NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2018

by | Oct 26, 2018 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Game recaps, Bettman upholds Wilson’s 20-game suspension, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Cam Talbot made 31 saves and rookie defenseman Evan Bouchard scored his first career NHL goal to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension of Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson. (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Capitals, they learned earlier in the day that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension of Capitals winger Tom Wilson, who received the punishment for hitting St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the head during a preseason game. Wilson has seven days to decide if he’ll take his case to an independent arbitrator.

Sidney Crosby and Derick Brassard each collected three points while Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel each scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Calgary Flames 9-1. Earlier in the day, the Flames activated defenseman Travis Hamonic off injured reserve.

Boone Jenner and Anthony Duclair each scored twice and Artemi Panarin collected three assists to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The loss gives the Blues just two wins and seven points in nine games, raising questions over head coach Mike Yeo’s future behind the bench.  They also played without defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who was placed on injured reserve

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues were supposed to be much better than this. Last season, the problem was a lack of scoring depth. This season, it’s lousy defensive play. If they don’t reverse their fortunes soon, Yeo could be relieved of his duties. 

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, uncertainty over the futures of pending free agents Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin is among the factors behind the drop in their attendance thus far this season. Attendance is down nearly 1,000 fans per game compared to this point last season and more than 2,000 from the whole of last season. 

The Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves and Eric Fehr scored a goal and set up another.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of coaches in danger of losing their jobs, this latest defeat does nothing to help Kings’ bench boss John Stevens. Firing him, however, probably won’t help. The aging Kings’ core is struggling in a league trending toward youth and speed. 

Jason Dickinson scored twice and set up another in the Dallas Stars’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf tallied both goals for the Ducks, who’ve lost their fourth straight game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After getting off to a strong start in October the Ducks are in free-fall approaching month’s end. Their weak puck possession is catching up with them.

Zdeno Chara scored twice and Jaroslav Halak had a 28-save shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

The Buffalo Sabres overcame three one-goal deficits to edge the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Jason Pominville potted two goals and Kyle Okposo scored the winner on a power-play with 1:01 remaining in the third period. Max Domi also scored twice for the Canadiens.

Filip Forsberg scored the game-tying goal in the third period and Kyle Turris tallied the winner in overtime as the Nashville Predators squeezed past the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Nico Hischier netted two of the Devils’ goals.

Patrick Kane scored his ninth goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the New York Rangers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat also scored and set up another goal. The Rangers also lost defenseman Adam McQuaid to a lower-body injury in the second period. 

Third-period goals by Clayton Keller, Brad Richardson, and Lawson Crouse carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

SPORTSNET: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green is set to make his season debut tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Green’s been sidelined by a liver virus. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Scott Darling from his AHL conditioning stint. 

CBC.CA: Former NHL player Peter Worrell recalls the racist incident that occurred to him during a Junior hockey game in Quebec and how his teammates, coaches, and management helped him overcome it and continue his playing career. 



  1. After 5 starts, Halak sits at 3 wins, 2 OT Losses with 2 shutouts, 1.43 GAA and .945 save %.

    Rask after 5 starts, 3 wins, 2 losses, 3.38 GAA and .901 save %.

    Most of us here (myself included) laughed at Haggerty for suggesting that Halak could challenge Rask for the starters job in Boston. I know it’s early but so far he certainly has

    • DoubleMinor

      doesn’t matter which goalie they use… Bruins are a strong team.

      My foggy Crystal Ball is still seeing Bos/Leaf first round match-up… and as you know I’m a Leafs fan …. but, unless D upgrades happen… my foggy Crystal Ball has Bruins advancing to play TBay.

      • I am certainly pleasantly surprised by Halak’s performance, and Rask is prone to slow starts I don’t think he will struggle long term (at least not until the playoffs…)

        Regarding a potential TOR-BOS match up, it would definitely be a test of TOR defensive depth versus BOS lack of consistent secondary scoring (though Krejci is off to a nice start). Boston won’t get by Toronto if only their top line shows up to play.

