NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2019

by | Nov 23, 2019 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Game recaps, Flames GM Treliving addresses his club’s recent woes, the latest on the Predators and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Two third-period goals by Jared McCann and John Marino within 25 seconds of each other lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 36 saves while teammate Jake Guentzel also scored. Taylor Hall tallied for the Devils, who remain one point above last-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference.

Anthony Duclair is on pace for a career year with the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Logan Brown’s first career NHL goal proved to be the game-winner in the Ottawa Senators’ 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Thomas Chabot, and Anthony Duclair each had two points. It was the Senators’ third straight victory, putting them within three points of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Senators played without Vladislav Namestnikov, who’s sidelined for a week with a tailbone injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair is off to the best start of his NHL career. With 10 goals and 15 points, he’s second among the Senators’ leading scorers. If he maintains this pace of production, he’ll exceed the career-high  output of his rookie season (20 goals, 44 points) in 2015-16.

CALGARY SUN: Don’t expect Flames general manager Brad Treliving to do anything rash to address his club’s current slump. Instead, he shouldered the blame for the Flames’ performance, insisting he still believes in this group.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That belief will be put to the test in the coming weeks. If the Flames don’t snap out of their funk soon, Treliving will face growing pressure to do something (coaching change, trade) to shake things up.

THE TENNESSEAN: Speaking of struggling teams, it may be time to worry about the Nashville Predators. They’ve dropped six in a row and are a frustrated bunch right now. The goaltending’s shaky, the defense porous and the offense almost non-existent. Asked about his job security, head coach Peter Laviolette claimed he wasn’t under pressure from management to turn things around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators GM David Poile’s been in this business long enough not to panic over a losing skid. He’s also not blind to the issues currently plaguing his club. Poile appears to have faith in Laviolette to fix things but won’t hesitate to make a move if the losing continues. He has a recent history of swinging notable in-season deals well before the February trade deadline.


WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed defenseman John Gilmour on waivers after activating Zach Bogosian from injured reserve.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers activated Scoutt Laughton off long-term injured reserve and placed Nolan Patrick on LTIR.


  1. George

    I watched both games last night … I was impressed with the jump the Sens had

    I’m not saying that they are playoff bound this year ; but they are trending it the right direction

    Pens did well last night still bogged with injuries.

    Geno is stepping it up and if not for so weird bounces and key Blackwood saves … he could have had a bunch of points

    Jarry playing fantastic..,, absolutely fantastic

    Sully however must wake up…. Shultz goes down and instead of doing a single call up … he calls up two and sends Riikola to the press box…., let me say that again …. he sent Riikola to the press box …. and kept JJ ?????????

    Lest we forget 3 most recent games with Isles … Pens should have won 3 in reg …. 6 points to Isles 0…. 6 point gain on Isles…..instead Isles get 5 points and Pens 4 …. loss of ground by 1 point to Isles … 7 point swing ….. friggin JJ

    If looks could kill…. I wish I was a photographer with my camera on Ruhweedels face after he stared down JJ after the whistle ….. JJ left his own man in front of net ; skated out and around Ruhweedel ; into Ruhweedel’s corner to get on a puck carrier that was already tied up by a Pen Fed. The puck then frees up and instead of JJ making the easy pass out-let; he ices the puck …. luckily no goal from next face off …. Sully then sat JJ for the next shift

    Here’s a brilliant idea Sully…. sit JJ for the season not just a shift

    When Tanger is back it must be

    Tanger Dumo

    Marino Pettersson

    Trotman Riikola

    If another D injury happens ; give Lizotte or Almari a boo

    • Trotman, Rudeweasel, and Johnson all suck. You have to rely too much on stellar goaltending when you have 3 below replacement dmen playing. Good thing Marino is getting better every game because they need him. Kevin Stevens got that one right, good for him for turning it around.

