NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2019

NHL

Sebastian Aho has a five-point game, Sergei Bobrovsky picks up his first win over his former club, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho had a five-point game (including a hat trick) to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 6-2, snapping the latter’s 11-game points streak. Teuvo Teravainen collected three assists for the Hurricanes, who hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho’s five-point performance powered his club to a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was Bobrovsky’s first game against his former club since signing with the Panthers last summer. Mike Hoffman, Aleksander Barkov, and Keith Yandle each had two points. With the win, the Panthers move into second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Predators spoiled P.K. Subban’s return to Nashville by defeating his New Jersey Devils 6-4. Subban, who was dealt to the Devils last summer, finished the game without a point and a plus-minus of minus-3. Nick Bonino, Rocco Grimaldi, and Dante Fabbro each had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Devils.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their sixth straight win by downing the Boston Bruins 4-1, snapping the latter’s points streak at 13 games. It was a costly victory for the Avs as defenseman Cale Makar and goaltender Philipp Grubauer left the game with injuries. Updates on their conditions won’t be revealed until Monday or Tuesday.

Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson each tallied two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the San Jose Sharks 7-1. Alex Killorn had four points while Victor Hedman had three. Sharks goalie Martin Jones was pulled after giving up four goals on 21 shots.

Scott Laughton’s tie-breaking goal held up as the winner as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Senators winger Brady Tkachuk was fined over $2,400.00 for cross-checking Laughton, who threw a big hit on Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who subsequently dropped the gloves with Joel Farabee. Flyers winger Jakub Voracek fought Nick Paul after Travis Konecny left the game following a big hit by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Senators, who lost goaltender Craig Anderson to a lower-body injury in the first period.

The Vancouver Canucks blew a 5-3 lead but defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-5 on an overtime goal by J.T. Miller. Josh Leivo and Antoine Roussel each tallied twice for the Canucks, who wore their vintage “Flying Skate” jerseys in this contest. Jack Eichel, Rasmus Risolainen, and Sam Reinhart each collected two points for the Sabres, who move into third in the Atlantic Division.

A four-goal first period powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman each scored two goals as the Leafs chased Blues goalie Jordan Binnington after he gave up four goals on 11 shots.

Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and two assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri both had two points for the Wings, who are winless in 11 contests.

Ben Bishop kicked out 34 shots backstopping the Dallas Stars over the New York Islanders 3-1. Alex Radulov, a healthy scratch in the Stars’ previous game, tallied a goal and an assist.

Milan Lucic and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames held off the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. The Flames are 5-0-1 in their last six games while the Kings’ winless skid on the road is now at 11 games. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each had a goal and an assist for the Kings.

 










NHL Prospects Who Could Be Traded – Eastern Conference Edition

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NHL Weekend Bets: Bruins, Lightning Among Saturday Favorites

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NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2019

NHL

P.K. Subban slammed for his poor play, Predators coach Peter Laviolette denies abuse allegations, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Corey Crawford made 29 saves for his 250th career win backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Hawks rookie Kirby Dach tallied the winner in the fifth round of the shootout. The Blackhawks played without Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw, as they were placed on injured reserve earlier in the day. The Devils have dropped four straight games. Speaking of the Devils, the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis implies P.K. Subban is putting marketing himself over hockey.

A New York sportswriter suggests New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban’s struggles could be tied to his off-ice marketing schedule. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s declining production in 2018-19 can be attributed to injuries, but that’s not the issue this season. As Cyrgalis suggests, his busy off-ice schedule could have something to do with it. One could argue Subban’s play is suffering  because the Devils are a lousy club, but he’s supposed to be a superstar who can elevate any team’s performance.

Cyrgalis also suggests the low return the Nashville Predators received (“two middling prospects and two second-round draft picks”) from the Devils last summer was indicative of Subban’s declining value. In reality, that trade was a straightforward salary dump by the Predators, freeing up cap dollars to sign Matt Duchene. That’s why the Devils didn’t have to give up very much to get Subban. Nevertheless, his play this season certainly hasn’t bolstered his stock.

The Penguins spoiled Phil Kessel’s return to Pittsburgh by blanking Kessel and his Arizona Coyotes’ teammates 2-0. Tristan Jarry kicked out 33 shots for his second straight shutout.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as his Edmonton Oilers edged the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Draisaitl (53 points) holds a one-point lead over teammate Connor McDavid atop the league scoring race. Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen turned aside 35 shots. With the Coyotes falling to the Penguins, the Oilers regained first place in the Pacific Division.

Washington Capitals winger Jakub Vrana tallied the game-winning goal and collected an assist in a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf collected two points in a losing cause. The league-leading Capitals have won six in a row.

A late goal by Nate Thompson lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the New York Rangers 2-1. Habs goalie Carey Price made 29 saves for the win. The Canadiens played without center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who suffered a concussion in Thursday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

HEADLINES

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette denied allegations of abusive behavior leveled at him by former player Daniel Carcillo when they were with the Philadelphia Flyers. “First was a suggestion by (Carcillo) that I used my position of power inside of a locker room to bully or … challenge players to go out there and fight,” Laviolette said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Laviolette also responded to a video clip making the rounds on social media showing him apparently punching forward Ville Leino in the back of the head during a game in 2011.

“I had called a timeout. I was trying to get my team motivated and I went to punch my fist into my hand. I nicked the back of his helmet. By no means was it meant as any physical abuse nor have I ever had any physical abuse with a player. … If people really thought I was punching somebody in the back of the head, then that would have come forward a long time ago.”

