NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2020

Recaps of Tuesday’s games plus the latest on Jake Muzzin, Steven Stamkos,  and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes are the first team to advance past the qualifying round, defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 to sweep their best-of-five series. The Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals, including two by Sebastian Aho, while James Reimer made 38 saves for the win. Chris Kreider tallied the only goal for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series saw dominant performances by Aho and linemate Andrei Svechnikov. The young Hurricanes forwards proved too much for the Rangers to contain. Aho leads all playoff scorers with eight points, while Svechnikov has three goals and five points in three games.

 

Auston Matthews’s second-period goal was the game-winner and Frederik Andersen had a 20-save shutout as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0, tying their qualifying round series at a game apiece. John Tavares and Morgan Rielly also tallied for the Leafs. The Maple Leafs win was overshadowed by Jake Muzzin being stretchered from the ice late in the game with a suspected head/neck injury after a cross-check by Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois sent the defenseman colliding awkwardly with Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstand. Muzzin was taken to a local hospital and was reportedly able to move his limbs.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Muzzin will be ok. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be at the hospital and if he’ll have to undergo the mandatory four-day quarantine before rejoining his teammates. The Leafs had the better of the play in this game, outshooting the Jackets 39-20.

Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Flames downed the Winnipeg 6-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. Monahan’s linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm each had a goal and an assist, as the Flames went three-for-four on the power play. The injury-depleted Jets suffered another casualty as Mathieu Perreault left the game following a big hit from Flames forward Sam Bennett. Winnipeg defenseman Tucker Poolman left the game briefly left the game for stitches after taking a puck to the face.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a very physical game that left both sides battered, but the Jets got the worst of it. Already down two players with stars Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine sidelined, they cannot afford to lose more regulars. They also need more production from first-liners Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor, who’ve both been held to just one point in this series.

The New York Islanders tallied three unanswered goals to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2 and take a 2-0 series lead. Jordan Eberle tallied twice as the Isles overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. Mike Hoffman and Keith Yandle each had two points for the Panthers. The Islanders can wrap it up in Game 3 later today. Following the game, Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson was fined $2,500.00 for high-sticking Isles center Brock Nelson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders showed lots of poise in this game. They didn’t get rattled when they fell behind and garnered momentum after Matt Martin made it 2-2. It was a disappointing outcome for the Panthers, who played much better in this game but couldn’t hold the lead.

J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks held on to edge the Minnesota Wild 4-3 and tie their series at a game apiece. Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom turned in a 34-save performance. Kevin Fiala scored two late goals for the Wild. The Canucks successfully killed off six penalties in this contest but also lost winger Micheal Ferland to an undisclosed injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A strong bounce-back effort for the Canucks, who looked flat in Game 1. They also tweaked their roster, with Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson entering the lineup for this one. Tyler Toffoli missed this game with an injured foot suffered in Game 1.

Nashville Predators’ goaltender Juuse Saros made 24 saves for his first career postseason win, backstopping his club to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes to tie their series at a game apiece. Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Preds rolled to a 4-0 lead before the Coyotes tallied twice in the final minute of regulation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling behind early in Game 1, it was the Predators’ turn to ride an early lead to victory. Apart from brief flurries from the Coyotes, the Preds largely controlled the play, especially when Calle Jarnkrok made it 3-0. Coyotes backup goalie Antti Raanta was declared “unfit to play” after leaving the bench mid-game and won’t suit up for Game 3 later today.

HEADLINES

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos won’t be in the lineup when his club faces off today in round-robin play against the Boston Bruins. Though he’s skated with his teammates in recent days, he’s still recovering from an injury suffered during Phase 2 training.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Jack Studnicka will be a healthy scratch from today’s game against the Lightning. He’ll be replaced by Nick Ritchie.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Ivan Barbashev is returning to St. Louis to attend the birth of his first child. He’s expected to rejoin his teammates for the first round of the playoffs.

