NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2023

by | Jan 14, 2023 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Oilers captain Connor McDavid celebrates his birthday with a three-point performance, the Jets’ Cole Perfetti sets a franchise rookie record, Connor Bedard is named the top North American skater in midseason prospect rankings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid celebrated his 26th birthday with two goals and an assist in a 7-1 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and two assists as the Oilers (23-18-3) hold the final Western Conference playoff berth with 49 points, opening a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks fell to 13-23-8 on the season.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is riding a 12-game points streak. He’s currently the league leader in goals (37), assists (45) and points (82) in just 44 games.

The Winnipeg Jets picked up their seventh win in their last eight games by dropping the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Cole Perfetti collected three assists. With 57 points, the Jets (28-14-1) are tied with the second-place Dallas Stars in the Western Conference but the latter holds that spot with 22 regulation wins. The 21-14-6 Penguins remain one point up on the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perfetti became the first rookie in Jets history to have multiple games with three-plus assists in a single season. He’s tied with Arizona’s Matias Maccelli for most assists (19) among this season’s rookies and third in rookie points with 25.

New Jersey Devils forwards Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each tallied two goals in a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Damon Severson collected three assists while Vitek Vanecek stopped 31 shots for the Devils (27-12-3) as they moved to within two points of the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 57 points. Adam Henrique and Trevor Zegras replied for the Ducks as they fell to 12-27-4.


NHL.COM: Connor Bedard of the WHL’s Regina Pats is the No. 1 North American skater as NHL Central Scouting released its midseason rankings of the top prospects. The 17-year-old center is the WHL’s leading scorer and was named MVP of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. He could become the first WHL player to be chosen as the NHL’s first overall draft pick since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011.

Leo Carlsson, a center with Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League, is ranked No. 1 among international skaters.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard is the crown jewel of the 2023 prospect class. He could become the most impressive draft pick since Connor McDavid was chosen first overall by the Oilers in 2015.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks sent winger Lukas Reichel back to their AHL affiliate in Rockford in anticipation of Patrick Kane’s return to the lineup. Kane’s missed three games with a lower-body injury.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

NHL.COM: Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for cross-checking Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was fined $5,000.00 for roughing Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.

THE PROVINCE: The NHL Players Association is looking into concerns raised over treatment received by Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson for a broken hand suffered earlier this season. Reports emerged claiming Pearson has undergone three or four procedures and could be sidelined for the remainder of this season. That’s raised speculation that the situation could be career-ending.

Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes on Thursday suggested Pearson’s injury “wasn’t handled properly.” He clarified his remarks the following day, saying he wasn’t trying to direct blame at anyone and was expressing concern for his teammate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet reported the Canucks are conducting an internal investigation into the handling of Pearson’s injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers coach John Tortorella has banned players from using Ipads on the bench during games to evaluate or review their play. He considers them distracting and wants his players’ attention focused elsewhere, preferring they be more engaged with each other.

Someone mentioned that Tortorella will be perceived as “old school” because of his approach. “I don’t give a flying s**t how I’m perceived,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella made it clear a long time ago that he didn’t care about the perception of fans and media over how he does his job.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former NHL forward Brian Gionta has joined the Niagara University hockey coaching staff as director of player development. Gionta spent 16 seasons in the NHL and retired as a player in 2018. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.


  1. McD… just a ho hum B-Day… 2G 1A…. Just sick

    Stone injured again…. Week to week? Upper body…. Didn’t see game…. Anybody know what it was?

    Last night Jets dominated Pens…. Jets completely deserved V. I liked O’Connor’s game

    Pens 1 point above cut line; but only 8 points away from 3% chance of Bedard…. Just sayin’

    Last night’s game absolutely must be the wake up call for Sully

    Yes 3 injured D; but MUST call up ANY Dman from WBS rather than play CR; anybody. Call up a WBS fwd to play D instead of CR

    On ice for 3 goals (1 disallowed); 2 all his fault; again completely unable to distinguish right from left. Two games ago P-O J yelled to him “right side right side” when CR was once again on left. Last night both Smith AND Dumo told him he was on his wrong side. It causes chaos and D partner is left hanging… CR must sit. Absolutely must

  2. I’m with Tortorella on this one. I really don’t see how players can keep their focus on the task at hand when they’re not watching what’s happening right in front of them.
    Of course I’m old but still, wouldn’t tablet reviews make more sense between periods and at practices?
    The Flyers could prove Tortorella’s point by playing better for the rest of the season.

    • I’m on the fence about it. On the one hand, you have a point. On the other hand, these kids were raised with tablets and other technology. Consulting an iPad is as natural as breathing to them and they easily multitask.

    • I think it’s a Torts slight of hand. He knows his team is bad and is really taking the focus off of them and on his and his bombastic comments….hey never mind how much of a s#it show this team is in now, those iPads have got to go – they no good!

      That’s why some players love the guy.

    • Hi BCLeafFan

      Setting aside my disdain for Torts

      I am now north of the 60 line…. So should fall into “old school” mentality

      That said…Paul has an excellent point…. There Gen is seriously focused on tech based learning

      When my eldest started U in ‘09 and told me all students had laptops in their lectures and took notes right on their laptops it was a shock to hear…. All my years at U…. Scribbling notes on a lined pad as the Profs rambled on

      My coaches might have quickly pointed out (verbally) a necessary correction as I came off the ice…. Then would address overall team issues in practice/game film meetings

      If these players (mostly in their 20’s) learn and easily hone their skills from quick reviews (via iPAD) of their most recent shift…. Why not?

      Now on the flip…. If they (players) are just agog on recent shift and want an ego boost, and distracting them from ongoing play by teammates and opponents … then Torts may be on to something

      Or… it could be Torts ego driving the whole thing…. If he was that concerned (philosophically) about this learning (?) process; why not ban it before year starts; or why not have done it with other teams?

      Who really knows

    • With ya BCLeafFan, there is a game going on you’re trying to win. Be engaged. In this particular game, a player was watching his goal when he got back to the bench. That is what supposedly set Torts off.

      There are times to analyze what happened, and IMO it isn’t while the game is being played. Coaches can make their points between periods, or in their video sessions.

  3. I’m with Torts on the iPad position. Actually, I’m with Torts on most everything. Even when he tried to engage Hartley in the dressing room. The man is a throwback to a better generation and stands by hs morals. I also find him highly entertaining and honest. Just do your job, and you’ll be fine playing for him.

    • I’m, in general, not a Tortorella fan although the Hartley incident did make a lot of us laugh in BC. That was about the sum total of his contributions to the Canucks.
      Let me just say this – Torts, the Sedins did not need to learn how to block shots. IMO they were two of the toughest players in the league simply by taking all the s**t they received and continuing to do what they did best, that is to drive the opposition crazy.
      As for the tablet on the bench thing, I have grandkids, I know all about life with technology and I still maintain that, during a game, the best way to learn is to pay attention to what is happening on the ice, not on the screen of a tablet.

      • I agree with all of that, especially your take on the Twins situation. In his defense (although I don’t necessarily agree with it), he’d try to make Mario lay down in front of an Al Macinnis slapper, just to ensure everyone is on the same page and selling out for the team.

  4. If you fine folks get a chance, please find the time to watch 14 year old Nela Lopusanovas highlights. An absolutely amazing hockey player on the rise. This player is doing things I’ve never seen before. It’s well worth the time to watch.

    • Saw some SOP

      In relative terms … McD on roids …. She is something to watch