NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2020

Another milestone for Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams returns to the Hurricanes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached another scoring milestone in a 6-1 thumping of the Ottawa Senators. Ovechkin scored twice to tie Teemu Selanne (684 goals) for 11th on the all-time goal list. T.J. Oshie also scored two goals while defenseman John Carlson chipped in two assists.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is tied with Teemu Selanne with 684 career goals (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin needs only 11 more goals to surpass Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, and Mark Messier and move into eighth overall. Barring injury, he should pass those three before season’s end. He needs 25 more goals to pass Mike Gartner for seventh.

The Carolina Hurricanes edged the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Sebastian Aho and Warren Foegele each had two points. The Flyers have lost four straight games. The Hurricanes also announced winger Justin Williams was returning to play on a one-year, bonus-laden contract with a base salary of $700K. Williams, 38, had stepped away from the game for several months. It remains to be seen where he’ll fit into the lineup or when he’ll play his first game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals might try to sign Williams before he inked his new deal with the Hurricanes. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes the veteran winger to round back into game shape and how effective he’ll be over the remainder of this season.

The St. Louis Blues snapped a three-game winless skid by holding off the San Jose Sharks 3-2. Sharks captain Logan Couture left the game in the second period with an apparent knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on Couture’s status could come later today. If he’s sidelined for a long period, it’ll be a significant setback to the Sharks’ playoff hopes.

Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Carter Verhaeghe tallied his first career NHL hat trick in a 9-2 drubbing of the Vancouver Canucks. Brayden Point had a four-point performance and Steven Stamkos collected three points. Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh missed the game with an upper-body injury and could remain sidelined until Saturday. The Bolts have won eight straight.

The Boston Bruins spoiled John Hynes’ debut as the Nashville Predators new head coach by rolling to a 6-2 victory. Bruins forwards Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen each had a goal and an assist while David Pastrnak netted his league-leading 32nd goal.

Elias Lindholm celebrated his 500th career NHL game with two goals as the Calgary Flames squeaked past the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Blackhawks center Dylan Strome left the game with an injured right ankle in the second period.

Kris Letang and Dominik Kahun each picked up two points and Tristan Jarry made 31 stops in a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Penguins have won 12 of their last 16 while the Golden Knights’ four-game win streak came to an end. Jarry and Letang were named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game as injury replacements.

The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their road points streak to nine games by edging the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Zach Werenski scored two goals and Pierre-Luc Dubois collected three assists. With 50 points, the Jackets sit behind the Flyers (50 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers hold a game in hand.

New York Rangers rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves (13 in the first period) for his first career NHL victory in a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored and set up two others. The Avs have dropped seven of their last 10 games.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their fourth straight win by downing the Florida Panthers 5-2. Taylor Hall tallied the game-winner, Phil Kessel collected three assists, and goalie Adin Hill made 37 saves.

Anders Lee’s overtime goal lifted the New York Islanders over the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri each had a goal and an assist in a losing cause for the Devils.

The Detroit Red Wings rallied to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Frans Nielsen scored twice and Filip Zadina tallied the winning goal. Ilya Kovalchuk picked up two assists for the Habs, who are winless in seven (0-6-1).

IN OTHER NEWS…

ESPN.COM: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is concerned over the recent trend of notable players skipping the annual All-Star Game. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury have opted out of this year’s game. Under league rules, a player named to the ASG who doesn’t attend faces a one-game suspension.

Daly believes the current punishment isn’t sufficient to discourage players from skipping the game, but the league might not attempt to stiffen the penalty through collective bargaining. “What we want to do is make sure everybody understands that it is an important event, not something that should be bypassed lightly. We’ll seek the help with the [NHLPA] in instilling that sentiment with the players,” said Daly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the stick isn’t working, the league should try the carrot approach. Rather than punishment, perhaps they can entice the players by sweetening the $1 million prize for the winning team in the All-Star Game.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild recalled goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen as Devan Dubnyk will skip the club’s upcoming trip to Calgary. Dubnyk will be with his wife as she undergoes a medical procedure.

