NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2023

by | Jan 11, 2023 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Four-point performances from Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Moritz Seider, plus injury updates on Patrick Kane, Evander Kane and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and collected two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4. Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (21-13-6), who move one point ahead of the New York Islanders into the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 48 points. Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who dropped to 17-20-3 and have lost five of their last six games.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov also scored twice and picked up two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each collected two assists for the 25-13-1 Lightning as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Patrick Laine had two assists for the Blues Jackets as they slid to 12-26-2.

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Winnipeg Jets 7-5 with Moritz Seider collecting four assists while Lucas Raymond had a goal and two assists. Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Neal Pionk each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (26-14-1) to sit in second place in the Central Division with 53 points. The Red Wings improved to 17-15-7 on the season.

Speaking of the Central Division, the Dallas Stars (25-11-6) opened a three-point lead over the Jets for first place (56 points) by nipping the New York Islanders 2-1. Jason Robertson opened the scoring and won the game with a shootout goal while Anders Lee replied for the 22-17-3 Islanders. The Stars also sit in first place in the Western Conference with 22 regulation wins compared to 19 for the Vegas Golden Knights, who have the same number of points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars played without Roope Hintz, who will also miss Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers with an upper-body injury.

The New Jersey Devils gained ground on the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with a 5-3 victory. Dawson Mercer scored twice and collected an assist while Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist as the Devils improved to 26-12-3. With 55 points, they’re two back of the 25-9-7 Hurricanes, who got a goal and an assist from Sebastian Aho in this contest.

Shootout goals by Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Filip Chytil scored the game-tying goal while Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers (23-12-7) sit two points behind the Devils in third place in the Metro Division. Marc-Andre Fleury made 40 saves in regulation and overtime for the 22-14-4 Wild as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a costly win for the Rangers as Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier both left this game with upper-body injuries. They will be evaluated on Wednesday.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their sixth straight win by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Kraken center Matty Beniers scored for the fifth consecutive game to set a franchise record as he, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist. Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored twice, including his 20th goal of the season. The Kraken (24-12-4) sit two points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division with 52 points. The Sabres dropped to 20-17-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined on Dec. 9 by a lower-body injury.

Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the winning goal, to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett had a goal and an assist as the Panthers took a 4-1 lead into the third period before the Avalanche rallied to tie the game on goals by Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher. The Panthers boosted their record to 19-19-4 while the Avalanche (20-16-3) sit two points behind the Edmonton Oilers, who hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 45 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Panthers recalled goaltender Alex Lyon to back up Sergei Bobrovsky as Spencer Knight (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve.

An overtime goal by Robert Thomas gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists and Jordan Binnington made 28 saves for the Blues (21-18-3). Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist for the Flames (19-14-9) as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have an identical record as the Edmonton Oilers (21-18-3) but the latter holds the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 19 regulation wins.

Third-period goals by Matt Nieto and Jaycob Megna lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-2. Kevin Labanc had a goal and an assist while Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 27 shots for the Sharks (13-21-8). Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere each collected two assists as the Coyotes fell to 13-22-5.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said he’s being cautious with the lower-body injury that has sidelined him for the past two games. He’s hoping to return to action soon.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported it’s a nagging injury that might require a “clean-up” at some point. Kane hasn’t closed the door on that possibility but said it’s not something he’s contemplating for the moment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lower body could mean hip, groin, knee or ankle. It could affect Kane’s performance as well as his value in the trade market if he agrees to waive his no-movement clause before the March 3 deadline.

TSN: Evander Kane could return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup for either their Jan. 19 games against the Tampa Bay Lightning or Jan. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks. He’s been sidelined since suffering a wrist laceration against the Lightning on Nov. 8. The original prognosis had him returning sometime in late February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s return won’t help the Oilers’ struggling defense and inconsistent goaltending. However, he will provide an extra measure of offense and some physical swagger to their forward lines that’s been missing during his absence.

Speaking of the Oilers, goaltender Stuart Skinner flew to Edmonton yesterday for the birth of his and his wife’s first child.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman T.J. Brodie (rib) on injured reserve.