THE SCORE: Former Washington Capitals winger Brendan Leipsic signed a one-year contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow. He was released from his contract in May when inappropriate comments he made on a group chat were leaked to social media.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2020

The Oilers take over the top spot in the Pacific Division, the Stars caught up with the Blues for first place in the Central Division, the Sabres upset the Leafs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Josh Archibald scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Leon Draisaitl has a goal and two assists for the Oilers, while Carolina’s Sebastian Aho tallied two goals and collected an assist. Draisaitl (95 points) holds a 12-point lead in the NHL scoring race. With the win, the Oilers (70 points) vaulted into first place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. The Hurricanes (70 points) sit one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl holds a 12-point lead in the NHL scoring race (Photo via NHL Images).

The Canucks, meanwhile, fell 5-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. Adam Henrique scored two goals as the Ducks handed the Canucks their seventh defeat in their last nine contests.

The Dallas Stars (74 points) dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Ottawa Senators but picked up a point to move into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. Artem Anisimov scored in overtime while Brady Tkachuk had a three-point performance.

Kyle Turris’ late third-period goal enabled the Nashville Predators to nip the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Pekka Rinne made 38 saves for the Predators (69 points), moving them within a point of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Blues have lost five straight. Earlier in the day, they activated Oskar Sundqvist off injured reserve and sent Troy Brouwer to the minors.

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and set up another as the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (78 points), who moved within a point of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek left the game in the second period after being struck in the head by a shot from the point. An update on his condition could be released today.

The Boston Bruins picked up their ninth win in their last 10 games with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle, and Charlie McAvoy scored for the Bruins (86 points), widening their lead in the overall standings over the Tampa Bay Lightning by three points.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicked out 52 shots backstopping his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before the game, the Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders and winger Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jackets (72 points) are winless in their last five games. They hold the first wild-card spot in the East.

A three-goal outburst within a minute and a half in the third period powered the Buffalo Sabres over the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, and Jimmy Vesey snapped a 2-2 tie to give their club their third straight win, leaving them eight points behind the Leafs (70 points) for third in the Atlantic Division.

Nathan Beaulieu’s first goal of the season was also the game-winner as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. With 65 points, the Jets are one point out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are six points back.

The recently postponed game between the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks has been rescheduled for March 11. The game was put off after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident on the bench.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2019

Sebastian Aho has a five-point game, Sergei Bobrovsky picks up his first win over his former club, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho had a five-point game (including a hat trick) to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 6-2, snapping the latter’s 11-game points streak. Teuvo Teravainen collected three assists for the Hurricanes, who hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho’s five-point performance powered his club to a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was Bobrovsky’s first game against his former club since signing with the Panthers last summer. Mike Hoffman, Aleksander Barkov, and Keith Yandle each had two points. With the win, the Panthers move into second place in the Atlantic Division.

The Predators spoiled P.K. Subban’s return to Nashville by defeating his New Jersey Devils 6-4. Subban, who was dealt to the Devils last summer, finished the game without a point and a plus-minus of minus-3. Nick Bonino, Rocco Grimaldi, and Dante Fabbro each had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Devils.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their sixth straight win by downing the Boston Bruins 4-1, snapping the latter’s points streak at 13 games. It was a costly victory for the Avs as defenseman Cale Makar and goaltender Philipp Grubauer left the game with injuries. Updates on their conditions won’t be revealed until Monday or Tuesday.

Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson each tallied two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the San Jose Sharks 7-1. Alex Killorn had four points while Victor Hedman had three. Sharks goalie Martin Jones was pulled after giving up four goals on 21 shots.

Scott Laughton’s tie-breaking goal held up as the winner as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Senators winger Brady Tkachuk was fined over $2,400.00 for cross-checking Laughton, who threw a big hit on Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who subsequently dropped the gloves with Joel Farabee. Flyers winger Jakub Voracek fought Nick Paul after Travis Konecny left the game following a big hit by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Senators, who lost goaltender Craig Anderson to a lower-body injury in the first period.