Leino defended Laviolette, saying he didn’t believe the coach intentionally struck him. “There are a lot of emotions in the game. Coaches get fired up and thing happen,” Leino told ESPN. “I don’t think Peter tried to hit me, and it looks worse than it was.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Flyers Daniel Briere and Scott Hartnell also defended Laviolette, as did current Predators forward Austin Watson. While time will tell if Carcillo’s accusation against Laviolette holds up, that video clip inspired a rush to judgment on social media before all the facts were in. And speaking of rushing to judgment…

SPORTSNET: Nikita Zaitsev’s agent released a statement disputing claims by his ex-wife that he’s taken their children and she doesn’t know about their whereabouts.

“The story that is being circulated online by the ex-wife of my client Nikita Zaitsev is not accurate,” Dan Milstein wrote. “Nikita’s children are safe and with his parents, at his parents’ home in Moscow, where they normally reside. Nikita’s ex-wife knows where the children are and that they are safe. Law enforcement considers this to be a private matter. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy.”

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Zach Werenski (shoulder) on injured reserve.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu is on IR with a lower-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed Andreas Johnsson (leg) on IR until at least Christmas.










What We Learned This Week In The NHL – Week 9

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NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2019

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Nathan MacKinnon willing to accept less on his next contract to stay with the Avalanche, the Stars scratch Alex Radulov, Joe Thornton punches a goaltender, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche took a 3-0 lead over the Montreal Canadiens and held on for a 3-2 victory. Avs winger Gabriel Landeskog scored in his return to the lineup after being sidelined 16 games with a leg injury. Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau made 32 saves in his NHL debut. Habs center Jesperi Kotkaniemi left the game after falling awkwardly on his head following a questionable hit by Avs defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

Nathan MacKinnon said he’s willing to accept less money to re-sign with the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

Earlier in the day, Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon said he had no regrets over his current contract. He also said he’ll accept less money on his next deal because he wants to win with the Avs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon inked his current seven-year, $44.1-million contract following the 2015-16 season, when he was coming off three inconsistent, injury-hampered performances. At the time, it was a significant raise for the young center coming out of his entry-level contract. It was also a gamble that turned into a long-term bargain for the Avs as MacKinnon blossomed into a dominant 90-plus point player.

I don’t doubt MacKinnon’s sincerity about accepting less than market value. He’s taking a page out of his buddy Sidney Crosby’s book. However, he’s still going to get a hefty pay raise on his next deal.

When MacKinnon’s current contract expires in 2023, the salary cap could reach $90 million, meaning the highest-paid players could command between $14-$15 million annually. MacKinnon could get between $12-$13 million per season if he’s still racking up 90-point seasons by that point.

The Dallas Stars snapped a four-game winless skid with a 3-2 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets, who overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra period. Joe Pavelski tallied the game-winner for the Stars, who raised eyebrows earlier in the day by announcing winger Alexander Radulov would be a healthy scratch from this contest. Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen each collected two points for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov has 15 points in 29 games this season. He has five points in his last 10 games, with three of those coming against the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 25. He was held scoreless in his last four contests.

Andrei Svechnikov scored the only goal in a shootout as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the San Jose Sharks 3-2. Svechnikov also had a goal and an assist in regulation play. During the second period, Sharks center Joe Thornton laid out Hurricanes’ goaltender Petr Mrazek with a punch to the mask when the latter objected to Thornton jabbing at the puck after the netminder covered it in the crease. Mrazek recovered and finished the game.

Milan Lucic scored his first goal of the season as the Calgary Flames held on for a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who’ve won three straight games. Earlier in the day, the city of Calgary reached an agreement with the Flames and the Calgary Stampede on a deal to construct a new arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can finally put to rest those silly rumors suggesting the Flames would relocate if they didn’t get a new arena. Despite public posturing by Calgary’s mayor, I had no doubt the city would eventually agree to construct a new arena.

The Minnesota Wild picked up their fifth straight victory by upsetting the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4. Mats Zuccarello scored the game-winner and collected two assists for the surging Wild, who’ve climbed from dead-last in the league over a month ago into a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel scored twice as his club downed the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1. The Coyotes have won eight of their last 10 games, moving into first place in the Pacific Division.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored against his former club in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alexandar Georgiev made 45 saves for the win, handing the Jackets their third straight defeat.

Ryan Pulock’s overtime goal lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Isles goaltender Semyon Varlamov kicked out 31 shots for the win. Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the Golden Knights roster following a leave of absence to spend time with his dying father. He was the backup for this contest.

Jonathan Toews scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Boston Bruins 4-3, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak. The Bruins rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force the extra frame. Dylan Strome scored and added an assist for the Blackhawks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Brent Sopel released a statement yesterday clarifying comments he made a year ago describing encountered with Marc Crawford that could be considered abusive behavior by the former NHL coach. “It was not my intent to make any allegations against anyone or any organization,” Sopel said as part of his statement “I was only speaking to how Coach Crawford affected me. I cannot speak for how others were affected by him.”

TSN: A former NHL Players Association executive has filed a lawsuit against the PA claiming it covered up theft of over $100K in association funds by one of its executives. The PA is denying the accusation.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have sent struggling defenseman Erik Brannstrom to their AHL affiliate in Belleville.