  1. I wonder, with all the teams in front of and just behind them picking up points, if there’s truth to the rumour that this has become the new dressing room theme song of the Ottawa Senators


    • That Said Song George,….😂

      Whats Your Sen’s Top 3 moves they do in there line up for the season opener..? you know mine…

      • willie W, there are two prime factors that will dictate what moves this team makes in the coming months – 1) if it appears they are SOLIDLY out of the running for a WC spot leading up to TD Day, and 2) the position to be taken by a new owner – expected to be concluded before the end of this season with a price take of $950 mil being mentioned.

        Dorion could be looking for a new job and, if that happens, coach D.J. Smith and his staff will go with him;


        DeBrincat and Brannstrom could be gone as early as TD Day (or in the days leading up to it) – certainly in the off-season;

        Pinto will be dealt – probably in the off-season;

        None among UFAs Talbot, Hamonic, Holden, Watson, Brassard, Motte will be renewed;

        Zaitsev will likely be a condition of one of several trades that will go down either leading up to/on TD Day, or in the off-season.

        I’m not about to venture guesses as to who would be coming this way.

        All this because, to this observer anyway, and knowing what they needed to do as a team the rest of the way thanks to a decent run in December, they came up as lame-ducks with pathetic efforts – at home – in those games against Seattle and Nashville. NOT just the fact they lost – those are, after all, not bad teams – but the WAY they lost. With a pathetic whimper.

        That’s not just on the team either, but a failure by the coaching staff to have them prepared properly for those two opponents.

        If I was the new owner those management/coaching changes would be the first order of business. And ANY players who expressed dissatisfaction with the moves would be on the move as well.

      • Two things screwed the Senators this season. Formenton’s absence due to presumed criminal conduct ( this kid can play ) and Norris getting hurt in game 5.
        I would ride it out with Smith as the coach until the end of the season and then likely make a change. Dorion stays , i think he handed Smith a decent team at the start of the year.
        The biggest need next year is a top 4 RD IMO.
        I am ok with Talbot / Forsberg tandem for another year but no more than that.

  2. I actually think the Kreider injury (if not serious or long term) is a blessing in disguise.

    It has to force Laffrienere into the top 6 at least for the time being.

    Kakko has greatly benefited from his recent increased role. Which is what I’ve been preaching about these young players for months. (Are people watching this kid?)

    It also will force Gallant to change up that 1st pp unit which has cooled down over the last couple of months, to put it lightly.

    • George,
      I dont think Dorion will be gone, he has been working on the re build for years and now its All starting to come together in ottawa… they are only a couple of moves away to be a contender for years❓

      if they can’t Re-sign the Cat to a $8M to under $8.5M contract they will trade him for sure just to keep the dressing room and team happy.

      Re; Shane Pinto, a young 22 yr old Centre with 10 goals in his first half of the season could be worth a lot…❓ Maybe he is the trade bate for a younger Starting Goaltender….? 🤔 Like a Thatcher Demko from Vancouver as they look like they are going into a Re-build there with muiltable players on the trade block

      i dont see them bring back any of there 5 UFA ether….

      Re; Zaitsev, someone will take him maybe salary retained for this year to get ride of him, then they can replace him in the 2nd pairing RD position next season

      if there is a change in the Coach, im not sure who they would go for in a New Coach. ?
      Hear are 3 good ones that are out of Work…❓

      -Barry Trotz?
      -Joel Quenneville?
      -Travis Green?
      -Andrew Brunette? did a good job with young panthers?

      • Willie, the Canucks don’t do rebuilds. They prefer chaos.

      • I liked what Brunette did in Florida Williew – unfortunately, management didn’t reward him with the job, likely figuring that they had put together such a good team for him that a door-opener could have done just as well.

        Then came some questionable management trade decisions couple with bringing in a tired, jaded, set-in-his-ways Maurice … and the bottom fell out.

