NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2019

by | Nov 26, 2019 | News, NHL | 20 comments

Flames coach Bill Peters accused of making racial slurs to a former player, Henrik Lundqvist reaches another milestone victory, former Leafs coach Mike Babcock criticized for bullying tactics, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their points streak to five games with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Jake Guentzel netted the winning goal in overtime. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed ailment on Nov. 4.

During the game, former NHL player Akim Aliu took to Twitter insinuating Flames coach Bill Peters uttered racial slurs at him when the two were in the minors a decade ago. Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the club will make a complete investigation before commenting on Aliu’s comments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aliu didn’t directly name Peters but referred to the Calgary airport code. He played for Peters on the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10. That’s when the former defenseman claims the remarks were made.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career victory by downing the Minnesota Wild 3-2 (Photo via NHL Images).

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career win as his club edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. He moved into fifth place on the all-time wins list. Tony DeAngelo scored the winner in overtime. During the game, Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello was given a video tribute and a nice ovation by Rangers fans. Zuccarello spent nearly nine seasons with the Blueshirts.

The Dallas Stars tied a franchise record with their seventh straight win as they doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Alexander Radulov scored twice and set up another as the Stars extended their points streak to 12 games. Stars defenseman John Klingberg collected three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After dropping eight of their first name games, the Stars have roared back in November. They now sit third overall in the Western Conference.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 26 saves to blank the New York Islanders 3-0, snapping the latter’s franchise-record 17-game points streak. It’s the Isles’ first regulation loss since Oct. 11. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.

Shorthanded third-period goals by Cedric Paquette and Ondrej Palat carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Palat also collected two assists. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak will have a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for elbowing Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who left the game with a concussion.

Jakub Voracek scored the tie-breaking goal as the Philadelphia Flyers nipped the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Sean Couturier also tallied for the Flyers, while J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks, who’ve won just three of their last 11 contests. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced winger Antoine Roussel (knee injury) was heading to their AHL affiliate in Utica for a conditioning stint.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo turned in a 25-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Oliver Bjorkstrand netted the game’s only goal.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but went on to down the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Daniel Carr. Blues goaltender Jake Allen made 37 saves. Winger Troy Brouwer finally made his season debut with the Blues following a wait for his work visa to be approved.

After blowing a 3-0 lead, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on an unassisted overtime tally by Patrick Marleau. Timo Meier also scored twice for the Sharks.


Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 24, 2019.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is under criticism for his treatment of winger Mitch Marner during the latter’s rookie season. Babcock asked Marner to rank his teammates based on their work output, then shared the results with his teammates. The players were reportedly more upset with Babcock than they were with Marner. Babcock confirmed the story to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, claiming he was trying to focus on work ethic and role models with Marner and apologized at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock also came under fire from former NHL players Mike Commodore and Mark Fraser. They claim most of the players who skated for the long-time NHL coach hated him, as he used his power to turn teammates against each other. The emerging stories have dimmed some of the luster from Babcock’s otherwise stellar NHL record.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, center Alexander Kerfoot received a two-game suspension for boarding Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrick Bergeron will be sidelined for two games with a lingering lower-body injury.

YARDBARKER: The Florida Panthers demoted goaltender Sam Montembeault to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

NJ.COM: Tom Fitzgerald has stepped away from his assistant coach duties with the New Jersey Devils and returned to his position as their assistant general manager.


  1. You’d think the Babcock history – if accurate – had to be well-known throughout the league so that begs the question: why were the Leafs so anxious to sign him in the first place?

  2. Ha ha , come on he helped turn the franchise around. Maybe his tactics are considered bullying now, but I know that was a common practice to try to get the most out of teams in the past.
    Every coach gets fired. Scotty Bowman was hated.

    • Did he turn the franchise around? Or did the drafting of Marner, Mathews , signing of Tavares etc. help the franchise turn around?

      • Better yet, has the franchise actually been turned around? They haven’t gotten past the first round of the playoffs, and currently are 4 points out of a playoff spot this season (and have played more games than almost anyone else in the East).

  3. Didn’t really care for Babcock one way or another until he sat Spezza the first game of the year. I thought that was quite the dick move. Then Jeff O’Neil yesterday on TSN reminded us it was Babcock who sat Modano “about 10 games” when Modano was at 1499 games. What was he trying to prove? Now I hope he never works again. As for Peters, better not be true, or sayonara to you too!

  4. Mike Babcock’s the smartest guy in the room – just ask him – but his thing with a rookie was right out of Dumb and Dumber.
    The coach is supposed to be the adult in the room, not the village idiot.

  5. Babcock ego is bigger than his ability but I’m sure most coaches do stupid things they regret. Vinnie he didn’t turn anything around Toronto drafted better players because they finished last. They only had one direction to go and if I remember correctly they never made it passed the first round.

