The Blackhawks hold an impressive record, Jonathan Drouin addressed the media, NHL & NHLPA to address domestic violence and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
The Florida Panthers win streak reaches 10 games while Derek Stepan’s two-goal performance leads the NY Rangers to a big win over the Dallas Stars. Details and more in the NHL Hat Trick.
Notable NHL Headlines.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars leaders Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin wound up benched in the third period of last night’s loss to the New York Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, the Stars are the latest team to struggle after going through a lengthy period where they won considerably more than they lost. The goaltending and defensive play, largely to blame for the Stars’ downfall last season, are becoming issues of concern again. They’re also struggling on the road of late.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have an impressive record of 50-0-1 when leading after two periods that stretches back to the start of last season.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin spoke to the media yesterday for the first time since his demotion to the Bolts AHL affiliate in Syracuse. He ducked questions about his trade request.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have the latest speculation on Drouin in today’s Rumors section update.
RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon suggests the currently struggling Montreal Canadiens run the risk of missing the playoffs if they don’t pull out of their current tailspin soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s certainly a possibility, but there’s still half a season of hockey remaining and plenty of time for the Habs to turn things around. However, if they haven’t snapped out of their funk by the end of this month, they will almost certainly be outside the playoff picture.
TSN: The NHL and NHLPA will be visiting with all 30 clubs to educate players on the “sensitive and relevant issues surrounding domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault.”
THE WASHINGTON POST: Clinton Yates offers up some suggestions on how the NHL can improve the TV ratings for future Winter Classic games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league should cut back or eliminate the Stadium Series games that also run during the season. What made the Winter Classic special was it was the only outdoor game on the NHL calendar. It’s not anymore. Of course, the fact the league is cleaning up at the gate at these events compensates for the falling TV ratings. When they start struggling to fill the venues for these events, that’s when the league will be spurred into action.
Updated NHL Injury Report.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after falling awkwardly into the boards following a hit from Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard. He’s expected to travel back to Minnesota with the team.
CSNNE.COM: The NHL will review a hit from behind by Washington Capitals center Zach Sill on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, slamming the latter’s head against the boards. McQuaid left the game and didn’t return.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes forward Phil Di Giuseppe has been sidelined indefinitely by a concussion.