NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2023
The Oilers’ Connor McDavid maintains his points streak, the Flyers’ Travis Konecny enjoys a hat-trick performance, the coaches for the 2023 All-Star Game are announced, plus the latest on Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Klim Kostin tallied twice as the Oilers improved to 22-18-3 and hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 47 points. Sam Carrick and Simon Benoit replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 12-26-4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With a league-leading 35 goals and 79 points in 43 games, McDavid is on pace to become the NHL’s highest-scoring player since Mario Lemieux netted 161 points in 1995-96.
Ducks forward Max Jones returned to action for the first time since Dec. 12. Sidelined forward Isac Lundestrom (fractured finger) could join the club on its next road trip.
A hat-trick performance by Travis Konecny powered the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Scott Laughton had a goal and two assists for the Flyers (17-18-7). T.J. Oshie, Marcus Johansson and Garnet Hathaway tallied for the 23-15-6 Capitals, who hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 52 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Konecny is among the few bright spots for the struggling Flyers this season. He has a team-leading 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games and is currently riding a 10-game points streak.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner snapped a 1-1 tie late in the third period to nip the Nashville Predators 2-1. Matt Murray made 32 saves while John Tavares scored his 20th goal of the season for the Leafs (26-9-7) as they hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for second place in the Eastern Conference with 59 points. Filip Forsberg replied for the Predators (19-15-6) as they sit three points behind the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs center Auston Matthews missed this game with an undisclosed ailment.
The Los Angeles Kings held off the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on third-period goals by Gabriel Vilardi and Drew Doughty scored 53 seconds apart. Quinton Byfield had a goal and an assist for the 25-14-6 Kings as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division. Timo Meier had a goal and an assist for the Sharks as they fell to 13-22-8 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings and Vegas Golden Knights have the same number of points but the latter holds first place in the Pacific with two more victories and three games in hand.
NHL.COM: The head coaches for the 2023 NHL All-Star Game were announced yesterday. The Carolina Hurricanes’ Rod Brind’Amour will represent the Metropolitan Division, the Boston Bruins’ Jim Montgomery will be behind the Atlantic Division bench, the Dallas Stars’ Peter DeBoer will coach the Central Division while the Vegas Golden Knights’ Bruce Cassidy will coach the Pacific Division.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price discussed his exposure in the 2021 NHL expansion draft during an episode of the podcast La Poche Bleu with former teammates Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre.
Price said he had no problem with then-Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin asking him to waive his no-movement clause to be exposed in the expansion draft. “I had a feeling they (Seattle Kraken) wouldn’t pick me because of my contract and the stage of my career,” he said. “I felt like we could do a solid here if we exposed me because I really doubt that it was going to happen. So I felt like it was a tactical move to be able to protect another player.”
The long-time Canadiens goaltender also revealed that he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to address his alcohol abuse that was tied to dealing with his social anxiety. He was grateful for the help he received in the assistance program.
Price praised former teammate P.K. Subban for the upbeat energy and attitude that he brought to the Canadiens during the defenseman’s tenure in Montreal. He also applauded Shea Weber for his leadership and for holding his teammates accountable. The Canadiens traded Subban in 2016 to the Predators for Weber.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting look behind the scenes regarding how Bergevin approached Price about waiving his NMC in the Kraken draft. Good on him as well for having the courage to seek assistance in dealing with his alcohol abuse. Meanwhile, Price’s playing career remains in limbo due to complications from a knee injury.
Speaking of the Canadiens, winger Brendan Gallagher will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a lower-body injury.
DAILY FACEOFF: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider will miss Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury.
SPORTSNET: The Carolina Hurricanes activated goaltender Frederik Andersen off injured reserve. He’s been out since Nov. 6 with a lower-body injury.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed goaltender Tristan Jarry and forward Ryan Poehling on injured reserve and returned defenseman Mark Friedman to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov could return to the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes after suffering an upper-body injury on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, the Jackets placed winger Carson Meyer on IR with an oblique strain.
TSN: The Rangers claimed forward Jake Leschyshyn off waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights. Meanwhile, defenseman Casey Fitzgerald was plucked off the waiver wire by the Florida Panthers from the Buffalo Sabres.
NHL.COM: The postponed Dec. 27 game between the Blue Jackets and Sabres has been rescheduled for Friday, April 14, 2023, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.