NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2016

by | Dec 28, 2016 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno celebrates his game winner against the Boston Bruins.

Game recaps, notable injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves and Nick Foligno tallied the game-winning goal as the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 13 games by edging the Boston Bruins 4-3. 

Jared Spurgeon scored in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild their 11th consecutive victory by beating the Nashville Predators 3-2. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long the respective streaks of the Jackets and Wild can last. The Jackets seemed to struggle against the Bruins last night. 

Sidney Crosby netted his league-leading 25th goal and Evgeni Malkin picked up his 800th career point to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund both scored two goals as the Calgary Flames doubled up the Colorado Avalanche 6-3. Gabe Landeskog also scored twice for the Avs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the losses mount for the Avalanche, there’s growing expectation general manager Joe Sakic could start shaking things up in the coming weeks. 

Derek Stepan and Nick Holden each scored twice and Ryan McDonagh collected three assists as the New York Rangers nipped the Ottawa Senators 4-3. 

Andrew Ladd scored twice and Jaroslav Halak kicked out 31 shots to give the New York Islanders a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals. 

Evander Kane potted two goals and Robin Lehner turned in a 40-save performance to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Earlier in the day, the Sabres learned first-line center Ryan O’Reilly had an appendectomy on Christmas Day and will miss the next two-three weeks. 

Brent Burns scored and set up another as the San Jose Sharks squeezed past the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves backstopping the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Earlier in the day, it was announced Jets forward Mark Scheifele will have a walk-on part with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker on Dec. 30. Meanwhile, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa (upper-body injury) is expected to miss the next three games

Jason Spezza scored and set up another to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. 

The Vancouver Canucks announced winger Jannik Hansen (knee injury) will miss the next four-to-six weeks. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (groin injury) will miss the next three games. 


  1. If Colorado ownership has any semblance of common sense the expected shake-up should start with the sacking of Sakic (pun intended) – maybe boot him “upstairs.”

    • I think an issue with that and the Avs for that matter, is if they just relieve Sakic, who do they replace him with? Craig Billington? The Owners son or some guy with little NHL experience from the Bluejackets organization. It’s a tough spot for the Avs most execs worth their salt wouldn’t be available to the off season.

      • Not exactly a front office staff of any significance by NHL standards.

      • If you`re gonna keep Sakic, you better put some rules in place on what he can or can`t do

      • Im of the same opinion I think Sakic is a problem so maybe what you do is instead of kicking him upstairs maybe you can find some other guy maybe an older hockey exec type or coach someone with some experience to kinda oversee the tear down? Similar to setting out some rules for Sakic. Might be easier than finding a GM mid season. Kinda like the Leafs did to Nonis.

      • There are names being bandied about as GMs-in-waiting, with these Assistant GMs most prominent: Rob Blake – L.A. Kings; Ryan Martin – Detroit; Paul Fenton – Nashville; Julien BriseBois – Lightning; Claude Loiselle – Leafs – as well as Pat Brisson – Player Agent and Co-Head of Creative Artists Agency (Hockey Division) with J.P. Barry.

        Having said that, coming into that role part-way into a season would never be easy – but on the other hand, it couldn’t get much worse in Colorado.

        Hell, Craig Button has experience and would be an improvement over Sakic.

      • George you can’t forget are any of those clubs willing to let them walk away and join Colorado right now. They well be better off bringing in someone as an advisor at this point just to help till the off season

      • There’s always that possibility that the clubs might not let them go – but from what I’ve read most in those jobs have contracts with an “out” if offered a full GM position. Besides, what club would want to have someone working for them who is royally pissed off at being refused an opportunity to move up in the world at a higher salary?

    • Sakic assumed his role of EX VP of Hockey opps in May of 2013. The following summer, 2014, he assumed the role of GM as well. It’s now Dec 2016, that’s barely 3 years at the helm, 2 as GM. How can this be his problem? He shared his role with Roy. A very unconventional management structure.

      3 years isn’t a sufficient period of time to build through the draft. The normal # discussed is 5 years min. He’s barely 1/2 way into this time line.

