NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2020

A milestone night for Alex Ovechkin and Patrice Bergeron, Dougie Hamilton suffers a serious leg injury, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick carried his club to a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin tied Mike Gartner by starting his NHL career with 15 consecutive 30-goal seasons. He also needed four stitches after being clipped in the mouth by a high stick from Devils winger Miles Wood in the first period. With 689 goals, Ovechkin is one shy of Mario Lemieux for 10th on the all-time list.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has reach the 30-goal plateau for the 15th consecutive season (Photo via NHL Images).

Patrice Bergeron tallied his 20th goal of the season as the Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Bergeron has reached 20 goals in seven straight seasons. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug got into a rare tussle by dropping the gloves with Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist. Sidney Crosby tallied the lone goal for the Penguins. Earlier in the day, the Bruins placed goaltender Tuukka Rask (concussion) on injured reserve.

The Columbus Blue Jackets edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on a late goal by captain Nick Foligno. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton left the game in the second period with an apparent left leg injury that coach Rod Brind’Amour said doesn’t look good.

Pete DeBoer got his first win as head coach with the Vegas Golden Knights as they doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Golden Knights winger Mark Stone had a goal and an assist in his first game in Ottawa since getting traded to Vegas last February.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, Carey Price made 40 saves, and Tomas Tatar collected three points as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Canadiens sophomore Jesperi Kotkaniemi also got into the first fight of his career.

The Calgary Flames picked up their sixth win in seven games by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. Flames goaltender David Rittich made 35 saves for the win as teammate Matthew Tkachuk scored the only goal in the shootout.

Sam Montembeault made 23 saves coming off the bench to replace sidelined Chris Driedger as the Florida Panthers held on for a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists for the Kings.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark made 28 saves as his club defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1. It’s the Sabres fifth win in their last seven contests. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Philipp Grubauer had a 27-save shutout as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the San Jose Sharks 4-0. It’s the Avs first win in five games.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their 10th win in their last 13 games by beating the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves while Elias Pettersson collected two assists.

A late power-play goal by Chris Kreider lifted the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders 3-2. Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 38 shots.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped a four-game losing skid by upsetting the Nashville Predators 4-2. Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson each had a goal and an assist. The Predators have dropped seven of their last 10 games and sit six points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Minnesota Wild held on for a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first win in five games. Nikita Kucherov scored both Lightning goals.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet will replace Gerard Gallant as coach of the Pacific Division at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game. Gallant was fired earlier this week as head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.

MLIVE.COM: Gallant’s firing raised questions about Jeff Blashill’s future as bench boss of the Detroit Red Wings. Blashill remains unconcerned and is focused on trying to find solutions to help his club.

THE SCORE: As expected, the NHL is talking to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers to ensure the next two games between the clubs don’t get out of hand. Senior VP of Player Safety George Parros will attend the Jan. 29 game in Edmonton. Tensions were raised after Oilers winger Zack Kassian received a two-game suspension for an on-ice altercation with Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.

Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault is incensed that Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen won’t be suspended for elbowing him in the face during a recent game between the two clubs. “Player safety, my ass!,” he told a Winnipeg Sun reporter. “This is literally an elbow to the face of a guy that didn’t have the puck,” Perreault added he could take measure into his own hands the next time a rival player does that to him. “I’m the smallest guy (on) the ice so I can’t really fight anybody. The only thing I can do to defend myself is use my stick, so the next guy that does that to me is gonna get my f—— stick. And I better not get suspended for it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have a feeling Perreault is going to get a phone call from Parros over his comments.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks placed center Dylan Strome (right ankle sprain) on injured reserve.

NEWSDAY: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has asked the NHL to consider moving all Islanders games to Nassau Coliseum next season before they open their Belmont Park arena in 2021.










