NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2022

by | Oct 16, 2022 | News, NHL | 28 comments

Game recaps, the league finds no evidence to support anonymous allegations against Ian Cole, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had his second straight three-point game to lead his Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tristan Jarry got the win with a 34-save performance while Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter each had two points for the Penguins. Lightning forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each had two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was also the second straight game that the Penguins scored six goals.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov turned aside 26 shots and Justin Holl snapped a 2-2 tie to nip the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Samsonov got the start when Matt Murray suffered an adductor injury that will sideline him for four weeks. The Leafs recalled Erik Kallgren as Samsonov’s backup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It didn’t take long for Murray to be sidelined again, bringing into question the decision by general manager Kyle Dubas to acquire the oft-injured netminder this summer. The Leafs had better pray Samsonov remains healthy and plays well given their limited cap space and lack of depth in quality goalies within their system.

The Los Angeles Kings tamed the Minnesota Wild 7-6 on a third-period goal by Adrian Kempe, who finished the night with two goals and an assist. Anze Kopitar collected three assists while Kevin Fiala notched three points against his former team. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury after he gave up four goals on 14 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild overcame a 3-0 deficit and had tied the game at six before Kempe’s game-winning tally. It was a sloppy defensive contest for both clubs. Zuccarello didn’t mince words about his team’s performance. “Sometimes we play defense like we’re a f**king junior team. It’s the whole team. We have to sharpen up,” he said.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals while Pavel Buchnevich and Brayden Schenn each had two points as the St. Louis Blues rolled to a 5-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnny Gaudreau collected an assist for the Jackets, who have dropped three straight to start the season.

The Calgary Flames got a three-point performance from defenseman Michael Stone and two points from Nazem Kadri as they held off the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Connor McDavid scored a goal and Leon Draisaitl had two assists for the Oilers.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic turned aside 37 shots for the win. Devils captain Nico Hischier returned to the lineup after being sidelined by a hamstring injury during preseason play.

The Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-1. Roope Hintz had two goals and an assist, Jason Robertson a goal and two assists while netminder Jake Oettinger kicked out 29 shots.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault tallied twice and Adin Hill made 31 saves to beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2. The Golden Knights have won three straight. Andre Burakovsky had two assists for the Kraken.

Boston Bruins winger A.J. Greer scored twice and set up another in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Charlie Coyle, Nick Foligno and Pavel Zacha each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who also lost defenseman Brandon Carlo in the first period to a possible head/concussion injury following a hit by Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien. Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins left the game with an upper-body injury.

Defensemen Robin Salo and Scott Mayfield each scored twice and Anders Lee collected three assists as the New York Islanders crushed the Anaheim Ducks 7-1. Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier and Oliver Wahlstrom each had two points. Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck returned from injured reserve but Sebastian Aho went on IR with an upper-body injury.

The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit to upset the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Travis Konecny scored the game-winner and assisted on Scott Laughton’s game-tying goal while Carter Hart made 28 saves for the win. Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman left the game following the first period with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are 2-0-0 while the Canucks have lost their first two games. Canucks star J.T. Miller is frustrated by his performance, acknowledging he’s been on the ice for all eight goals scored against his team thus far. Speaking of the Flyers, they placed winger Owen Tippett on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

Three unanswered second-period goals by Conor Sheary, Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie lifted the Washington Capitals over the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. Oshie finished with two points. Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens, who remain scoreless in 10 power-play opportunities thus far this season.

The Florida Panthers held off the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Aleksander Barkov chipped in two assists. Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres.

Two second-period goals by Sam Lafferty helped the Chicago Blackhawks overcome a 2-0 deficit to down the San Jose Sharks 5-2. The Sharks have dropped four straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Sharks honored former general manager Doug Wilson, who stepped away from the role last season for health reasons.


NHL.COM: The league announced Saturday it had concluded its investigation into anonymous allegations of sexual assault on social media made against Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ian Cole, finding no evidence to substantiate the allegations.

The league conducted two interviews with Cole as well as interviews with NHL club personnel and other individuals with potentially pertinent information. It conducted a detailed review of online and social media, public data, court records and law enforcement checks, as well as attempted to contact the source of the allegations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reaction to this report on social media has been mixed, with some claiming the league didn’t go far enough with its investigation, expressing skepticism over the findings or insisting they turn this over to the police. That’s understandable given Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted by a former Chicago Blackhawks video coach were so poorly handled.

However, I don’t see this as sweeping it under the table. The league took the allegation seriously and suspended Cole with pay while conducting what appears to have been a thorough investigation.