      • Deee


        In order of serious pain to the Pens (so in order of gotta go):


        I have no idea what Sully has against Riikola …. he’s better than all three by far.. a huge amount better

        I’m loving the development of Marino ….. I’m hoping he doesn’t hit that first year wall that many college players experience (moving from a 32-36 game season to an 82 game season)

        Jarry is absolutely great …. best save %’age of any back up in the entire league AND being paid below the new league min (all new signees can’t get less than $700 K)….he’s at $675 K

        Under no circumstances should they trade him

        Bjug injury; sad to say..,, isn’t costly in production

        G-Chuck needs to step up … I’m hoping he’s just about to break out rather than reaching his max ….. cuz he’s not done much


      • Makes me wonder… not predict but wonder… with DeSmith and Jarry playing so well. And Murray his usual better than average but hot and cold… and staring at a huge payday next year that will hurt pens ability to flesh out the team… could Murray be the odd man out? He would actually bring back a decent return.

      • Re Murray – there are certainly a few markets who could use him, not least of which is Nashville where Rinne (3.06 – 0.889 save %) is certainly part of the reason for their current funk. Saros (3.34 – 0.888) isn’t any better. But as you say, Murray is an RFA and he’s going to want a much bigger payday than his current $3,750,000 per cap hit dictates. Not many teams can afford to take that on now – let alone next year and beyond – without some major tinkering. Nashville is one that could – but not without finding a new home for Rinne – or buying him out at the next opportunity – or following NJ’s lead with Schneider.

  2. “I’m not saying that they (the Sens) are playoff bound this year ; but they are trending it the right direction”

    God, I hope they don’t squeak into the playoffs this year. Steady improvement and seeing the kids (Logan Brown, Chlapik, Paul, Brannstrom, White, Balcers) gain confidence without worrying about being benched following one mistake) will be fine.

    This is one of the best drafts in years in terms of depth and anywhere in the top 7 or 8 will net someone a really good prospect led, of course, by Lafrenière and Byfield as the Top 2.

    Finishing in the middle of the pack (14 to 16) will get a team a decent prospect – bit nowhere near those top 7 or 8.

    Unfortunately, without some sort of shake-up these 10 teams with the worst performance over their past 10 games. stand between them and a top pick and, except for Toronto who have already had their shake-up and should start to move up soon, along with perhaps Vegas and Calgary, the remaining 7 look to be headed for a good % at the lottery – unless they make some major change:

    Buffalo 1 7 2 4 pts
    Nashville 2 6 2 6 pts
    Calgary 3 6 1 7 pts
    Detroit 3 5 2 8 pts
    Vanc 3 5 2 8 pts
    Anaheim 3 4 3 9 pts
    Vegas 3 4 3 9 pts
    Toronto 4 5 1 9 pts
    Clb 4 4 2 10 pts
    NJ 5 5 0 10 pts

    • Hi George

      I’m confident VGKs and Leafs pick it up

      I’m fairly confident that NJ, Det, and maybe Clb from that Leafs st will finish below Sens

      Also Minn ; LA and maybe NYR

      Can you imagine Sharks missing and Sens and Sharks come in on the lottery ball …. Byfield AND Lafrenierre !!!!

      • Heh. The stuffs dreams are made of, for sure. But SJ (23 pts) has turned it around (7-3 in their last 10) and I see them working their way back into the playoff picture out west. And you have to think, based on their dominance last year, that the Flames (23 pts) will as well, despite their 3-6-1 record over their past 10.

        The question is, which two among the current playoff teams will drop out: St.L 33; Edm 31; Col 28; Dallas 28; Ariz 28; Vanc 26; and WC teams Wpg 27; and Vegas 26.

        I would think Vanc (3-5-2 in their past 10) will fade again, and SJ move in, but after that it’s hard to pick one that will suddenly head south to make room for Calgary.

        In the east, both Toronto (24 pts) and TB (22 pts) should get in – the question is, which two drop to make room. Currently it’s Wash 36; NYI 33; Boston 33; Fla 29; Pitt 28; Mtl 27 and WC Teams Car 27; and Pha 26

        To me, as I said the other day, injuries will continue to hamper Mtl (27 pts) and inconsistency will be the downfall of Pha (26 pts)

  3. Good on Treliving for taking accountability, but why you would trade for or sign 3 players that the Oilers (7th from the bottom last year) didn’t want is a head scratcher. Hard to see how they would make Calgary better.

    • Agreed, Ray.
      They sure look like they miss Smiths puck handling abilities and outlet passes the most of all. But, yeah
      the three acquisitions are head scratchers.

