NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 11, 2022

by | Dec 11, 2022 | News, NHL | 24 comments

Kris Letang returns to the Penguins following a stroke, the Leafs and Mitch Marner continue their streaks, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos extends his points streak, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 as defenseman Kris Letang returned to their lineup for the first time since suffering a minor stroke 12 days ago. Letang was held pointless but played a team-leading 22:14 of ice time while Sidney Crosby scored two goals and collected an assist for the Penguins, who’ve won five straight and improved their record to 16-8-4. Peyton Krebs replied for the Sabres as they dropped to 12-14-2.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres played without winger Jeff Skinner. He’s serving a three-game suspension for cross-checking Penguins winger Jake Guentzel in the face during their game on Friday.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his franchise-record points streak to 22 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. Marner scored the game-winner and collected an assist on one of William Nylander’s two goals as the latter reached a single-game personal best of five points. The Leafs (18-5-6) are unbeaten in their last 14 games (11-0-3). Noah Hanifin tallied twice for the Flames as they slipped to 13-11-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs (42 points) are one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. Before the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said forward Nick Robertson could miss six-to-eight weeks with a shoulder injury. He is not expected to undergo surgery.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 4-1. Stamkos extended his points streak to 13 games while the Lightning boosted their record to 17-9-1. The Panthers dropped to 13-11-4.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves to shut out the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-0. Matt Boldy, Connor Dewar and Sam Steel were the goal scorers as Minnesota sits at 14-11-2. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov was held scoreless, bringing his 14-game points streak to an end. The Canucks dropped to 12-13-3.

Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron scored in his 1,000th career NHL game but his club dropped a 3-2 decision to the Dallas Stars. Nils Lundkvist got the winner in overtime as the Stars improved to 16-7-5 while the Wings sit at 13-8-6.

The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Islanders 3-0 on a 16-save shutout by Pyotr Kochetkov. Paul Stastny, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Staal scored for the Hurricanes (15-6-6) while the Islanders are 17-12-0 on the season.

First-period goals by Anze Kopitar and Viktor Arvidsson 19 seconds apart enabled the Los Angeles Kings to double up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 and improve their record to 15-11-4. Cole Caufield tallied his 16th goal of the season for the Canadiens (13-12-2) as they’ve dropped three of their last four contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens moved sidelined winger Brendan Gallagher to injured reserve. Winger Mike Hoffman returned to the Habs lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators got third-period goals by Alex DeBrincat and Drake Batherson to hold off the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-2. The Senators improve to 11-14-2 while the Predators slide to 12-11-2.


SPORTSNET: Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa still had more to say about former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claiming the Canucks were practicing passing around the Stanley Cup before Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Final between the two clubs. Chara made that claim recently on the “Games with Names” podcast.

Now a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, Bieksa previously told colleague Jeff Marek that the incident never happened nor did the Canucks contact the league to ask how many family members would be allowed on the ice when they won the Cup.

During Saturday’s HNiC telecast, Bieksa called Chara’s comments “one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.” He pointed to the fact that there was no record of this supposed incident despite the plethora of media coverage of that series.

Bieksa also noted that Chara seemed to walk back his comments during the podcast. He believed the former Bruins captain was showing a lack of respect toward the Canucks and their leaders at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieska made a valid point about the lack of substantiation of Chara’s claims. So far, there’s been no response from the former Bruins star.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for a hit to the head of Washington Capitals defenseman Alexander Alexeyev.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek hopes to return to the lineup on Tuesday to face the Capitals. He’s missed the last three games with a minor groin injury.

THE SCORE: The Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames at the 2023 Heritage Classic.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL player Chris Therien has released a book chronicling his life and career, including his struggle with alcoholism and his subsequent decade of sobriety.


  1. I’m predicting the leafs will pass the bruins in the Atlantic Div. The bruins are starting to fade and the leafs are looking better each and ever week they are finding ways to win , bruins finding ways to lose. B’s should only start Swayman on back to back games. He’s been terrible. Will not respond to who and the boy child what.

    • Bruins fading?????

      7. 2 1 in last 10

      Gimme a break. Total dribble

      Sky is falling sky is falling

      • Jaysus, I could easily name 16 teams that would give their eye teeth for a record of 7-2-1 over their past 10.

