NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2022

by | Jan 7, 2022 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game as the Penguins get their 10th straight win, Nathan MacKinnon has a five-point performance, Joe Thornton and Jakub Voracek reach milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game (two goals, one assist) as his Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 to pick up their 10th straight win. Jake Guentzel also tallied twice while Kris Letang collected three assists. With 45 points, the Penguins have a comfortable hold on the first wild-card berth in the very tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Flyers (32 points) have lost three straight and sit four points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot.

Speaking of the Bruins, they failed to gain ground on the Penguins by dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild, who snapped a five-game losing skid. Matt Boldy scored what proved to be the game-winner in his NHL debut while teammate Kirill Kaprizov left the game in the second period following what Wild coach Dean Evason called a “predatory hit” by Bruins forward Trent Frederic. Minnesota (42 points) holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference but sits just five points out of first in the Conference. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche’s top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog combined for 12 points in a 7-1 drubbing of the Winnipeg Jets. MacKinnon had a goal and four assists, Landeskog tallied a hat trick and collected an assist while Rantanen has a goal and two helpers as the Avs (42 points) picked up their third straight win to move into third place in the Central Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up two assists in his first game since Oct. 16 to help his club defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1. Tampa Bay forwards Corey Perry, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn were the goal scorers as the Lightning sits atop the overall standings with 51 points. The Flames (40 points) are third in the Pacific Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights tallied four unanswered goals to down the New York Rangers 5-1, spoiling the return of Rangers coach Gerard Gallant and winger Ryan Reaves to Vegas. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice for the Golden Knights, who sit atop the Western Conference with 47 points.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros kicked out 46 shots as his club doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had two points on the night as the Predators sit one point behind the Golden Knights.

Shootout goals by Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson lifted the Dallas Stars to a 6-5 win over the Florida Panthers. It was the Stars’ first game in 16 days. Aleksander Barkov scored twice for the Panthers while Joe Thornton played in his 1,700th NHL game. The Panthers (49 points) sit second in the Eastern Conference while the Stars (34 points) are four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes extended his career-high points streak to five games with a goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. MacKenzie Blackwood made 31 saves for the win. Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek played in his 1,000th NHL game. With the win, the Devils (33 points) are just three points out of a wild-card spot in the East.

The San Jose Sharks (37 points) moved within one point of a Western Conference wild-card spot by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist while goalie Adin Hill turned aside 37 shots.

A hat trick by Johan Larsson carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Travis Boyd collected a goal and two assists for the Coyotes. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced forward Jay Beagle is out “long-term” with a lower-body injury and claimed forward Riley Nash off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.


SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin were among the latest players placed on the COVID protocol list.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have extended their break from all activities until Saturday due to COVID-19. Twenty-two of their players are currently on the COVID protocol list.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Tuukka Rask signed a professional tryout contract with the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence in the latest step toward his eventual return with the club. The 34-year-old goaltender is working his way back from offseason hip surgery and is expected to be back with the Bruins by sometime next week.

TSN: Seattle Kraken winger Jaden Schwartz is out four to six weeks with a hand injury.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed winger Nick Ritchie on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas’ gamble on Ritchie failed to pay off. However, his other affordable offseason additions (Michael Bunting, Ondrej Kase and David Kampf) are working out rather well for the Leafs.

CTV SASKATOON: The Winnipeg Jets are looking into the possibility of playing some of their home games in Saskatoon due to strict COVID-19 capacity restrictions in Manitoba.


  1. You can’t beat the wild with guys like Anton Blidh and John Moore in the lineup. Grab Chychrun and get it done. You have the assets to do it.

    • My 5 year old grand daughter has been getting into Barbie lately. My wife and I debated buying her a talking one for Christmas, but then realized she would get bored with it as it simply repeats the same lines over and over again.

      • You win SpectorsHockey today Ray, congratulations … check with Lyle regarding your prize …

  2. Watched the AV’s pump the Jets who were clearly outmatched and outplayed. AV’s didn’t show much class though by icing their top line on a power play with under 3 minutes left in the game already leading 5 to 1. Just saying….

  3. It wasn’t as bad as all that Bruins fans, at least Trent Fredrick beat up a non-fighting Russian … bwahahahahahaha

  4. What assets are the Bruins giving up?

    Please Rick, enlighten us. Put together a package that gets it done?

    • He did last night! Was quite entertaining.

    • FD what makes you think they couldn’t put a package together?

      Here is a simple one for you 3 1st round draft picks

      Point is any team can put a package together just a matter if their willing to pay that much.

      Make you combination of Mason Lohrie, Fabian Lysell, Jake Debrusk, Brandon Carlo, combination of 1st and 2nd round picks. Package is easily enough made, but r you willing to pay the price.

      • Caper, I was looking for Ground hog day Rick to propose a deal.
        Like you said, any team can put a package together but is it enough to “get it done”.

        You know as well as I do that Sweeney is not giving up 3 1st’s, he’s not Brian Burke ya know !

  5. If the league allows the Jets to increase profit by playing home games 500 miles away from home, why not let every team play where it can sell the most tickets?

    Maybe, the Senators would like to take a look at Quebec City or Hamilton. Vegas could venture from the desert to test the water in Houston. Teamless cities could attract teams by telling them that they will never limit audience size to control disease.

    Season ticket holders would become angry but would be too small a faction to be noticed.

  6. Lyle you need to fix this!!!! type 3 paragraphs and says typing to quickly.

  7. Last night game was so frustrating to watch!

    Frederick hit wasn’t bad and at least he showed some passion.

    Dumba almost took off Hall head; Brian Boucher says he’ll be a target all night by the Bruins. He was not.

    The linesman thru out 70% of the players in the faceoff circle.

    The officiating was brutal.

    Nic Foligno got 12:29 toi should’ve been 0 not sure if he was scared to play with passion against his Brother team.

    Mark Messier in between period (boring) great player lousy analyst. He says Bruins broke up the perfection line to infuse youth and to play them with the veterans.

    Moved 25yr old Pastrnak off the line to play with two 30yr olds on the 2nd line.

    Moved 32yr old Smith off the second line to play with the veterans on the 1st line

    Moved 29yr old Coyle from the 2nd line to play with 34yr Foligno on the third line.

    Moved 30yr old Haula from the third line to the 2nd line.

    Yes lots of youth movement going on.

    This team is soft and i don’t like it!

    • Bingo … soft isn’t the real word

  8. I was almost certain that Boston would pick up Kane when there were rumors as such but, I’m sure quite a few GM’s have spoken with eachother in depth about what has transpired with him since his departure from Buffalo even Winnipeg for that matter.

    It’s too bad because EK could definitely help a team if he got his chit in gear and that includes the B’s.

    • FD, I think if this was the final year of his contract he would have a better chance, it is probably the 3 years after this one that is causing GM’s to weigh the risk.
      At least that would be my thought process if it was me.

  9. Trying to figure out who told Trent Frederic he could be a tough guy and fight …. Dude the smile needs to go