NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2023

by | Jan 6, 2023 | News, NHL | 35 comments

Predators goaltender Juuse Saros sets a franchise record, the Oilers’ Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl reach assist milestone, the top 32 players are named to the 2023 All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made a franchise-record 64 saves to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Third-period goals by Mark Jankowski and Colton Sissons put the game away for the Predators as they improved their record to 17-14-6 on the season. Max Pacioretty was held scoreless in his season debut with the Hurricanes (25-8-6) as they hold a five-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 56 points.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had two points in a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders. McDavid collected two assists to reach 500 career assists while Draisaitl scored and collected an assist to reach the 400 career assist milestone as the Oilers improved to 21-17-2. Mathew Barzal and Cal Clutterbuck replied for the 22-16-2 Islanders.

The league-leading Boston Bruins picked up their 30th win of the season with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Trent Frederic scored twice within 34 seconds in the third period while David Pastrnak tallied twice for the Bruins, who hold an eight-point lead over the Hurricanes for first overall with 64 points. Phillip Danault and Sean Durzi replied for the Kings (22-14-6), who sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Bruins placed winger Jake DeBrusk (fractured fibula) on long-term injury reserve. He’s expected to miss approximately four weeks.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Eichel had been sidelined for 11 games with a lower-body injury. Adin Hill made 38 saves for the Golden Knights (27-12-2), who sit atop the Western Conference with 56 points. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each had two points for the Penguins (19-13-6), who’ve dropped six straight games.

The Washington Capitals (22-13-6) extended their road win streak record to seven games with a 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. T.J. Oshie scored twice, Dylan Strome collected three assists, and Alex Ovechkin scored to extend his goal streak to four games. Johnny Gaudreau scored one of the goals for the 11-24-2 Blue Jackets.

Three goals within a 2:33 span in the second period rallied the Vancouver Canucks over the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. Andrei Kuzmenko scored two goals and Brock Boeser tallied what proved to be the game-winner for the Canucks (17-18-3). Mikko Rantanen and Samuel Girard replied for the 19-15-3 Avalanche. With 41 points, the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche sits two points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their third straight win to dump the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 5-1. Vince Dunn scored and picked up two assists while Martin Jones kicked out 26 shots for the 21-12-4 Kraken. Their 11 road wins thus far equal their total from last season. John Tavares scored for the Leafs (23-9-7) as they sit in third overall in the Eastern Conference with 53 points.

St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas scored twice and picked up an assist while Jordan Binnington made 36 saves for a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils, handing the latter their eighth straight home loss. Jack Hughes tallied twice for the Devils (24-12-3) as they hold a one-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 51 points. The Blues improved their record to 19-17-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ondrej Palat was held scoreless in his return to the Devils’ lineup after being sidelined for 32 games by groin surgery.

The Rangers, meanwhile, picked up a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (15-21-3), leaving the latter winless in their last seven games (0-6-1). Filip Chytil tallied twice for the 22-12-6 Rangers as they picked up their third straight victory. Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher missed this game with a lower-body injury.

Philadelphia Flyers forwards Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes each had a goal and two assists as their club tallied five second-period goals to beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. The Flyers improved to 15-17-7 while the Coyotes fall to 13-19-5.


NHL.COM: Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson and Kraken center Matty Beniers are among 11 first-time selections for the 2023 NHL All-Star Game to be held at Sunrise, Florida on Feb. 4, 2023. Other first-timers included Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson, Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov, Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fans will vote for the final three players for each division All-Star team.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks listed Patrick Kane as a “maybe” for Friday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. He’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury and skipped practice yesterday for a maintenance day.

OTTAWA SUN: Attendance for Senators games is up by over 25 percent over last season, averaging 15,798 fans after 20 home games this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Senators, another potential buyer is poised to make a bid for the club. A group headed by Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Neko Sparks is preparing to submit a bid when the sale process formally opens. One source said they’re prepared to go upwards of $950 million to purchase the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reminder that any potential owner who purchases the Senators understands that a condition of the sale is the franchise cannot be relocated.

DAILY FACEOFF: An overtime goal by Arizona Coyotes forward Dylan Guenther propelled Canada to a 3-2 victory over Czechia in the Gold Medal Game at the 2023 World Junior Championships in Halifax.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright scored one of Canada’s three goals. Connor Bedard of the WHL’s Regina Pats was named tournament MVP with 23 points. The 17-year-old is considered the top prospect in the 2023 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.