The Vancouver Canucks blew a 5-3 lead but defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-5 on an overtime goal by J.T. Miller. Josh Leivo and Antoine Roussel each tallied twice for the Canucks, who wore their vintage “Flying Skate” jerseys in this contest. Jack Eichel, Rasmus Risolainen, and Sam Reinhart each collected two points for the Sabres, who move into third in the Atlantic Division.

A four-goal first period powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman each scored two goals as the Leafs chased Blues goalie Jordan Binnington after he gave up four goals on 11 shots.

Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and two assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri both had two points for the Wings, who are winless in 11 contests.

Ben Bishop kicked out 34 shots backstopping the Dallas Stars over the New York Islanders 3-1. Alex Radulov, a healthy scratch in the Stars’ previous game, tallied a goal and an assist.

Milan Lucic and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames held off the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. The Flames are 5-0-1 in their last six games while the Kings’ winless skid on the road is now at 11 games. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each had a goal and an assist for the Kings.

 










NHL Most Important Players: Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Most Important Players: Carolina Hurricanes

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2019

The latest on Mikko Rantanen, William Nylander, Sebastian Aho, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic remains hopeful of getting Mikko Rantanen re-signed before training camp opens on Sept. 11. The 22-year-old winger is among a half-dozen high-end restricted free agents coming off their entry-level contracts.

Sakic said he recently called Rantanen in Finland to discuss the terms of a new contract and how his summer was going. The two sides are interested in a long-term deal taking the winger up to unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t sound like there have been any serious contract discussions between Sakic and Rantanen. I expect that will change as the start of training camp approaches. With over $16 million in salary-cap space, the Avs can afford a big raise for Rantanen, perhaps something between $8.5 – $9.5 million per season.

SPORTSNET: William Nylander is looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 22-year-old winger missed the opening two months of the season to a contract dispute and finished with just 27 points in 54 games. “Now I’m ready to dominate this year,” said Nylander.

William Nylander is looking to dominate with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Leafs are paying Nylander over $6.9 million annually through 2023-24 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), he’d better dominate this season. Another sub-par effort like last season’s and the calls from his critics in Leafs Nation will only get louder.

Missing training camp and the first 28 games of the regular season hurt Nylander’s performance. I expect we’ll see at least a return to form this season.

NHL.COM: Sebastian Aho has no regrets about signing an offer sheet with the Montreal Canadiens but insists he’s happy the Carolina Hurricanes matched it. “I did sign an offer sheet with Montreal and I’m thankful for them to offer me that contract, but I’m happy to be in Carolina,” Aho said it wasn’t an easy decision at the time, claiming he had less than a day to think about it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aho’s name surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to July 1. Several reports claimed Hurricanes management was playing hardball with the young center’s representatives, sparking rumblings he could become an offer-sheet target. Aho might be happy with his new contract and to stay in Carolina, but I can’t help wondering if team owner Tom Dundon might hold it against the youngster down the road.

COURIER POST ONLINE: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said he was dealing with a nagging left-leg injury that bothered him throughout last season. He feels he’s now fully recovered. Gostisbehere’s point total tumbled from 65 points in 2017-18 to just 37 last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gostisbehere is fully recovered we should see a significant rise in his stats this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin could be emerging as the front-runner for the Minnesota Wild’s GM job. Sources claim Guerin recently had a second interview with the Wild. Former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall and New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald are also believed among the candidates.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wild, Kevin Fiala is waiting for the Wild to find a new GM before continuing contract discussions. The RFA was in negotiations with Paul Fenton before his firing.

CBS SPORTS: Ivan Barbashev could play in Europe this season if there’s no new deal soon with the St. Louis Blues.










In the NHL, Often the Name – And the Game – Are the Same

In the NHL, Often the Name – And the Game – Are the Same