      As usual we agree to disagree. Go look at the D Sakic inherited when he took control of hockey opps. NHL.com makes it very easy to look at this data. Click on the 2013-14 season, defensemen, Colorado, then run 2014-15, 2015-16. It’s beyond bad, still is & only nominally better than when he took over. He has added Zadarov; a kid, & Beauchemin with Johnson & Barrie. No other Dman is even NHL quality on most teams in the NHL. They have shuttled through Redmond, Guenin, Stuart; end of his career, Holden, Hejda, Wiercioch, Gelinas & worse.

      As I have stated many times now, I’m not sure what people were expecting from Colorado this season. I had them 12th in the west to start the year, a bad team. They are in year 2 or 3 of a rebuild depending upon how you wish look at it. They have 1 of the worst D’s in the NHL. There best 2 way Dman Johnson is injured. There forward group isn’t much better they have 4 quality forwards & 1’s a rookie; Rantanen, the other 3 are just kids as well, Duchene being the oldest at 25, Landeskog 24 & McKinnon 21. Colorado would be hard pressed to beat the best AHL teams at this stage of their rebuild.

      Help is coming but building through the draft is time consuming, there are no short cuts. Shanahan was hired 1 year after Sakic as President of Hockey Opps for Toronto! Colorado didn’t tank games to secure a better future, in fact having success early due to Varlamov playing lights out for 1 & a bit seasons slowed down the rebuild & cost Colorado assets that shouldn’t have been expending, draft picks & Wood to rent Boedker.

      Plus you had the Roy dynamic. Here’s Wikipedia’s summary.

      “On May 23, 2013, Roy was named head coach and vice president of hockey operations of the Colorado Avalanche.[34] TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Roy will have the final say in all hockey matters. Then-Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman retained his post, but was considered the general manager “in name only.”[35] At the time, Roy was the only coach in the NHL who has the title or powers of general manager. Before the season started, his former Avs teammate, Joe Sakic, was hired as executive vice president of hockey operations. Although the title nominally put him above Roy on the organization chart, Roy and Sakic shared most of the duties normally held by a general manager in the NHL–a practice that continued after Sakic was formally granted the title of general manager in 2014.”

      So you could argue this is now Sakic’s team & year 1 of his reign as Roy had almost equal powers & certainly influenced the player personal decisions already made in this short period especially as it relates to the NHL roster.

      • He was hired the end of the 2010/11 season, as an advisor to hockey ops been involved with this for nearly 6 years yes his title changed and oddly enough from the point of that title change the Avs have become a dumpster fire let’s look at some of Sakics pickups Tanguay Inginla Sodderberg Beauchemin trade ROR for a bag of magic beans let Stastny walk for nothing… ya great job Joe there is some asset management. Semantic arguement about place holders stop gaps what ever Sakics has been in Colarado for nearly 6 years he took over as GM 3 seasons ago of a team that finished with over 100 points and was a playoff team since then it will be 3 seasons of decline and cratering to a last place team on pace for around 60 points. Thanks for the Wikipedia update tho.

      • The other thing if they were in fact building thru the draft with your idea of a 5 year rebuild what’s the point on signing or trading for those guys? Would have been further ahead to bottom out well before year 3 no? They didn’t decide to rebuild the year they finished with 112 points and if they did and knew they were why would they not trade Stastny for something tangible following that instead of losing a UFA for nothing? Same as ROR at the first sign of rebuild and bad blood or whatever other cliche you want to use why would you not move him? Why would you sign Iginla for 3 years at that point if it was to rebuild? Who would be the one responsible for that bad D? Sakic is a big part of the problem and suggesting he is building thru the draft compared to what has actually happened doesn’t make sense. Decided to build thru the draft and lose your 2 best centres in 2 years back to back for next to nothing? Only getting 1 2nd round pick a third liner and 2 fingers crossed? For Stastny and O’Reilly? How is that for building thru the draft or rebuilding? Great job Joe. lol It makes no sense to say he has been rebuilding if he is continuing to bring in Vets and sign vets that he is not able to flip for pick or won’t flip for picks either way it’s a terrible way to build.