NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2018

by | Oct 4, 2018 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Opening-night recaps, Capitals’ Tom Wilson gets a 20-game suspension, Jack Eichel named Sabres captain and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists while Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie and John Carlson each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals celebrated their Stanley Cup banner-raising by crushing the Boston Bruins 7-0.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice as the Washington Capitals blanked the Boston Bruins 7-0 in their season opener. (Photo via NHL Images)

 Bruins winger Brad Marchand took exception to Capitals forward Lars Eller chirping the Boston bench after scoring the Capitals seventh goal, jumping Eller several minutes later. Marchand earned “a two-minute minor for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct, while Eller got five for fighting”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand’s frustration was likely a reaction to his club’s poor performance. They were never in this game as the Capitals dominated from start to finish. 

The Capitals opened the season without winger Tom Wilson, who received a 20-game suspension for his hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during a recent preseason contest. It’s expected Wilson will appeal the punishment through the NHL Players Association.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one should be surprised by the severity of Wilson’s suspension. He’s a repeat offender, receiving three previous suspensions since September 2017 for questionable hits. Even if his appeal is successful, I expect he’ll be sitting for at least 10 games. 

Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. John Tavares also got his first goal as a Leaf. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens shipped prospect forward Will Bitten to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Gustav Olofsson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What was surprising was how competitive the underdog Canadiens were in this contest, out-playing and out-shooting the Leafs. If they keep playing like that throughout the season, the Canadiens will exceed expectations. As for the Olofsson trade, some Habs fans wondered why their club didn’t claim him off waivers. By swinging this trade after he cleared waivers, they can send him directly to the minors. 

Erik Karlsson’s debut with the San Jose Sharks was one to forget as he and his teammates dropped a 5-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. Karlsson was held off the scoresheet and had a plus-minus of minus-2. Jakob Silfverberg collected three assists for the Ducks.

Rookie forward Elias Pettersson scored his first NHL goal and set up another to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Earlier in the day, the Flames named Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund as their alternate captains.

The Edmonton Oilers edged Kolner Haie 4-3 in overtime during exhibition play in Cologne, Germany. Oilers forward and German native Leon Draisaitl received a warm welcome from the local fans.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday named 21-year-old center Jack Eichel as their new captain. He becomes the 19th captain in franchise history.

THE DENVER POST: It appears the Colorado Avalanche will place contract talks with winger Mikko Rantanen on hold until the end of this season. Rantanen is in the final season of his entry-level contract and will be in line for a big raise “if he matches or exceeds his 29-goal, 84-point season of 2017-18.”

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Derek Stepan and Niklas Hjalmarsson as alternate captains. 

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (hip injury) will be sidelined until November. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said his club is making progress in bringing an outdoor game to Carter-Finley Stadium. 



  1. This 7-0 shellacking was a real eye-opener for a team kicking off a new season – either way you look at it.

    • Based on last night Boston and Calgary will be a lottery draft team; Montreal, Toronto, Washington and Vancouver will be Cup contenders.

  2. Posted in wrong place … responded to post on yesterday’s…, so cut/paste here:

    I only saw the highlights and Stats of the Bos/Wsh and both Western games

    The results from last night far from what I expected
    I thought Leafs would win handily …. Doh.

    Leafs 5-5 …, brutal … 2 pts … take it

    Rookie Kok played great.

    Did not in my wildest dreams see a 7-0 route by Wsh …, pre game thought that it prob would go to Wsh but tight —Doh!

    I had Cgy and SJ winning in reg … Doh!

    • That’s why I leave predictions – as Toe Blake suggested many years ago – to Gypsies.

      • Good Ol’ Toe

        Was a character wasn’t he!

        I’m sure Toe, Punch and Leo Cahill are the life of the party up above

  3. I don’t think anyone can honestly say they thought what happened in the first set of NHL games this year would look like they did. It may be the first game of an 82 game season, and does not reflect what all these teams will be, but it was shocking to see a Canucks win AND the Canadiens outplay the Leafs. Marchand being a jackass was to be expected. Eller was asking for it though.

    • Trash-talking,chirping goes on ALL the time in the NFL … but if someone reacts with a punch or whatever they’re automatically out of THAT game and maybe the next depending on when it occurs. Marchand got what HE deserved.

      • The NFL is a very different game, very different culture, very different set of “unwritten rules.”

        As a Bruins fan, I do think what Marchand did was dirty, only because he jumped Eller rather than straight challenging him…but I still liked it. The message he sent wasn’t just for Eller, it was also for his own team that absolutely did not show up to play last night.

      • George O, “Marchand got what he deserved.” Actually Eller got what he deserved. The goal celebration was fine, until he decided to skate by Boston bench and celebrate/taunt them for scoring the 7th goal. So Yes, Eller got what he deserved.
        Marchand got the rest of the night off and he deserved that for pounding Eller.

    • I still do not think in the modern NHL a ‘fight’ will be approved where one guy drops his gloves and goes mental on the other guy before he can get his gloves off.
      If Lars deserved or not its not the way to handle it.

      Whereas no one on the Blue went after Wilson… or similar situations.

      • Thorburn tried to get at Wilson but the stripes separated the two of them.

  4. Re Wilson

    If he does another hit to the head this year … the next step must be a full year suspension.

    Glad he gets hit $ wise with proportion of entire AAV… I had erroneously thought that suspensions cost players games/82*Sal (his contract is huge in SB and Sal only $1.1M this year)= $0.27M

    Sine he’d already got a $5M SB chq. the $270K would have been a drop in the bucket…. but glad to see it’s proportionate to AAV ($5.17)… so he loses $1.26 M…. so already has to pay back some of what he’s rec’d in SB…. what a meat head

    • Tom Wilson is a good and needs to find another line of work suited to his “skills”. Pulling the wings off butterflies while having sledgehammers dropped on his bare feet seems about right.

      • Paul

        Booyah!!! Excellent .. and worth every penny of $5.17 M. AAV