NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2022

by | Dec 8, 2022 | News, NHL | 27 comments

The Sabres’ Tage Thompson has a five-goal game, Oilers captain Connor McDavid is already halfway to 100 points this season, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson scored five goals as his club crushed the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-4. Thompson tied an NHL record with four goals in the first period and tied a franchise record for the most goals in one game. Alex Tuch had four points while Rasmus Dahlin and Dylan Cozens each had three points as the Sabres improved to 12-13-1. Patrik Laine and Gustav Nyquist each tallied twice for the Blue Jackets as they fell to 8-15-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thompson’s six points on the night vaulted him into fourth place among this season’s top-10 scorers with 40 points. Dahlin, meanwhile, sits second among defensemen with 32 points. The Sabres currently lead the league in goals-per-game average (4.00) but their 3.69 goals-against per game is the fifth-highest. They’ll rise higher in the standings if they can improve the latter without sacrificing the former.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid became the player this season to reach the 50-point plateau in an 8-2 thrashing of the Arizona Coyotes. McDavid had two goals and two assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and collected an assist for the 15-12-0 Oilers. Christian Fletcher collected two assists for the Coyotes (7-13-4) as they’re winless in their last six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi was held scoreless in this game. On Tuesday, the 24-year-old winger told a Finnish journalist that he’s not sure that he can be a scorer at the NHL level. “Twenty games in and I have one goal. It’s sad,” said Puljujarvi. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how to do things differently. Right now, I just don’t have the answer.”

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin now sits 99 goals behind Wayne Gretzky’s career record of 894 after tallying two empty-netters in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin had 795 career goals while his Capitals improved their record to 12-12-4. Kevin Hayes replied for Philadelphia (9-13-15). Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup after missing the last 20 games with a broken index finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Travis Konecny took issue with how Ovechkin scored his second empty-netter and the two jostled along the boards. Following the game, Konecny explained that he thought the Capitals winger was deking the puck and putting it on his backhand. “Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought,” he said. Ovechkin shrugged off the incident. “They have character. They’re a good bunch of guys,” he said, chalking up Konecny’s actions to frustration over the Flyers’ loss.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected three assists to reach 600 career points as his club downed the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and collected an assist while Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 shots for the Rangers (13-10-5). Jonathan Marchessault replied for the Golden Knights (19-8-1), who remain on top of the Western Conference with 39 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo remains sidelined as he’s dealing with an illness in his family. There is no timetable for his return.

The Boston Bruins got a 23-save shutout from Linus Ullmark to blank the Colorado Avalanche 4-0. Taylor Hall scored twice as the Bruins (21-3-1) regained first place in the overall standings with the New Jersey Devils. Both clubs have 43 points but the Bruins hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played well and deserved this win but I think this game (and the one the two clubs played on Dec. 3) would’ve been more closely contested if the Avalanche roster wasn’t depleted by injuries. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Josh Manson, Artturi Lehkonen, Bo Byram and Evan Rodrigues are among the notables missing from their lineup for this contest.

The Calgary Flames improved their record to 13-10-3 with a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Tyler Toffoli scored twice while Elias Lindholm and Rasman Andersson each had three points. Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov scored for the seventh straight game while extending his points streak to 13 games. The Wild are 13-10-2 on the season.

An overtime goal by Elias Pettersson lifted the Vancouver Canucks over the San Jose Sharks by a score of 6-5. Dakota Joshua tallied twice for the Canucks as they reach .500 for the first time this season with a record of 12-12-3. Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture each collected two points for the 8-16-5 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have won three straight games in overtime with Pettersson scoring the game-winner in two of those contests. With 27 points, they’re two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov has missed the last six games battling pneumonia. He’s expected to return to action on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken will release center Shane Wright to play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings will loan defenseman Brandt Clarke to Canada’s WJC squad.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins prospect Sam Poulin is taking a leave of absence from the club’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for personal reasons.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes have assigned defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the AHL affiliate in Chicago on a conditioning stint.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite suggests deflections and tip-in are partly responsible for the rise in scoring and the decline in save percentage. The league’s 6.4 goals-per-game average is the highest since 1994 while the league save percentage (.904) is the lowest since 2006.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waite pointed out that teams are driving to the net more and generating more traffic in front of goaltenders. However, I believe that’s just one factor contributing to the rise in goal scoring.

