NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2016
Game recaps, injury updates, CBA news & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Connor Brown scored twice and set up two others as the Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Florida Panthers 6-1, spoiling former Leafs goalie James Reimer’s return to Toronto since his trade to San Jose last season. Reimer signed this summer with the Panthers.
Jeff Carter’s shorthanded second-period goal stood as the winner as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The same old issues (secondary scoring, defensive play, goaltending) continue to haunt the Oilers.
Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier scored within 34 seconds of each other as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. In an awkward moment, the Flyers made defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere a healthy scratch on the same day he received Philadelphia’s Pro Athlete of the Year Award.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Helluva way to send a message to Gostisbehere that his defensive game needs improvement.
Mikael Granlund scored late in third period to give the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves for the shutout. Earlier in the day, the Wild announced they were assigning rookie forward Joel Eriksson Ek to Sweden for the remainder of the season.
Ben Bishop made 32 saves and Nikita Kucherov potted his ninth goal of the season to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Earlier in the day, the Lightning learned captain Steven Stamkos will miss at least the next four months following knee surgery.
Pekka Rinne made 30 saves as the Nashville Predators downed the Ottawa Senators 5-1. It was a costly loss for the Sens, as winger Bobby Ryan left the game with an upper-body injury.
Jaden Schwartz scored twice to help the St. Louis Blues edge the San Jose Sharks by a score of 3-2.
Ryan Kesler potted the game-winning goal to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak.
Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves as the Dallas Stars held off a rally by the Colorado Avalanche to win the game 3-2.
Ben Hutton’s overtime penalty shot lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who also lost forward Brad Richardson to a lower-body injury.
CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving spoke to NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom expressing concerns over multiple slashes to Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, resulting in Gaudreau suffering a broken finger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The practice of “tapping” a player with your stick has been around for decades as a means of distraction to force a turnover. Still, Treliving has a point over how Gaudreau received multiple hacks to the hand in that 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Tapping could become an issue among NHL GMs in their future meeting.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports several NHL general managers suggest this season’s compressed schedule, the toll of constant training upon players’ bodies, lighter equipment and higher shot blocking could be contributing factors in this season’s high rate of injuries.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patrick Hornqvist (concussion) and Chris Kunitz (lower-body injury) are listed as day-to-day.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger believes we shouldn’t be surprised by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s recent proposal to the NHLPA offering continued participation in the Winter Olympics in exchange for a three-year extension of the CBA. “If the players say yes, Bettman and the owners get to maintain the status quo for a longer period. And if they give the thumbs down, the owners avoid the disruption of the season,” writes Zeisberger, adding the owners win either way.
CSN BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic casts a cynical eye upon Bettman’s proposal. “I started laughing,” he said. “That’s not negotiating. It’s not. As an athlete, it’s your right to go to the Olympics. I don’t know if [the report] is true. I hope it’s not. That’s not the way you negotiate things. But, if that is true, all of a sudden they don’t mind having a two-week break in the NHL for a three-year collective bargaining agreement.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something Vlasic didn’t mention is the players reported unhappiness with the current system of escrow clawbacks from their salaries. Extending the CBA locks them into that setup for three more years. It’s unlikely they’ll stomach that.