        If there is a coaching change in Ottawa they could do a lot worse than Brunette. Quenneville’s bridges are burned, I’m afraid, and Trotz doesn’t sound like he’s keen on coaching again right away and, if he does change his mind, it’ll likely be with a contending team seeking a change for some currently unknown reason. There are always surprises.

  3. Kraken surprising all; did not see them (before season began) this high in the standings mid way through their 2nd year

    E Kane return…. Will help balance lines and add grit… but fully agree Lyle…. Team defensive game must improve

    Congrats to Skinner and his wife becoming parents. 24 years old ; married; and a parent is rate these days; rarer still for NHLers; must be but a handful currently in NHL that were married and had become a father before 25

    Pens v ‘Nucks…. The 3 ‘Nucks quickies scared me…. I thought at the time; the slide is still in

    Good move from Sully on goalie flip. For sure DeSmith wants one back; regardless, team needed to be woken up…. Worked…. Good on ya Gino. Zucker…. Best game ever as a Pen👍👍

    Was hoping that in the intermission that HexBurkie would have worked out a deal for flipping #2’s

    It literally was night and day for them

    The obvious that Schenn is far bigger; far stronger; much smarter; waaaaay better everywhere on the ice; can make accurate passes; easily recieve passes; and does not panic; can’t be understated

    For anybody who had never watched hockey before; they would have easily noticed one glaring difference ….. # 2 in Black/Gold/White does not know his left from his right. All other players including # 2 for ‘Nucks, do!!

    First period you actually here P-O J yelling to him “right side, right side”

    No shift -doh!!!

    So for ships n giggles I counted after that…. 8 more times he was on the left…. Mind boggling!

    During the intermission they discussed what Jimbo had said re roster changes…. Basically Cap is hindering him/‘Nucks now and out-years

    At this point, 8 points out of last WC spot; Bedard odds climbing…. Trades now benefitting next year while increasing Bedard probabilities this year; would be prudent for ‘Nucks

    Teams eating ‘Nucks out year Cap problem issues should definitely have the upper hand in a trade now

    Here’s a solution to free up $6M Cap commitment next year :

    Dumo, Ruhweedel, O’Connor. For


    ‘Nucks gain $6 M cap next year; gain a C/W prospect; and can play CR this year (goal of increasing Bedard odds) and can bury him in 23/24

    Pens get much better defensively right now; minimal Cap change this year; then

    Have the great advantage of paying Meyers his $5 M SB (Pens owners are rich) 1/7 and if he actually sucks brutally ;flip him to a team that wants cheap Cap hits ($6 M Cap hit in 23/24 for just over $900 K [after escrow] cash)

    Worst case… Pens bury Myers for rest of year; meaning basically zero change in Net Cap this year; and flip him offseason (after SB paid); but RD improves dramatically (Schenn over CR) for rest of the year @ the expense of losing O’Connor (less the off season return for Meyers)

    Best case…. Meyers steps up game; Schenn and Meyers regs for balance of season; help Pens get into playoffs and in playoffs; and Meyers plays next year (again assumes better play over current)…. Cap going up next year by $1M (Dumo and Zucker…. $9.5 M, won’t be back in 23/24)…. That’s $10.5 M Cap; Meyers is $6 M for 23/24

  4. The Avalanche, IMHO, have given away at least 10 wins with that type of sloppy mismanagement of the puck. Their biggest problem is mental despite whatever injuries they have. GO AVS!!!!!!

    • I keep saying, tommy boy, it looks more and more like the dreaded Cup Hangover. It doesn’t always occur – but I’ve seen enough evidence of it over the years to realize there is something to it. And they almost all played the way the Avalanche have been. Inconsistent and often disjointed – and it’s hard even if making the playoffs to get it back like flicking a switch .

      • George O, but they can, I have seen them do it even when they are on a roll too. It’s really no different? They have their bad habits that are costly even when they are playing well, if that makes sense. They flip the switch! Well, one thing is for sure, they can’t keep operating like they are in the present or they will run “out of track”. Probably do have the hangover but I hope they can win some games before Landeskog, Nichushkin, Manson and Byram return, then we will see who is good and who isn’t