NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2019
Highlights from the opening games of the 2019-20 schedule and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews extended his season-opening goal streak to four games with two tallies in a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. The Leafs also introduced John Tavares as their new captain. There was a bit of drama before the game as Jason Spezza was a surprise scratch by the Leafs.
Senators rookie defenseman Erik Brannstrom got a rough welcome to the NHL as he was accidentally clipped in the face by Matthews’ skate. Brannstrom received several stitches but Senators coach D.J. Smith said he’ll be fine.
The Washington Capitals spoiled the St. Louis Blues’ home opener with a 3-2 victory on an overtime goal by Jakub Vrana. Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals. In a pre-game ceremony, the Blues raised their first Stanley Cup championship banner. Earlier in the day, the Capitals placed goaltender Pheonix Copley on waivers.
Reilly Smith scored twice, Mark Stone had a two-point performance, and rookie Cody Glass netted his first NHL goal to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Golden Knights also announced winger Alex Tuch (undisclosed) was placed on long-term injury reserve.
Leon Draisaitl collected three points and Connor McDavid scored as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2.
IN OTHER NEWS…
TRIBLIVE.COM/POST-GAZETTE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed winger Bryan Rust (left-hand injury) on LTIR and recalled defenseman John Marino. Winger Alex Galchenyuk (lower-body injury) will be a game-day decision for the Penguins’ season opener tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes re-signed goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $4.5 million. They also sent goalie Antti Raanta to their farm team in Tucson on a two-week conditioning stint after he missed some training camp time with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuemper was solid during Raanta’s lengthy absence last season. Given Raanta’s injury history, the Kuemper signing and the Coyotes’ claiming netminder Eric Comrie off waivers can be considered insurance moves.
TSN: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour will be sidelined three-to-four weeks by a hand injury.
NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks reports the Rangers won’t have a captain this season.
TSN: Veteran hockey insider Bob McKenzie has signed a five-year contract extension with the network.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed McKenzie was retiring at the end of this season. Glad to see he’ll be doin’ that hockey a little longer. He’s the most respected and best-connected pundit in the business.