NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2023

by | Oct 31, 2023 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Recaps of Monday’s games, the three stars of the week are revealed, calls for neck guards to be mandated following the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish scored the tying and winning goals (the latter shorthanded) in a 4-3 upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Anaheim goaltender Lukas Dostal turned aside 33 shots replacing John Gibson when the latter left following the first period with an upper-body injury. Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-6-0 Penguins while the Ducks improved to 5-4-0.

Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins honored former teammate Adam Johnson in a pregame ceremony that also included the Ducks players. The former NHL forward died on Saturday when his neck was accidentally sliced by a skate blade during an EIHL game on Saturday in Sheffield, England. The incident is currently under police investigation.

The Vegas Golden Knights extended their season-opening points streak to 10 games (9-0-1) by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Shea Theodore’s shootout goal. Paul Cotter and William Carrier scored in regulation while Adin Hill stopped 37 shots for the Golden Knights. Sean Monahan and Nick Suzuki replied for the 5-2-2 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by the Canadiens as they threw a scare into the defending Stanley Cup champions. However, they were stymied by the Golden Knights’ solid penalty kill, going 0-4 with the man advantage.

The Boston Bruins extended their season-opening points streak to nine games (8-0-1) by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Pavel Zacha tallied the winner in overtime and Linus Ullmark kicked out 35 shots for the win. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each had a goal and an assist for the 4-3-1 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett made his season debut after suffering a lower-body injury in preseason but left this game with an injured left ankle. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Panthers blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Conor Bedard opened the scoring but his club fell 8-1 to the Arizona Coyotes. Michael Carcone tallied a hat trick and collected an assist, Jack McBain scored twice and added two assists and Alex Kerfoot had three helpers for the 4-4-0 Coyotes. The Blackhawks’ record fell to 3-6-0.

The New York Rangers (7-2-0) defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 as Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists while Mika Zibanejad tallied the winner in overtime. David Gustafsson and Nikolaj Ehlers replied for the 4-3-2 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger and former Jets captain Blake Wheeler was held scoreless in his first game against his old club in Winnipeg. He’s yet to dent the scoresheet for the Blueshirts this season.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen snapped a 2-2 tie to lift his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Stefan Noesen and Michael Bunting each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they improved to 6-4-0. Owen Tippett and Garnet Hathaway replied for the 4-4-1 Flyers.

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Lucas Raymond’s overtime goal. Raymond, J.T. Compher and Jake Walman each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings as they rose to 6-3-1. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist for the 4-2-2 Islanders.

An overtime goal by Jared McCann gave the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. McCann and Kailer Yamamoto each had a goal and an assist while Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves for the 3-5-2 Kraken. Tanner Jeannot, Alex Barre-Boulet and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist as the Lightning dropped to 4-2-3.

The Dallas Stars improved their record to 5-1-1 by dropping the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Matt Duchene tallied his first of the season with the Stars while teammates Jamie Benn, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, Wyatt Johnston and Evgenii Dadonov each collected two points. Dmitri Voronkov tallied his first NHL goal for the 3-4-2 Blue Jackets.


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Tyler Toffoli, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Jonas Johansson and Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 29, 2023.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager and four-time women’s Olympic hockey gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser is calling for mandatory neck protection at every level of hockey in the wake of former NHL forward Adam Johnson’s tragic death.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Protective neck gear is mandatory in most minor hockey and junior/college leagues. There’s also been an increase in players wearing socks and wrist coverings that protect against skate cuts at every level.

Wickensheiser isn’t the only executive on an NHL team calling for this change. Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely believes it’s time for the league and the NHL Players Association to reevaluate neck safety on the ice.

Meanwhile, Washington Capitals forward and Warroad protective gear founder T.J. Oshie saw his brand’s base layer protective shirts sell out in recent days. The built-in neck collar on the shirts, which was introduced in September, is made from Kevlar.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Danton Heinen’s patience has been rewarded with a one-year, $775K contract with the Bruins. He’d signed a professional tryout agreement with the club on Sept. 5 and continued to practice with the club once the regular season was underway.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed forward Cody Glass on injured reserve.