      I’ve also taken the time to compile a very complete and accurate list of coaches who have led the Leafs to back to back 100pt. seasons after starting a rebuild just a few years beforehand.

      1. Mike Babcock

      • Ya the Babcock thing is tough. Really good coach, but if the players were tuning him out Dubas was between a rock and a hard place. Methinks Babcock will be fine and have success again if he chooses to jump back in.
        He ain’t hurtin for cash. Every head coach in the NHL owes that guy a beer.

      • Since he became Toronto’s coach, Babcock has posted a success % of .554. That includes the first year when they ended up with 69 pts and a success % of .425. They had a goal differential of -48. After that it was +9 – 95 pts .579; +45 105 pts .640; +35 100 pts .610. The hiccup this year was in large part to having Hyman and Dermott out for most of the first 20 games, no back-up goaltending, losing Tavares for several games and then Marner – with absolutely no depth to replace them, and a D – assembled by Dubas – that is arguably not as good overall as last year’s.

        You have to go back to Pat Quinn’s .591 from 1998 to 2006 to find a better success rate. Some 5 head coaches have been canned since 2000, including Paul Maurice who, from 2006 to 2008, posted a .530 %.

        A large part of the problem in TO is the prevailing attitude that, somehow, being the richest franchise in the league, and the biggest city in Canada should automatically result in being the best.

        And that puts undue pressure on those in charge to find quick fixes. It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately, and that attitude is what puts a large target on the back of the franchise for the type of ridicule you see in forums such as this.

        To this observer, I agree with Old Blue Dog that Dubas is the one who screwed up and who should have been sent packing.

        They are still collectively good enough to rebound under Keefe, especially when Marner gets back, and get back into the playoff structure. But there’s no way they are built for playoff success.

        Some can call that “hate” if they wish – but until I see some counter-arguments that make sense, that is reality.

      • True that George. There was also the narrative out there that he wasn’t Dubas’ guy, and that he wanted to promote Keefe. I have no idea if that was simply media speculation or based in fact.
        But, it was out there and the players would have heard it too.
        So if a strict coach is up your ass, and you think the GM doesn’t have his back, does that help the coach? Nope.
        Pure speculation on my part, but it couldn’t be a good situation for Babcock.

      • What got me, too, was the early criticism of Babcock for using his back-up goalie in one of the plethora of back-to-back games they faced in the early schedule, instead of playing Andersen in both.

        But, had he done that and Anderson was injured and out for any appreciable length of time, and they suddenly had to go with Hutchinson and their current back-up, there would have been lynch mobs forming.

        In the end he was placed in a classic “damned if I do – damned if I don’t situation.” And even then he had to be saying a silent prayer before every game that Andersen was in that nothing happened to him because losing him would have totally screwed their season. And THAT would have been totally on Dubas.

      • George, yep. And it isn’t like most other coaches don’t play their backup on the 2nd night of back to backs.
        They almost all do the majority of the time. Get the points the first night is the thinking. Debate the merits of the strategy, but I am pretty sure they have the numbers to back it up.

  4. George….how credible is the idea of the Senators of trading Brady Tazchuk plus a small add for Monahan & Hanafin

    I have been saying for at least a year….most underrated GM is Dorian….with that owner and the financial restraints….his results are pretty impressive..

    • I feel the same way about Dorian, OBD.

      That trade could use a bit more on Ottawa’s end though.
      Hanafin is a fine defenseman.
      The youngest Walt for Mohnny is nearly a wash.

    • Brady Tkachuk is a future captain of the Sens, OBD. He’s not going anywhere. In fact, given the cap situations of both teams, it’s more credible to see Matthew Tkachuk moving east to Ottawa than the other way around. But that’s not going to happen any time soon either.

      Calgary’s cap structure, even next year, dictates that, if they were going to move Hanifin ($4,950,000 for 4 more years after this) it would be to free up space and, to that end, the return would need to be a combination of picks and TOP prospects.

      But as Treleving has said emphatically, neither the coach nor any of their top players are going anywhere. Can’t see him changing that approach. However, if the slide continues and ownership ever decides that HE’S the one that should go, then perhaps a new GM will see things differently.

      • Treleving is on thin ice after this past offseason. He could be the first to go.