a near impossibility that Montreal would be in the Conference Finals. Boston/NYI both have the talent to upset the Bolts if they get hot goaltending and come out hungry.

      Wouldn’t it be wild to see a Montreal vs New York final? Imagine looking back in the history books one day and wondering … how? As a matter of fact if Montreal somehow manages to make the finals, against either Tampa or Boston… the SCF would be a wild all Atlantic Division finals. If Boston wins, literally 3/4 of the remaining teams will be from the same division in a normal season.

      I think that is crazy interesting.

    • Ten days ago I watched the Avs demolish Vegas in Game One and thinking they were unstoppable. And I wasn’t the only one. You never know in hockey. Anything is possible and momentum changes quickly.

  5. Wow

    Taped , then watched this morning; the Knights v Avs tilt

    That’s exciting hockey. Great comeback win by Knights. As soon as they scored that 1st goal; their energy zoomed.

    Very rare flub play by the Flower (.8 seconds left in period); and it would have been a crying shame if the game ended 1-0 (as it was looking like for the first part of the second period). He rebounded poised and made some great saves (no chance on the Domskoi goal)

    3rd period and OT was excellent… extremely entertaining edge of your seat hockey

    Bolts… congrats. To me, I expected them to move past Canes; as I expect them to be back in the SCF. That said, Canes are a very good team; most likely Rod the Bod back (Ronny F hoping not) and great core; promising future

    Bruins…. I am cheering for you. No vested interest in the series other than I’m not a fan of the style of play put on by the Isles …. it’s not exciting hockey at all. Would be great to see a game 7. Down some injured players and with others not a full capability; it will be an uphill battle for the Bruins. If Tuuka ailing…. put the young Alaskan in

    • The bottom line is – win .. and last night that was sheer domination by the Islanders

  6. Graves looked terrible on OT winner. Not sure why Ranger fans still whine about trading him away.

  7. CN Tower in Habs colours in my opinion is an act of gracefulness. We put too much venom in hockey and other parts of life. I love hard hockey and think the Leafs lack it. I know it is just a phrase and I have used it….but there must be a better choice than “killer instinct”.

    I live less than a mile from where the 4 Muslims were killed, so I might be a little raw. We as people need to dial back things we say and how we say it. I don’t like some of the verbiage that goes with political correctness but there is some point to it.

    • Well said, OBD.

  8. 3 turnovers 3 goals, don’t turn over the puck against Vegas.

    Game 7 could be the worst case scenario for the Habs.

    Winnipeg had 9 days off after defeating the Oilers in 4 straight and looked nothing like that team against the habs. Any momentum they had was all gone.

    Rest is good but too much, may take away the habits, and systems, sharpest that was in place since the roll started against Toronto.

  9. Can’t see the CN Tower from here. What’s all the fuss?

    • BCleaffan There is a mutiny and it has leaf fans seeing Red.

      • The first home game with fans should be something else. That’s if the season ticket holders can put down their chablis and come out for the player introductions.

  10. Don’t start Rask tonight Swayman’s got to carry the team now. Rask cannot win a cup. I guess the good news unless Rask pulls a rabbit out his…….. is they’ll let this guy loose at the end of the season. Along with Krecji, Debrusk, Miller they’ll be gone as well. Why or lord why did they ever let Dougie Hamilton walk?

  11. So the Habs invited Bob Gainey to come into the Bell Centre to address the team about moving forward in the playoffs & he obliged.

    First Roy & Trembly reconcile, now Gainey & the Habs organization.

    Regardless how much further this team goes in the playoffs, it is very refreshing to see the franchise mending fences & moving forward.

    I hope they reach out Larry Robinson & Serge Savard, as well.

  12. Rest will do a number of Habs players good, Weber, Petry, Gallagher, Anderson are injured, the older guys like Perry and Staal know and need a break.

    I thought they would be rusty after the forced Covid and they came out of it with a bang.

    Interestingly the Montreal media who in general have a history of digging up real or imagined scoops have no word on Jonathan Drouin or on Jake Evans.

    I suspect Evans is out for the playoffs.

    • Habfan30, this appeared this morning on SportsEdge:

      Jake Evans (concussion) worked out in the gym according to head coach Dominique Ducharme.

  13. Now that Carolina has been eliminated, Boston is the only remaining playoff team that has a cap hit within the regular season cap. Tampa has the highest cap hit at 98.8 million.

    • And John Tavares will be on LTIR until the playoffs next year.

      • That’ll only work to their advantage IF they make the playoffs 🙂