NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2023

by | Jan 28, 2023 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Recaps of Friday’s game, Auston Matthews sidelined for at least three weeks, updates on Gabriel Landeskog and Cole Caufield plus some potentially bad news for hockey-related revenue in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes got a 5-4 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks with Martin Necas scoring the tying and winning goals. Sebastian Aho also scored twice for the Hurricanes (31-9-8), who sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 70 points. Michael Eyssimont had a goal and two assists for the Sharks as they dropped to 14-25-11 on the season.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Necas became the first player in Hurricanes/Whalers history to score an overtime goal in consecutive games and the fifth player in NHL history to score the tying goal in the final minute of regulation and the game-winner in the first minute of overtime.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes scored twice (including the winner in overtime) in a 3-2 victory against the Dallas Stars. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 33 saves for his ninth straight win as the Devils (32-13-4) sit two points behind the Hurricanes in second place in the Metro Division. Roope Hintz tallied his 20th goal of the season for the 28-13-10 Stars, who hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first overall in the Western Conference with 66 points.

The Calgary Flames got a 29-save performance from Dan Vlader to beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Vladar tied a franchise record for the most games without a regulation loss with 13. Elias Lindholm and Blake Coleman each had a goal and two assists as the 24-17-9 Flames held the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 57 points. Martin Jones made 33 saves for the Kraken (28-15-5) as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 61 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Kraken announced rookie center Matty Beniers will be sidelined for two games with an undisclosed injury and is considered day-to-day.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Pheonix Copley kicked out a career-high 45 shots to hold off the Florida Panthers 4-3. Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist as the Kings improved to 28-17-6 and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division with 62 points. Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Tkachuk each had two points as the Panthers slipped to 23-22-6 and remain five points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with 52 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov was named to the Atlantic Division roster for the upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game as a replacement for sidelined Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews. Speaking of the Leafs and Matthews…

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk tallied twice to thump the Maple Leafs by a score of 6-2, snapping the latter’s points streak at five games. Anton Forsberg stopped 33 shots for the 22-23-6 Senators. William Nylander scored his 27th goal of the season for the Leafs (30-12-8), who are tied with the New Jersey Devils for third place in the Eastern Conference but the Devils hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason Barkov is replacing Matthews in the All-Star Game is that the Leafs center is sidelined for at least three weeks with a knee sprain suffered Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 with Jaroslav Halak making 33 saves to win his fifth straight start. Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (27-14-8) as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 62 points. Phil Kessel replied for the 29-18-3 Golden Knights, who are tied with the Kraken for second in the Pacific Division but the latter holds two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights activated defenseman Shea Theodore and forward William Carrier off injured reserve for this game.

New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin turned in a 23-save shutout to blank the Detroit Red Wings 2-0, ending his club’s six-game winless skid. Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored as the Islanders improved to 24-22-5, sitting four points out of the final Eastern playoff spot. The Wings fell to 21-19-8 and sit seven points out of that wild-card spot.

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. Elias Pettersson tallied twice and Bo Horvat collected a career-high four assists for the 20-26-3 Canucks. Kirill Marchenko scored both goals for the 15-31-3 Blue Jackets, who sit in last place in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Canucks announced forward Ilya Mikheyev will undergo season-ending knee surgery next week. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets announced winger Gustav Nyquist was sidelined indefinitely with an undisclosed injury.


THE DENVER POST’s Bennett Durando reports Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (knee injury) could start skating under team supervision following the upcoming All-Star break. However, there is no definitive start date.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield told reporters yesterday that he injured his shoulder twice before undergoing season-ending surgery. The first time was on Dec. 23 against the Dallas Stars and on Jan. 3 against the Nashville Predators. Both times, he was able to pop it back into place.

Three different doctors subsequently recommended having surgery or risking further damage to the shoulder. The surgery will take place on Feb. 1. Caufield admitted he would’ve continued playing if the Canadiens were in playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ placement near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Caufield could’ve wound up suffering more serious damage that would’ve meant a much longer recovery period that would’ve stretched well into next season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the injury-plagued Canadiens, they’ve called up prospect Owen Beck on an emergency basis after Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak missed practice on Friday for medical treatment.

