NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2022

by | Jan 16, 2022 | News, NHL | 17 comments

The Panthers remain atop the overall standings, Alex Ovechkin and Marc-Andre Fleury reach more milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers (57 points) maintained their place atop the overall standings by crushing the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2. MacKenzie Weegar collected four points, Aaron Ekblad had three assists while Carter Verhaeghe and Anton Lundell each scored two goals. Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was pulled after giving up four goals on 15 shots in the first period.

Third-period goals by Ross Colton and Alex Killorn lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Dallas Stars 3-1, handing the latter their seventh straight road loss. Nikita Kucherov chipped in two assists for the Lightning (57 points), who sit second overall due to the Panthers holding two games in hand.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves to shut out the New York Islanders 2-0. Alex Ovechkin scored into an empty net to reach the 25-goal plateau for the 16th time in his career. Only seven other players (Gordie Howe, Jaromir Jagr, Mike Gartner, Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull and Marcel Dionne) have as many 25-goal seasons. It was a costly win for the Capitals as T.J. Oshie left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. They hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 51 points.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves for the Chicago Blackhawks to pick up his 70th career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, becoming the 14th netminder to reach that milestone. Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik were the goal scorers as the Ducks drop three straight games to fall into third place in the Pacific Division with 45 points.

The Los Angeles Kings moved into second place in the Pacific by beating the Seattle Kraken 3-1. Phillip Danault scored twice and Adrian Kempe tallied his career-high 17th goal. The Kings have 45 points but hold three games in hand over the Ducks.

Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves to pick up his first shutout with the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had two goals and an assist as the Avalanche (51 points) move into first place in the Western Conference with four games in hand over the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they fell 4-3 to the Boston Bruins on an overtime goal by Taylor Hall. He and Brad Marchand each finished the game with a goal and an assist, with Marchand reaching the 20-goal plateau for the 11th time in his career. Juuse Saros made 40 saves for the Predators. The Bruins have won five straight games and hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 46 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain three points up on the Bruins for the first Eastern wild-card spot by nipping the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Jake Guentzel as he and Kris Letang each had a goal and an assist. Louis Domingue turned aside 40 shots for the victory. With 42 points, the Sharks hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Chris Kreider snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their seventh straight defeat. Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for the Rangers while teammate Artemi Panarin collected two assists. The Rangers sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points.

The Carolina Hurricanes remain two points back of the Rangers by dropping the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist while Frederik Andersen stopped 30 shots. The Canucks have lost four of their last five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After rattling off seven straight wins after hiring Bruce Boudreau as head coach it appears the Canucks are returning to earth. Trade rumors about J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat could resume if the losing skid continues.

Third-period goals by Auston Matthews and Ilya Mikheyev rallied the Toronto Maple Leafs over the St. Louis Blues 6-5. Matthews and Mitch Marner each had a goal and an assist while Ryan O’Reilly scored twice for the Blues. The Leafs (51 points) remain in third place in the Atlantic Division while the Blues (49 points) are third in the Western Conference.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 to hand the latter their sixth straight loss. Josh Norris tallied twice for the Senators while Oilers superstar Connor McDavid was held scoreless. With 38 points, the Oilers are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shaky goaltending and porous defense continue to dog the Oilers and threaten to derail their season.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 22 saves for his first shutout with the Detroit Red Wings to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists while rookie winger Lucas Raymond scored and chipped in an assist.

SPORTSNET: Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Washington Capitals winger Conor Sheary were among the players placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol on Saturday.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL player Reid Boucher had pled guilty to a third-degree count of criminal sexual assault against a minor stemming from two incidents in 2011. 

Then 17 and a member of the United States National Team Development Program, Boucher forced his then-12-year-old billet sister to perform oral sex on him twice, doing so by threatening to blackmail her with a video in the first incident and then threatening to tell people about their first non-consensual encounter.

