NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2023

by | Nov 16, 2023 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Recaps of Wednesday’s games include comeback wins by the Canucks and Oilers, plus the latest on the Sabres’ Tage Thompson, the Kings’ Pierre-Luc Dubois and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Quinn Hughes lifted the Vancouver Canucks over the New York Islanders 4-3. Hughes, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller each had a goal and two assists as the Canucks overcome a 3-1 deficit to move into first overall in the Western Conference with 25 points (12-3-1) to sit one point back of the first overall Boston Bruins. Mathew Barzal collected two assists for the slumping Islanders (5-6-4) as they’ve won just three of their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vegas Golden Knights have an identical record but the Canucks hold first place in the West with 11 regulation wins.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (NHL Images).

The Canucks are off to an impressive start to this season. A big reason is they’re getting strong performances thus far from Hughes, Boeser, Miller, Elias Pettersson and Thatcher Demko.

Hughes, Pettersson and Miller are tied for the league lead in points with 26, Boeser is tied with Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor for the goal-scoring lead (13), Hughes is the overall assists leader (20) and Demko is among the goaltending leaders with a 2.04 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and two shutouts.

The Canucks got some bad news earlier in the day as they announced defenseman Carson Soucy will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a leg injury.

The Edmonton Oilers got a natural hat trick from Evander Kane as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on an overtime goal by Kane. Evan Bouchard collected three assists for the 5-9-1 Oilers, who’ve won three straight games. Jared McCann tallied his seventh goal of the season for the Kraken as they slipped to 5-8-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken winger Jordan Eberle returned to action in this game after being sidelined for a week by a deep cut to one of his legs from a skate blade during practice.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar collected three assists while Valeri Nichushkin scored twice in an 8-2 rout of the Anaheim Ducks. Joel Kiviranta had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche as they improved to 10-5-0 on the season. Sam Carrick and Max Jones replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 9-7-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson missed this game against his former club as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Philadelphia Flyers got a 31-save performance from Carter Hart to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny and Ryan Poehling scored for the Flyers (8-7-1) while Stefan Noesen replied for the 9-7-0 Hurricanes.


TSN: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson is expected to miss at least a month with an injured left wrist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres will look to Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Cozens to step up and fill the void during Thompson’s absence.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Pierre-Luc Dubois is drawing criticism for his “uninvolved, hesitant” play this season. He was acquired from the Kings during an offseason trade with the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article points out that when Dubois is playing his best within the Kings’ well-defined system he’s difficult to stop. However, they haven’t seen enough of that version of the 25-year-old center thus far. He has four goals and eight points in 14 games.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes are shedding their losing reputation this season. They’re playing as a team, believe in themselves and play hard to the very end of every game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I said at the start of this season not to sleep on the Coyotes. They’ve got a rising star in Clayton Keller, a reliable offensive presence in a healthy Nick Schmaltz, a promising rookie in Logan Cooley, a confident goal scorer in Lawson Crouse, a solid playmaker in Matias Maccelli and a defense bolstered by the offseason addition of Sean Durzi. They could be in the playoff hunt throughout 2023-24.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Rasmus Kupari will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an injured shoulder.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed forward Emil Bemstrom on waivers.


  1. It’s a good thing that Dubois is far from the Jackets.

  2. The Kings are getting what they deserve for signing him to that ludicrous 8 and 1/2 million per year contract.

    • Can we please give Dubois more than 14 games before we debate the wisdom of the Kings trading for him and extending him?

      • Yeah…. Otherwise you might get the impression that some people are having the left at the alter type of feelings towards him.

      • Howard: We have more than 14 games to know what Dubois is going to do.

        Historically he puts up points at a 69% rate. His current rate with the Kings is lower, 57%. He thus has room to improve but with 448 games of track record we surely have enough to fairly declare he is not worth the hype nor the 8.5 million he costs the Kings.

        Thank goodness the Habs missed out on him.

      • Ya Howard, Dubois can still get it going. Not the first guy to struggle with a new team. If he gets back to his historical production it won’t be the worst contract to have on the books. Big, physical, C who can skate and can show up in the playoffs, is worth about that much as a UFA, which he basically was going to be in a year.

        Hey, if Dubois was a point per game big C he would be making more than $8.5.

        On a positive note for the Kings, Byfield looks like he is hitting his stride. If he keeps producing offence, at that size and skill, watch out. Don’t sleep on the Kings if they get tending.

      • Not so fast Ray. I wondered if your comments would be supported by looking at other centers in and around the 8.5 million range. I didn’t include Huberdeau, an obvious overpay/underperformer, but I didn’t include Sid either. Here is what I found:

        Larken: 8.7 million, .76 scoring rate.
        Forsberg: 8.5 million, .84%
        Horvat: 8.5 million, .67
        Zibanejad, 8.5 million, .79%
        Stamkos: 8.5 million, 1.01%
        Stutzle: 8.3 million, .86%

        As for the playoffs, Dubios puts up points at a .68 rate, so let’s give him credit for consistency there.

        Sure, one could get into rationalizations about the team depth, include others with different salaries and stats. But of the 6 centres, not including Sid, in the 8-9 million salary range, only Horvat is lower and not by much. So I don’t see much of an argument that says Dubios is worth the money he got, big center or not.

      • Fair enough LJ, and I’m not saying he is a bargain, but it’s not a terrible deal when you consider his age, size, physicality and the timing of the deal.

        Horvat is the most recent comparable, and similar players, although Horvat is older and will be 36 when deal done. Dubois 33.

        Forsberg is a winger isn’t he. I believe there is a premium for C’s. Plus older so buying past his prime years.

        Stamkos deal was way back, Zib is older and an uncertain/flat cap when he signed.
        Stutzle will be a good deal, but also signed coming out of his ELC with zero leverage with not much experience playing C.

        Larkin a bit older, and a better deal than Dubois IMO, we agree. Slight hometown discount maybe of a $300-$500K? I dunno.

        Dubois is 25 and will be 33 when the deal is done, so basically prime years. 7 of the 8 years were UFA years.

        IMO if Dubois produces at his normal rate, hits UFA after this season, he gets at least $8.5 on the open market. His agent and LA knew that too. Cap is scheduled to go up after this season more significantly. It’s not a bargain deal by any means, not crazy either, is my only point.

        We will see what new C contracts go for going forward and how Dubois plays. For more than 14 games.

  3. So Dubois is playing like Dubois? Stop the presses!

    • exactly.
      if he shows up in the playoffs and does his regular season act….thats ok but still overpaid

    • Stop the presses? I think you mean start the presses and let’s start the Dubois to Montreal rumors all over again!

    • Brock 100% that’s exactly who PLD is as a player.

      When he wants to dominate he can, but you never know when you’re getting that version.

    • The next step for Dubois is Wah I don’t like it here
      Trade me I’ll take my 8.5 mil and piss off some other city

  4. What’s the record for most single-season losses after the second period? The Islanders must be closing in on it already.

    • It must be all JT’s fault

  5. If the Canucks can land RD man Chris Tanev $4.5M in a trade for a Canuck winger Connor Garland $4.9 or
    Anthony Beauvillier $4.2M
    That may work out well for both teams?

  6. That had to be one of THE weirdest games I’ve seen in a while. Ottawa builds up a 4-0 lead – which they promptly blew in the 2nd by giving up 4 goals, then a goalless 3rd followed by an OT winner by Stutzle.

    Too many Swedish meatballs?