  1. Quite a feat – Predator goalie -64 saves and allowing 3 goals

    Then you have Matt Murray – 21 Saves and allowing 5 goals vs Seattle last night

    Dubas – R U ready for lift off !
    Countdown begins via your exit

    • Ken
      I try not too watch much leaf games. Last night I did. My observation is No bottom 1/2 of line up. Upto top 2 lines to win the game. Very similar to oilers. Does not bode well come playoffs where the bottom 6 win you a series.

    • Ken, it’s rare that any team will go through an 82-game season without experiencing a stretch where nothing seems to go right. So far this season only Boston has avoided that … but at some point they, too, will go into the doldrums for a brief period. It’s almost inevitable.

      You’d think sports writers would realize that, especially those that have been following and reporting on the game for some considerable time.

      Instead, they choose to highlight the worst of a team, thereby fanning the seeds of doubt in the minds of some among a team’s devoted followers, For example, this morning Koshan writes “the Leafs’ save percentage since Dec. 15 in all situations is .852, which is last in the National Hockey League in that span. Until Dec. 14, the Leafs were second in save percentage at .921.

      In other words, to his way of thinking, what they did for 2 1/2 months is wiped out by a two-week glitch. Right.

      That follows on the footsteps of Simmonds, who I’m quoting on the risk that it will send some into terminal apoplexy, but is included here as another example of highlighting the negatives. He wrote last weekend: “Morgan Rielly missed 15 games to injury and still leads Maple Leafs defencemen in being scored upon at even strength. That’s not a statistic anyone wants associated with their name, especially someone as skilled and proud as Rielly is. This may sound rather basic, but in the second half, the very talented Rielly needs to find a way to stop being on the ice when opponents score. He’s better than that. … The surprising Timothy Liljegren has played in four more games than Rielly this season and has been on the ice for 15 fewer goals against …

      The never-ending story that is Patrice Bergeron, in his 19th season, has been on the ice for only nine goals against in Boston. And you wonder why the Bruins are running away in the NHL standings. Lots of people keep talking about how much Auston Matthews has improved his defensive play and he has. But he’s been on the ice for 27 goals against, three times more goals than Bergeron has.”

      • Just to add – it would be nice if, for example, writers like Simmonds would dredge up statistics to show which opposing players were on the ice during all of Rieley’s shifts as opposed to those faced by Liljegren. For example, I imagine a D-man’s stats take a downward swing if facing the likes of McDavid – or Matthews, Marner, Tavares – or Ovechkin, etc., as opposed to 3rd and 4th lines.

      • Just to add. Toronto has had 104 goals scored against them.
        Matthews 31, Marner 30, JT 27, and Nylander 25, are the forwards that have been on the ice for the most goals against.

      • Brian, out of curiosity where did you find those stats and, for comparison purposes, how many goals have been scored against McDavid, Draisaitl, Ovechkin and others of that ilk? Can you post a link?

        Be interesting to see comparisons

      • Well I can’t defend the way they’ve played recently nor a few games before the break where luck had a role in some wins, but you’re right about writers unrelentingly jumping on the team if they are hot or not, even if it’s for just one game.

        Smaller (sound) bites are easier to feed for the masses than going into big explanations and numbers that don’t trigger emotions; emotions that will help a writer feed the audience his/her (or popular/current) narrative.

        The numbers don’t lie and as long as you understand that all teams get hot and people start to think they are contenders or a playoff team can also look like they forgot how to play the game for stretches at a time. The difference between all teams is small, teams at the top and the bottom of the standings go through this throughout this long 82 game season.

        Game to game results are only helpful when you have a lot of them and piece them together to see what the make up of your team…Looking at one game and being overly concerned or critical of it is like guessing a sentence after seeing just one word in it.

  2. re “Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher missed this game with a lower-body injury. ”

    That is becoming an all too familiar a refrain.

    Dare I say “injury prone?”

    • That’s because of his style of game, not any perceived fragility. He plays in areas where other players fear to tread and often pays the price physically for doing so.

