NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2022

by | Dec 20, 2022 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Game recaps feature a four-point game for Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, the three stars of the week are revealed, two trades go down before the holiday freeze goes into effect, the Oilers re-sign Stuart Skinner and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins extended their home points streak to 19 games by dumping the Florida Panthers 7-3. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and collected two assists while Brad Marchand collected three assists as the Bruins (25-4-2) opened a seven-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the overall standings with 52 points. Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe each had two points for the 15-14-4 Panthers.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are showing no signs of cooling off from their hot start to this season as they approach the holiday season. They’re widening their lead over the teams chasing them in the overall standings.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves to hold off Vegas while Tage Thompson tallied his 26th goal of the season as the Sabres improved to 16-14-2. Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith replied for the Golden Knights (22-11-1) as they hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 45 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury.

The Stars (19-8-6), meanwhile, nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 2-1. Jake Oettinger made 27 saves while Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson were the goal scorers. Kent Johnson replied for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and dropped to 10-19-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov left this game with an upper-body injury. The Jackets also played without captain Boone Jenner as he’s sidelined for four weeks with a broken thumb.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a 26-save shutout and Evan Rodrigues scored the only goal in a 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin stopped 46 shots for the 18-13-2 Islanders. The Avalanche improved to 17-11-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar provided a fine example of sportsmanship by telling the referees not to call a tripping penalty on Isles center Mathew Barzal. The call was reversed after Makar told the official that he wasn’t tripped by Barzal but merely slipped and fell down.

Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said goaltender Semyon Varlamov (lower-body), Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri (upper body) are day-to-day. Defenseman Adam Pelech remains sidelined with an upper-body injury but it’s not believed to be long-term. The Isles also terminated the contract of Nikita Soshnikov.

An overtime goal by Alexander Carrier lifted the Nashville Predators over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Juuse Saros kicked out 30 shots for the Predators (13-13-4) as they end a six-game skid. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Connor McDavid (two assists) extended his points streak to 13 games. The Oilers sit at 17-14-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Oilers announced they’ve signed goaltender Stuart Skinner to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $2.6 million. Skinner has outplayed Jack Campbell ($5 million AAV) and taken over the starter’s job from the struggling Campbell.

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov’s overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Nic Dowd scored twice in 11 seconds during the second period for the Capitals as they move to 17-13-4 on the season. Ville Husso made 38 saves for the 13-11-7 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. He backed up Charlie Lindgren for this contest.

A hat trick by Jordan Kyrou carried the St. Louis Blues over the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists and Jordan Binnington made 33 saves for the Blues as they improved to 16-15-1. Ilya Mikheyev scored for the Canucks as they drop to 13-15-3.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Sam Montembeault stopped 37 shots while Cole Caufield netted his 19th goal of the season for the Canadiens (15-15-2). Nick Schmaltz and Matias Macelli replied for the Coyotes as they slide to 10-15-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced they’ll honor former Habs defenseman P.K. Subban prior to their Jan. 12 game at the Bell Centre against the Nashville Predators. Subban played for both clubs but he spent seven of his 13 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, winning the Norris Trophy in 2012-13. He retired before the start of this season.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson and Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello are the three stars for the week ending Dec. 18, 2022.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger Cam Atkinson’s season is over before it had a chance to begin. He’ll undergo neck surgery on Dec. 21 and is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Flyers center Kevin Hayes didn’t believe he deserved to be a healthy scratch for the club’s 6-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. “I wasn’t happy but it’s not my decision,” said Hayes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tensions appear to be rising between Hayes and Flyers coach John Tortorella. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumor Mill update.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl for two games for high-sticking Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm during Sunday’s game between the two clubs.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs traded forward Denis Malgin to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Dryden Hunt.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto in a three-team trade involving the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. Del Zotto was traded first by the Panthers to the Red Wings for blueliner Giavani Smith. The Wings then flipped him to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. All three will be reporting to their new minor-league teams.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks activated Alex Stalock from injured reserve and sent Arvid Soderblom to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. They also placed Jarred Tinordi (facial fracture) on IR retroactively to Dec. 18.

NHL.COM: Former NHL goaltender Andrew Hammond has announced his retirement. He spent six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils from 2013-14 to 2021-22 with a record of 31 wins, 20 losses and 7 overtime losses. He had a career goals-against average of 2.56 and a .916 save percentage with four shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hammond is best remembered for his 20-1-2 run with the Senators to carry the club into the 2015 playoffs. Best wishes to “The Hamburglar” in his future endeavors.


  1. Makar…. Classy move…. Will this be trend setting?

    Skinner signing nice…. Oil need to move Campbell

    I love multi-team trades

    But just hours before the freeze ; a 3-way; and basically flipping around players in the AHL (yes I realize DelZ is an NHL insurance policy if a roster D goes down) …. Hunh???? This had to be done now???

    The Leafs/Avs flip is basically a change of scenery…. Avs added speed; Leafs got a bigger player…. Neither will change things in the standings

    DOPS again handing out fines/suspensions inconsistently. I like the stronger clamp down…. I’m OK with games on Hertl…..But headshots this year are still being dismissed without punitive actions…. Inconsistency abounds

    Parros needs to be fired

    “Player Safety” is in his job title…. and the farthest thing from what he’s doing. Wilson is waiting and watching…. He knows he can end a career upon his return; and skate free from Paros

    Try Kariya in the position… consistency will happen; safety soar; serious injuries down

    Torts move on his leading point guy… Ego move by Torts (transparency here… never have been; never will be; a Torts fan)

    • The Griffens are getting killed so they needed to trade an under-performing pugilist for a plus performing center. . “O’Regan is a former AHL All-Star who has 18 points in 27 games with the San Diego Gulls this season. He’s also a right-handed center with NHL experience (30 career games), something the Red Wings don’t have many of in their system, so he could be used for depth purposes if Detroit runs into injury issues up front.”

