NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2023

by | Jan 9, 2023 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Hat-trick performances by the Bruins’ David Pastrnak and the Jets’ Kyle Connor, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson return to the Capitals, the Blackhawks’ Lukas Reichel nets his first three NHL points and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick and collected an assist to crush the Anaheim Ducks 7-1. David Krejci collected three points and Jeremy Swayman stopped 28 shots as the league-leading Bruins (32-4-4, 68 points) extended their points streak to 14 games (11-0-3). Trevor Zegras replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 12-25-4.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Spurred by Kyle Connor’s hat trick and a four-assist performance by Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Winnipeg Jets rolled to a 7-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Nikolaj Ehlers enjoyed a three-point performance for the Jets (26-13-1) as they remain one point behind the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars with 53 points. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks as they fell to 17-19-3.

Speaking of the Stars (24-11-6), they dropped the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-1. Jason Robertson scored two goals while Jake Oettinger made 27 saves for the win. Carter Verhaeghe replied for the 18-19-4 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Stars as center Roope Hintz left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. He is expected to be evaluated on Monday.

Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson made their season debuts in a 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Darcy Kuemper kicked out 38 shots for the shutout while Erik Gustafsson tallied the only goal for the Capitals (23-14-6) as they sit one point behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division with 52 points. Elvis Merzlikins made 18 saves for the 12-25-2 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals are 13-2-2 in their last 17 games. Backstrom and Wilson were held scoreless in this contest.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. John Tavares and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and two assists, Auston Matthews scored his 20th goal of the season and Matt Murray made 34 saves for the Leafs (25-9-7), who hold second place in the Atlantic Division with 57 points. Travis Konecny netted his 21st of the season for the 15-18-7 Flyers.

St. Louis Blues goalie Thomas Greiss made 35 saves to shut out the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Brayden Schenn tallied two goals as the Blues improved to 20-18-3 (43 points) to sit two points behind the Edmonton Oilers for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Wild (22-14-3) played without winger Jordan Greenway due to a non-COVID illness (flu). They are in third place in the Central Division with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo missed this game to an undisclosed injury suffered on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Pittsburgh Penguins got two goals from Jake Guentzel and two assists from Sidney Crosby en route to a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Penguins (20-13-6) hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 46 points and hold two games in hand over the New York Islanders, who also have 46 points. Barrett Hayton scored for the Coyotes (13-21-6) as they’ve now lost five games in a row.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win snapped a six-game winless skid (0-4-2) for the Penguins.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Lukas Reichel scored his first NHL goal and collected two assists (the latter on Max Domi’s game-winner) in a 4-3 overtime upset of the Calgary Flames. Alex Stalock stopped 44 shots for the 10-25-4 Blackhawks. Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom was pulled after giving up three goals on 11 shots as his club’s record dropped to 19-14-8. With 46 points, they hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On Saturday, the Flames placed forward Brett Ritchie on injured reserve. He last played on Dec. 29.


  1. 1-0 games in this era are rare birds … but that Washington-Columbus game last night (1-0 win for the Capitals) has to be one of the strangest. Did anyone see it – Paul?

    I mean, here’s Columbus, among the 5 most scored upon teams in the league with 152ga (tied with Montreal( and exceeded only by Vancouver (153), San Jose (155) and Anaheim (169) – and they limit Washington to 19 shots on Merzlikins while firing twice that at Kuemper. And it’s them that lose 1-0.

    • No, I didn’t. I only stream and I’m not about to pay Bally Sports+ $20.00 a month (Which is more than three of my favorite streamers), but I listened to it on SiriusXM.
      Frankly, I am not shocked – surprised, but not shocked – by the game. Just because roughly half the players the Jackets are putting on the ice, each night, being rookies, they are talented rookies. And as with any rookie, there are games where they look lost, games when they look like they belong (but need more development) and games where they look like stars. Yesterday, the Jackets young guns showed that, when they are “on”, they can play with anyone.
      Here’s the scary part, George. Jiricek, currently developing in Cleveland, and Svozil, currently developing in juniors, have a higher ceiling than any defenseman currently on the Jackets. Yes, including Werenski. And Mateychuk and Ceulemans have nearly as high a ceiling. In two or three years, the Jackets could have the best, young blueline corps in the league.

