NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2018

by | Oct 11, 2018 | News, NHL | 10 comments

Game recaps plus updates on Ryan Kesler, Tom Wilson, Paul Stastny and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers bounced back from Tuesday’s 8-2 humiliation at the hands of the San Jose Sharks by thumping the Ottawa Senators 7-4. Jakub Voracek enjoyed a five-point night, scoring twice and setting up three others. A bright spot for the Senators was the play of rookie winger Brady Tkachuk, who scored his first two NHL goals and also collected an assist.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek had a five-point game in a 7-4 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been a lot of high-scoring games in the opening days of this NHL season. Some attribute this to the reduction in the size of goaltenders’ chest protectors. Others attribute this to the league trending toward speed and skill. We should also remember that it’s still very early in the season when teams are still shaking out their rosters and players are adjusting to the schedule. I daresay we’ll see a decline in these offensive numbers in the coming weeks. 

Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied a goal and collected three assists while Alex Ovechkin scored twice to give the Washington Capitals a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in a rematch of this year’s Stanley Cup Final. 

Speaking of the Capitals, winger Tom Wilson has been granted “non-roster player status” by the league as he serves his 20-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. That allows the Capitals to activate defenseman Michal Kempny off injured reserve without having to demote a roster player. 

Before the game, the Golden Knights announced center Paul Stastny will miss three games with a lower-body injury. 

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their first win of the season by edging the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in a shootout. Nick Cousins scored the winning goal while goaltender Antti Raanta made 23 saves, along with three in the shootout, for the victory. Ducks center Ryan Kesler made his long-awaited return to the roster and opened the scoring. 

POST-GAZETTE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed center Derek Grant on waivers. 

TSN: The New York Islanders placed forward Jan Kovar on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. 

NEW YORK POST: The Nashville Predators are catching some flak for raising three banners in their recent home-opener. They had one to commemorate winning the Presidents’ Trophy, one for winning the Central Division and, curiously, one for being the “Regular Season Western Conference Champions.” It’s the latter that raised eyebrows as the Vegas Golden Knights are the real 2018 Western Conference Champions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like someone in the Predators front office has a bit of banner envy. Raising one to celebrate winning the Presidents’ Trophy is fine. Raising one as Central Division champions is redundant since that’s covered by winning the Presidents’ Trophy. Calling themselves the “Regular Season Western Conference Champions” is silly and misleading. 



  1. Why is the league giving a benefit (“non roster player status”) to Wilson and the Caps.

    He was suspended… it’s punitive to try and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    Yes I realize it makes no difference technically to Wilson and only benefits team; but suspensions are also , I would hope, a punitive thing for the team involved as an incentive to try and “council” the offending player.

    Does anybody here know if this status been granted before for suspended players?

    Does non roster player status also mean Wsh gets to save the $1.26M in cap space?

    • Wilson’s cap hit still counts and the same was done for the Sharks when Raffi Torres was suspended a few years back, according to Sportsnet and CapFriendly.


      It does seem a little unjust…especially in light of the Pens waiving Derek Grant due to a goalie injury this week. I suppose as long as it is applied consistently it isn’t too unfair though.

      • Thanks Double Minor

        Yes … as long as it is consistently handled … no argument

  2. Someone is going to have to explain to me (a beer league goalie) how making my chest protector fractionally smaller leads to more goals. I can see more goals if you make my leg pads narrower, but the chest protector conforms to my torso.

    • Hi Paul

      I’m fairly sure that most of the goal uptick is due to faster players with more accurate shots and early season defensive flops.

      There is marginally more space open as the goalie covers slightly less of the net and perhaps goalies are going through a slight adjustment phase on how they move in the crease to adapt for this slightly more open space created.

      How much did they cut off left to right … 2″? 3″? Does anybody here know?

      As the article says …. this high scoring “norm” in early season … will soon average down …. otherwise the league will have a handful of 60 G scorers and many goalies sub 0.900 in Sv %…. it’s not sustainable

  3. Good for Tkachuck . I thought Lajoie (sp?) has also been doing well.

    Add to that Fromenton, Chabot, White, Harpur and IMO a future star in the making in their the young Swede goalie …. and the future for Ottw not as dire as it seems.

    George…. your take?

  4. Every year at the start of the season there is an increase in offensive numbers until it trails off come November. Its normal for this to happen. Teams play fast and loose before tightening up their game. Many of the goals I’ve seen are not related to chest protector size, but players capitalizing on high scoring opportunities. Dirty wide open rebounds, back door passes to wide open players, some real real nice snipes. Not too many under the armpit goals. Of course I don’t even watch a fraction of the games as I have a life, but what I have seen has not been directly correlated to chest protectors shrinking.

    • Wait a second you mean all these teams scoring lots of goals isn’t because the Leafs D? Even when they aren’t playing the Leafs? You mean there are other teams maybe that have the same things happening???

      Who’d a thought?