After spending parts of six NHL seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks, Boucher has been playing in the KHL since last season. He was allowed by the judge overseeing his case to enter a plea that will result in no up-front jail time. If he successfully completes his sentence, the charge won’t appear on his criminal record. Meanwhile, his victim has dealt with the trauma of those incidents, struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders and self-harm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boucher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl twice 11 years ago, leaving her traumatized for over a decade, and gets a slap on the wrist and continues his playing career. So much for justice.


  1. Reid Boucher needs to have his head caved in, while serving time in jail.

    Poor girl. No one deserves to have to live with that kind of trauma.

    • Boucher is a real POS

  2. Re “ He was allowed by the judge overseeing his case to enter a plea that will result in no up-front jail time. If he successfully completes his sentence, the charge won’t appear on his criminal record. ”….. that “sentence” is a criminal offence IMHO

    What was going on in the judges head???

    No jail time, so what is ….” completes his sentence” ??

    Is “ completes his sentence” ….”finish KHL contract”???

    No jail time , no record ….. for a child molester????

    What the hell???

    This young woman (who now must be very early 20’s) not only lives with the memory of these assaults all her life; but is now reminded of it and further traumatized further by it due to the recent “sentencing” (what sentence?????) and further humiliated by it by him literally getting nothing as a penalty for it and a complete cleared record in the end… virtually wiping it away

    This is tragic
    This is sickening

    • “no up-front jail time”

      He needs many years of “from behind” jail time

    • Pengy..Well its ground hog day all over..Malkin comes back after his annual 20 25 game absence and the team concept goes out the window..WTF

      They gave up 6 goals against the Kings were an absolute nightmare defending the first two periods last night..out chNced 36- 16. back up goalie Louie Domingue saved the day..he was brilliant.
      Kapanen got benched oh yeah his linemate is mmmhhhh oh yeah malkin.

      I just dont get this annual mess they put up with i could understand when malkin was 20 something and dominant….he is 35 and good he has already dragged kapanen done carters next

      • You responded to a post about sexual assault with a completely baseless and wrong complaint about a player who is only a few games back from injury?

  3. It’s shocking that we have so many pedo”s with so many wood chippers sitting idle.

  4. Put a comment in earlier, but not showing here??

      • Thanks Lyle

        I see that now; couldn’t see it for the first two hours



      • Lyle–I take it that these aren’t siblings, but rather minors lodging in the same building, or “billet.” Are such places government licensed?

        Otherwise, what is a billet sister/brother?

      • Francis, a billet family is a host family for junior league players to live with during the season. Most junior leaguers play for teams away from their hometowns. Billets families provide housing and support for those players during the hockey season. They receive fees from the teams to provide assistance for the additional household expenses such as meals. They are not government licensed.

      • Thanks for the explanation, Lyle. I certainly hope that Boucher’s junior league is legally responsible for their player’s behavior while he’s a billet family guest.

  5. I don’t know what a “billet sister” is, but I infer from the military term that a “billet” is a temporary residence for boarding itinerants. If so, I would think there should be an investigation of that residence and others like it, and of any hockey organization that sponsors or sanctions such institutions that house minors.

  6. I don’t know what a “billet sister” is, but I infer from the military term that a “billet” is a residence for temporarily boarding itinerants. If so, I would think there should be an investigation of that residence and others like it, and of any hockey organization that sponsors or sanctions such shelters that house minors.

  7. PENGY..Well it is ground hog day again..Malkin is back after a long absence and team structure struggles and goes to s**t.

    We gave up 6 goals against the kings were dominated by the Sharks in the first two periods thank god for Back up louie domingue who did his best Patrick Roy and saved our ass..Penguins outchanced 36-16..
    Kapanen benched how long before Carter falls to the Malkin reckless run and gun Bs..

    Lemieux Sullivan Crosby need to sit him down and lay down the law..

    Hopefully they dont resign him in the off season and use that $9.5 million for something else says Tomas Hertl.

  8. Good call Pengy. The second (worse crime?) is by that judge. Can’t blame Boucher (or his lawyer) for that sentence….no brainer to ask for the biggest joke of a ‘sentence’ and jumping on it when it is offered. Totally naïve to think he would do ‘the honourable thing’ with his track record. The judge, however, is meant to stand up for the victim once guilt is assigned.