NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2018
Game recaps, three stars of the week, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: John Tavares scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the New York Islanders edged the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Isles goalie Thomas Greiss made a career-high 52 saves while rookie Mathew Barzal had a three-point game. Canadiens forwards Phillip Danault (concussion symptoms) and Andrew Shaw (lower body) were sidelined from this game. Earlier in the day, the Habs claimed forward Logan Shaw off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.
Tyler Seguin’s overtime goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Stars center Jason Spezza, mired in a lengthy scoring slump, was a healthy scratch, a move head coach Ken Hitchcock hopes will motivate the veteran to elevate his play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 15 NHL seasons and several injuries, including a back injury that waylaid him for most of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, the 34-year-old Spezza might not be capable of improving his game.
The Colorado Avalanche won their seventh straight game by downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Avs center Nathan MacKinnon scored his 20th goal of the season while goalie Jonathan Bernier turned aside 33 shots.
Martin Jones made 35 saves while Chris Tierney scored a goal and set up another to give the San Jose Sharks a 4-1 victory over the slumping Los Angeles Kings, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. Earlier in the day, the Sharks placed veteran defenseman Paul Martin on waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martin has a year remaining on his contract at an annual salary-cap hit of $4.85 million. It’s doubtful a rival club will want to take on the full value. If he goes unclaimed, the Sharks are reportedly prepared to pick up part of his salary to facilitate a trade.
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, Flames goaltender Mike Smith and Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel were the NHL stars for the week ending Jan. 14, 2018.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho suffered a concussion and a lower-body injury after being hit by Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano during Sunday’s game between the two clubs. Aho doesn’t require surgery but he will be sidelined indefinitely. Giordanao received a match penalty but won’t face supplemental discipline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aho’s absence could detail the Hurricanes’ playoff hopes. He’s their leader in goals (16) and points (37) this season and was on pace for a 35-goal, 65-point campaign. The Canes currently sit two points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Deryk Engelland to a one-year, $1.65-million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Engelland’s getting a $500K pay bump for next season but it’s still an affordable move by the Golden Knights. He’s emerged as a team leader and sits second on the club in blocked shots with 83.
STLTODAY.COM: Former St. Louis Blues chairman Mike Shanahan passed away Monday at age 78.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Shanahan’s family, friends and the Blues’ organization.