NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2021

by | Jul 1, 2021 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The Lightning takes a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, Jonathan Toews reveals the illness that sidelined him this season, Tom Dundon takes over full ownership of the Hurricanes, the latest coaching hires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game 2 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. They hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as it shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 42 saves while Blake Coleman broke a 1-1 tie with a diving buzzer-beater goal in the second period. Ondrej Palat put the game out of reach with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. Nick Suzuki tallied the Canadiens’ only goal.

The Lightning played without winger Alex Killorn. He suffered a suspected leg injury in Game 1 after blocking a Jeff Petry shot and is listed as day-to-day.

Game 3 is Friday night at 8 pm ET in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens outplayed the Lightning in this contest but the few mistakes they made wound up in the back in their net. They blew an opportunity to open the scoring in the first period by failing to capitalize on a 4-on-3 power play. Joel Edmundson was the goat on the Lightning’s third goal as his behind-the-net back pass went directly to Palat.

Vasilevskiy was solid in this game for the Lightning but the Canadiens still didn’t generate enough high-quality scoring opportunities. Carey Price, meanwhile, wasn’t bad for the Canadiens but he hasn’t been at his best thus far in this series.

The Lightning have a great opportunity to take a commanding lead in Game 3. The Canadiens cannot afford to fall behind 3-0 against a powerhouse like the Bolts. They’ll need a better effort on Friday or risk watching the Lightning skate away with the Stanley Cup on Monday night.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens request to allow more than 3,500 fans for Games 3 and 4 was rejected by the Quebec government and health officials. The Habs hoped to expand that number to 10,500.

TSN: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews revealed he was diagnosed with chronic immune response syndrome. The condition sidelined him for the entire 2020-21 season. He indicated he’s feeling much better now and intends to rejoin his teammates next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Toews in his recovery.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Tom Dundon is now the full owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. He’d been the majority owner of the club since January 2018 but bought out all the remaining shareholders, including those of former owner Peter Karmanos Jr. The sale of the shares was unanimously approved by the NHL board of governors.

NJ.COM: Scott O’Neil, the CEO of the parent company that owns the New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, is stepping down to pursue other interests.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan reports the Arizona Coyotes have called a news conference for today where they’ll announce the hiring of Ottawa 67s head coach Andre Tourigny as their new bench boss.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have hired Alex Tanguay as an assistant coach. The former NHL player spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Iowa Wild.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks’ poor performance over the last two seasons saw their season-ticket sales drop from 10,500 in 2019 to 9000 for 2021-22.


  1. First… Happy Canada 🇨🇦 day to all those hailing from the Great White North

    Re game….. wow…. series could have easily been tied

    Now, IMHO, Habs MUST win both back in Montreal as I think it will be very tough to come back from down 3-1 in series

    Coleman goal spectacular…. and a back-breaker

    Palat goal was a kick to the collective Habs’ gnads

    Tough go for Toews…. hope he fully recovers. Couple of Dr buds of mine say it’s rare but very debilitating in energy

  2. The more I think about the nugent Hopkins deal , the more I like it . Leon has another 4 years on his deal , mcdavid has 5. Holland said in his presser the cap hit was crucial to him and term was crucial to nuge . I’d much rather give the extra term to keep the cap hit down for the next 5 years , than to stick to your guns on the term (4-5 years) and pay extra cap to do it during this 5 year period . The cap SHOULD be on the rise in the back half of the deal and the focus has to be on now , not 5 years time . It’s not a 10 million dollar deal and he will have to fall off a cliff for it to be an anchor , very good chance he will be overpaid the last few years , but I don’t see it being a huge nose dive to anchor territory

  3. So long Habs the fairytale ends here. OEL in beantown it’s looking like that might be the scenario. Morning fellow Troglodytes.

    • With all your cockamamy predictions one of them is bound to be right based on the law of averages alone. After not losing out 4 zip to Las Vegas, last night was no “spanking.” Hope you enjoyed your pony pee beer.

      • Hahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh, George. Man, what an effort by the Habs last night.

      • Sure did George I like putting it in the deep freeze an hour before I crack em open, sometimes I take swig just before I read your feeble retorts. George I don’t like you don’t like me. Why don’t you just go bother someone else &. I won’t bother you if you don’t like my posts don’t read em.

      • I don’t HAVE to read them – I see your name and I know what the content is because it never differs. You’re like a broken record. And never right.

      • But a even a broken record is right twice a day! Duh!

    • Yes, more name calling. It gives you so much credibility…

      • Agreed George my first time posting, but his bs and arrogance is a bit much.

