NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2021

The Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead over the Golden Knights, the Canadiens beat the Jets in their second-round series opener, the Sabres win the draft lottery, the Ted Lindsay Award finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Mikko Rantanen’s overtime power-play goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights and a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. Brandon Saad and Tyson Jost also scored for Colorado while Alec Martinez and Reilly Smith replied for Vegas. Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer made 39 saves. Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the Golden Knights’ net after being the backup in Game 1.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas coach Peter DeBoer wasn’t happy with the officiating on the slashing call on Rielly Smith that led to Rantanen’s PP goal. “Just a soft call”, he said, going on to accuse the Avalanche players of embellishment throughout the game.

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Eric Staal had a goal and an assist while Carey Price made 27 saves for the win. Their victory, however, was overshadowed by a dangerous hit by Jets center Mark Scheifele on Habs center Jake Evans as the latter was scoring an empty net. Evans was stretchered from the ice while Scheifele received a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was out of character for Scheifele, who has no history of supplemental discipline. He let his emotions get away with him and could face a suspension. Evans, meanwhile, was evaluated by the Canadiens’ medical staff. John Shannon reported he was back at the team hotel following the game, where he was described as doing fine, alert but shaken.

It should be noted that Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers protected the prone Evans during the ensuing scrum. He also called for additional medical attention for the fallen Hab. “In a situation like that, you don’t want anyone falling on top of him,” said Ehlers. “I was just trying to keep everyone away.”

Winnipeg center Paul Stastny missed this game with an undisclosed injury. Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo left the game early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

The Buffalo Sabres won the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery yesterday. The expansion Seattle Kraken won the second-overall pick while the Anaheim Ducks will select third.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could select University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power. He’s listed as this year’s top prospect by NHL Central Scouting.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid are the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan defended his team’s top-four players during the club’s end-of-season press conference. He did, however, acknowledge the club lacked a “killer instinct” that must be addressed.

SPORTSNET: Leafs captain John Tavares said he’s doing “really well” in his recovery from the traumatic head injury suffered during Game 1 against the Canadiens. Tavares missed the rest of the series with a concussion and a knee injury. He said he has no memory of the incident and doesn’t intend to watch the replay.

TSN: Leafs winger Mitch Marner denied a report that he refused to play a goal-line role on the club’s power play. “It’s a complete lie,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Marner, Tavares, Matthews or William Nylander to be traded this summer if Shanahan’s comments are anything to go by. However, that hasn’t stopped the speculation among the Toronto media. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck’s status for Game 3 tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning remains uncertain. He was still being evaluated yesterday following his ankle-to-ankle collision with teammate Warren Foegele in Game 2.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Craig Smith could return to the lineup for Game 3 tonight against the New York Islanders. He missed Game 2 with a lower-body injury suffered during the previous game.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said he’d be comfortable returning with the same group of players next season. He defended beleaguered starting goaltender Tristan Jarry, lauded the coaching staff and expects core players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang to return next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall and president of hockey ops Brian Burke intend to bring some size and toughness to the line next season. There will be some changes but those will likely involve their secondary players. They could also acquire an experienced backup as a mentor for Jarry.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers center Kevin Hayes underwent successful sports hernia surgery last week. His expected recovery period is five weeks.


NHL Betting: A Quick Update On The Other NHL Awards

NHL Betting: A Quick Update On The Other NHL Awards


2020 NHL Awards – Calder Trophy, Lindsay and Adams Award Finalists

2020 NHL Awards – Calder Trophy, Lindsay and Adams Award Finalists


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2020

Ted Lindsay Award nominees announced, exhibition and Stanley Cup qualifying round schedules revealed, plus the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Shea Weber, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the 2020 finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players Association membership.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is among the finalists for the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All are worthy finalists. They could also be in the running for the Hart Memorial Trophy. The finalists for that award will be announced on July 21.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule of exhibition games and the Stanley Cup qualifiers schedule for Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan. All Western Conference games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton and all Eastern Conference games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

SPORTSNET: Johnny Gaudreau’s separation from his linemates and the main group during the opening two days of the Calgary Flames’ training camp is raising eyebrows. Flames coach Geoff Ward claimed the move was due to “circumstances that became apparent last week.” He declined to elaborate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first-line winger continues to participate in the Flames’ practices with a smaller group, and Ward suggested he could be reunited with his linemates at some point. The NHL’s tight controls over the players’ medical status could cause imaginations to run wild over Gaudreau’s situation. If he were suffering COVID-19 symptoms, he wouldn’t be at practice. Perhaps he’s nursing a recent injury.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber was “unable to practice” yesterday but took to the ice afterward with assistant coach Luke Richardson for some individual work. Canadiens coach Claude Julien anticipates Weber will return to practice on Wednesday.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois missed practice yesterday with what is believed to be a minor issue. Because of the league’s return-to-play rules, the team didn’t provide details.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko returned to the ice yesterday with his teammates after missing the first day of training camp. Teammate Robert Bortuzzo remained absent. Both are believed to have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Blues coach Craig Berube expects Bortuzzo will return soon.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forwards Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin intend to leave the protective bubble during the playoffs to be with their expectant wives. Eller’s wife is due to give birth on Aug. 8 while Hagelin’s spouse is due in September. Both players must isolate and test negative for four consecutive days before returning to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Players are allowed to leave and return to the host cities for family reasons.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan missed practice yesterday for a family emergency. Teammate Corey Crawford remains “unfit to play” for the second straight day.

