NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2021
Recaps of the first games of the season, the Golden Knights and Red Wings name their new captains, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: Morgan Rielly scored in overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. William Nylander scored twice and collected an assist while John Tavares had a goal and two assists. Josh Anderson scored twice for the Canadiens and teammate Jonathan Drouin had three assists.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A close, fast-paced contest between these long-time rivals. Some observers credit Wayne Simmonds’ fight with Ben Chiarot as the turning point when the Leafs were down 3-1 in the second period, but it was penalties by Anderson and Nick Suzuki leading to two Toronto goals that changed the course of the game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their 2019-20 Stanley Cup championship banner before thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos led the way with a goal and two assists. The Blackhawks played without defenseman Brent Seabrook, who missed training camp with a back injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos showed no lingering effects from the surgery he underwent in the offseason to address the core muscle injury that sidelined him for all but one game in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Joel Farabee scored and collected three assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers over the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Michael Raffl snapped a 3-3 tie with the game-winner in the third period. Flyers forward Nolan Patrick scored in his first game since missing last season to migraines. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied his first goal of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers exploited the Penguins’ sloppy defensive play throughout this game, especially in the third period.
Two third-period goals by Brock Boeser helped the Vancouver Canucks down the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Braden Holtby made 28 saves in his Canucks’ debut as he and his teammates successfully killed four Oilers power-play opportunities.
St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist scored two goals and Robert Thomas collected two assists as their club rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Blues played without offseason acquisition Mike Hoffman as he missed the game due to a work visa issue. They also placed winger Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder surgery) on long-term injury reserve.
THE SCORE: The NHL revealed 22 players on 16 different clubs were unavailable for the start of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. They include Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets center Mikko Koivu, Oilers winger James Neal, Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Canucks forward J.T. Miller and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers.
TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He said he’s feeling fine and has fully recovered from the coronavirus.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reminder that no one is immune from COVID-19. We’re bound to see more instances of positive tests over the course of this season. The best the league can do is take the necessary steps to limit exposure and spread of the coronavirus.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights announced winger Mark Stone was named their first captain in franchise history.
THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings named center Dylan Larkin as their 37th captain in franchise history and the first since Henrik Zetterberg retired in 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a foregone conclusion Larkin would get the Wings’ captaincy but the Golden Knights played coy about naming their first full-time captain. Fine choices by both clubs.
TSN: The Washington Capitals signed goaltender Craig Anderson to a one-year, $700K contract and placed him on waivers yesterday for the purpose of placing him on their taxi squad if he clears.
CBC SPORTS: The Jets signed forward Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $750K contract.
CBS SPORTS: The Florida Panthers signed Kevin Connauton to a one-year, two-way deal and placed him on waivers yesterday. He’ll join their taxi squad if he clears.