  1. Macavoy. Will be getting at least a game in press box. Too bad it will be vs leafs.
    Griz injured as well will be out a few weeks. Lorhei and either Zyboril or Mitchell get the leaf game. Bruins keep proving doubters wrong

    Real tough break for Bennett

    • Hopefully more than one. That was a really dangerous and reckless hit to the head. Should be at least five.

    • Never any doubt here Mrbruin4 – any other team losing a Bergeron and a Krejci would have at least stumbled out of the gate to some degree … but Sweeney has steadily been acquiring and providing the right ingredients for continued success, shutting up a lot of critics, including one in particular who has disappeared from these pages anyway.

      • Hello George,

        I don’t want to demean what Boston has done to this point but they’ve played only week teams to this point. Boston plays a great team game and they will probably win there division but there start is being overblown.

        Chicago – twice
        Anaheim – twice
        San Jose, Detroit, L.A, Florida and Nashville.

        Let’s see how they do against the cup contenders before we put them on to high a pedistal.

      • Same could be said of Vegas – Kraken, Sharks, Ducks, Stars, Jets, Chicago (twice), Flyers, Kings, Canadiens – not many juggernauts there

        But the teams don’t make the schedule … and so far neither they nor the Bruins have fallen prey to the “playing down to the level of their opponents” syndrome – as have a few notable teams so far.

      • Not sure George was putting them on a pedestal WTH, but I kind of agree with you on the rest of your post. LA & FLA are playoff teams, and they won those too, but the rest are pretty weak.

        But like Caper said, they are beating the teams in front of them, which is all they can do.

        What concerns me are the underlying #’s against those teams. They are in the B’s favor, but barely. Nothing close to what they were a year ago, or what the high end teams results are around the league historically. Say what you want about analytics, but they are good predictors over the long haul the vast majority of the time.

        Bottom line their SV% is at .947 and their PK is at 97.3%. That’s why they’re winning. They continue to get good tending, but those #’s will come down when they play teams with good PP’s and high end players.

        But hey they have room to improve their PP too. So who knows.

        I thought they would be in a battle for a WC spot this year, so getting these points in the bank is huge for them to get into the playoffs.

      • Yes George you smdid state they were not going to implode as many people were saying. Their D and tenders are too good

    • MrBruin4

      I’m saying between 2 and 4 games and it should be 4. That was a bad decision on Chucky part.

      I said when the season start Boston should be 7-2 or a worst 6-3 in October. The did better with 8-0-1

      Not to take anything away , their October schedule was soft. In the 9 games played they only had two against teams that were in the playoffs last season LA and Florida.

      Yes you have to win the games in front of you and they did that.

      • Have to agree. No reason at all to do it Chucky should know better As for as the soft schedule. It was. But a bunch of new faces learning Bruin way and being 8 0. 1. Gotta love it.
        The bruins also will get better as they get used to each other. Will see how they fare without GRIZ and Chucky for a bit.

  2. The neck protection issue should be a no brainer and be implemented immediately. This is a logical step, and makes as much common sense as seatbelts and smoke alarms.

    I felt a bit uncomfortable during the national anthem at the Islanders / Wings game yesterday, as the camera panned the Wings bench and showed the exposed bare necks of Detroits players.

    • Neck guards no, but i bet they all had cups on.

      • Maybe their priorities are misplaced and need relocation.

    • Still think will be hard to pass. Players are reluctant to change anything. Maybe grandfather in like they did this visors will do the trick

    • Did anyone see the video clip of the “hit” to Adam Johnson? Matt Petgrave’s attempted check was more like a UFC move – a flying kick to the head as Adam carried the puck in over the blue line.

