NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2017

by | Dec 7, 2017 | News, NHL | 9 comments

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

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and set up three others to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (one goal, two assists) ended a 21-game goalless drought while teammate Tom Wilson scored twice, handing the Blackhawks their fifth consecutive loss. 

Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist as the Philadelphia Flyers collected their second straight win by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Flyers captain Claude Giroux picked up two assists. Meanwhile, Philadelphia defenseman Brandon Manning (right hand, wrist injury) will miss three-to-four weeks while goalie Michal Neuvirth will be sidelined one-two weeks with a lower-body injury. 

Ryan Miller made 29 saves for his 40th career shutout and teammate Adam Henrique scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Ottawa Senators 3-0. The Sens have only one victory in their last 10 games.

William Nylander’s shootout goal gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the slumping Calgary Flames. Frederik Andersen made a season-high 47 saves for the Leafs, handing the Flames their third straight defeat. The Flames were playing without Jaromir Jagr (day-to-day) 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will be sidelined for several weeks with a suspected groin injury. He could be out for up to eight weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need backup James Reimer to be at his best if they harbor any hope of climbing back into the playoff race during Luongo’s absence. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Paul Martin could return to action tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s been sidelined since Oct. 8. 

THE PROVINCE: Retired Vancouver Canucks forward Derek Dorsett said he was perhaps one hit away from suffering a catastrophic spinal injury. He underwent neck fusion surgery earlier this year and recently brought his playing career to an end after experiencing two neck bulges above and below the fusion. “If they got worse, they could have started pushing into my spinal cord,” he said. “It could have been bad. It could have been catastrophic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorsett said he has to avoid contact and must continue rehab but he’s looking forward to living a healthy life. If he still wants a career in hockey, I’m sure there are options available in coaching, scouting or management. Here’s hoping he finds something to his liking. 

TSN: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed center Greg McKegg on waivers. 

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers signed goaltender Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way contract after he cleared waivers yesterday and assigned him to their AHL affiliate in Hartford. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes opened this season hoping to get offense from their defensemen. However, only three blueliners – Noah Hanifin, Justin Faulk and Jaccob Slavin – have goals this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this trend continues, Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis could be pressured into parting with one of his notable blueliners for a scoring forward. 

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL pest Sean Avery was slapped with a restraining order over a dispute with his mother-in-law. 



  1. will Tkachuk get 1-2 games for lighting the fire again? Without his stick tap Luke Witkowski might have not come back in the ice and been suspended

    • It’s possible. He already has two suspensions totaling 3 games on his resume since last season.

  2. An article about no offensive from Car’s D makes moving 1 for scoring help at forward? Carolina isn’t moving 1 of their D for help at forward at least not 1 of their top 5.

    Car is a young rebuilding team, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter but still 2 years away really. There are kids coming to help fill scoring roles a bunch of them & Teravavinen, Aho & Lindholm will be far better offensive players than they are today in a few years.

    I have watched Carolina play often this year. 2 issues stand out for me, Darling isn’t playing any where near well enough, he has had 3 possibly 4 solid starts but he is giving up way to many soft goals,almost 1 a game & his play has cost Carolina numerous wins, I’d say at least 4 but as many as 6 wins.

    They also give up quality scoring chances firing the puck from low % areas & their D far to ofetn, they should be working to get into better scoring positions before shooting, as those low % shots essentially become turn overs in possession. They lead the league in shots on goal per game.

    The league average SV% for all goalies is .911, for goalies with at least 12 games played; 1/2 the games played by the team with the lowest games played, the median average with 31 teams would be 15.5. Markstrom is 15th at .917, Dubnkyk 16th at .914.

    With even average goaltending Car would be a playoff team today.

    • The Hurricanes are 27th in the league in goals for per game (2.69) and 28th in power-play percentage (16.27). Only one player (Skinner) has reached double digits in goals thus far. They lack a true scoring center.

      Could the goaltending be better (15th in GAA at 2.96)? Sure. It’s not great but not horrible. Defensively, they give up the second-fewest shots-against per game (29.46), but I’ll concede your point about giving up quality scoring chances at low percentage areas or their D improving their positioning when shooting. Bottom line is they’re simply not scoring enough. There’s just not enough firepower at forward and until that improves, it really won’t matter how well they play defensively if they can’t put the puck in the oppposing net.

  3. Awful news about Dorsett. He’ll be missed. Canucks made a classy move having him come out to present an award to Daniel for his 1000th point on Saturday, it gave the fans a chance to show their appreciation for Dorsett as well. He was off to a great start this season but he made the smart decision to retire rather than risk permanent injury.

  4. Time for a new coach in Ottawa that doesn’t run such a terrible system. That team has the players that they could at least be fun to watch.
    Sean Avery is an arrogant piece of slime. The entire global population should have a restraining order against him.
    Nice to see the trade is working out for Henrique and the Ducks.
    I won’t miss McKegg at all if another team takes him. He faded quickly into the season and would not have played much after the Sheahan trade if not for the Rowney injury.

    • You could be right given that the average coach in Ottawa lasts for an average of 2 seasons since 2000:
      Jacques Martin – 1996-2004
      Bryan Murray – 2005-2007
      John Paddock – 2007-2008
      Bryan Murray – 2008
      Craig Hartsburg – 2008-2009
      Cory Clouson – 2009-2011
      Paul McLean – 2011-2014
      Dave Cameron – 2014-2016
      Guy Boucher – 2016-?

      Strangely enough, the same average applies to Pittsburgh:
      Herb Brooks – 1999-2000;
      Ivan Hlinka – 2000-2001
      Rick Kehoe – 2001-2003
      Ed Olcyk – 2003-2005
      Michel Therrien – 2005-2009
      Dan Bylsma – 2009-2014
      Mike Johnson – 2014-2015
      Mile Sullivan – 2015-?

      In that same period the Pens have won the cup 3 times – Ottawa’s been to the finals once. Sure helps when you have two guys named Crosby and Malkin.

      • Durn tootin!

      • Therien and Bylsma are the only 2 that really matter. Most of those guys were from the dark ages of the franchise in between Jagr and Crosby. Sullivan has earned a long rope at this point. It would take a LOT for him to get fired any time soon. The Pens all had a slow start but they seem to be back on track winning 5 of 6 lately. And technically the Pens have 3 cups and 4 finals over that period. It helps when you have Crosby and Malkin no doubt but they also got Letang in the third round, Shultz off the scrap heap, Dumoulin as a throw in, Guentzel, Rust, Murray, Jarry, Wilson, Kuhnhackle, as later round picks. Sheary that no one wanted. Etc etc. It’s not like just Sid and Geno had been enough in the past to guarantee anything.