NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2021

The Bruins take a 2-1 series lead over the Islanders, the Hurricanes narrow the Lightning’s series lead, Mark Scheifele is suspended, the Calder Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand’s overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders in Game 3 of their second-round series. Craig Smith opened the scoring for Boston in the first period but the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal tied it in the third. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 28 saves while Semyon Varlamov turned aside 39 for the Isles. The Bruins hold a 2-1 lead in the series. Game 4 goes on Saturday on Long Island.

Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal (NHL Images).

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their first win of their second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 3. Jordan Staal tipped in Sebastian Aho’s shot for the winning goal. Aho had a goal and two assists while Petr Mrazek made 35 shots for the win in his first game in this postseason. Tampa Bay rallied back from a 2-0 deficit on goals by Brayden Point and Alex Killorn. The Lightning holds a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 on Saturday in Tampa Bay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s penalty for holding the stick of Hurricanes winger Martin Necas set the stage for Staal’s game-winner. Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele left the game with an upper-body injury. The Canes played this game without sidelined forwards Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele received a four-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for charging Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans during Game 1 of their series on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a hefty suspension for a star player with no previous suspensions or fines. Coming in the middle of the playoffs, it’s the equivalent of an eight-game suspension in the regular season. Evans suffered a concussion and could miss the rest of this series.

The absence of their top forward is a big loss for the Jets in this series. They also played Game 1 without center Paul Stastny (undisclosed) and lost defenseman Dylan DeMelo to a lower-body injury. There’s a chance Stastny could return for Game 2 tonight in Winnipeg but DeMelo seems unlikely to play.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson are this year’s finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

SPORTSNET: The NHL hopes to have a decision soon regarding US teams crossing the Canadian border for the semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said talks with the Canadian government are ongoing.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2021

The Bruins tied their series with the Capitals, the Avalanche and Hurricanes draw first blood in their respective series, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand’s goal 39 seconds into overtime lifted the Boston Bruins over the Washington Capitals 4-3 to even their best-of-seven first-round series at one game apiece. Boston winger Taylor Hall scored the tying goal late in the third period to send the game into the extra frame. Garnet Hathaway scored twice for Washington, who got a 44-save performance from goaltender Craig Anderson. Capitals center Lars Eller left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Questionable officiating saw this game deteriorate into a sloppy contest. Game 3 goes Wednesday evening in Boston.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and set up another in a series-opening 4-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists as the Avalanche broke the game open with three goals in the third period. Jordan Binnington kicked out 46 shots for the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was the only reason this game was tied through two periods before the Avs blew it open in the final frame. This series will end quickly if he doesn’t get more help from his teammates. Games 2 is on Wednesday evening.

The Carolina Hurricanes got two goals from captain Jordan Staal to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Nino Niederreiter tallied the game-winner by snapping a 2-2 tie early in the third period. Juuse Saros turned aside 33 shots for the Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators defeated the Hurricanes in the final two games of the season but the latter took six of eight in their regular-season series. The Canes dominated the play through the final two periods of this one. The two sides face off again in Game 2 on Wednesday.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and winger Brendan Gallagher played in the Laval Rocket’s 2-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies last night. Price and Gallagher were on a long-term injury conditioning stint with the Habs’ farm club before their opening-round series against the Maple Leafs. Price allowed two goals on 15 shots while Gallagher had two shots on goal and a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.

ESPN.COM: The NHL department of player discipline handed a one-game suspension to Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Blake Coleman in Game 1 of their series on Sunday.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs promoted Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser to senior director of player development and Danielle Goyette has joined the department as a director.

Speaking of the Leafs, TSN’s Kristen Shilton reports defenseman Ben Hutton has a non-COVID, non-hockey-related medical issue that is being monitored by the team.

NEW YORK POST: ESPN hired Leah Hextall as the first woman to do play-by-play as a regular part of a national NHL TV package. She did play-by-play of an NHL game last season for Sportsnet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall previously worked for CTV Winnipeg, NESN and Sportsnet. Hockey runs in her family. She’s a cousin of Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall and her grandfather was Hall of Famer Bryan Hextall. 