I’m not saying the anonymous source shouldn’t be listened to or believed but if they’re unwilling to speak to the league or the police then there’s not really much else that can be done. Cole, meanwhile, will be reinstated but this incident has tarnished his personal life and reputation.

THE ATHLETIC’S Peter Baugh reports there’s still no timeline for Gabriel Landeskog’s return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup. He remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets head coach Rick Bowness hopes to return behind the bench on Wednesday. He’s currently sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.

SPORTSNET: The Washington Capitals are reportedly poised to sign free-agent winger Sonny Milano to a one-year, $750K contract.


  1. Carlo maybe too delicate for the nhl. I knew it was just a matter of time before he got injured again. put together a package with him Foligno ( yes I know he scored his only goal of the year) throw Grzelcyk in there and grab a defenseman someone who isn’t injured every second game with size and skill.

    • Geez, Rick, you think Carlo is too delicate? How do you think Leafs fans are looking at Matt Murray?

    • If by delicate you mean having your head bounce off the glasslike a racquet ball. Ya he is delicate. You still wouldn’t know tour name if it happened to you Watch the video. His head snaps off the glass had nothing to do with the hit

      • At party you must be a barrel full of laughs you have to be one of the only guy’s who can light up a room simply by leaving it.

    • Carlo is opt injured. The main root of cause, is positioning. Carlo routinely putd himself in a bad position for taking hits.

      Carlo needs to realize that size doesn’t prevent injuries. He needs to learn how to protect himself and turn his body away, or his career will be short.

      • Caper agree with that as if he was closer to boards. The whiplash effect does not happen

      • You’re right Cappy a lot of people thought Chara was dirty but look at the guy’s height 6’ 9 even when tall players in the nhl who are about 6’ 3 or 4 got hit into the boards by Chara sometimes the head gets it first. Z could be mean when people ticked him off but he wasn’t dirty.

  2. 1) If the allegations against Cole were true, why did the accuser refuse to speak to league investigators?
    2) As I repeatedly noted on a Blue Jackets blog, having Gaudreau is nice. Upgrading the blueline would be a lot better.

  3. Don’t get discouraged Paul. It’s early-season stuff – kind of like April-May baseball. Ottawa’s in the same boat – 0-2 to start but some good signs in the process.

    It’ll get better – and there may be opportunities to upgrade the D along the way, as there are still around 15 teams smack up against the cap limit, some of whom will have players currently on LTIR – now giving them temporary cap relief – returning at some point. forcing changes.

    Boston is one example of that – Toronto is an example of a different sort with Murray going down with an abductor injury. That’s especially tough on a goalie and could result in him being unavailable a lot longer than 4 weeks. In that event they’re going to be facing some tough decisions.

    • Why?

      • Why what?

    • George,
      The Jackets have allowed 14 goals in 3 games. The “big” improvement on the blueline over the summer was adding Gudbranson, who is playing on the 3rd pairing. Meanwhile, Adam Boqvist is blowing coverage on the first pairing. At least Jake Bean is on the 3rd pairing where he does only minimal damage. Yet Blankenburg, who outplayed both Boqvist and Bean both in his 7 game tryout, last season, and in the preseason sits in the press box. Yeah, nothing to worry about.

    • Why will they have and/or what are these “tough” decisions?
      Their situation isn’t ideal but what team is in an ideal situation? The only thing to comment is that this injury is a lot sooner than anyone could guess… the Leafs would have no luck if it didn’t have bad luck.

      • Ahh, OK – wasn’t sure if you were asking why I said Murray could be out longer than 4 weeks or why to the “tough decisions.”

        They’ve placed him on LTIR which means he must stay out for 24 days/10 games. That opens up some cap space for now, but assuming he’s back after that, they must have the cap available – and there’s also Liljegren ($1.4 mil) and Benn ($750,000) who could be back in that same span.

        The “tough” decision I mention was just agreeing with Lyle’s blurb above where he says “The Leafs had better pray Samsonov remains healthy and plays well given their limited cap space and lack of depth in quality goalies within their system.”

        So – just wondering out loud – do they go with mainly Samsonov for at least the next 10 games (maybe longer if that abductor does not respond – remember Hasek?) and/or play the rookie in selected spots, or do they try and acquire another veteran goalie through trade? If the Samsonov/rookie tandem works then they’ve made the right decision and the point becomes moot. But if it doesn’t then what?

        I fully agree, Ron. When “bad luck” rears its ugly head it seems to hang around like an unwanted relative. But in Murray ‘s case, it’s not as if they weren’t aware of his continuous absences through one thing or another. I’m reluctant to use the term “injury prone” as undoubtedly it will invoke some indignant response about it not being the same one repeated, thereby not making him “prone” and that playing in a new environment with a “better” team around him could prevent further dings.