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens traded former first-round pick Michael McCarron to the Nashville Predators for center Laurent Dauphin. McCarron was selected 25th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Canadiens don’t have the best record in managing their first-round assets in recent years:

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2020

Corey Perry receives a five-game suspension, the Canadiens sign Ilya Kovalchuk, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist while Esa Lindell collected three assists to give the Dallas Stars a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Stars have won four straight games. Before the game, the Stars honored Pavelski for playing his 1,000th career NHL game.

Ilya Samsonov made 38 saves as the Washington Capitals held off the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Capitals forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (50 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Corey Perry received a five-game suspension for elbowing Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis during the 2020 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Ellis suffered a possible concussion and was placed on injured reserve.

Dallas Stars winger Corey Perry suspended five games for elbowing Nashville’s Ryan Ellis (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry’s two previous suspensions on his NHL resume and the severity of Ellis’ injury were contributing factors in the league’s decision.

Speaking of the Stars, former head coach Jim Montgomery is checking into a rehab program for alcohol abuse. Montgomery released a statement indicating his recent firing was the appropriate call by the club. He took responsibility for his actions, saying the loss of his job served as a wake-up call to get treatment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Montgomery. Here’s hoping he lands another NHL coaching job soon. He did a good job with the Stars and should get another shot elsewhere.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday signed free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A spate of injuries and a recent slide in the standings prompted Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin to make this move. Kovalchuk is no longer a dominant scorer and probably won’t improve the Habs’ performance, but it’s a low-cost, low-risk move. If it doesn’t work out, Bergevin has sufficient salary-cap space to make a more impactful move.

WGR550: Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson will miss the next five-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres needed forward depth before their recent acquisition of winger Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames. Olofsson’s injury could push them back into the trade market.

TSN: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will pass on playing in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. He will be replaced by Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Fleury felt it better to use the All-Star break to rest and prepare for the remainder of the season and playoffs. He’ll be suspended by the league for one regular-season game. A small price to pay for the Golden Knights to rest their top netminder.

Speaking of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, Washington’s Todd Reirden, Boston’s Bruce Cassidy, St. Louis’ Craig Berube, and Vegas’ Gerard Gallant will serve as coaches for the event.

SPORTSNET: New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech is out for the remainder of the season with an injury to his Achilles tendon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a big loss to the Isles’ blueline. Pelech is considered their most dependable rearguard and won’t be easily replaced.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan is sidelined indefinitely with a medial meniscus tear and articular cartilage injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid received a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov.










Why Some Players Were Passed Over for The 2020 NHL All-Star Game

Why Some Players Were Passed Over for The 2020 NHL All-Star Game

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

The Penguins beat the Senators but lose Jake Guentzel to injury, the 2020 All-Star Game rosters revealed, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored two goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Nick Paul scored both Senators’ goals. Malkin has 24 points in his last 13 games. Teammate Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists before leaving the game after crashing headfirst into the boards when he was knocked down by Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot. Guentzel left the ice under his own power but seemed to favor his right side. There was no immediate update as to his condition.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel was injured during a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel’s on pace for a career year, tallying his 20th goal of the season and being selected for the 2020 All-Star Game.

The NHL revealed its rosters for the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25. Ryan O’Reilly, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jordan Binnington of the host Blues were named to the Central Division roster.

Atlantic Division (All-Star appearance)

F Tyler Bertuzzi, DET (1st)

F Anthony Duclair, OTT (1st)

F Jack Eichel, BUF (3rd)

F Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (1st)

F Auston Matthews, TOR (4th)

F David Pastrnak, BOS (2nd)*

D Victor Hedman, TBL (3rd)

D Shea Weber, MTL (7th)

G Frederik Andersen, TOR (1st)

G Tuukka Rask, BOS (2nd)

Metropolitan Division (All-Star appearance)

F Mathew Barzal, NYI (2nd)

F Jake Guentzel, PIT (1st)

F Kyle Palmieri, NJD (2nd)

F Artemi Panarin, NYR (1st)

F Travis Konecny, PHI (1st)

D John Carlson, WSH (2nd)

D Dougie Hamilton, CAR (1st)

D Seth Jones, CBJ (3rd)

G Braden Holtby, WSH (5th)

G Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ (1st)

Central Division (All-Star appearance)

F Patrick Kane, CHI (9th)

F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (4th)*

F Ryan O’Reilly, STL (3rd)

F Mark Scheifele, WPG (2nd)

F Tyler Seguin, DAL (6th)

F Eric Staal, MIN (6th)

D Roman Josi, NSH (3rd)

D Alex Pietrangelo, STL (2nd)

G Jordan Binnington, STL (1st)

G Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (2nd)

Pacific Division (All-Star appearance)

F Logan Couture, SJS (2nd)

F Leon Draisaitl, EDM (2nd)

F Anze Kopitar, LAK (5th)

F Connor McDavid, EDM (4th)*

F Elias Pettersson, VAN (2nd)

F Jakob Silfverberg, ANA (1st)

F Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (1st)

D Marc Giordano, CGY (3rd)

G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (5th)

G Darcy Kuemper, ARI (1st)

* Fan-elected captain

The league also released its All-Star Game “Last Men In” ballot, allowing fans to select up to four players to (one per division) to be added to the rosters.

SPORTSNET: Malkin, Boston’s Brad Marchand, Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Colorado’s Cale Makar, and Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes are among the most egregious all-star “snubs”.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think you can also apply that to the other so-called “snubs”.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, St Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 29.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said his club would welcome back defenseman Dustin Byfuglien if the fit was right. Byfuglien’s been suspended since September for failing to report to training camp and is currently recovering from recent ankle surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The right fit being a healthy Byfuglien keen to return to the Jets’ lineup. 

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was blunt when talking about his current slump. “I can’t speak for them (teammates), I can only talk for myself, and obviously I know I’ve been pretty shit lately,” he told reporters on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair assessment of the Oilers as a whole of late.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Charlie McAvoy (lower body) on injured reserve.

THE SCORE: Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is listed as week-to-week with a knee injury suffered during their shootout loss to Chicago on Sunday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

Blake Wheeler sets franchise record, Jack Eichel extends his points streak, team captains selected for 2020 NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler became his club’s all-time leading scorer in a 6-0 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Wheeler scored and picked up an assist to surpass Ilya Kovalchuk with 616 points. Connor Hellebuyck picked up the shutout with 31 saves, Patrik Laine scored two goals, and Josh Morrissey had three assists.

Blake Wheeler surpassed Ilya Kovalchuk as the Winnipeg Jets’ all-time scorer in a 6-0 rout of the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel returned to the lineup and collected an assist in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Eichel’s points streak stretched to 18 games, though he missed Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury. Sabres winger Sam Reinhart collected two assists.

Jakob Silfverberg tallied the game-winner in a shootout as the Anaheim Ducks edged the New York Islanders 6-5. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with an illness. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy scored and set up two others. Before the game, the Isles revealed forward Cal Clutterbuck is sidelined indefinitely following wrist surgery.

Riley Sheahan’s third-period goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Josh Archibald each had a goal and an assist. Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry had a goal and two helpers.

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis’ overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, who’ve won just once in their last nine contests. Predators captain Roman Josi and Bruins center Patrice Bergeron each scored twice. Predators forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund returned to the lineup following long absences due to injuries.

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson picked up his first win of the season backstopping the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman each scored twice for the Leafs. Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the third period following a slew-foot by Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin.

The Philadelphia Flyers needed a shootout goal by Sean Couturier to get past the Ottawa Senators 5-4. James van Riemsdyk tallied twice for the Flyers while Senators forward Tyler Ennis also scored two goals.

The Washington Capitals picked up their 10th win in their last 12 games by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Dmitry Orlov broke a 1-1 tie in the third with the winning goal. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up his 200th career goal.

Florida Panthers netminder Chris Driedger kicked out 42 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jonathan Huberdeau and Brian Boyle each collected two points, as did Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter. Carolina center Erik Haula returned to action after missing 15 games with a knee injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the game’s first two goals before leaving with an undisclosed injury. Boone Jenner and Seth Jones each collected two assists.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the Chicago Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists while Patrick Kane netted his 20th goal of the season. Matt Calvert scored twice for the Avalanche. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed winger Brandon Saad (ankle) on injured reserve.