AWFUL ANNOUNCING: Veteran NHL reporter Frank Seravalli has decided to leave TSN after six seasons. Speculation suggests he might join ESPN or Turner Sports ahead of their coverage of the NHL starting next season.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have offered up Canadian Tire Centre to the city and the province of Ontario as a mass vaccination site.

TSN: A civil lawsuit has been filed against Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen alleging he sexually assaulted a young woman in 2017.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A lawyer representing a former Chicago Blackhawks player in a sexual assault lawsuit against the team intends to call a former teammate to the stand as a witness in the case.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Tanner Kero to a two-year, two-way contract.










NHL Betting: Auston Matthews Seals Up The Rocket Richard Award

NHL Betting: Auston Matthews Seals Up The Rocket Richard Award

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2021

The Canucks win their first game in their return from COVID-19 pause, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Bo Horvat scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. It was the Canucks first game since March 24 as an outbreak of COVID-19 paused their schedule on March 30. Braden Holtby made 37 saves for the win. Canucks defenseman Alex Edler received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit on Leafs winger Zach Hyman in the second period. Hyman left the game and there was no immediate update on his condition following the game.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hyman’s injured knee is the same one he had surgically repaired in 2019. It remains to seen if Edler will receive supplemental discipline. That aside, it was a big win for the Canucks coming off a traumatic three weeks that threatened to derail the remainder of their schedule. The Leafs, meanwhile, remain in first place in the Scotia North Division with 61 points.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand reached his 700th career point with a four-point performance in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci each scored twice and David Pastrnak collected three assists. T.J. Oshie scored two goals for the Capitals, who lost Justin Schultz to a lower-body injury. They also played without Zdeno Chara, who is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment. The Capitals sit atop the MassMutual East Division with 62 points while the fourth-place Bruins (56 points) have won four straight and sit three points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins.

The New York Islanders got a 30-save shutout from Ilya Sorokin to nip the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Nick Leddy’s overtime goal. The Isles (60 points) are two points behind the Capitals and one up on the Penguins.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Sam Reinhart scored twice and Dustin Tokarski made 34 saves as the Sabres have a record of 3-1-1 in their last five contests.

The New York Rangers blew a 3-0 lead but rallied to down the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Goals by Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome late in the third period gave the Blueshirts the victory. With 52 points, they’re four points behind the Bruins.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone extended his multi-point game streak to four games as his club down the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Stone had a goal and an assist. Teammate Reilly Smith left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day. Vegas moved into a tie with the Colorado Avalanche with 64 points but the Avs sit in first place in the Honda West Division with a game in hand.

YARDBARKER: A report in Sports Business Journal claims NHL jersey advertising could begin as early as 2022-23, though nothing has been approved or finalized yet by the league board of governors. The location of a jersey patch is being discussed and evaluated. It could be placed on the shoulder or chest. The size of the patch remains unclear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as that patch doesn’t detract from the team logo I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. The league must find as many new streams of hockey-related revenue as possible given the effect of COVID-19 upon its coffers.

SPORTSNET: Seventeen NHL teams are currently using long-term injury reserve for cap relief. The league is going to closely monitor those clubs over the remainder of the season to ensure there’s no cap circumvention.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan reports the Coyotes will sign defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to a one-year, $1.35 million contract extension.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2021

Brad Marchand and Alex Wennberg each tally a hat trick, the Stars and Sharks keep their playoff hopes alive and more Canucks added to the COVID-19 protocol list. Details and more in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand tallied a hat trick and David Pastrnak scored twice to lead the Boston Bruins over the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-5. Pittsburgh forwards Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and two assists. With the win, the Bruins (43 points) opened a four-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place in the MassMutual East Division. The Penguins (50 points) are seven points ahead of the Bruins in third, sitting two behind the second-place New York Islanders. The Bruins also learned defenseman Brandon Carlo is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered on Thursday against the Penguins. 

