NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2022
The Flames set a franchise record in win over Blue Jackets, the Avalanche’s home win streak continues, the Penguins re-sign Jeff Carter, the Canucks hire Patrik Allvin as GM, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames fired a franchise-record 62 shots at the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-0 victory. Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists, Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals and Jacob Markstrom turned in a 23-save shutout. Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 56 saves. With 46 points, the Flames tie the Dallas Stars but take over the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with two games in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins wasn’t to blame for his club’s lopsided loss. His teammates let him down with a lousy defensive effort. They also lost center Alexandre Texier as he left the game with an injured hand.
Cale Makar’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins, extending their home winning streak to 17 games. They forced the extra frame with unanswered third-period goals by Samuel Girard and Gabriel Landeskog while Nazem Kadri finished the night with three assists. Charlie McAvoy collected two assists for the Bruins. The Avs are tied with the Florida Panthers with 63 points but hold first overall with two games in hand while the Bruins hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 51 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Avs as center Nathan MacKinnon left the game following a hard hit from Bruins winger Taylor Hall. MacKinnon’s face was bloodied by his own stick following contact from Hall’s shoulder. He could miss the Avs’ upcoming game with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on a shootout goal by Auston Matthews. Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell reached the 20-win mark in a season for the first time in his career as his club remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points. The Ducks picked up a point thanks to goalie John Gibson’s 41-save effort and sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Dylan Strome tallied his first NHL hat trick in an 8-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Alex DeBrincat scored twice and added an assist.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been trying to trade Strome since last season. The Athletic’s Scott Powers speculates his improved play of late might make him more enticing to other clubs if he keeps playing well between now and the March 21 trade deadline.
The San Jose Sharks got a 32-save performance from James Reimer to beat the Washington Capitals 4-1, handing the latter their third loss in the past four games. The win keeps the Sharks (46 points) in the hunt for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Jeff Carter to a two-year contract extension. The 37-year-old forward will receive an annual average value of $3.125 million with a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable contract for a veteran forward who still has plenty left in the tank. He’s been a good fit with the Penguins since joining them in a trade last season. He’s sixth among their leading scorers this season with 12 goals and 26 points in 36 games.
Cap Friendly indicates this signing leaves the Penguins with $51.8 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Kasperi Kapanen are among their free agents to be re-signed or replaced.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks officially announced Patrik Allvin as their new general manager. He’d been with the Penguins for 16 seasons and was named their assistant GM in 2020. Allvin previously worked with Canucks president Jim Rutherford during the latter’s tenure as Penguins GM.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Canucks management team in place, there’s speculation big roster changes could be coming before the March trade deadline. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor update.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference on Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson.
OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of Batherson, he suffered a high-ankle sprain as a result of Dell’s actions. He was slated to play in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game and has been replaced by Brady Tkachuk. Batherson could be sidelined for months.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Batherson is the Senators’ leading scorer so this is a significant blow to their offense.
TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.
CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dylan Samberg is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild got some good news as defenseman Jonas Brodin is set to return after missing several weeks with an upper-body injury.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks intend to begin reaching out to potential general manager candidates for interviews this week. Current interim GM Kyle Davidson will also interview for the job.
Historic night for Merzlikins. How often does a goalie give up 6 goals in a game and still wind up with a save percentage over .900.
This brings to mind a scene from the 80s-90s TV show Cheers, where barfly Norm was remembering Eddie Lebec, the late husband of waitress Carla and fictional Bruins goalie. “who can forget that night in Toronto when Eddie stopped like 50, 60 shots. Counting the 10 that got by him, that’s one night’s work.
I watched this game in 1991, Ron Tugnutt made 70 saves to give the Quebec Nordiques a 3-3 tie with the Bruins at Boston Garden. Tugnutt stopped 17 shots in the first period, saved 10 of 19 shots in the second and 23 of 25 shots in the third. Ray Bourque had an incredible 19 shots himself in the game. I seem to recall Bourque and a couple of others Bruins giving Turgnutt a tap to the pad after the game.
shoudl read saved 18 of 19 shots in the 2nd
It’s clear after that loss lastnight the bruins need better players they cannot compete with the top teams. Blowing a 3-1 lead is disgraceful. Figure out a way Sweeney It’s your mess clean it up. He’ll be gone after this year anyhow no more lousy draft picks & poor free agent signings. Come This summer Sweenman will out and so will Mr. Invisible.
Sipping my BRC ( Freedom Choice) and seeing DeBrusk getting a goal only helps the cause ….package him with another piece and bring in a Dman with size who can play both ends of the ice with a lean towards the D zone play
I agree make a decent hockey trade Bruins.Whatever happened to ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE with Debrusk and Senishyn.Why are they still around,the closer you get to the deadline the more your hands are tied.Bruins should be negotiating with Arizona right now since they play each other tomorrow night.