J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed winger Josh Leivo will be sidelined two-to-three months with a fractured knee cap.

St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo tallied twice to lead his club over the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Teammate Jaden Schwartz scored and set up two others.

The divisional captains for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game (as voted by the fans) were revealed yesterday. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid will captain the Pacific Division for the fourth straight year. Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is captain of the Atlantic Division, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon will captain the Central Division, and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin is captain of the Metropolitan Division.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2019

An update on Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi signs with Finnish club, Mikko Rantanen trains with Norwegian team, Senators talk contract with Thomas Chabot, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said his recovery from a late-season knee injury is progressing well. “Just working hard to get to camp and focus on that. [This off-season] has been different, just focusing on that [rehab]. It’s taking a lot of time, but it’s been good.”

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said his recovery from a late-season knee injury is progressing well (Photo via NHL Images).

McDavid also said he recently had dinner with new Oilers coach Dave Tippett and claimed his initial reaction was excitement over the club hiring Ken Holland as general manager. However, he was disappointed to see his friend, Milan Lucic, traded to Calgary for James Neal.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of Holland, he’s unconcerned over McDavid’s decision not to skate in this summer’s BioSteel camp. “McDavid is skating every day since early August with his rehab people,” he said. “I think he wants to stick to his rehab protocol.” Holland also indicated his captain’s recovery is progressing well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With training camp opening in just over two weeks, we’ll find out soon enough how long it’ll take McDavid to participate in training camp and get up to full speed for the season. The Oilers need him at his best to have a realistic shot at reaching the playoffs.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: cites a report out of Finland indicating Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club Karpat Oulu. “The agreement includes an option for Puljujärvi to qualify for the NHL until December 1.” A restricted free agent lacking arbitration rights, Puljujarvi has requested a trade after struggling to reach expectations with the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could still shopo Puljujarvi but his low trade value right now means they won’t get anything worthwhile in return. Puljujarvi could also return to the Oilers before Dec. 1 but I think he’ll be spending this season in Finland. Holland won’t be pressured into trading him and seems content to let the struggling winger try to regain his form in his home country.

THE SCORE: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen “is skating with the Storhamar Dragons in Norway as he awaits a new NHL contract, the Norwegian team confirmed Monday.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike Puljujarvi’s situation in Edmonton, Rantanen isn’t demanding a trade or threatening to play the entire season overseas. This looks more like an insurance option for the young winger in case his contract talks drag into the start of training camp. The Avs remain hopeful of getting Rantanen under contract before then.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are working on a contract extension with Thomas Chabot. GM Pierre Dorion remains tightlipped over the status of the talks, though they’re ongoing and believed to be going well. The 22-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Sens want to lock up Chabot to a long-term deal. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $33 million invested in just nine players for 2020-21, giving them plenty of cap space to ink the blueliner to a hefty raise.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers RFAs Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny remain unsigned but GM Chuck Fletcher expects contract discussions to heat up as training camp approaches next month. Fletcher’s open to either a bridge deal or a long-term contract for one or both players.

The Flyers GM also said center Tyler Pitlick underwent surgery last week to repair a tendon in his left wrist. It’s hoped Pitlick will be ready for the start of the Flyers’ regular-season schedule on Oct. 4.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a “one-year, two-way deal worth an annual average value of $700,000 in the NHL.”

THE SCORE: The Florida Panthers signed forward Denis Malgin to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s a one-way deal worth $750K.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes prospect Stelio Mattheos “is completing treatments for testicular cancer, the team said Monday, and will not participate in the Canes’ 2019 training camp.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Mattheos makes a full recovery and resumes his playing career soon.

The Iowa Wild signed NHL veteran Cody McLeod to an AHL contract.

THE ATHLETIC’s Sean Shapiro reports Scottie Upshall will attend Dallas Stars training camp on a professional tryout offer.

TSN: Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear will appear in a Quebec City courtroom on Sept.4 facing a charge of cocaine possession. He was arrested on June 5 “after allegedly breaking an apartment window and was found to have the drug in his possession.”

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues and the NHL unveiled the logo for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.