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images)

Mathew Barzal scored the winner in a shootout as the Islanders nipped the Flyers 3-2. Anthony Beauvillier scored twice for the Isles but Claude Giroux countered with two to force extra time. The Islanders are tied with the Washington Capitals with 52 points but the latter holds first place in the East with a game in hand. Isles forward Ross Johnston left the game following a first-period fight with Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin and didn’t return.

The Buffalo Sabres picked up their second win in three games by edging the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout. Tage Thompson potted the winner for the Sabres. Artemi Panarin scored twice for the Rangers, who are tied with the Flyers with 39 points but the latter holds fifth place in the East Division with a game in hand.

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their 17th straight home victory over the Detroit Red Wings by edging the latter 2-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves while Ross Colton and Brayden Point tallied for the Lightning (54 points), who are tied with the Florida Panthers but hold first place in the Discover Central Division with a game in hand.

A hat trick by Alex Wennberg and a 44-save effort by Sergei Bobrovsky gave the Panthers a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The struggling Jackets sit seventh in the Central with 36 points. Jackets forward Jack Roslovic was a healthy scratch in his contest with just two points in his last six outings.

A 41-save shutout by Juuse Saros carried the Nashville Predators to a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Eeli Tolvanen’s 10th goal of the season was also the winning goal as the Predators (41 points) have won seven of their last eight contests, opening a two-point lead over the Blackhawks for fourth in the Central Division.

The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Tanner Kero broke a 2-2 tie while Jake Oettinger kicked out 41 shots for the Stars (36 points), who sit five points behind the fourth-place Predators in the Central Division. The Hurricanes (51 points) remain three points behind the Lightning and Florida Panthers in the Central.

Cale Makar’s goal within the final minute of regulation lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Nathan MacKinnon also scored for the Avs (54 points), who won their fourth straight and sit four points up on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Honda West Division. The Blues (38 points) remain one behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes.

Third-period goals by Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek 55 seconds apart rallied the Minnesota Wild over the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1. With 48 points, the Wild are just two back of the second-place Golden Knights in the West Division.

A third-period goal by Dylan Gambrell gave the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc each had a goal and an assist as the surging Sharks moved into a tie with the Blues, though the latter holds fifth in the West Division on the basis of regulation plus overtime wins.

The Ottawa Senators got two goals from Evgenii Dadonov and 35 saves from Anton Forsberg to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3, snapping the latter’s three-game win streak. Artem Anisimov also collected three assists for the Senators while Josh Anderson tallied twice for the Canadiens, who remain in fourth place in the Scotia North Division with 41 points. Habs winger Tyler Toffoli also scored in his return to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury. The Senators played without Colin White, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE PROVINCE: Seven more Vancouver Canucks players were added to the NHL COVID-19 protocol list on Saturday while two more coaches also tested positive. Travis Boyd, Thatcher Demko, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter were the new additions to the list. Several of the cases affecting the club are the highly contagious Brazilian P.1 variant.

Hawryluk is a positive case, marking the second time in a year he’s tested positive for COVID-19. Research shows the P.1 variant is capable of reinfecting people who previously suffered from other strains of the coronavirus.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL is proceeding on the assumption the entire Canucks team will likely test positive. It’s built into the league’s planning going forward, similar to what happened at the start of the season with the Dallas Stars. This is a variant of the coronavirus the league hasn’t seen before.

The Canucks shutdown will last longer than anticipated. They will not be playing next week. The league has discussed future dates with the club but those won’t be announced for a while.

North Division games will likely be scheduled past May 11, using the week of May 10-14 as a buffer. The three US divisions could still start their playoffs on May 11. The league also remains confident it can complete the 56-game schedule.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there are discussions about holding the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs in a bubble environment similar to last year, though it’s not something anyone wants at this point. Much will depend upon how things evolve between now and then.