      • Ahhhhh, but you’re forgetting. Boston is on a 1 game losing streak. And since that loss was to Arizona, Boston won’t win, again, until next season. The infallible RWM has spoken.

      • If Boston losess tonight they will have 1 win in their last 4 games.

  2. Yes, but Leafs are 8 -0-2


    Considerable difference than


    • Unsustainable average, they will fall. And then fall again in round 1. 😁

      • @ Johnny Z

        I don’t even want to think about another 1ST round Exit

        It will be Absolutely horrifying

        I think with the maturity , development , change in goaltending – Matt Murray past history with the Penguins – hopefully standing up for the occasion
        Samsonov has been as well – Definitely an improvement in goal ..
        sandin and Liligren have really come along well lately ?!?!?
        The left flank though is weak to say the least
        Need a robust addition there hopefully !
        There is no slam dunk this year
        I think would be the top 4 IMO

    • According to hockey insider RWM. Bruins are quickly fading even with win% .827
      I assume he thinks it should .950. No pleasing everyone I guess

      • Hell, with the way the Senators season has been going, a record of 5-4-1 over their past 10 is legitimate cause for hope!

  3. So the canucks must have been practicing for the cup behind a 6 1/2 foot wall.

  4. Bieska, what I dont get is the constant bashing of Freidman.

    Why does he feel the need to mock Freidman before getting to your point.

    Claiming this is one of the dumbest thing he heard and we all work with Elliott.

    Wonder who his whipping boy was on the Canucks.

    Kinda reminds me of Haley Wickenheiser, when she said after winning the gold medal. She heard the US players were walking on our flag, now I want to know if they want us to sign it.

    This apparently didn’t happen, but team Canada believe at the time it did.

    Game within the game.

    • Caper, yep.

    • Great point. Agree completely. What is curious to me is that Jennifer Botterill, who was on that team and live at that discussion made that exact point.

      It was not really taken seriously at the discussion and she has been ignored (denied credit) on this site and in the media, at least the stuff I seen/read which is limited. Wonder why the is? Just curious….

      • I think Jennifer Botterill is the best thing to happen to that panel in recent memory. She’s a true student of the game, and I hope and wish the Bruins hire her in the near future. It’s refreshing to hear her talk hockey, cause she knows what she’s talking about.
        I can’t believe no one has scooped her up yet.

  5. Maybe Chara was drunk when he made the comments or possibly he took lessons from RWM on how to troll.

  6. I forgot to include Tampa Bay in my last statement …

    Top 5 , not top 4

    How can you get against Cooper

    Hopefully Leafs don’t have to deal with them in the first round

    Leave them for Boston to finally finish them off ..,?!?!!!

  7. Anyone have thoughts on Calgarys 4th goal last night? Interesting call to make it count when the whistle did blow before the puck was visibly free to cross the line. To have that whistle or stoppage of play might set precedence, and the death knell of intent to blow the play dead…. I guess if in infraction was being committed such as crashing the goalie and a penalty was being called, we might see the “continuation of the play” call not be used in that case?
    That rule, come playoffs, might call a game one way or another. Don’t know how I feel about it but I can see the reason for it.

    • I wondered about that too … until I heard one of the commentators say something about a new rule which, upon review, can discount the whistle if it all occurred within a fraction of a second. Keefe didn’t seem upset when it was explained to him.

      Thankfully, I don’t expect it to be an often thing.

      Murray played well – again – but there is something about his glove hand that still gives him problems.

    • I’ve been looking into that rule and on that play, or further ones like it, if the puck is still moving it’s an active play…like if that puck stopped on the goal line, and if a player tapped it in, it wouldn’t count. As the rule is, it was a right call but bet this new rule is gonna be interesting going forward.

  8. Darryl Sutter implied referees’ bias in Toronto in his post-game presser.
    Did he mean Boston? Not sure.

    • No. He was pretty clear. He did fail to mention that all 4 on ice officials are from Ontario, though.

      • The game is rigged In favour of the leafs….except In the playoffs.

      • Another fact less comment. Maybe one should know the facts…I don’t know why you’d say something so wrong.
        Fact: The Leafs’ 832 penalties drawn on home ice since the start of the Auston Matthews era are the fourth-fewest of any team in the league on a per-60 basis.

        In terms of power-play time per home game, the Leafs are 31st of 32 since 2016-17 at 4:38 per night.

        Rigged (a loser term really) seems like a really dumb thing to say, no?