Players are faster and better skilled now. Smaller, quicker forwards and puck-moving defensemen are thriving. Flyers head coach John Tortorella recently pointed out that there’s an increase in young players and that’s resulting in more defensive mistakes.

The overall caliber of goaltending also seems to be in a decline, though it could also be attributable to players being more creative now with their shots and passing. Most goalies favor the “butterfly style” to take away the bottom of the net. In recent years, however, we’ve seen players shooting higher on goaltenders more often and also attempting more shots from difficult angles.


  1. Bruins keep rolling along. What a game for Tage last night his contract looks better every game. Sabres would be a lot better if they had legit starting NHL goal tender.

    • Yes, Columbus could pull a person off the street, and they could have been a better goaltender tonight!!! than those 2

    • Imagine if they’d just kept Ullmark….

  2. Congrats Tage; excellent game

    Love high scoring games… 3 with 10 or more goals last night. Only saw the Oil thrashing Yotes game

    McDs pace for 82 G (73-85-158), is something else…. Hard to think he’d keep this pace; but it’s something to watch…. Truly by fat the best player in the planet

    Great to see Clarke and Wright being allowed to play in WJCs

    Bruins (sadly for this Leaf fan) still on a juggernaut mission….. if they can make a way to fit in Kane @ TDL (obviously with at least 50% retained).,,, ouch

    • Pengy
      Let us dream for a split second
      Marchand Bergy. Kane
      Zacha Krechi. Pasta
      Hall Coyle debrusk
      Frederick Nosek. Foligno
      Thats a line up

      • Well…. That’s an MB4 dream

        But a Pengy nightmare

    • MrBruin4 who is out if Kane is in? meaning who and what are you giving up?

      Personally don’t need Kane, much prefer a dman with size, grit and decent speed.

      • Hi Caper

        Smith out; Kane coming in at 25% (middle team retains … only costing ~ $220 K at TDL)

        Yes Kane not mandatory…. But basically putting them over the top

        To Chi: Smith; 1st, 3rd (25) Beecher

        Mid team (for 25% rerained)…4th (23)

        Bruins…. Kaner @ 25%

      • Pengy, if i’m Boston i do that deal today. However I think Chicago can do much better.

      • Hi Caper

        This all comes down to Kane…. He dictates all

        It’s possible (we’ve seen this in the past) , that he basically only agrees to waive for a couple of (maybe even just 1) team…. Trade price then plummets

        I’m confident that IF (not 100% confirmed right now) he waives…. It WILL be for a true contender… Boston would be top of the heap

        If Rangers are in a playoff spot come TDL; also up there

        Right now (despite nice win last night)….Rangers outside looking in; tied with Wings and Bolts…. Both having 3 games in hand on Rangers

        I expect Rangers to be right close at TDL…. But will Kane think they have s shot to run the tables over Bruins (currently positioned on drive for Prez’ Cup)?

  3. Thanks for the added insight of the Konecny/Ovechkin scuffle, Lyle. It’s refreshing to hear players reflect, and demonstrate maturity and respect for each other.

  4. Check my post July 22 2022 about third or fourth post Down ( coffee headlines )Where I predicted Ullmark was the icing on the cake. And was a lot better than his stats with Buff. Depict.. He is showing Stanley Cup elite goaltending. Hall is having an outstanding season he is the fastest skater on the team. Chuck and Lindholm best tandem in nhl.

    • And how many times have you insulted Ullmark’s play? Suggested that he’s not even a decent AHL goalie? So on and so forth.
      You can always be right when you play both sides of the fence.