  4. I was at the game last night. If Montreal had finishers they would have won this game. Tampa Bay at times screwing around with the puck in their own end made the Habs forecheck look even better than it was. The Lightning did not play well because Montreal played better. I will say the disparity in shots was less harmful but it appears in a box score. A lot of those shots came from over 30 feet out. You’re not going to beat VasilevskiyToo often from out there. Bottom line is I don’t think Montreal can play much harder and they still only scored one goal.

    • Shane, sadly, I have to agree with your comment about the shots. The Habs did have the better chances but didn’t score.

      I gave the Habs little chance to win this series, and less than that now. The value of this playoff run is that it gives their young guns the experience that Tampa got prior to their Cup wins. Suzuki’s game was dramatically improved from the first one. All this is money in the bank for the coming years.

      • LJ no one – and I mean NO ONE – outside of perhaps team members/management/coaches, wives and girlfriends – expected them to advance this far. That they did is a credit to the team structure and system, the fact they have played to that system, their hard-nosed and determined veterans, a classic goalie and, not least, the eye-opening development of the kids.

        Nor is it necessarily over yet. If they can get some finish around the net in game 3 (time for Gallagher to have one of “those” games) and pull that one out, look for this series to go back to Tampa tied at 2 apiece.

        Regardless, though, as you point out this is all money in the bank in terms of development

      • Well, Georgr, my schtick with the Habs has been to underestimate their chances, so I will ride that horse until its legs give in. But yeah, Gally is more than overdue but tough slugging against a big, solid Bolts D.

        Not quite ready to say “wait until next year” but
        it will be interesting for the two of our teams in the next several years as I see Ottawa becoming a real pain in the butt and the Habs are at long last on the rise. If the divisions remain the same, I see the Caps, Bruins and Pens in decline.

  5. Both games hard to watch turn over after turn over very sloppy and wow some goals allowed my Mom would have stopped. Stamkos again was horrible and so scared he did get puck out on a couple plays but most times on wrong side of puck. Maybe Tampa ice is bad but haven’t heard many talking about it or complaining. Was expectIng two teams doing whatever it takes to win Montreal was the better team for sure last night.

  6. Won’t let them in the building, but how many will be standing shoulder to shoulder in the plaza outside the Belle Ctr

    • Dave, they should somehow pump that outside crowd noise inside the building

  7. Montreal was the better team last night.

    Suzuki played very well, flying all night. Toffoli not so much.

    I give more ice time to Stall, Perry and Armia it seem whenever there on the ice they control the play and keep Tampa in their own zone.

    They say the series isn’t over until you lose at home.

  8. Habs played much better last night, the tweaks made by the coaches worked, almost.

    Shoulda,coulda, woulda, deserved better but bottom line is they lost.

    Series have a life of their own with surprising momentum shifts and there were a number of inflection points that may have a bearing on the rest of the series.

    Totally biased opinion : Not having seen much of TBL its surprising to see just how dirty Kucherov and Sergachev are, they make sneaky intent to injure moves frequently. I don’t mean the heavy sticks of Weber, McD, Chiarot, Cernak or the hits of Maroon, Perry, essentially the regular “dirty” stuff that players expect, be it right or wrong.

    These two guys take interference to another level with “innocent” blind side hits or unexpected hits, the type of moves while not hard or heavy but easily injure.
    I’ll repeat it’s a biased opinion.

    • Habfan30 you are correct it’s a bias opinion.

      The interference picks that Montreal like to do in the offensive zone and not get an interference call.

      Danaher charge at the end of the game

      The shots the Habs are taking at Kucherov after the play, during the play, before the play. Can’t blame him for giving it back.

      Physical is what Montreal must be to win

      The deserved better but an average of one goal per game won’t do it.

      • Caper that’s a good response and an accurate assessment. Montreal shut Tampa down last night but as we’ve all stated you still have to score. There are only so many Brayden Points in this league but if they had somebody between him and what they have at center that game likely would’ve ended up differently.

        The Habs are trying to intimidate Tampa to even things out. Unfortunately what they did to Vegas you’re not going to do with a Tampa lineup that has its kind of experience and diversity. To that end Goodrow played a phenomenal game last night. The fact that Tampa can score without its best forwards on the score sheet and win the game should be very concerning to Montreal.

        I was really impressed with Anderson’s play last night. It’s the first chance I’ve had to look at the kid in the absence of seeing Montreal here this year. He reminds me a lot of Kirby Dach in Chicago. Somebody find that boy a centerman and suddenly Montreal brings a lot more to the table than they are at present.

