NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2021

The Canadiens upset the Maple Leafs in seven games, the Islanders tie their second-round series with the Bruins, Reaves suspended two games, Kadri suspension upheld, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens advanced to the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs following a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first-round series. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 30 saves while Brendan Gallagher, Corey Perry and Tyler Toffoli were the goal scorers. William Nylander spoiled Price’s shutout bid late in the third. The Canadiens will face the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday for the opening game of that series.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens deserved the win. Down three games to one and seemingly on the ropes, they rebounded to upset the heavily favored Leafs. Price once again reminded everyone why teammates and opponents still consider him the best goaltender in the league. He was outstanding in this series. His teammates were buoyed by his play and his calm leadership and rode it to victory.

The Leafs choked. There’s no sugarcoating this one. They had the Canadiens on the ropes after Game 4 but couldn’t find the knockout punch. Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews was held to one goal. Mitch Marner finished the regular season in fourth place among the league’s point leaders but couldn’t score a goal in this series. There’s plenty of blame to go around for this epic failure. However, Matthews and Marner are the Leafs’ biggest stars and were expected to lead their club to victory in this series. They didn’t, and they’ll carry that burden for a while.

This will be an interesting summer for the Leafs as they evaluate this disappointing finish to what had been a dazzling regular season. I’ll have more later this morning in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

An overtime goal by Casey Cizikas gave the New York Islanders a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Semyon Varlamov got the start for the Isles and made 39 saves for the win while Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a goal and an assist. Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist for the Bruins. Game 3 goes Thursday night on Long Island.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an entertaining back-and-forth contest. Boston quickly opened the scoring, the Islanders rebounded to take a 3-1 lead but the Bruins rallied to force overtime. A turnover at the Islanders blueline by Jeremy Lauzon sprung Cizikas for his breakaway winner.

The NHL released its full schedule for the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves received a two-game suspension for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct against Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves in Game 1 of their second-round series on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported Reaves admitted he yanked out some of Graves’ hair while the Golden Knights admitted the incident was retaliatory due to Graves’ earlier hit on Mattias Janmark. And for that, he gets two games, probably because Graves returned to the game after leaving the ice for repairs.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s eight-game suspension after hearing Kadri’s appeal last week. He was suspended for a hit to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of their first-round series.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes could shuffle their lineup with winger Nino Niederreiter expected to be sidelined for the entirety of their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2021

The Dallas Stars remain sidelined by COVID-19, an update on the Canucks after they canceled yesterday’s practice, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: The Dallas Stars remain sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak among six players and two staff members. The club last practiced on Wednesday. Their regular-season schedule has been revised with their season-opener now slated for Jan. 19.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks will resume practice today after canceling activities on Sunday as a precautionary measure due to potential COVID-19 exposure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: COVID-19 remains a factor despite the league’s health and safety protocols. Expect more canceled practices and perhaps future game postponements over the course of this season similar to those in other major pro sports leagues in recent months.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed winger Jesper Bratt to a two-year, $5.5 million deal. The restricted free agent’s contract standoff sidelined him from the Devils’ opening week of training camp.

New Jersey Devils sign winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will still take some time for Bratt to join his teammates. He’s still in Sweden awaiting a work visa, after which he’ll have to quarantine for seven days after traveling to New Jersey. He’ll miss their opening two games of the season on Jan. 14 and 16 and perhaps more depending on how long it takes to get his visa sorted out.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and could miss their season-opener on Jan. 14 against the Anaheim Ducks.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas left yesterday’s practice nursing what appeared to be an injured left hand or lower-left arm.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, two-way contract. He was attending their training camp on a tryout basis.

SPORTSNET: Free-agent defenseman Ben Hutton signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks.

THE SCORE: Promising prospect Tim Stuetzle had his first practice session with the Ottawa Senators yesterday. The 18-year-old center was selected third overall by the Senators in the 2020 NHL Draft.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild prospect Marco Rossi is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Rossi is the Wild’s first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2020 draft.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2020

The Canucks retire the numbers of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, David Pastrnak regains the lead in the NHL goal-scoring race, an update on Jay Bouwmeester, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks retired the numbers of future Hall-of-Famers Daniel and Henrik Sedin in a pre-game ceremony before going on to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. Jacob Markstrom turned in a 49-save shutout while Brandon Sutter had a goal and two assists. With the win, the Canucks (69 points) widened their lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Pacific Division by three points. The Blackhawks (58 points) remain six points away from the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Vancouver Canucks retired the numbers of Daniel and Henrik Sedin on Wednesday (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cermony was a fitting tribute to the two greatest players in Canucks history.

David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick as the Boston Bruins rolled to a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. With 41 goals, Pastrnak regained the lead in the league goal-scoring race. The Bruins (82 points) opened a three-point lead atop the overall standings over the surging Tampa Bay Lightning, while the fading Canadiens remain seven points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division. Earlier in the day, the Habs also learned defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lengthy absence of their captain and top defenseman could be the final nail in the coffin for the Canadiens’ playoff hopes.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a five-game losing skid by upsetting the Calgary Flames 5-3. Cal Petersen kicked out 35 shots while Anze Kopitar collected two assists. The Flames (64 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.


