NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2022
The Blues defeat the Wild in the 2022 Winter Classic, Canucks trainer finds Kraken fan who saved him from cancer, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A four-point performance by Jordan Kyrou (two goals, two assists) powered the St. Louis Blues to a 6-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild in the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Target Field. Kyrou set a record for the most points in an outdoor game. At minus-6 degrees Fahrenheit, it was the coldest outdoor game in league history. With the win, the Blues (43 points) moved into first place in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues put the game away with five goals in the second period. Nearly 40,000 fans braved the extreme cold to watch the game.
The Carolina Hurricanes overcame a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4. Brady Skjei and Steven Lorentz each scored two goals for the Hurricanes. Frederik Andersen replaced Antti Raanta in the Carolina crease after the latter gave up three goals on nine shots. Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins allowed four goals on 15 shots after Daniil Tarasov left the game with a lower-body injury.
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell made 23 saves to shut out the Ottawa Senators 6-0. William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyev each scored twice while T.J. Brodie had a goal and two assists. The game was played in front of just 1,000 fans at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena due to the Ontario government’s limits on attendance at indoor events amid the current wave of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The Los Angeles Kings ended the Philadelphia Flyers’ seven-game points streak with a 6-3 victory. Viktor Arvidsson scored twice and set up two others while linemates Trevor Moore also had a four-point performance and Phillip Danault collected three points.
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko kicked out 30 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken to win his seventh straight game. The Canucks remain unbeaten in regulation (8-0-1) in their last nine games.
The Boston Bruins overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 with Charlie Coyle’s overtime goal completing their comeback. It was the Bruins’ first game in 15 days due to COVID-related postponements.
An overtime goal by Noah Dobson lifted the New York Islanders over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Leon Draisaitl tallied his league-leading 25th goal for the struggling Oilers, who’ve won just twice (2-6-2) in their last 10 games. Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed this game as they’re listed as day-to-day with undisclosed injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers still hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 38 points. However, the Kings (37 points), Colorado Avalanche (36), San Jose Sharks and the surging Canucks (35 points) are right behind them. They’re in danger of tumbling further down the standings if they don’t soon reverse their skid.
Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made 37 saves, Mattias Ekholm collected three assists and Tanner Jeannot tallied twice in a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jeannot’s 10 goals on the season tie him for the rookie goal-scoring lead with Detroit’s Lucas Raymond. It was the Blackhawks first game in 14 days
Jonathan Huberdeau collected three assists and Sam Bennett scored twice to lead the Florida Panthers over the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. The depleted Canadiens dressed just 16 skaters for this contest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens reportedly opted to press on with this game despite having 16 players in COVID protocol. They now have a 10-day break as four of their upcoming home games were postponed. The club has also paused all team activities through Thursday as a preventative measure. That also extends to their AHL affiliate in Laval.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks assistant equipment manager Brian Hamilton has a sharp-eyed Seattle Kraken fan to thank for spotting what was a cancerous growth on his neck as she sat behind the Canucks bench during a game in October. She informed Hamilton with a note on her phone that she held up to the glass between periods.
Hamilton subsequently had the malignant melanoma removed. He and the Canucks recently put out a call on Twitter to find the fan, who turned out to be an aspiring medical school student named Nadia Popovici.
Hamilton got to meet and thank Popovici before yesterday’s game between the Canucks and Kraken at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena. During the game, the two clubs announced a joint $10,000.00 fund to go toward Popovici’s medical training.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s great to start the New Year off with a positive story like this. Best wishes to Hamilton and to Popovici in her studies.