NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2022

More scoring milestones were reached by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Jordan Staal collected his first hat trick in years, the Wild stage a six-goal comeback against the Kings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Nashville Predators 3-2. With three points, Crosby reached the 1,400th career-point plateau in his 1,100th career NHL game. Rickard Rakell collected three assists for the Penguins, who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 94 points. The Predators, meanwhile, hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 87 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins center Evgeni Malkin could face supplemental discipline after cross-checking Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the mouth. Malkin received a double minor as Borowiecki left the game after losing several teeth.

The Washington Capitals got unanswered third-period goals from Lars Eller and Alex Ovechkin to double up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Ovechkin’s goal was his 45th of the season and was his 100th career goal in the month of April, tying Wayne Gretzky for the most career months with 100-plus goals. With 90 points, the Capitals hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference and sit five points behind the Bruins.

Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal tallied his first hat trick since April 18, 2012, to lead his club to a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. With the win, the Hurricanes hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 102 points. The Ducks, meanwhile, were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Minnesota Wild scored six unanswered goals to overcome a three-goal deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. Jared Spurgeon and Matt Boldy each had a goal and an assist while Kirill Kaprizov scored his 42nd goal to tie the franchise single-season record. The Wild are tied with the St. Louis Blues with 94 points but the Wild hold second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. The Kings, meanwhile, cling to third place in the Pacific Division with 86 points, two up on the Vegas Golden Knights.

A 28-save performance by Brian Elliott enabled the Tampa Bay Lightning to shut out the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist as the Lightning moved back into third place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points, one ahead of the Bruins.

Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Roope Hintz collected three points for the Stars (86 points), who sit one point behind the Predators in the final Western wild-card spot. Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach each had two points for the Blackhawks.

The Winnipeg Jets kept their faint wild-card hopes alive by holding off the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and two assists while Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist. Brady Tkachuk scored twice and chipped in an assist for the Senators. With 79 points, the Jets are seven points behind the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Jets as center Mark Scheifele left the game near the end of the second period following a high hit from Senators forward Parker Kelly. He will not play in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed top prospect Matty Beniers to a three-year entry-level contract. Beniers, 19, was their first-round pick (second overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Speaking of teams signing prospects, the Flyers inked Bobby Brinks to an entry-level deal. The 20-year-old right winger helped Denver defeat Minnesota State on Saturday to win the NCAA championship.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed winger Oskar Steen to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $800K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 22, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 22, 2021

Flyers avoid arbitration with Travis Sanheim plus the latest on Juuse Saros, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeny Svechnikov and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers avoided salary arbitration with Travis Sanheim by signing the 25-year-old defenseman to a two-year, $9.35 million contract.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was another quiet offseason for arbitrators. All of the 19 players scheduled for hearings wound up settling with their respective clubs.

Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have just over $281K in remaining cap space. They could shed some salary to create some additional wiggle room for the coming season. 

THE TENNESSEAN: With a new contract signed, Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros is training in Helsinki with several other Finnish NHL players in preparation for the 2021-22 season. Saros inked a four-year, $20 million deal earlier this month.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Chicago Blackhawks created a minor buzz on Twitter with a photo of the jerseys of their offseason acquisition with Marc-Andre Fleury’s last name misspelled. The tweet was later removed and replaced with one showing his name spelled correctly. Fleury was acquired by the Blackhawks last month from the Vegas Golden Knights.

MLIVE.COM: Former Detroit Red Wings forward Evgeny Svechnikov signed a one-year AHL contract with the Manitoba Moose. He’ll attend the Winnipeg Jets training camp on a professional tryout offer in hope of securing a one-year, two-way deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former first-round pick (19th overall, 2015), Svechnikov struggled to crack the rebuilding Red Wings’ roster. The Wings decided not to qualify his rights, making him an unrestricted free agent.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Seattle Kraken prospect Matty Beniers is returning to the University of Michigan for the coming season. Beniers was the second-overall pick in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Owen Power (first overall, Buffalo Sabres) and Kent Johnson (fifth overall, Columbus Blue Jackets) are also returning to the University of Michigan for the coming season. The trio is keen to win the national championship before moving on to their NHL careers.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Former Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj has returned to the franchise as a development goalie coach.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2021

The latest on the Canadiens and Lightning, updates on contracts talks for Gabriel Landeskog and Kirill Kaprizov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said Carey Price will be in goal on Monday evening when they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens are on the verge of elimination in part because Price has struggled in this series.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Price acknowledged he had to improve but Ducharme didn’t throw his starter under the bus. “You can talk about one guy but it’s about all of us. We have to be better in front of him,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducharme’s correct in his assessment of the Canadiens in this series. Yes, Price hasn’t played to the same level as he did in the first three rounds, but his teammates also haven’t performed well. If they don’t turn it around in Game 4, the Lightning will win their second straight championship.

The Lightning have been the better team in this series. They’ve done a masterful job cashing in on Montreal’s mistakes, forcing turnovers, matching the Canadiens’ physical game and shutting down their offensive game.

Even if the Habs manage to win Game 4, they’ll be delaying the inevitable because they cannot match the Lightning’s depth of talent. History is also against them as only one team (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs) has ever rebounded from a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup.

ESPN.COM: The Canadian government did not grant additional exemptions for family members of the Lightning to cross the border and avoid the 14-day quarantine for a possible Stanley Cup celebration in Game 4.

The league and the NHLPA had spoken with the government about this as recently as last week. However, the PA warned the players it was unlikely the request would be approved.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh reports contract talks between Gabriel Landeskog and the Colorado Avalanche are expected to pick up soon. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. Both sides are interested in negotiating a new contract but the salary cap could complicate things.

Contract talks between the Avs and pending UFA goaltender Philipp Grubauer have yet to pick up steam. Preliminary discussions have started between the club and Cale Makar. The restricted free agent blueliner could be targeted for an offer sheet but the Avs are prepared to match any offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, just because a team could try to sign Makar to an offer sheet doesn’t mean he’ll do so. It’s a waste of time to try if he’s not interested.

NHL.COM: Contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and winger Kirill Kaprizov are expected to resume this week. General manager Bill Guerin remains confident the 2021 Calder Trophy winner wants to continue playing for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The hangup here is the Wild wants to sign Kaprizov to a long-term deal while the 24-year-old prefers a shorter contract to take him up to the earliest date for his UFA eligibility. A compromise could see Kaprizov ink a four-year deal.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen speculates the Red Wings could have over $27 million in cap space after they’ve signed their restricted free agents. Despite that much cap room, however, they’re not expected to be a major player in the UFA market because top players won’t be attracted to signing with the rebuilding Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen believes Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could target cap-strapped clubs looking to make cost-cutting trades.

NHL.COM: Prospect Matthew Beniers indicated he’s leaning toward returning to the University of Michigan next season. He and Michigan teammate Owen Power are projected to be the top two prospects in the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Power has also said he was considering a return to Michigan next season. It’ll be interesting to see if their decisions affect their selection in the draft. Some rebuilding clubs could prefer prospects ready to join their system right away.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks promoted Todd Harvey as their new director of amateur scouting.