THE SCORE: St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is doing well after suffering a cardiac incident during Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. He’s undergoing a battery of tests, but Armstrong said things are looking “very positive.” Medical staff used a defibrillator to revive Bouwmeester after he collapsed on the bench during the first period. The game was subsequently postponed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bouwmeester for a speedy recovery.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets agreed to a multi-year contract extension with head coach Paul Maurice. Contract terms weren’t disclosed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maurice’s future with the Jets was in doubt after the club’s early exit from the 2019 playoffs and their slow start to this season. However, his efforts to keep the club competitive with a depleted defense corps convinced ownership he remains the right man for the job.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are unsure of the timeline for goaltender Darcy Kuemper’s return. He was scheduled to return to action from a lower-body injury on Monday but reaggravated it during the morning skate.

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers placed winger James Neal on injured reserve and recalled Tyler Benson from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders forward Casey Cizikas will miss three-to-four weeks with a leg laceration.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Vegas Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves on Tuesday.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed forward Pierre Engvall to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.25 million.

SPORTING NEWS: NBC Sports confirmed Jeremy Roenick will not return as their hockey analyst. Roenick was suspended in December for making inappropriate remarks about his co-workers.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2019

Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning set a single-season franchise record for wins (55) and points (114) by defeating the Washington Capitals 6-3. Lightning winger Alex Killorn netted his first career NHL hat trick while league scoring leading Nikita Kucherov added two assists for 117 points on the season. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice to move within two goals of reaching the 50-goal mark this season. 

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn tallied his first career NHL hat trick in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

Jordan Binnington made 40 and Vince Dunn scored twice to give the St. Louis Blues a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Dunn also set a franchise first by becoming the third Blues defenseman to reach the 10-goal mark this season. The Blues (81 points) also lead the league in goals by defensemen (44) and sit third in the Central Division while the Penguins (87 points) remain two points behind the New York Islanders for second in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Islanders, meanwhile, dropped a 2-1 decision to the Detroit Red Wings, who snapped a four-game losing skid. Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves while Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for the Wings. The Isles sit two points behind the Metro Division-leading Washington Capitals. They skated without winger Casey Cizikas, who was a late scratch after suffering a lower-body strain in warmups. The Wings played without Justin Abdelkader and Trevor Daley. Abdelkader’s season is over after suffering a hairline fracture in his leg during Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay.  

Third-period goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 decision over the Los Angeles Kings. Dadonov scored twice in this contest. With the win, the Panthers (76 points) sit eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have been hot of late, winning four straight games to give themselves an outside shot of reaching the postseason. 

The Calgary Flames missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth by falling 2-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault were the goal scorers for the Jets (88 points), who remain one up on the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division. The Flames (95 points) remain one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and first overall in the Western Conference. Flames defenseman Michael Stone returned to action for the first time since being diagnosed with a blood clot in his arm in November. 

Brad Marchand’s overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Bruins (95 points) opened a four-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. Matt Duchene scored his 30th goal of the season as the Jackets (84 points) hold a three-point lead over the Montreal Canadiens for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Jackets captain Nick Foligno missed the game attending to a personal matter unrelated to his daughter’s recent surgery. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After stumbling a bit following their recent trade deadline acquisitions, the Blue Jackets have points in five of their last seven contests. 

The Canadiens, meanwhile, dropped a 2-0 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks. Corey Crawford turned in a 48-save shutout performance while Connor Murphy and Brendan Perlini scored for the Hawks (73 points), who sit five points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, the Canadiens seemed in good shape to secure a playoff berth. They’ve since won just six games in their last 17. With 10 games remaining in their schedule, they’re running out of time to reverse their fortunes. 

Magnus Paajarvi scored twice and Zack Smith collected three assists as the Ottawa Senators upset the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2. Leafs center John Tavares tallied his 40th goal of the season while defenseman Morgan Rielly netted his 20th. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those goals by Tavares and Rielly were personal single-season milestones. That’s cold comfort, however, when one considers how the Leafs defense and goaltending has collapsed in their last four games. They’ve given up 23 goals over that stretch, allowing six goals in three of those four contests. 

Jordan Staal picked up his 500th career win as his Carolina Hurricanes doubled up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Curtis McElhinney made 35 saves for the Hurricanes (85 points), who hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot and sit two points behind the Penguins for third place in the Metro Division. Sabres winger and former Hurricanes Jeff Skinner tallied his 37th goal of the season to match his career-high from 2016-17. Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella sat out the game with an upper-body injury

The Minnesota Wild (76 points) kept their Western Conference wild-card hopes alive by beating the New York Rangers 5-2 to end their three-game losing skid. Ryan Donato scored two goals for the Wild and now has 11 points in 12 games since coming to Minnesota in a trade with Boston. 

Connor McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes (78 points), who hold a two-point lead over the Wild. Alex Galchenyuk scored both goals for the Coyotes. The Oilers (71 points) are seven points out of a playoff spot in the West. 

