NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2016

by | Sep 22, 2016 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Nathan MacKinnon scores in overtime to give Team North America a 4-3 win over Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey .

Nathan MacKinnon scores in overtime to give Team North America a 4-3 win over Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey .

 World Cup of Hockey scores plus the latest on Phil Kessel, Roberto Luongo & more in your NHL morning headlines.

NHL.COM:  Nathan MacKinnon scored in overtime to give Team North America a thrilling 4-3 victory over Team Sweden in World Cup of Hockey preliminary round play. The Swedes had rallied back from a 3-1 deficit with Nicklas Backstrom’s third-period goal forcing the extra frame. Sweden has already clinched a berth in the semifinal. The North Americans can secure a berth if Team Finland defeats Team Russia today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this game was Team North America’s final one in this tournament, it was an exciting way to go out. For me, this was the best game of the tournament thus far. Lots of back-and-forth action, plenty of good scoring opportunities and two highlight-reel breakaway goals from MacKinnon and Johnny Gaudreau. 

Jonathan Toews scored twice and set up another and Logan Couture had a goal and an asset to lead Team Canada to a 4-1 win over Team Europe. The Canadians clinched top spot in Group A with a 3-0-0 record and await either Team North America or Team Russia in the semifinal. Team Europe is also in the semis, where they’ll face Team Sweden this weekend. 

ESPN.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel denied that his sarcastic tweet following Team USA’s elimination from the World Cup of Hockey on Tuesday was aimed at the players. “Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn’t put my finger on it,” tweeted Kessel at the time. Team USA players David Backes, Zach Parise and Derek Stepan said they hoped Kessel’s comments weren’t aimed at the Team USA players. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious Kessel wasn’t addressing the players, but Team USA’s management for twice snubbing him. Kessel’s offseason wrist surgery prevented him from participating anyway, but the selections were made before he suffered the injury. I thought it was a subtle, worthwhile dig. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: A source claims Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo received medical clearance to play without limitations. The 37-year-old netminder was recovering from offseason hip surgery. He’s now expected to be ready to play in the Panthers’ season-opener and could even get in a couple of preseason games. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals yesterday signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a one-year, $2.57 million contract. A disagreement over role and playing time, rather than contract terms, was reportedly behind the delay in getting Orlov re-signed. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals also have limited salary-cap space for the upcoming season, which also explains the terms of his current deal. If Orlov plays well this season in an expanded role, he’ll get a more lucrative, long-term contract from the Caps next summer. 

TSN:  Toronto Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul reportedly failed his team medical last week and could start the upcoming season on long-term injured reserve. He underwent sports-hernia surgery in February. Lupul is expected to address the media today. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger David Clarkson failed his pre-training camp medical because of chronic lower-back pain. It’s unclear when, or if, Clarkson will play again. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  He’ll also likely start the season on LTIR. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames have signed unrestricted free agent forward Lauri Korpikoski to a professional tryout offer. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabres defenseman Richie Dunn died yesterday at age 59. He spent nine of his 12 NHL seasons with the Sabres (1977-78 to 1988-89). He also spent two seasons with the Hartford Whalers and one with the Calgary Flames. In 483 NHL games, he tallied 176 points, along with 18 points in 36 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Dunn’s family and friends. 



  1. Kessel will take heat from the usual suspects for his tweet. But I thought it was a well deserved little shot at Team USA management. That team was a joke from day one, and I’m glad they flopped the way they did.

    They literally brought checkers to a chess match.

    On a positive side, with USA out of the picture, there isn’t a big rivalry brewing at this tournament, and maybe that will keep ratings lower and keep my slim hopes of NHLers at the Olympics alive. Not holding my breathe on that one.

    • I thought Kessel’s tweet was down right funny and I have no problem with it at all. Some people need to get thicker skins. I wish he was that funny when he was with the Leafs and he might still be there

      • ^^ THIS ^^

      • As funny as it was and it was probably directed at management it’s still saying he should have been on the team over one of the players! Let’s face Phil only cares about Phil and he wouldn’t have made a difference for USA I can’t wait till backes plays against him I don’t think he is very liked around the league to begin with

  2. Lupul is anout to become the highest paid video scout in the league unless he wants to retire and play in Switzerland.

    • Too bad I know I rag on Lupul a lot but at times over the past few years even tho he may have been hurt or lost a bit of a step you could always tell he cared and was all about the team and wanting it to be better. Hope whatever happens next for Lupul works out for him

      • I liked Lupul too and in his prime, he was an offensive threat; but as time passed, he became an injury liability. Too bad but maybe now, he’ll be the best video scout in Leaf history

  3. The Team North America vs Sweden overtime was incredible. So much skill and speed with amazing goaltending. I agree, from start to finish its been the tournaments best game.

    I sure hope Finland beats Russia today. Canada vs Team North America would be outstanding.

    Kessel leads the NHL playoffs in scoring, led the US team in scoring at the last Olympics but wasnt even selected to try out for the World Cup team? Derek Stepen and Brandon Dubinsky (no offence fellas) make the cut and Kessel doesnt even get an invite? Perfect example of whats wrong with US hockey and why they lost, again.

    • The only reason to watch this thing has been North America. lol

      • Every team has been fun to watch except the US team…quite a pathetic bunch. Unfortunate that bobrovski alone beat team NA. Would have been great to see Canada finally be challenged in a game.

      • Don’t worry about the shtickmeister hockey83 he doesn’t appreciate good hockey just leaf hockey

    • And Stepan was really the 2nd most talented center behind Pavelski… Eichel, Matthews and Larkin are already better than Stepan, Backes and Kesler….

      My all snub line is Tyler Johnson flanked by Kessel and Kreider. How much more fun would that line of been to watch?

  4. Cant teach speed. Glad Korpikoski signed

    • Can’t teach hands either

  5. It shouldn’t take 7 months to recover from hernia surgery! I smell a rat. Ha-ha!

  6. Subtle Striker, subtle lol.
    Kessel has every right to strike back. After what he’s been through and vindicated himself, he has earned the right. Don’t tell me Backes you wouldn’t say anything if you were in his shoes. ( or should I say skates )
    Korpikoski has looked good in the WCOH he earned himself this PTO. I can see others following soon.
    Would love to see a NA vs TC game, can you imagine the prices scalpers would get ?
    Lupul and Clarkson, while not superstars or really stars by any stretch are more then likely done. Too bad as a competitor, you hate to go out this way. We all want to go out on our terms and while its great on occasion ( See Ortiz MLB ) very rarely does it happen.

  7. I just don’t see how Orlov’s role can change significantly baring a trade or a serious injury next season. He essentially goes from the #6 in TOI/GP behind Schmidt to #5, seeing a little more PP time & SH time. His minutes may rise by a minute, minute & a 1/2 from 16:01 per game to 17 maybe 17.5?

    Carlson, Niskanen, Alzner & Orpik are your top 4 at least in TOI/GP & their salaries & abilities keep Orlov locked down at #5 this season. Alzner may be a salary Washington can’t afford next season with Orlov looking at a significant raise next summer.

    Now Orpik struggled to stay healthy last season but that was really the 1st time in his year that health has been an issue. At 36 in September it may be a trend moving forward but he has 3 years remaining at 5.5 mil per.

    Alzner, Carlson.
    Orpik, Niskanen.

    The #1 PP unit ices 4 forwards & Carlson, the #2 unit 4 forwards & a Niskanen. Ovechkin barely leaves the ice on the PP manning the left point on both units.