      • Wow he barely played last year. Overall it looks like, even with the big bad year last season, you can count on him being injured about three times a season and losing him on average 5.5 games each time including the terrible Ottawa year where he was out 5 times for a couple games here and there and including a 28 game absence and one absence due to Covid.
        I think the Leafs placed him on LTIR just because of what happened last year when they felt they took a goalie’s (groin) injury a bit too lightly.
        What compounds the issue is I think the Leafs are either at or one less the 50 SPC limit, partly the “do a player right” return for Simmonds.

  4. Nhlpa blasted the Tampa Bay lightning for suspending Ian Cole, without having any legitmate evidence.

    Lyle open comments about some people saying the league didn’t do enough.

    That alone is saying they believe Cole is guilty. Doesn’t take much to ruin a mans reputation.

    • Once a person is labelled publicly, the label remains with them for life, guilty or not.

      • That’s so true Uwey … and it’s particularly frustrating to witness when, as in Cole’s case, the charges were “anonymous.”! In other words, if someone holds a grudge against a person – for whatever reason – all they need do is file “anonymous” charges of that sort and watch as the court of human judgement takes over.

    • Caper, fair minded people will believe that Ian Cole is not a sex offender. If someone is unwilling to file a police complaint or speak with league investigators, then the “believe all accusers” rhetoric falls flat on its face. Tough for Cole to prove a negative. I agree with the NHLPA on this one.

      Projecting forward, what if Auston Matthews was secretly filmed in an Arizona bar during the off season, then the timeline is used to build a fictitious account of Auston sexually assaulting someone? And of course, the anonymous allegations would be levelled as the playoffs are about to start. Based on the Ian Cole precedent, bye bye Auston.

      Seems like the NHL took a different approach here than with the Junior Hockey misconduct allegations. Pretty sure the league could obtain a list of the accused players. The Ian Cole suspension was an over reaction that wasn’t fully thought through.

      • I agree with your conclusion Hammer_of_the_Gods – had the 2018 scandal not been hanging fire even as we speak, with all sorts of resignations demanded – and happening – they might have taken a very different approach and say they will not react to a “she said .. he said” situation with nothing else on which to base a decision. Sort of “knee-jerk.”

      • Sort of knee jerk, George? If someone is guilty, hang them high. But suspending a player because of an anonymous – and apparently untraceable – accusation? Gross irresponsibility. The NHL’s reaction was wrong on so many levels.

        Just two points to keep this short. The primacy of the criminal justice system has to come first. Why should anyone have their rights subservient to the obligations and protections under law superseded by an employer?

        And what do you think the NHL would do if “Shirley93” twittered an anonymous allegation against Bettman?

        You are probably right George, the NHL is probably twitchy after the Hockey Canada controversies. But the over reactions to social media posts and the cancel culture rampant now gets in the way of critical thought and, as seen in Cole’s case, due process. One more reason for my break up with so many such sites.

      • I hear ya LJ. Many prominent careers have been shattered over the years by unfounded anonymous charges. Patrick Kane survived a similar claim only by virtue of the woman’s mother being caught “planting” evidence (in a brown paper bag was it?). Clearly, she and her daughter had picked their target well and had $$$ signs dancing in their eyes.

      • Yep. You remember well.

        What’s to stop some SOB posting an anonymous and false accusation against a star player during the Cup final, to advance his team’s chances?

        Apparently, nothing.

  5. The interesting part of the Nhlpa blasting Tampa is the timing.

    Did they blast Tampa when they suspended Cole or only after the investigation.

    • Probably after it came out, that it was a fictitious account that was started a week prior to the allegation. Sounds more like someone that has a beef with Cole, more than anything.

  6. I think this is at least Carlo’s 3rd concussion not good at some point he needs to shut it down and stop playing hockey

  7. Rocket Richard broke his ankle, then his wrist and then his leg all before turning 21 and all playing hockey.

    The injury prone guy went on to have a pretty good career.

    Serge Savard broke his leg in 1970 and 1971 and was picked for the ’72 summit series.

    The injury prone guy went on to have a pretty good career.

    An injury prone number 4 had a pretty good career.

    • Ever hear of Ryan Murray? The Blue Jackets drafted him third overall. Never did become the #1defenseman he’d been projected as because, before the Jackets gave up on him, he spent nearly more time injured than on the ice.
      Yeah, there have been a few injury prone guys went on to be star or superstar players. But for every one who did, there are (probably) four or five others who had their career shortened and never lived up to their promise.
      And it’s going to become more common for “injury prone” to equal “shortened career” simply because athletes train year round. Therefore they’re stronger and the injuries they incidentally cause are more serious.