Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko enjoys his first two-goal NHL game, Sidney Crosby considers sports-hernia surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko enjoyed his first multi-goal game in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kakko scored twice, including the winner in overtime. The Penguins were without Sidney Crosby, who is considering surgery for a sports hernia and could miss four-to-six weeks.
The Florida Panthers overcame a 4-0 deficit to upset the Boston Bruins 5-4 on shootout goals by Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman. Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each collected three points. Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up four goals on 23 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have put their slow start behind them and are rising in the Eastern Conference standings. Bobrovsky’s shaky performance, however, remains a nagging issue. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has a 6-3-4 record with a bloated 3.52 goals-against average and a woeful .881 save percentage.
Colorado Avalanche rookie goaltender Adam Werner had a 40-save shutout in his NHL debut to blank the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Werner replaced Pavel Francouz 41 seconds into the game following a collision with Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. The extent of Francouz’s injury remains unknown. Teammate Ryan Graves said he saw the goalie walking around later and he seemed ok.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With starter Philipp Grubauer still sidelined and his return to action still uncertain, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Francouz.
Jonathan Drouin’s shootout goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Carey Price made 33 saves for the Habs, who’ve won six of their last eight games to sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray returned to action following a quicker-than-expected recovery from a broken thumb.
The Arizona Coyotes got shootout goals from Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland to edge the St. Louis Blues 3-2, snapping the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Darcy Kuemper made 33 stops and Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who sit fourth overall in the Western Conference.
Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson each scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Nashville Predators 5-3. Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko kicked out 34 shots. The Canucks are fifth in the Western Conference.
The San Jose Sharks picked up their fourth straight win by thumping the Edmonton Oilers 6-3. Erik Karlsson picked up three assists for the Sharks. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.
The Detroit Red Wings picked up their season-hight third straight win by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Dennis Cholowski. Wings center Dylan Larkin scored late in the game to force the extra frame. After a strong start to this season, the Ducks have slid out of a wild-card position in the West.
Jonathan Quick turned aside 27 shots as the Los Angeles Kings ended a three-game winless skid by dropping the Minnesota Wild 3-1. Anze Kopitar and Sean Walker each had a goal and an assist.
Sportsnet parts ways with Don Cherry, Jesse Puljujarvi to remain in Finland this season, the Coyotes extend GM John Chayka’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes blew a three-goal lead but went on to edge the Washington Capitals 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice for the Capitals. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced general manager John Chayka signed a contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only 26 when hired as GM in 2016, Chayka’s made significant changes to the Coyotes roster. He re-signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year extension, acquired Schmaltz, Phil Kessel, Darcy Kuemper, Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Jason Demers, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and drafted Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun. His moves appear to be paying off. The Coyotes look like a playoff contender this season.
Sebastian Aho scored twice and Joel Edmundson enjoyed a three-point performance as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Ottawa Senators 8-2. Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, and Martin Necas each collected two points.
SPORTSNET: announced yesterday Don Cherry was immediately stepping down from his role on Hockey Night in Canada. The move came after Cherry singled out new Canadian immigrants during Saturday’s Coach’s Corner segment for not wearing poppies to honor the country’s veterans and troops leading up to Remembrance Day. Cherry’s comments sparked considerable outrage in the press and social media, sparking apologies by Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean, the network, and the NHL.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Cherry refused to walk back his comments, insisting his remarks weren’t racial or bigoted but made out of respect for Canada’s troops. He also said he felt betrayed over the firing, adding he wasn’t going to be turned into a “tamed robot” to keep his job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what you think of Cherry, his departure from Hockey Night in Canada creates a void it could struggle to replace. He’d been on the show since 1981 and had his Coach’s Corner segment for over 35 years. Former NHL executive Brian Burke is rumored as a potential substitute.
Cherry’s dismissal drew considerable reaction among hockey fans and pundits. Some supported him while others are glad to see him go. He’s had a long history of making controversial statements on topics that had little or nothing to do with hockey. The latest proved to be a bridge too far, sparking an intense backlash the network and the league couldn’t ignore or gloss over with apologies.
TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi intends to spend the rest of this season playing in Finland. The 21-year-old restricted free agent opted to return to his home country to await a trade by the Oilers. The club still retains his NHL rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Puljujarvi in the Rumors section.
Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov.10, 2019.
SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno received a three-game suspension by the league’s department of player safety for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss at least one game with an undisclosed ailment. He didn’t join the team on its five-day trip to the New York area.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is sidelined with an upper-body injury. The club called up Uhro Vaakanainen on Monday.
WASHINGTON POST: Winger Richard Panik has returned to the Capitals after missing 10 games on long-term injury reserve.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader is sidelined for three weeks with a mid-body injury.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed Trevor Lewis on injured reserve.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers and called up netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed free agent forwards Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn to professional tryout offers.
Connor McDavid reaches 400 career points, Mitch Marner sidelined for a month, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick, including his 400th career point, as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Leon Drasaitl had four assists, Zach Kassian picked up three points and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid and Draisaitl continue to tear up the league offensively in the early going. They’re key factors in the Oilers’ surprisingly strong start to this season.
Robin Lehner kicked out 53 shots backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had three-point performances for the Blackhawks, who erupted for four goals in the opening period. William Nylander tallied twice for the Leafs, who learned Mitch Marner will be sidelined for a month with a high-ankle sprained suffered during Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant blow to the Leafs offense. Marner had 18 points in as many games before his injury. His absence likely means the Leafs won’t have to demote or trade anyone, for now, to make room for Zach Hyman’s return this week.
Mark Scheifele scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Dallas Stars 3-2. Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were held goalless for the 14th time in 18 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin has just three goals in 18 games, Benn only one. Despite their struggles, the Stars overcame their woeful 1-7-1 start to reach a .500 record after 18 games. Seguin and Benn also went through a lengthy offensive drought in the first half of last season, culminating in team president Jim Lites publicly tearing into them for their poor play. The Stars need those two to regain their scoring form.
The Florida Panthers edged the New York Rangers 6-5 on a shootout goal by Vincent Trocheck. Evgenii Dadonov scored a goal and collected two assists. Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar left the game after being struck in the head by a puck. Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome and Chris Kreider each had two points for the Rangers.
The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their fourth straight victory by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2. The Flyers blew a 2-0 but got the win on a shootout goal by Joel Farabee. Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny each had two points. Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 30 saves to give his club a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. It’s the 11th straight time the Devils have defeated the Canucks.
Anthony Mantha’s goal with 31 seconds remaining gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
IN OTHER NEWS…
TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno faces a hearing today with the NHL’s department of player discipline for his elbow to the head of Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday. Foligno has no previous suspensions.
KUKLA’S KORNER: Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry is under fire for comments on Saturday’s Coach’s Corner in which he appeared to single out new Canadian immigrants for not wearing poppies leading up to Remembrance Day. “You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Sportsnet and the NHL issued apologies and condemning Cherry’s comments. His sidekick Ron MacLean also apologized for the remarks and for not taking Cherry to task over them during the segment.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m a veteran. I served 25 years in the Canadian Forces, including service in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a peacekeeping tour in the former Yugoslavia in 1994. While I believe everyone should wear a poppy and honor our fallen comrades I don’t believe in forcing or shaming anyone into doing so. It’s called freedom of choice. The minute we start forcing people to wear poppies, we’re heading down a dangerous road.
I also disagree with Cherry’s remarks. Canada is a nation of immigrants and refugees of all races, creeds, colors, and religions. They all built this nation and continue doing so. Many of them served this country. I served alongside them. Some paid the ultimate price. They are Canadians, period.
While I disagree with Cherry, he has the right to say what he wants and his critics the right to disagree and condemn him. That’s freedom of speech
It’s those freedoms veterans like myself and serving military members uphold and defend. Once you start taking those away from someone because you don’t like their choices or comments, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes them away from you.