      • Oh, not saying he doesn’t play with a hell-bent-for-election style, Lyle – that’s what got him into the NHL … and keeps in there. But it does land him on the IR more frequently than most, and his absences are felt keenly by the team.

    • Hi George,
      did you see my Coffee recomendation to help you out from yesterday…..👌

      • Yeah I did williew. I have tried Kicking Horse and like it – not easy to get around here, however. What I did get I had to order through Amazon (as I do with Jamaica Blue Mountain).

  3. @George- others

    Re- bottom 1/2 of the lineup

    Please review Mrbruin4 above comment – 2 nd comment of the day …

    I made a comment similar to this just recently , – as per at least 25 percent of the Leafs lineup would have trouble cracking other teams lineups … Than I get some “cheeky” remark on here , as per…

    Let’s elaborate , as per Bergeron – Leafs do not have this “CHARACTER” player of this magnitude !
    He leads by example , game in game out , team mates follow !!

    Steve Yzerman was that type of player – of course – Bobby Orr , very few in comparison .

    I once witnessed Phil Esposito’s comment on a late night talk show – quite some time ago , he commented on Orr – If the rest of us displayed the character on and off the ice, as per Bobby Orr, Bruins would of won more Stanley Cups !

    Bergeron has only been on the ice for “9” goals against , as per George’s stat- Exactly – A player that puts his heart and soul to the game of hockey !

    Morgan Reilly stat – How many games have Leafs won with him out of the lineup vs in the lineup .

    IMO – There’s no stopping the Bruins this year – they R on a Mission !!!
    Strong goaltending , Top half , Bottom half of the lineup , DESIRE to Win – Perform to their Utmost ability on a consistent basis

    • Ken, you’re not related to Rick are you?

      Bergeron is a great 200′ player, that’s why he’s won so many Selkes, no argument. Guys like him are pretty rare, and the B’s haven’t won anything yet this year, we’ll see what happens come playoff time. Same is true for every team.

      Stevie Y was a great offensive player and leader, who became more responsible defensively, but he should never be confused with a Bergeron when it comes to defending.

      The player who did that for the Wings, and was as good a 200′ C to ever play the game, was named Sergei Federov. The guy deserves way more credit for those championships in Detroit.

      • Not to mention Nicklas Lidström!

      • Ya, that was a really solid team.

    • Hi George,
      The Kicking Horse Coffee is way better than
      Blue Mountain, and more than likely a lot chaper are you in ontario?

      its avalable in Ontario search on web page below
      Toll Free

  4. Federov, Lidstrom , whomever

    Ray Bark – Do you know how to Read ????

    What has my article got to do with Rick ???

    I am merely commenting on “2”. Other fan views on here , and making comparison ..

    • Chill dude. People can read here. Players you mentioned are not the norm, they are the exception.
      And yes i agree, you do sound like you share a brain with Rick. People who are taking the time to replying to you are not Leafs fans and are just showing you the other side of the coin.

    • Ken, I’m with Ray.

  5. 🇨🇦🇺🇸
    Let the Tanking for Bedard begin….. After a Fantastic performance at the World Juniors💥

    Connor 2.0…. Bedard of Regina Pats was named tournament MVP with 23 points. The 17-year-old one of the youngest at the Championship game

    Top to Botttom teams aproaching the mid way mark
    to have the Best chance to get him… I think will Now Start Trading away Early to move down?,
    This year the top 10 teams have a shot at the #1 pick in the 2023 Draft❗️that looks like a very good 1st rd,

    1-Hawks 20pts
    2-CBJ 24 pts
    3-Ducks 26 pts
    4-Sharks 31pts
    5-AZ 31 pts
    6-Habs 33 pts
    7-Philly 37 pts
    8-Vancouver 37 pts
    9-Panthers 38 pts
    10-Sen’s 39 pts

    Any thoughts on what the top 6 will look like at the end of the season…..what do you think❓
    any one of the bottom 5-6 teams have a very good chance to get Connor 2.0 ⁉️

    • williew, over their past 10 games Pittsburgh and Colorado have the worst records of those teams currently up to 44 pts, Pittsburgh has gone 3-5-2 for 8 out of 20 pts (same as Detroit, also not yet among your 10 teams above), while Colorado, the defending Cup champions, have gone 4-5-1 for 9 pts out of 20.

