NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2016
Game recaps, Islanders put Halak on waivers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Patrick Marleau had a two-point performance (one goal, one assist) and rookie backup goaltender Aaron Dell made 21 saves for his first NHL shutout to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was struck in the face by a Shayne Gostisbehere slapshot in the final seconds of the third period. Flyers goalie Steve Mason injured his right hand in the first period. Neither injury is thought to be serious.
Jay McClement’s third-period goal stood as the winner while Cam Ward made 27 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. The ‘Hawks also lost center Marcus Kruger in the second period to an upper-body injury and it’s expected he’ll be sidelined for a while. Blackhawks blueliner Brian Campbell was a healthy scratch, bringing his consecutive games-played steak of 423 to an end.
Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist while Henrik Sedin scored in overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, who are 0-7 in OT this season.
Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro each collected two points while rookie goalie Juuse Saros picked up his first NHL shutout as the Nashville Predators blanked the St. Louis Blues 4-0.
The New York Islanders yesterday placed goaltender Jaroslav Halak on waivers. If he clears by noon ET today, he could be demoted to the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders were riding a three-goalie system of Halak, Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube this season. It appears the front office is tired of Halak’s inconsistency. He carries a $4.5 million cap hit, and if demoted the Isles will get $950K of cap relief. I’ll have more on the Halak situation later this morning in the Rumors section.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets will face off tonight against the Minnesota Wild. The Jackets are riding a 14-game winning streak while the Wild have won 12 straight. It’s the first time in NHL history that two teams with win streaks of at least 12 games will face each other.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is my game of the night, folks. The league’s two hottest teams facing off with lengthy winning streaks on the line.
SPORTSNET: Gare Joyce with a fascinating read on the evolution of Brendan Shanahan from NHL player to becoming one of the league’s most influential executives and architect of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ rebuilding program.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz could be playing himself into the 2017 All-Star Game. He’s tied for first “among Metropolitan Division defensemen in goals (7). Fourth in assists (16). Third in points (23). Tied for second in plus/minus (plus-22). Second in Corsi For Per 60 minutes of ice time (CF60 of 61.8). Third in Shots Against Per 60 (SA60 of 28.42). Tied for first in Scoring Chances Per 60 (SCA60 of 8.28).”
NBC SPORTS: Given the current uncertainty over NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, the league is working on two schedules for 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps I’m grasping at straws, but this signals that the league and the NHLPA aren’t done trying to work out an arrangement for Olympic participation next season in exchange for extending the current collective bargaining agreement by three years to 2025.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers activated defenseman Mark Fayne off injured reserve and assigned him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.