WGR550.COM: Buffalo Sabres winger Michael Frolik has reportedly received a contract offer from KHL team Avangard Omsk. The 32-year-old is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed winger Troy Terry to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension. Terry, 22, is completing his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry is among several promising youngsters the Ducks hope to rebuild around over the next several years. He’s tallied eight goals and 28 points in 81 games over the past three seasons.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed prospect defenseman Jack Rathbone to an entry-level contract.

SPORTSLOGO.NET: cites The Athletic reporting the Ottawa Senators will be switching to a slightly modified version of the 2d Senator Head logo they wore from 1997 to 2007.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2019

Bruins edge Blue Jackets in overtime, Blues down the Stars, Ted Lindsay Award finalists revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Charlie Coyle scored the tying and winning goals as the Boston Bruins edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime to take Game 1 of their second-round series. Seth Jones collected two assists for the Blue Jackets, who overcame a slow start following a 10-day layoff to take a 2-1 lead before Coyle sent the game into the extra frame.

It was a costly win for the Bruins, as center David Krejci is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury after leaving the game in the third period following an open-ice hit by Jackets forward Riley Nash.

Charlie Coyle’s two goals gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their second-round series (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It took a period for the Jackets to shake off the rust but once they did you could sense the flow of the game shifting in their direction, especially after they overcame a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead. Expect a more consistent effort from them as this series goes on. Losing Krejci, who centers the second line, could be a serious blow for the Bruins if he’s sidelined for a lengthy period. 

Vladimir Tarasenko’s two-goal performance powered to the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in the opening game of their second-round series. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 27 saves, including 16 in the final period as the Stars pushed for the equalizing goal. Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza scored for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko was an offensive force in this game, driving to the net and driving the Stars defense to distraction. Binnington looked shaky at times in the opening-round series against Winnipeg but he returned to form in this contest. 

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski remains day-to-day with a head injury and is considered unlikely to skate in Game 1 tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. He didn’t practice with his teammates yesterday.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The league has apologized to the Vegas Golden Knights over the controversial penalty call on center Cody Eakin that resulted in Pavelski’s injury during Game 7 of their opening-round series. Officials assessed Eakin with a five-minute major for cross-checking though replays showed Pavelski got hurt when his head struck the ice and not from Eakin’s stick. The Sharks scored four goals on the ensuing power play which turned the tide of the game.

CBS SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes forwards Andrei Svechnikov (concussion) and Micheal Ferland (upper body) remain doubtful for Game 1 of their second-round series against the New York Islanders.

NHL.COM:  Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov are this year’s finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award, “presented annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association.”

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman “will undergo surgery on his right knee Monday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and be out a minimum six months.”

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed fourth-line center Nate Thompson to a one-year, $1-million contract.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2018

Playoff game recaps, Lindsay Award nominees revealed, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights continue to roll in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring four first-period goals on route to a 7-0 beat-down of the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their second-round series. Having swept the Los Angeles Kings from the first round, the Golden Knights have yet to lose a playoff game.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the shutout while Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each collected three points. Sharks winger Evander Kane could face a suspension after he was ejected for cross-checking Vegas winger Pierre-Marc Bellemare in the head.

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his third shutout of the 2018 playoffs with a 7-0 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks were expected to match Vegas’ speed but they looked a step behind throughout this game. Their defensive game was horrific. They’ll need a much better effort in Game 2 on Saturday. 

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 2-0 deficit to edge the Washington Capitals 3-2 in the opening game of their second-round series. Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, while Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin tallied for the Capitals. Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon in Washington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s the Penguins’ message to the Capitals in every playoff series:


NHLPA: New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are this year’s finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award. This award is handed out annually “to the most outstanding player in the NHL,” as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.”

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings forwards Dustin Brown (left shoulder) and Trevor Lewis (right hand) underwent surgery to repair their respective injuries. Both are expected to be fully recovered before training camp in September. 

NJ.COM:  New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier played the season with a chronic left wrist and hand injury requiring two-to-four weeks of treatment. Forward Pavel Zacha injured a ligament in his right thumb and wrist near the end of this season. Neither player will undergo surgery. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The league contacted the Boston Bruins to have them tell forward Brad Marchand to stop licking opponents

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league shouldn’t be too harsh on Marchand. That’s probably the only way he knows how to show affection. (Just kidding!)

CALGARY SUN: Calgary city council will vote next month on a measure to start a committee to reopen arena talks with the Flames.