      Of others between Ottawa’s 39 pts and the 44 pt mark,

      Edmonton (4-4-2) for 10 pts out of 20
      Calgary (5-3-2) for 12 out of 20
      Nashville (5-2-3) for 13 out of 20
      St, Louis (6-2-2) for 14 out of 20
      Buffalo (7-2-1) for 15 out of 20

      Ottawa has gone 6-3-1 for 13 out of 20.

      Could teams like Pittsburgh, Colorado and Detroit fall into that grouping? Anything’s possible. As recently as 2006-07 a defending Cup champion missed the playoffs the year after (Carolina) while in 1995-96 NJ did the same. So it’s not unprecedented. Unlikely, perhaps, but a key injury on a struggling team could knock out the plug that’s keeping them in so far.

    • Hi Willie

      Per Tankathon ( 2023 NHL Draft Lottery Odds | Tankathon )


      Habs (via Panther’s pick) have 5% chance at Bedard; adding there own pick’s chance (7.5%)…. Total 12.5 % …. Making them 3rd most likely to get Bedard (behind only BlackHawks [25.5 %] and Jackets [13.5 %] ) as it stands right now (prior to tonight’s games)

      Panther’s play Wings tonight , then Stars , Avs, Knights

      If Panther’s say lose 3 of 4…. Outcome potential for Habs and Panthers sitting in 6th and 7th last…. Moving Habs Bedard odds to 14% (6.5 % and 7.5%)

  6. exactly how doesthe nhl draft work in laymans terms thanks

    • norman d drum, does this excerpt from an on-line site help:

      “How do they determine the order in which teams choose?

      The first round operates differently than rounds 2 through 7. It is easier to explain rounds 2 through 7 before we get into round 1.

      Round 2 through 7 are simply the reverse order of the team’s record in the league from the previous season. Therefore, if you had the worst record in the league you will get the first choice of Round 2 and if you had the best record you get the last choice. Rounds 3 through 7 follow the same pattern.

      Round 1 is composed of a weighted-lottery for the 16 teams that did not make the playoffs, where the top 2 winners have the opportunity to move up a maximum of 10 spots. Therefore any team in the bottom 11 of the standings have a shot at winning the 1st overall pick.

      The 12 teams that do not win the lottery are then slotted in order of their regular season record with the worst getting the 3rd overall choice and then so on. The 16 playoff teams are then placed based on a combination of their playoff performance and regular season record. “

      • thank you i think i understand it now

  7. @Willie w

    Senators and Florida will definitely not be part of the top 6

    Florida, knowingly they have to part with their pick to Montreal , which should been lottery protected , danger of trading away a first round pick

    Ottawa will be climbing vs descending , a team along with Buffalo on an upward trend ..

    Ottawa has their chance , as per their goalie of the future in a young Samsonov , don’t seem to be biting, 😂

    Rutherford and Vancouver – I am surprised Rutherford’s patience hasn’t run thin , and he hasn’t moved out players, retool and think 4-5 years ahead .
    That will put them in the top 6 category as well , once it happens

  8. Ron Moore

    I have asked you time and time on here , keep your opinions to yourself ..
    You belittle a Philadelphia fan on here , as well as have your unprofessional , far from knowledgeable asinine remarks on here …
    Please , I ask you not to comment on my remarks .
    My comments are not belittling , my remarks are based on fact , and elaborate on other fan blogs on here
    Do I make myself clear

    • Hahaha.

    • Boy, someone thinks a little too highly of himself. Certainly makes you seem even more like Rick W Murray.

  9. That Saros performance reminded me of that epic show Ron Tugnutt put on against Boston when he was the tender for the Nordiques. Except Saros won in the end haha.

    • It’s a great number for Saros but I don’t see how it’s a record the team should be proud of. I mean 64 shots plus the 3 he let in….c’mon!!!

      • well of course, but there are times when it happens and if so… it’s amazing when a goalie can step up like that!!

  10. Whoever told Frederic he can fight lied to him

    • Ya Joe, he’s no Probert, but gotta give the guy credit for doing it. Takes some courage.

      Plus scored 2 in the 3rd, good on him. Starting to look like a solid pick at the end of RD 1. Turning into a contributor.