      • DoubleMinor

        Yes lack of depth scoring can be a pitfall to many teams. D to me, is very important in the post season. Bos D better , Bos goalie tandem better… w/o injuries and/or changes to either team…. I still think Leafs will fall to Bruins.

        Now, that said… if Leafs can upgrade the D… the story might change.

        Either way…. I’m still very strong on the odds of a Bruins/Leafs first round match-up.

      • DoubleMinor

        didn’t realize that. There you go— fine since game one for both goalies 🙂

        I’m out of commission now for the balance of the day — will try and tie in later tonight.


    • I’d take Halak over Rask all day, every day.
      As a matter of fact, there’s about 16 guys I’d prefer over Rask in Bostons net.
      I’m elated to see that Don Sweeney has taken measures to fix it.

  2. Nice win by Pens

    Coach listened partially to my post of yesterday… bring up Chad.

    However, my intention was to have JJ sit in press box so that he can see the whole game and get improvement tips.

    How did he deserve to play over the new Finn? JJ has been horrible, atrocious, etc. etc. etc.

    His game last night was his best of the season. He scored a goal which was good to see. They did play him less minutes (I’ve been asking for this all year). He was out of position less …. good.

    They listed in the stats that he had just one giveaway— he had two BTW (I watched the whole game).

    All that aside— I hope this does not go to his head (gets a goal and team wins 9-1; so he then believes his play has been fine all year). BTW, I know it was a very flukey goal but he was on the ice for it.

    I know I’m being extremely critical of him. I didn’t like the signing from the start. I’ve challenged him all year to play better. He did.

    I’m just angry that if they were sitting a Dman to bring up Chad… why in the hell was it Riikola (sp?)… it should have been JJ.

    No harm no foul— victory at 9-1

    JJ, please do NOT let this (goal in a 9-1 drubbing) go to your head ; you still need to play better and still need to see the ice better.

    My fingers are crossed that this is his first step in the right direction.

    Re sitting Sprong and bringing up Grant. I was having trouble with the Pens having Sprong on 4th line and only playing him a handful of minutes. Bringing up Grant and re-shuffling so that Brass played with Crosby seemed to work.

    I’m torn here.. the re-balancing worked but was at the expense of Sprong sitting and I like him. He wasn’t getting effective minutes and wasn’t played where I think he can be most effective. This is a head scratcher to me as it worked but this let down Sprong.

    I know that many here are not Grant fans. To me, he was a great no risk depth centre signing. Last night re-shuffle worked— we’ll have to see how things evolve.

    Under utilizing and/or improperly using Sprong reminds me of another former Pen, who will be playing D for Van on Sat!!!!

    to Pens as a whole— great road trip so far—- do NOT underestimate Van. Speedy, agile, great in transition— they can turn things on a dime.

    Here’s hoping for a victory in Van on Sat night.

    Rant over

    • Haha, you mentioned that JJ was out of position less and on the bench more (less minutes)…did you mean to insinuate his position is on the bench?

    • It was still Johnson’s lazy play that cost Matty the shutout. Derek Grant is as vanilla a player as they come. Plugging him in at centre on the third line is dumb. Playing Sheahan on the wing and Cullen at centre is also dumb. Hornqvist replies well to his demotion to the fourth line. Brassard should still play centre most games even though he played really well last night.

      • Penguins have 18 goals for and 6 goals against in their last 3 games and are 5-1-2 on the season, good for first place in the Met. Must time to sell off their players and rebuild.

      • Remember your admonition about “gloating?” How about practice what you preach?

      • I’m not gloating at all, I just remember the talk from 2 weeks ago about how it’s time for the Pens to rebuild and they are too old etc, etc. I didn’t agree with that talk then and the teams play of late should put an end to the concept. Why is it OK for you to talk up the Sens but not ok for anyone else to do the same for another team under similar circumstances?