      • Paul, Ottawa should be so lucky. Maybe they should be considering Pinto to Columbus for one of those soon-to-be surplus D-men.

      • Well, George, Gavrikov is looking more and more likely to be available @ the TDL. I’ve never cared for Boqvist, but he’s on a three year contract. Affordable, but three years. And though he’s out for the season with a torn labrum, Bean might be available this summer. He was showing a spark of why Carolina drafted in the first round and the Jackets gave up a 2nd round pick to get him. Considering everything I’ve heard about Pinto, Kekalainen might be willing to give up Gavrikov and a mid-round pick for him.

  2. Pasta is pulling a Aaron Judge should’ve signed him this past offseason … Price is going up daily

    • They have been working on a deal. There’s things Pasta wants to know before he signs. Most likely if Bergy DK and Zacha resign. When’s the last time you heard the Bruins low ball a star player?

  3. I assume with Backstrom and Wilson back after long layoffs , the Caps might have been somewhat disoriented .

    Washington IMO , is the sleeper in this years playoff .

    I wouldn’t want to be the team , going up against them .

    • sometimes teams play down to their opponent, which explains the Caps 1-0 win. not that exciting these days to play Johnny Hockey/Laine + the Cleveland Monsters hockey team

  4. Ducks sure are giving a run for their money in the Bedard sweepstakes. how soon do they start shopping their vets (Gibson, Klingberg,Shattenkirk, Henrique,Fowler,Silverberg) to drop to rock bottom?

    • The only one worth trading for is Fowler, and I really doubt they want to trade him. Gibson at half salary for 4 more years would be good….but the Ducks won’t do that either. Shatty for a 3rd, OK. Silver and Henry have another costly year on their contracts.

  5. Bruins fans got a Pasta Tre for a midnight supper last night

    Pasta now just 1 behind McD…. Bruins to pay Pasta in Bearer Bonds or Crypto next contract??

    Great to see both Leafs and Pens win. Geez those TV sight lines in the Yotes barn are awful!! Pens’ PP … ouch

    Another Cats L!!! As at now per Tankathon.com lottery odds…. Cats have 64% chance of letting Habs pick 8th…… but also 5% chance of hand delivering Bedard to Habs. As at right now…. Habs combined odds of 12.5 % for Bedard only surpassed by Jackets (13.5%) and Blackhawks (25.5%)

    Oh…. Bedard’s first game back…. Mere 4 G 2 A…. slacker…. I guess world Jrs wore him out… Doh!!!

    • At one point the Bruins needed a Brinks truck for the Pasta contract now they’ll need a Bank vault

      • The question is, Joe, with 19 teams snuggled up against the cap limit, and those with any significant cap space in various stages of re-builds, who can afford to take him on if the price keeps going up and would he “follow the money” and sign long-term with a re-building team?

      • Hi George

        Don’t count out state-tax free Krakken

        Not on “re-build” but “build” and doing dang good this year (less than 1 1/2 seasons into it’s NHL life)

        I do think Pasta will re-up with Bruins and for less than other teams would offer; but there will be offers; and he’d be wise to at least listen to them

      • Hadn’t thought about that. Good point! Sheesh – Seattle with Pastrnak – scary.

  6. Pengy

    I too believe Pasta will re up with Bruins at a slight discount vs what he would get elsewhere. I also think 1 or both of 37 and 46 will return next season. No information saying that just a feeling I have

  7. With Pasta being a Scoring Machine again this season in Boston …👍 I think he will be in the $11.7 to $12. M Range Right in with top 4-5

    -Nat Mac
    -& McDavid
    The Bruins have $26.5 M in Cap space they have 8 UFA & 3 RFA’s
    More than Half the UFA wont be back & some will retire…., they will dip into the UFA market for a centre also….