NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2018
Game recaps, Mike Fisher returns to the Predators plus updates on Nathan MacKinnon, Taylor Hall and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs rookies Travis Dermott and Justin Holl each scored their first NHL goals as their club blanked the New York Islanders 5-0. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the shutout. Islanders left Andrew Ladd returned to the lineup after missing nine games with an upper-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s two straight losses for the Islanders (55 points), who failed to gain ground in the Eastern Conference standings. They remain one point out of a wild-card spot.
Justin Abdelkader’s goal in the seventh round of the shootout gave the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, handing the latter their fourth consecutive loss. The Wings snapped a five-game home losing skid.
The Washington Capitals overcame a 2-0 deficit with five straight goals to down the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson scored twice within a 47-second span in the second period.
THE TENNESSEAN: Mike Fisher has come out of retirement and will rejoin the Nashville Predators roster. He intends to sign a contract with the club before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Fisher retired last August but was encouraged to return by his family, former teammates and members of the Predators coaching and management staffs. The date of his return has yet to be determined.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Preds will likely start Fisher on the fourth line and take it from there. He was an effective two-way center in his prime but was hampered by injury in his final seasons and tallied just four points during the Preds’ run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. I doubt this will alter any plans by Nashville general manager David Poile to add a scoring forward before the trade deadline.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and won’t play in tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said MacKinnon’s injury doesn’t appear too serious at this point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet as to just how long MacKinnon could be sidelined. The longer he’s out, the greater the impact upon the Avs’ playoff hopes.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for boarding Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo during the Devils’ 3-1 win on Tuesday.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary (lower-body injury) is questionable for Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
TWINCITIES.COM: With Jaromir Jagr’s departure earlier this week to the Czech Republic, Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cullen, 41, is now the oldest active player in the NHL.
TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired minor-league goaltender Eddie Pasquale from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for future considerations.
TORONTO STAR: On the 25th anniversary of Gary Bettman becoming NHL commissioner, Kevin McGran “looks at the many faces, controversies and accomplishments of hockey’s top guy.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman has justifiably earned his share of criticism over the years, but there’s no question he’s also had a positive effect upon the NHL. His legacy will be felt for decades.