NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2016
Panthers fire Gerard Gallant. Details plus game recaps & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Following last night’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelly. General manager Tom Rowe, who used to coach the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Portland, will take over the coaching duties. After finishing first in the Atlantic Division in 2015-16, the Panthers were 11-10-1, sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference but only two points out of a playoff berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant was a key reason the Panthers took the Atlantic last season and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Awards as NHL coach of the year. He didn’t suddenly turn into a bad coach this season.
While Gallant isn’t one for excuses, injuries to key players (Jonathan Huberdeau, Jussi Jokinen, Nick Bjugstad) was a significant factor behind the Panthers’ slow start. The club was also still adjusting to some notable offseason roster changes (Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver, replacing Brian Campbell with Keith Yandle).
In my opinion, the Panthers front office seized the first opportunity to replace a coach that they had inherited. Gallant wasn’t their guy. His firing is being greeted with widespread puzzlement and condemnation by the hockey media, leaving the Panthers players disappointed and unhappy.
NHL.COM: Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 42-save shutout performance as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0. The Preds were playing without James Neal, Ryan Ellis and Colton Sissons, who are missing the club’s current road trip because of injuries.
Making his NHL debut, goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 29 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-3.
Craig Anderson made 32 saves backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 blanking of the New York Rangers.
Tuukka Rask turned in a 30-saver effort and Jimmy Hayes scored his first of the season as the Boston Bruins downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1.
Jamie McGinn tallied the game winner to lift the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
NBC SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal suffered an upper-body injury during his club’s win yesterday over the Florida Panthers. No word yet on his condition.
The Vancouver Canucks reportedly place defenseman Alexander Edler on injured reserve with a suspected hand injury.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Jaden Schwartz is on a hot streak, tallying 12 points in his last 10 games.
NEW YORK POST: The addition of young players such as Mika Zibanejad (before his left injury), Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich, plus veterans Michael Grabner and Brandon Pirri) are key factors behind the New York Rangers’ strong start.
THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals’ once-vaunted power play is struggling this season.