  9. The Habs have a great spring. But is has been an overachieving spring. Think about the nature of the two goals they have scored so far. One a double rebound the other literally rolled in. The only forwards that seems to be on the brink of scoring as of their play are the new kid number and Anderson. Even Suzuki seems off and KK is overrated (IMO).

    Beregivin put together a competitive team working his strengths of great goalie and experienced tough D men. But it is talent light upfront.

    The Habs would be a true threat if they could find a centre that was good enough to make Suzuki a 2c. The Habs should go after Eichel….they have the pieces.

    How about a 1 st, Romanov, the big D man they drafted last year, Allen and a good forward prospect. A lot of pieces but with Eichel & Suzuki they would be dominant down the middle for the first time since some of the great teams.

    As a Leaf fan I would not like that development.

    • OBD,

      Your suggestion:
      Romanov- $894,000
      Allen- $2,875,000

      and three assets not counted against on the cap

      Guehle- $925,000
      A prospect- $1,000,000
      #30 or 31 pick

      That’s only $3,769,000 room made for Eichel’s $10 million.

      The assets work for a healthy Eichel but financially its untenable,

    • OBD: I thought Suzuki played a great game last night, a dramatic improvement from game one.

      To your bigger point, yes, I agree the Habs would benefit tremendously with Eichel. KK is progressing, just not at the same rate as Suzuki. As good as Danault has been defensively, he doesn’t score. The issue IMO is not cap space (they can find it by not signing Danault and Tatar) but the risk with Eichel’s health.

      • LJ,
        Check out the cap space, they have $10,672,025 used now.
        They have 13 players to resign or let go.

        trading Allen leaves the Habs with $13547025 of cap space.

        The Habs are left with $3,547,025. to sign any of the 15 UFA/RFA on the team.

        Whether they get rid of Danault, Tatar, Armia, Lehkonen, Kotkaniemi or any other player, bottom line is they $3.5 million to fill out a roster, and that covers 4 players at league minimum.

        The Habs are unable to sign Eichel for the same reason they are unable to sign Danault and Tatar.

    • Throw on druin maybe it works.

      • Fair point, Chrisms. And who knows who the Habs lose coming out of the Seattle draft? Unless one is talking about the Leafs situation I don’t find it worth the number crunching as there are too many moving parts to come to a clear picture about who can and can’t be signed. The Habs signed Toffoli for 4.25 a season. Anyone see that bargain coming?

  10. Habs30 & LJ…Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I was not attention to the Cap issues as if you can get Eichel you just get it done and solve the issues later. By the way I don’t think Eichel is far off Matthews and have wondered if the injury issued were conjured up to not play while waiting to get out of Dodge. As an aside I want the Leafs to trade their All Star ( ha ha) right winger Marner for Eichel solely as it becomes a permission slip trade Matthews for 2 high quality pieces and still have a 1 C.

    On Suzuki I said I thought he was off last night. He did not generate any power or dangerous shots las night. The Habs who play him as a 3Cand some Habs fans I read on other sites do not have high opinions of KK. He needed more time in the AHL. I think he is teetering on the edge of never being a 1 or a 2.

    • I don’t want you to be right about KK, OBD, but you may well be. I certainly agree that KK should have spent his first year in the AHL. He would be better for it now.

      That said, factor in that KK is now just 20. Kaprizov won the Calder at 24, with 4 years in the KHL. KK still looks like his feet are too big, so he hasn’t grown into his body. I’ll give him more time but yes, he needs to be measurably better next year. There is still time for him to be a bane to the Buds.

      • I look at KK a lot like JP in Edmonton . Give up on them early at your own peril . They are both still wet behind the ears . They both show flashes of much more , and not hurting there teams while they learn on the job.
        One guy I hope holland targets is tatar , if he is looking for a short term re-coup value contract . Silverburg out of Anaheim would be a nice trade target , or rakell.

  11. A note on Drouin that flies under the radar, he set up a $5 million foundation for the CHUM….and donated $500,000 of his own money at its inception.

    He holds a yearly golf tournament to raise money for the foundation.

    No fuss no muss no showmanship no press clippings, he just does it.
    He’s quite the teammate and probably why they, the team and the press respect his privacy now.

    • Good for him, makes me think of a certain defence man they traded away.

      • BCLeafFan,

        The huge difference is that a certain D-man that was traded away does nothing to dispel the notion that HE has donated $10 million as opposed to setting up a foundation for people to support and donate to.

  12. As I said before,the canadian division was the worst in hockey.By the time next year rolls around no one will remember who the Bolts defeated in the finals by 4/1or 4/0.Only the 3,500 fans from Montreal.