      Will not be surprised if Petgrave is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

      • Ridiculous comment, it was an accident. It is a fast and violent sport at times. Tragedy , yes, lay blame , no way.

        Petgrave is going to have to live with this the rest of his life , that is punishment enough.

      • Shocking video, nothing like I expected to see when I read that this was a freak accident. “Accident” is a disgrace to journalism. Adam Johnson’s life and the lives of his family is forever destroyed due to a negligent act by the man that killed him. I know Matt did not want to kill Adam, but the fact of the matter is he did; and he did so in a horrendous fashion regardless. To those that say that Matt living with his mistake is punishment enough, I hope that you sit down and put yourself in the position of Adam’s family.

      • Any body who thinks this wasn’t an accident has never played the game or is watching/reading angertainment again and it is messing with your brain. Probably both. Yes I know who is promoting this crap on cable news. That is what is disgusting. From some grainy video?

        His foot clipped the other player’s foot at high speed, he was thrown off balance in the air and his skate caught his neck. It was not intentional and it was not a flying kick. HOTG, do you honestly believe a hockey player would use a flying kick at another player?

        Seriously, get it together people. This is a tragic event, why do people need to make it worse with outlandish claims of murder? For cable news ratings? Really? Looking at you Watters.


      • Ray, no, I don’t believe that Matt intentionally high kicked Adam Jones; however, that was the net result of his actions.

        Video is very grainy and only one camera angle. I did not detect a skate to skate clip. Definitely possible that Matt was thrown off balance by the other opponent just inside the blue line. But Matt’s attempt to check Adam was reckless, given the postioning of the 3 players. How reckless is up to others to decide. Sean Avery called the move “very unorthodox”.

        Sean Avery: “That’s a pretty dangerous word to be throwing around. I’ve watched it, it’s terrible, it’s tough to watch. Did this kid make a move that was very unorthodox? Do I think he was trying to make contact of some sort?


        Do I think he woke up and said, ‘I’m going to murder somebody today?’

      • Agree HOTG, he was trying to make a hit and avoid the other player at the same time. Clipped the guy, flew off balance, skate came up and cut Adam’s throat. It’s the only reasonable explanation.

        Players hit guys, it’s their job, some guys get paid to specifically be physical. Part of the game and you want guys like that on your team.

        Tragic accident. And the folks trying to find an angle that something nefarious happened, for their own personal benefit is not cool IMO. Now the racist comments are flying around social media attacking Petgrave. Who would have thunk it? Watters got the attention he wanted, screw the guy who has to deal with it and the extra media attention to a grieving family who doesn’t want or deserve it. He is a scumbag IMO.

  3. Apropos of nothing specific on today’s topics, while checking out the current AHL standings I was struck by the attendance figures in Cleveland, San Diego, Coachella Valley, Hershey and Laval.

    Now I realize the cost of a seat in those places is nowhere near that of any NHL rink, nor do I know what their capacities are – in fact some near the bottom of the list might not have seating much beyond the attendance shown – but if those are average attendances that indicates – if nothing else – a strong hockey interest in each location.

  4. I played the game…goalie on a Memorial Cup contending team in the WHL during the 90s. Also a serious NHL prospect. I was one of the few “Manitoba boys” that were week for protesting the treatment by our coaches (yes, add it up I was in the Fleury, Kennedy area of MB). That was the media back then. I was in the Montreal Gazette as a player that spoke out, shared stories from the old Montreal Canadiens writer about how Patrick beat his wife in from of him etc. I get it, as a goalie Roy was my hero..we brushed it off.. the old beat writer and the young prospect. Moved on. I vaguely keep in touch with some of my WHL teammates, a couple had long NHL careers. I will tell you that this is not a “hockey” play so you can shove your keyboard bs up your you know what. If this adult fantasy does not get checked there will be a lot of guys speaking out soon. The guy that made that dangerous play did not try to kill anyone but he crossed a HUGE line. Someone died and it WAS NOT a Malarchuk mistake! So go stick that!!