  6. It’s all becoming public now

    I was pissed at the Spezza move and when reminded about the best US born player forced to retire at 1,499 GP; I got even more peeved

    Now the Marner thing and all those other players coming forward with their stories ….. what a knob

    I’d think this will make Seattle No Names give a firm pass

  7. Yes, he helped turn the franchise around. But I said it not George so it would be wrong. lol
    Drafting is important as well.
    Pretty young team who lost to veteran teams in the first round 3 years in a row.
    Experience will help as will the coaching change. But saying Babcock didn’t help change the attitude on winning is showing lack of knowledge.
    Being coach and not playing Spezza against Ottawa was blown out of proportion. Spezza had already thumbed his nose at Ottawa by turning down more money to play for Canada’s team.
    People forget Ottawa run him out of town for not playing defense and the infamous drop pass .

    • Very good points Vinnie.

      With that said, Babs is a Psychology major and was used to challenging guys to get them to perform outside of their comfort zones.
      Babcock wasn’t doing this with Modano or Spezza. He was showing those guys that he’s the big boss.
      Dick move imo.

      This kind of coaching is all fine and dandy, until it rubs someone the wrong way, and they cry foul, or just cry like Mitchell Marner did.
      Terrible thing to do to a 19 year old kid.
      (Wasn’t the kids fault the Leafs drafted him instead of Hanifin)

      I personally think that you can’t coach millenials using those tactics.

      The Leafs still aren’t a Stanley cup contender, but they just might be on to something if they can spin all of this, and finally play for one another.
      Motivation comes in different forms, after all.

      • That type of coaching is never fine and dandy!

        That’s the perfect way to lose a player and teams trust. Why should they trust Mike Babcock and buy into his systems etc when he does things like this and gives them no reason to trust them, and also puts teammate against teammate. You want guys out there who want to go to war FOR one another, not against one another!

      • Also agree that it was a turn around. Last place to playoff team the next season and that finished with over 100 pts the year after is a turn around. Not sure I understand the argument otherwise. Dead last to 105 pts?
        As an Edmonton native I can say with conviction that drafting good players like Hall, RNH and even with McDavid last year is not a guarantee to make the playoffs.
        Is what he did to Marner a bush league move, 100%. WTF was he thinking? Crossed the line. Career ender? Probably not but you can bet if he gets an interview they will ask what he has learned from it. Hopefully he has or he may not be coaching again if he still wants to.
        If I am the Leafs they may want to put an end to these things getting out. Glass houses for all of us after all and I am sure the players have things they would prefer to be kept inside. I would bet that Babcock won’t get into a tit for tat even as some folks want to kick him in the nuts on the way out.
        And to George’s point, if the league didn’t know what Babcock was like, the Leafs sure as hell should have known about this after it happened. Babcock said he apologized, which he should have and I would hope MGT gave him an ultimatum regarding what is acceptable behavior moving forward.
        My 2 cents.

      • @icebear.
        Hockey isn’t war.
        Not even close.
        However, if thats your perception, that’s also fine and dandy.

  8. Mike Modano should have stayed in Dallas if he wanted the record. He should have retireda couple seasons sooner. Last season in Dallas he played 57 games and then in Detroit he played 40 games. And it’s Babcocks fault that he missed 1500 by 1 game.
    In truth he didn’t know enough to retire

    • “He should have retired a couple of seasons sooner”……

      Then why did Detroit sign the guy?

      Lmfao…. Brilliant!

      • No one knows why they did. He obviously was having injury problems. To bad this upsets you, but it’s the truth. The coach dresses the best team he can. Boo hoo , he only played 1499 games and made millions..
        As you say.
        Lmfao…. brilliant!
        Oh I forgot the capital B

      • You also forgot the difference between to and too …. Brilliant!

  9. Congrats Hank

    Re Pens …. so glad they won

    G-Chuck had a great game as did Jarry and McC

    Sully ….. for F%^*’K sake ; stop killing the young career of Marino by playing him with JJ

    You are hurting the team tremendously by playing JJ in any game; but you are crippling the valuable development of Marino by pairing him with JJ

    If not for Jarry and Marino and back-checking fwds …. JJ could have easily caused 4 or 5 goals

    He just doesn’t know where to position himself; how to play and how to effectively get the puck out of the net

    In the offensive zone he can’t keep it in and when he has the puck he rushes it and it eventually ends up with the opposing team

    I didn’t count or see the minutiae stats but I’d be gobsmacked if his CF was over 35% last night

    Sully/Jimbo wake up and smell the dung

  10. There have been multiple complaints from former players about that jerk Babcock over the years. I can’t believe he’s even a bigger jerk than I thought. He’s an egomaniac dinosaur of a coach and I hope he doesn’t get another NHL job. He thinks he’s like Scotty Bowman when he’s actually more like John Brophy.

    This Leaf team is going to absolutely rocket up the standings now that hes gone.

  11. I’d like to buy an o.