Pat Hickey reports the looming bankruptcy of US sports network Bally Sports Regional Networks could have an adverse effect on the NHL’s hockey-related revenue. Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Dallas, St. Louis, Nashville, Minnesota, Detroit, Carolina, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Florida are the NHL markets directly affected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hickey pointed out the network owes a number of sports teams billions of dollars in rights fees. While it’s unknown how much money is owed to those NHL teams, Hickey speculated that it could have a negative effect on HRR that drives down the salary cap, ensuring players pay more in escrow to offset the difference.


  1. Let me make this clear….Leafs didn’t lose last night…Sens won

    Leafs didn’t take Sens for granted and underperformed. Sens were just the better team and deserved the win

    Sens were faster on the puck; active on the forecheck; crisper on the passes

    Absolutely the correct out come

    AM out 3 (at least) weeks…. Not a welcome piece of news

    Flames in a playoff spot (noted that Avs have 3 games in hand)with a great V over the very surprisingly good (this year) Kraken. Was a good game to watch

    As a Pens fan was hoping for Wings over Isles and Knights over Rangers…. That didn’t happen

    Speaking of Pens… if Sharks and Sabres win in reg today…. Pens sitting outside looking in

    If that happens…. On Sully… he keeps playing CR

    CR last 6 games:

    on for 42% of Opponents goals… 42%!! Forty-two percent!!!

    Goals against per 60 while he’s on the ice… 4.9…., almost 5 !!!

    In EVERY one of those 6 games; Jarry or DeSmith or P-O J or the post/crossbar have saved another (at the very least) 2 more goals against (in EACH of those games) which would have massively increased the already horrific numbers above

    he’s been on the left side several times in EACH of those 6 games; AND in each game he’s been told by either Dumo or P-O J to get on the right side… how do you get to 33 and not know left from right???

    All 6 games at least 2 (4 in the FLA game) unforced icings

    He can’t effectively give or receive passes; and definitely does not have the strength to move players over 185 (95 % of forwards) away from in-front of Harry or DeSmith

    All the above happens while Sully has healthy a Friedman and Smith available. They are so tremendously better than CR … it is not even close.

    This is on Sully for playing him

    HexBurkie needs to step in, it’s getting ridiculous

  2. Hard to say if the Leafs loss to Ottawa last night was a case of them “playing down to the level of their opponent” or, rather, the Senators getting unusually high from playing their more illustrious Ontario rival. Maybe a combination of both.

    But one thing Leafs fans did experience and that was the ongoing frustration Ottawa fans went through repeatedly with Matt Murray. In this morning’s Toronto Sun Koshan writes ” goalie Matt Murray, who led them out for the game against Ottawa, was on the bench for O Canada with what coach Sheldon Keefe said later significantly “flared up on him”, a new injury that will keep him out a few games and require a callup from the Marlies.”

    He did the same thing earlier this season in the only other Ottawa-Toronto game so far this season. And that is what Ottawa fans went through time after time – something – and always different – just “flaring up” and always at the most inopportune times.

    • Hi George

      See above; I guess we were posting at the same time

      Leafs didn’t “play down” the Sens…. Plain and simple; Sens bested them

      Right outcome

      • Pengy, perhaps now you see what I mean when I post about the chronic inconsistency of the Senators when it comes to “effort.” Last night they did show that in spades, as they did in the 2-1 win over the Islanders, whereas in those 5-1 losses to Winnipeg and Pittsburgh they simply showed up for a skate with absolutely NO effort displayed. Considering a lot of them are earning in the millions of dollars I believe the fans deserve at least a concerted effort – game in game out.

        We’ll see what team shows up later this afternoon at home against a banged-up Habs team that WILL show team effort (and be well-supported by their legions of fans in the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

      • Hi George


        But young team; on the rise (individual talent-wise); who will mature (as a team) to become more consistent

        Lets not forget…, Norris; Zub; Motte IR

        Not sure if Holden and/or Hamonic will be re-upped; and …. Maybe some GM on a bender takes Zaitsev

    • That’s why the Sens are paying the Leafs over $1.6 M per year to play for Toronto rather than Ottawa.

      • lOL, Good point Hossaheat. Only goalie in the NHL to constantly suffer last-minute “flare-ups” of different parts of his anatomy JUST before a game is to begin.