      • He forgot all that. 😂

      • The guy is full of gems, like this one: “Rick W Murray on November 7, 2021 at 10:57 am
        I know the nattering nabobs of non sense will be on me like a fruit fly to pear nectar, but Rask is a whole lot better than what they have now. Linus is a backup, in time Swayman will be the b’s no.1 goalie. He’s got to have some playing time in Providence.”

        But this one is really fun regarding Trent Frederic who right now has 6 goals in 22 games:
        “Rick W Murray on October 25, 2021 at 5:19 pm
        Frederick just senysyn before him a waste. If Frederick ever gets more than 9 goals a season I’ll eat my day glow jockey shorts. He’s terrible!”

      • Nice… 3 more goals and RW eats his day glow jockey’s…. maybe with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce?

    • “Hey look at the one time I said something positive about my team… that one time I was right. Celebrate me!” – RWM

  5. I don’t want to diminish what Thompson did last night as it’s a heck of a feat. But I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an easier 5 goals before. Columbus offered up virtually no resistance whatsoever.

    Pretty shameful defensive effort, and I use that term loosely.

    • It seems like the Jackets always fold like a cheap suit when they’re on national tv.

      • Columbus right now couldn’t beat the women’s team from hearts delight Golden Years Manor.

      • Oo, RWM attempts insult, fails.
        Why don’t you stick to making non-sensical comments about the Bruins and their players? At least when you do that, your inanity is amusing.

    • Hi Whalercane

      Saw the hi-lights this morning (didn’t see whole game)

      I would say at least 2 were pretty dang good goals

      When I first read “easier 5 goals before.” I interpreted (wrongfully) that you meant each goal was easy

      Second read; I get that you meant; of all 5 goal scorers (in a single game) ; this was done the easiest

      Possibly; can’t say for sure

      Certainly easier done than Sittler’s; Trott’s; Gretsky’s; Mario’s; Zib’s; Laine’s; Andreychuk’s; Nieuwedyk’s; Bondr’s; Sundin’s etc

      But 2 of TT’s goals (at least) were very good IMHO

      Kid is a star in the making

      • Fair enough, Pengy. Some of TT’s shots were excellent, and the kid has got some shot!

        I think my issue was the fact that those shots were available to him.

        His first was pretty, but uncovered in the slot.
        (2 guys back, neither pick him up)

        His 2nd was also nice, but a late/missed backcheck, turning a 2 on 2 into a 1 on 0.

        3rd was Ovechkin-esque. won’t blame CLB there.

        4th was 5-on-3,not blaming CLB, but certainly not a ‘difficult’ goal.

        5th was a missile, but again uncovered.

        And yes, he seems to be a star in the making. The O’Reilly trade tree took a while to bear fruit, but it did.

      • We’re on the same page WC

        Kid has it…. Giving him (and teammates) all those opportunities…on Jackets

        I think he should play without his stick when v Leafs or Pens

  6. I think the Av’s had 9 of their regular forwards out last night?

    But you can only play the team in front of you.

    The most impressive thing to me last night was Trent Frederic shot.

    When watching i seen the arms in the air but the puck i didn’t think was in the net yet, as it slowly trickle in. After the replay what i saw was the puck bouncing off the goalie after it hit the net and flung back out. What a shot.

    Frederic is playing the best hockey of his young career and playing with Coyle and Hall on the third line, they been very productive.

    • That’s the sad thing about it Caper? Two games against Boston we had all those guts missing! I’d loved to have played the Bruins with our SC winning roster, then we would see what transpires! Whatever the case, no one feeling sorry for the Avalanche! We have to somehow survive until everyone’s healthy. Until then, we might be an easy W for other teams! The rest of the guys got to step up and not quit on one another. That’s what I don’t like! Don’t pack it in because you’re down a couple goals? Don’t like the compete effort! GO AVS!!!!!

  7. Torts has it partially right. Younger players playing D plus throw in all the new obstruction, hooking and holding, cross checking crack downs and your D is left doing what exactly?

    I don’t mind it one bit and prefer goal scoring high event games than the dead puck era. Anything but that.