      • Thanks JZ

        Makes a little more sense on the move; timing still strange

    • Was a classy move by Makar Pengy, but will this be a trend?
      I will vote No. Especially later in the year and playoffs.

      • You’re probably right Ray

        I’m sure he didn’t think of it in the moment (probably just thinking to right a wrong)… but this (at least subjectively) will have him viewed (just guessing) as honest by refs…. Just Might get him a “subjective” call or two down the road

    • Hi Pengy,
      Yes its Great Signing for Local Boy Stu Skinner,
      We Really dont know who was happier Today….⁉️
      Stu or the Oilers👌

      Regarding Jack Cambell,
      Stu is in his first Full NHL year, Soup & Stu have a great working partnership on and of the ice
      Support for young goaltender is key when they first make the NHL team… dont see him going any where for a couple of years….⁉️

      Trades this season I think it going to be horrible and very hard, Nobody has Projected Cap space apart from the 9 bottom dwellers that have more than $2..M with cash straped AZ, who know what they can do with there 5,000 seat arena..

      The Ducks, Sabers & Hawks all in Re-build mode they may take on salary for 2022-23 season for picks and prospects

      • Hi Willie

        Mentorship is important for sure

        That said… there are cheaper veteran back-ups (and the way Campbell is playing…. Effectively he is Skinner’s back up) …. So that is why I was thinking when I was suggesting the Campbell exodus

        Certainly doesn’t cost anything for Holland to call Armstrong and as what a flip of Campbell (50% retained) for Vejmelka would cost… too steep… cost him 10 minutes of his time to find out… but if he could swing it…. Skinner/Vejmelka as 1A/1B far better than Skinner/Campbell at #1 NHL goalie/ #1 AHL goalie

        Campbell (over 4 GAA on season; and 876 save %) should have had that OT goal last night

        Just sayin’

  2. Were these minor trades really necessary to make now? Couldn’t wait a couple weeks till the holidays were over?

    • Nope (re necessary now) …..Especially the 3-way AHL trade (see my comments above)

  3. Adding my best wishes for future success for The Hamburglar. Will never forget that ridiculously unlikely run after being called up from AHL Binghamton where he had a pedestrian record of 7-13-2 with a 3.51 gaa and .898 save %, only to go on a 20-1-2 run with a 1.79gaa and .941 save %, taking the team from last to the playoffs after both Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson suffered injuries. That run deserves to be remembered:

    Date Result Goals Against Saves
    *Feb. 2 L 6-3 (Carolina) 23 (entered the game in relief of Robin Lehner); Feb. 18 W 4-2 (Montreal) 2 42; Feb. 21 W 4-1 (Florida) 1 21; Feb. 25 W 3-0 (Anaheim) 0 25; Feb. 26 W 1-0 (Los Angeles) 0 35; Feb. 28 W 4-2 (San Jose) 2 28; Mar. 3 SOL 3-2 (Minnesota) 2 36; Mar. 4 W 3-1 (Winnipeg) 1 35; Mar. 6 W 3-2 (Buffalo) 2 24; Mar. 12 W 5-2 (Montreal) 2 27; Mar. 13 W 2-1 (NYI) 1 34; Mar. 15 SOW 2-1 (Philadelphia) 1 27; Mar. 17 OTW 2-1 (Carolina) 1 35; Mar. 19 W 6-4 (Boston) 4 31

    • Saw that too Caper, makes you wonder WTF the London Police were doing in 2018.
      Yes I know this has not been tested in court, but isn’t this info they should have uncovered as part of any investigation like this where a complaint has been filed the next day?

  4. If many more Jackets go on the injured list, they’ll be icing an AHL team.

    • Hi Paul, what is your take on Vladislav Gavrikov, as a potential ufa do you see Columbus signing him or does he get traded at the deadline and what do you think the return would be?

      • Good question Caper.
        When you look at the pending UFA LD’s available, he is at the top of the list if you want a defender.

        Just wonder if his #’s, and the reporting on him matches what CLB fans see.

      • Hi Paul,
        I think he Vladislav Gavrikov is one of the d/men the Edmonton Oilers are intrested in They need a top 4 LD man….there have been 4 or 5 names put out there over the past few weeks.

        I think CBJ trade him for a pick, maybe a
        1st or a 2nd rounder…. not sure of his value as i have not seen him play much…⁉️
        then im sure he will test out the UFA market to see what going on,
        More d/men will come on the market at the End of January once we see who is not going to make the playoffs and what teams want to Cut some Salary’s❓

      • Caper/Ray/Willie

        JP & 3rd for Gav?

      • I think they hold out for a 1st Pengy.
        When you look at the pending UFA’s, on crappy teams – so available, who is a better LD than Gavrikov? I am talking about guys who can defend.

        I don’t see anybody.

        Edmundson is out there as a rumor, but has another year left after this one.

        Agree that he is exactly the type of guy Edmonton would/should be looking for.

  5. Pengy,
    I think they may go for that Trade, CBJ would be smart to try Patric Laine & Puiljariv out on a line
    that maybe what JP needs to kick start him⁉️