        That was infuriating during his stint with Ottawa and I imagine it has Leafs fans wondering what’s in store once the playoffs begin.

  3. @ George

    U finally must of had a decent nights sleep after last nights game …
    U might not wake up until after 12 Noon !

    @ Pengy – U mentioned as per a couple of prior articles – Leaf’s should strongly consider not to make any changes prior to the deadline and wait until the off season ..

    Do you mind elaborating again on your thoughts ?
    This is important IMO , as who would be retooling or making any changes to the Leafs lineup !

    • Hi Ken

      Thanks for reaching out for clarification of my stance

      I was reacting to all the repeated media posts of “Leafs have interest in” or “Leafs being in contention for (a certain player)”

      I am trying to balance pragmatics and logic with being painfully aware of coming across as a “negative Nancy”

      No joking… My stance is based on my belief that Leafs are not getting thr cup this year; and their ceiling this Spring ; is losing to Bruins round 2

      Added to that; ny beliefs on that don’t change with any trade/change

      So, based solely on that position; I would rather see any potential assets given up for UFAs by/at TDL; to be saved ….

      Use those assets either for

      1) upgrade trades/moves this summer (for the ‘24 Cup roster (hopefully) run; or

      2) for TDL moves ‘24; or

      3) for the team moving forward in the future

      IF (again it’s my assumption and contrary to many others; I acknowledge that); your best outcome this year is 7 home playoff gates; AND knowing you will fill the arena at top $’s; why give up futures if the outcome is not going to change

      I really can’t see (that’s me and I know it’s a different view to most fans) Leafs getting past Bruins; so trading futures for UFAs; at best gains 3 home gates v Bruins; AND Leafs are not guaranteed to get past Bolts

      Let’s say they drop a 1st; 2nd; prospect (or 2) on 2 key UFAs …. only to be ousted by Bolts (a possibility)…. That would bd a huge kick in the gnads

      Now, that said…. Futures for players with term…. Oki doki

      Pengy the negative Nancy

      • Omg!

  4. The Battle of Ontario
    Young Sen’s Hamered the Leafs last nite 6-2❗️

    All i can say is….. its Lucky the Leafs dont play the Sen’s in the First Round……🤔😵‍💫

    Glaude Giroux’s Goal last night was a Beauty…👌
    he really looks like he is enjoying himself in Ottawa

    The Sen’s looked like they had the puck most of the night, they for sure won the Faceoff dot.
    an other Great Game from the young guys,
    from the Captain Tkachuk, Batherson, Stutzle, Chabot, Pinto….& co
    They even got good goaltending from Forsberg❗️

    The Leafs d is hit and miss, they can be good and bad depending on the mood,
    I know they miss TJ Brodie on d and muzz is still out but if they dont get it together they will not go anywhere in the playoffs again with this inconsistent play and roll over and die mentality they have when getting beat❓

    • Pengy has been saying it for years leafs can’t win a cup because one team or another are too strong.
      Please only one team can win and you have too have a lot of breaks go your way too win it all.

      They are in a brutal division that’s not changing TB and Boston are going to be good next year to and you have Buffalo and Ottawa coming.

      We don’t know how long Matthews Is going to be here for he has one year left after this year and if he doesn’t sign before the summer you have to trade him. So would I push all in probably not but it isn’t getting better in the next few years that’s for sure.
      Leafs are a strong team a lot of factors will come in too win it all.

      • Exactly Man on TV. They lose 1 game to Ottawa and suddenly they are full of holes bound to doom them when the playoffs begin.

        Hell, they sit 4th in the League, just 12 pts back of a team enjoying what can only be described as a banner year. And if you look at the Top 10 teams in terms of goals allowed – again, aside from Boston who lead the pack with just 101 given up, and despite what some perceive as their weak links (D and goaltending) they are as good as any of the other 9:

        Boston – 101
        NYR – 129
        Carolina – 130
        NJ – 131
        Winnipeg – 131
        Colorado – 131
        Dal;las – 133
        Toronto – 135
        Minnesota – 136
        Tampa Bay – 139

        Every team will suffer a brain-fart night like last night when Ottawa pumped 6 past Samsonov – Hell, Ottawa once put 7 into the Boston net early in the season. It happens – but by and large the defensive aspect of their game is right there with the so-called favorites (again, excluding Boston).