Meanwhile, the NHL has issued a memo to its 31 teams reiterating the rules, regulations and best practices for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Previous outbreaks among several clubs have put a strain on the schedule, with most teams facing a grueling timetable over the next six weeks making up games postponed earlier in the season. That’s going to take a physical toll on the players over the next month.

The league wants to avoid moving the regular season and playoff schedules forward because they don’t want to push the postseason any deeper into the summer than it already is. They also don’t to risk the Stanley Cup Final being staged at the same time as the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which are slated to begin on July 23.

Teams want to avoid a playoff bubble because it will adversely affect their already depleted revenue for this season. The players don’t want it because they’ll be separated for weeks from their families. Nevertheless, they could have little choice if the variants of the coronavirus lead to a significant increase in infections among the North American population.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 31, 2021

The Canadiens get a shutout win in their first game in 10 days, the injury bug bites the Panthers again, the Flyers put Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 17 saves for his 49th career shutout to blank the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens in their first game since March 20. With 39 points, the Habs opened a four-point lead over the Calgary Flames for fourth place in the Scotia North Division with five games in hand. The Oilers (45 points) remain a point back of the second-place Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good start for a rested Canadiens squad in their first game in 10 days after COVID-19 protocols postponed four of their games. The Oilers were a tired bunch playing their third game in four nights.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists as the New York Rangers tallied four unanswered third-period goals in a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Igor Shesterkin kicked out 30 shots for the Rangers (36 points), who sit five points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins in the MassMutual East Division. The first-place Capitals (50 points) remain two points up on the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Bruins, meanwhile, overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on shootout goals by Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 44 saves. Bruins winger Marchand returned after missing one game to COVID-19 protocols while defenseman Brandon Carlo played his first game since being sidelined by an upper-body injury on March 5. With 41 points, the Bruins sit three up on the fifth-place Philadelphia Flyers in the East Division.

An overtime goal by Eeli Tolvanen lifted the Nashville Predators over the Dallas Stars 3-2. Tolvanen and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and an assist while Juuse Saros made 33 saves as Nashville picked up their sixth straight victory. With 39 points, the Predators sit fourth in the Discover Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators’ playoff hopes were fading away two weeks ago and they seemed destined to become sellers before the April 12 trade deadline. Management might be rethinking its trade plans as they surge back into postseason contention.

A 31-save performance by Kevin Lankinen enabled the Chicago Blackhawks to hold off the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Alex DeBrincat tallied his 19th goal of the season for the Blackhawks, who are tied with the Predators but sit fifth in the Central because of two fewer regulation wins. The Hurricanes (49 points) are third in the division, one point back of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Panthers, meanwhile, got two goals from Carter Verhaeghe to down the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 stops for the win. Florida winger Anthony Duclair left the game with an upper-body injury and is expected to be sidelined a week to 10 days. The Panthers are tied with the Lightning with 50 points but sit in second place in the division as the latter hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair joins Aleksander Barkov (lower-body), Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed) and Aaron Ekblad (fractured left leg) on the Panthers’ injury list. Eklad is done for at least the regular season following surgery on Monday.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins made 37 stops in a 3-1 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nick Foligno had two assists for the Blue Jackets (36 points), who sit three points behind the Predators in the Central. The Lightning (50 points) have lost three straight.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers raised eyebrows yesterday by placing Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers, generating speculation over the 27-year-old defenseman’s future with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere has struggled since Alain Vigneault became the Flyers head coach in 2019. His $4.5 million salary-cap hit makes it unlikely he’ll be claimed. The Flyers could put him on their taxi squad or demote him to their AHL affiliate if he clears waivers at noon ET today. There’s also talk he could be traded if he goes unclaimed.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks forward Adam Gaudette tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. He was participating in practice when informed of the test results and left the ice immediately. Tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames will depend upon the results of contact tracing and additional testing of players and staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudette was retested yesterday and will be tested again today.

SPORTSNET: Canucks forward Justin Bailey underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday. He’s been sidelined since Feb. 11.