NHL Sense or Nonsense – Trade Chatter Beginning to Percolate

NHL Sense or Nonsense – Trade Chatter Beginning to Percolate

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2020

Game recaps, Avalanche coach accuses Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle, All-Star Game updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Zack Smith scored twice and Patrick Kane picked up his 998th career point as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. The Blackhawks (50 points) kept their playoff hopes alive by moving within four points of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Canadiens, meanwhile, are nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane netted his 998th career point in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek scored in overtime as his club edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3, snapping the latter’s nine-game home winning streak. The Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force the extra period. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart missed last night’s game against the Blues with an abdominal strain. He’s expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar accused the Dallas Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle. Singling out Stars centers Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin, Bednar claimed they do a better job cheating on faceoffs than the Avs do. “We don’t feel like the linesmen were doing a good enough job (Tuesday), sort of holding (the respective teams) accountable to make it a level playing field on the faceoffs.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams cheating in the faceoff circle is an ongoing issue. The league has attempted to address this in the past and could revisit the problem.

CALGARY SUN: Flames goaltender David Rittich will replace sidelined Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of the Flames, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian will have to fight Milan Lucic when the two clubs face each other on Jan. 29. This stems from Kassian’s recent on-ice altercation with Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the fallout from that incident (including Kassian receiving a two-game suspension) and the anticipation for the next game between the two clubs, the league could attempt to diffuse this situation before the home-and-home series at month’s end.

The Oilers, meanwhile, re-signed defenseman Caleb Jones to a two-year, $1.7-million contract.

THE SCORE: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte revealed he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. “It’s not necessarily about telling my story,” Motte said. “It’s about to help that one person or those handful of people that need to know they’re not alone in it.”

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman suited up in goalie gear and took shots from Alex Ovechkin during a recent Washington Capitals practice.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed Brett Ritchie on waivers.










NHL Gold & Mold: Panarin Excelling with Rangers, Shero Out As Devils GM

NHL Gold & Mold: Panarin Excelling with Rangers, Shero Out As Devils GM

 










More Top Targets in Weekly NHL Rumor Roundup

More Top Targets in Weekly NHL Rumor Roundup

 










Golden Knights Fire Gallant, Hired DeBoer as Head Coach

Golden Knights Fire Gallant, Hired DeBoer as Head Coach

The Vegas Golden Knights fired head coach Gerard Gallant, replacing him with former San Jose Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer. Assistant coach Mike Kelly was also relieved of his duties.

The Vegas Golden Knight fire head coach Gerard Gallant (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move comes as a big surprise. Gallant becomes the seventh head coach to lose his job this season. That includes DeBoer, who was fired a month ago by the Sharks. Considering the Golden Knights already had Gallant’s replacement already lined up, management obviously had this move  planned for a while. 

The official statement from the Golden Knights claims this decision was necessary for the club to achieve its full potential. They’ve have struggled of late, mired in a four-game losing streak and slumping just outside the last wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Nevertheless, they’re only three points behind the Arizona Coyotes (57 points) for first place in the tight Pacific standings.

Gallant was selected to coach the Pacific Division at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game. He won the Jack Adams Award guiding then-expansion Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, and a third-place finish in the Pacific Division last season. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Golden Knights and Gallant were talking contract extension earlier in the season.

Recent reaction on social media suggests this move was made as a shot across the bow at the Golden Knights players. Given how much they’ve invested in the roster, ownership and the front office expect this team to be a Cup contender. Perhaps Gallant lost the room, or maybe he’s paying the price for some recent shaky goaltending and a defense lacking a true blueline stud.

Given Gallant’s solid coaching credentials, he shouldn’t remain unemployed for long. Detroit and Montreal are already being mentioned as possible destinations by some on the Twittersphere, though his inability to speak French could make the latter an unlikely destination as a head coach.

DeBoer guided the Sharks to the 2016 Cup Final and the New Jersey Devils to the 2012 Final. He guided the Sharks to two seven-game series victories over the Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche before falling to the St. Louis Blues in last spring’s playoffs. It’ll be interesting to see if he can get his new club back among the Cup contenders.