The San Jose Sharks also missed an opportunity to clinch a postseason spot by falling to the Nashville Predators 4-2. Viktor Arvidsson scored twice for the Predators. Sharks winger Evander Kane returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 26 following an injury and his wife losing their child during pregnancy. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2018

Game recaps plus latest on Nathan MacKinnon, Victor Hedman and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray returned to action with a 40-save performance in a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin tallied a hat trick and Matt Murray made 40 saves to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Murray was playing his first game after returning home to Ontario following the death of his father. Bryan Rust also scored two goals for the Pens.

A three-goal third-period outburst rallied the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames. With 33 victories, the Golden Knights have tied the NHL record for most wins in a debut season by an expansion club.

Daniel Sedin’s game-tying goal in the third period set the stage for Sven Baertschi’s overtime goal as the Vancouver Canucks nipped the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. It was a costly defeat for the Avs, as leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon left the game in the second period with an apparent shoulder injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word postgame on MacKinnon’s status. Losing him for a lengthy period could be a devastating blow to the Avalanche’s playoff hopes. Hopefully we’ll learn more about his status later today. 

The Boston Bruins 18-game points streak came to an end as they fell 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. Adam Henrique scored twice for the Ducks, who finished the game with starting goaltender John Gibson sidelined by an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson was hurt making a save on a heavy shot from Boston’s Patrice Bergeron early in the third period. No word yet as to the severity of his injury. He’ll be reassessed later today. 

Michael Hutchinson made 23 saves in his season debut as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Jets captain Blake Wheeler collected two assists. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman returned to action after missing nearly three weeks with a lower-body injury.

Zach Parise’s shootout goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 41 saves.

The St. Louis Blues defeated the Montreal Canadiens for the fifth straight time, downing the Habs 3-1. Blues goaltender Carter Hutton made 33 saves, picking up his eighth win in his last 10 starts.

Darcy Kuemper turned in a 28-save shutout performance to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

Anton Forsberg turned aside 42 shots while Vinnie Hinostroza scored a goal and set up another as the the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Nashville Predators 2-1.

Third-period goals by Sebastian Aho and Victor Rask gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, handing the latter their sixth straight defeat.

Florida Panthers call-up goaltender Harri Sateri made 32 saves for his first NHL win as he backstopped his club to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Forward Casey Cizikas returned to the Isles lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury.

Kyle Palmieri had a goal and an assist to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, snapping the latter’s three-game win streak. Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller returned to the lineup after missing 31 games with a fractured clavicle.

SI.COM: Tom Dundon, the new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, said he’s open to the idea of his club wearing throwback Hartford Whalers jerseys. 

TORONTO STAR: The evolution of hockey toward more skill and speed is significantly reducing the element of physical intimidation in the sport. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2018

NY Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal collected five points in a 7-2 win over the NY Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, injury updates plus the latest on Mathew Barzal, Joe Thornton and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders rookie center Mathew Barzal collected his second five-point game (two goals, three assists) of the season to power his club to a 7-2 thumping of the New York Rangers. Jordan Eberle picked up four assists and Anthony Beauvillier scored twice. Isles forward Casey Cizikas could be sidelined for a lengthy period as he left the game with an upper-body injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barzal (44 points) vaulted over Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (40 points) for top spot among this season’s rookie scoring leaders

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton moved passed Adam Oates into 17th place on the NHL all-time points list (1,421) during his club’s 6-5 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Thornton scored a goal and added two helpers while teammate Joonas Donskoi tallied twice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton and Calgary’s Jaromir Jagr are the only active players among the league’s top-50 all-time scorers. 

Darnell Nurse’s overtime goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two assists, picking up his 200th career NHL point on his 21st birthday. Edmonton winger Milan Lucic narrowly avoided a serious injury when he was cut on the neck by an errant skate. 

Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and set up two others leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings also lost forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm to lower-body injuries

A shootout goal by Brad Marchand gave the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. A scary moment took place in the second period, when Canadiens center Phillip Danault was stretchered from the ice after being stuck in the head by a slapshot from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Danault was taken to hospital for observation and was reported as conscious and moving. No word as to how long he’ll be sidelined. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Danault hasn’t suffered any serious effects from that shot. Chara was visibly shaken by the incident and stayed close to the downed Habs forward until he was carried from the ice. He also followed up on Danault’s status during and following the game.

Sean Couturier’s two goals powered the Philadelphia Flyers to their fourth straight victory as they defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. 

Ondrej Case scored twice and set up another as the Anaheim Ducks doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Before the game, the Kings also honored Bob Miller by unveiling a statue of their former long-time play-by-play man. 

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba scored twice to help his clubs down the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. Jets goaltender Steve Mason returned to Winnipeg for evaluation after being struck in the mask by a shot during practice on Friday. Forward Shawn Matthias also sat out the game with an upper-body injury. 

The Colorado Avalanche notched their 23rd victory of the season by beating the Dallas Stars 4-1. The Avs now have more wins this season than they had throughout 2016-17. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday placed forward J.T. Brown on waivers.