        Their two main concerns heading into the playoffs, from this vantage point, is making sure Matthews knee sprain is fully healed by not rushing him back and, of course, the reliability (or unreliability) of Murray.

      • Hi MOTV

        Re “ Pengy has been saying it for years leafs can’t win a cup because one team or another are too strong.
        Please only one team can win and you have too have a lot of breaks go your way too win it all.”

        Re only one team can win … absolutely

        Re “ have a lot of breaks go your way too win it all.”… I wouldn’t say have to and I wouldn’t necessarily say lots

        All teams are “breaks” and at the same time “follies/setbacks” candidates

        Many eventual cup winners havd some adversity that they move through and oft (not always) that overcoming adversity; collectively “strengthens” the team or at the very least; spurs moxie

        Re “ Pengy has been saying it for years leafs can’t win a cup because one team or another are too strong.”…. no that was certainly not the message i was driving

        What I’ve been saying is that (1) Leafs are a very good reg season team; but not designed/structured/built to be equally successful in the playoffs (heavily due to 4 fwds taking up 1/2 Cap) ; and (2) there have been; and are , multiple hurdles (teams) to overcome on path to Cup; that I don’t as at now; see them getting over this Spring (nite I have said many times that I hope u’m wrong)

        My hopes were much stronger before the season started. I didn’t see the massive uptick of Bruins (especially with March and McAvoy missing a chunk); and although I knew Canes were strong; I didn’t see them that strong

        I really do feel that a Leaf SC in ‘23 id s long-shot( but do believe; with structural change to roster make up this summer; that cup hopes in ‘24 are waaay higher than this year

        What also can’t be forgotten is; if Leafs don’t get at least to ECF this year; the already *tempered odds of AM wanting to re-up for 24/25 will start to drop

        *many teams willing to gi big on AM; Leafs even with an 8 year deal can’t come close to the 7 year take home deals from the 6 state-tax free franchises; and …. Consider the young on the rise Krakken (one who f the tax free franchises)….. the City is great; AM would be made Captain; on rise towards a cup run in a couple of years; AND with the Mariners; Seahwaks; and Seattle pushing hard for an NBA return…. Public Focus will not be on AM (no media/public fishbowl anywhere near that of Leafs)

  5. If Bally Sports goes tits up, the league will be in major trouble. There are teams already playing with shortened rosters thanks to the COVID induced flat cap. If/when Bally Sports fails, the flat cap could continue for a decade.

    • Paul, agreed and many thought that the viability of Bally Sports to buy and run the former Fox Sports networks was a pipe dream. Turn the page to now a few years later the fruit has come to bare. Bally will look to find another buyer but even if they do the NHL salary cap will be flat until a viable stream of revenue is found.

      • Ya, this is gonna be interesting. The reporting is they owe $8.6B, really big #. From what I could find is folks don’t want to pay the expensive ticket and companies like Dish Network said no thanks due to the ask. Then they tried streaming it for $20 a month and the app didn’t work well.

        I can see this getting refinanced due the really large amount of debt owed, or maybe different pieces (rights) sold at a discount to recoup some of the $ for the bank. Or the NHL will have to sue to be able to sell the local rights to someone else if they don’t get paid and it isn’t all settled yet. So will take a while to shake out.

        We’ll see if they come out of this, but doesn’t look good. The only thing that may help Bally’s is the large amount owed.

        What’s the old saying – You owe the bank $1M it’s your problem. You owe the bank $8.6B, it’s the banks problem.

  6. @ Pengy

    Thankyou for your clarification !!

    I am totally on your board with your analysis …

    Trade deadlines are an overpay , although Tampa has done well at the deadline in the past .
    Sakic has already tweaked the lineup , has dealt with injuries all year,, their captain is still out .

    I just don’t think the Leafs are in a situation to over take Tampa or Boston this year , and Dubas is unlikely to return .

    The cap is a massive hindrance , a new hockey mind in the off season can hopefully put them over the top ?!?!?!

    • Fingers crossed that both of us are wring and we have the parade to end all parades this June; or the more likely scenario… change this summer; then hopefully a cup in ‘24