NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

Keith Yandle ties the league’s Ironman record, Chris Kreider takes the lead in the goal-scoring race, the Avalanche takes over first overall in the standings, the Canucks hire their first female assistant GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle tied the NHL’s Ironman record of 964 consecutive games but his club also tied a franchise record with its 12th straight defeat in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves as the Stars won their third straight game to sit tied with the Calgary Flames with 44 points.

Philadelphia Flyers defeneman Keith Yandle (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Yandle, who can break the record tonight against the New York Islanders. It’s the sole bright spot for the Flyers of late, who hold the fourth-worst record (13-21-8, 34 points) in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Flames, they’ve taken over the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference by thumping the St. Louis Blues 7-1. Matthew Tkachuk collected a career-high five assists while Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three helpers for Calgary, who hold two games in hand over the Stars and five games over the San Jose Sharks, who also have 44 points.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 30th goal of the season as his club beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Adam Fox tallied the winning goal in a shootout while teammate Artemi Panarin picked up two assists for the Rangers, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 60 points and are just one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Kings, meanwhile, slip to third in the Pacific Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers played without Kaapo Kakko as the 20-year-old winger is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Filip Chytil also missed this game as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Colorado Avalanche extended its home winning streak to 16 games and its points streak to 13 by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Pavel Francouz turned in a 23-save shutout while Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers. With 61 points, the Avalanche sits atop the Western Conference and has taken over first place in the overall standings.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist and Hampus Lindholm collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Boston Bruins 5-3. With the win, the Ducks slipped ahead of the Kings into second place in the Pacific with 49 points. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 50 points. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is considered day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask did not look sharp in this game as he struggles to shake off the rust from his lengthy absence recovering from offseason hip surgery. He’s won two of his four starts but gave up five goals in each of his losses and has a 4.29 goals-against average and .844 save percentage after four games.

Robin Lehner made 34 saves and Michael Amadio scored the only goal as the Vegas Golden Knights shut out the Washington Capitals 1-0. It was the seventh straight road victory for Vegas, who remains atop the Pacific Division with 52 points. The Capitals hold the first wild-card berth in the East with 55 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner had a frightening moment in the second period when a slapshot by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin broke the cage of his mask, forcing him to use the mask he wore last season as a backup. “It was probably the hardest shot I have ever taken to the head,” said Lehner. It was a little scary, as I felt the cage bend…”

The Minnesota Wild extended their points streak to seven games by crushing the Montreal Canadiens 8-2. Nico Sturm had a goal and two assists while Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon and Kevin Fiala were among eight Wild to finish the night with two points. Canadiens center Christian Dvorak left the game after a high hit by Spurgeon in the first period and didn’t pass the concussion protocol.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks made franchise history as Emilie Castonguay become the club’s first female assistant general manager. Castonguay had previously made history by becoming the first female NHLPA-certified player agent in 2016. She played NCAA Division 1 hockey in her youth and holds degrees in law and finance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Castonguay, who was also under consideration for the role of general manager of the Montreal Canadiens before they hired player agent Kent Hughes last week.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso and San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan 23, 2022.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair a fractured jaw.

DAILY FACEOFF: The International Ice Hockey Federation accidentally leaked Canada’s roster for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics before Hockey Canada’s official reveal today. Former NHLers include Eric Staal, Jason Demers, David Desharnais and Mark Barbeiro. 2021 NHL first-overall pick Owen Power and third-overall pick Mason McTavish are also on the roster.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2021

Shea Weber faces career-threatening injuries, Jeff Skinner waives NMC for the expansion draft, Patrik Laine ties his struggles this season to John Tortorella, and the latest on Gabriel Landeskog, Steven Stamkos, Brandon Carlo and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Various injuries threaten to end Shea Weber’s playing career. The Canadiens captain could miss all of next season, if not more. He’s been hampered by foot, ankle, knee and thumb injuries in recent years. As a result, the Habs might not protect the 35-year-old defenseman in the upcoming expansion draft.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the left ankle and foot injuries are what could derail Weber’s career. He’s been dealing with those issues since 2018. His medical history creates a legitimate case for him to go on long-term injury reserve if he cannot play again. The league will make that determination and the process, which also involves Weber, his agent, the Canadiens and the NHLPA, is underway.

Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a devastating blow for Weber and the Canadiens. Despite his age, he’s been their unquestioned leader and the linchpin of their blueline. He’s played through injuries that would sideline most players but that wear and tear could be catching up with him.

Weber has five years remaining on his contract. He could retire if his ankle/foot injuries prevent him from playing again, but that would result in a huge salary-cap recapture penalty for his former club, the Nashville Predators. They matched the offer sheet Weber signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012. Placing him on permanent LTIR would enable the Predators to avoid that penalty while also providing the Canadiens with over $7.8 million in annual cap relief if needed.

For now, it appears Weber could miss all of next season, including the playoffs. That will push the Canadiens into the trade or free-agent market for a replacement, though finding someone of Weber’s caliber will be a daunting challenge.

Weber’s status makes it unlikely the Seattle Kraken will select him if he’s left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they signed assistant coach Luke Richardson to a three-year contract extension.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has agreed to waive his no-movement clause for the upcoming expansion draft. It’s extremely unlikely the Kraken will select Skinner, who’s carrying a $9 million annual salary-cap hit over the next six seasons. The move will instead enable the Sabres to protect another player in the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per expansion draft rules, players with NMCs must be protected unless they agree to waive the clause. The deadline to ask players to waive those clauses was two days ago. Players asked to do so must reach a decision by Friday.

Speaking of players and no-movement clauses, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle was not asked to waive theirs for the expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pointless to do so when you know the answer is, “Oh hell, no!” Or words to that effect.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine told a Finnish media outlet he laid part of the blame for his disappointing performance this season at the feet of former Jackets coach John Tortorella. Laine said Tortorella didn’t allow him the freedom to be creative offensively because of the coach’s desire for everyone to play a two-way game.

Laine said he understood the need for a tight system and he does what coaches tell him to do. However, he also believes they should give players the opportunity to use their strengths. “I do not even want to be like everyone else. I am who I am and do things my way. Everyone should be given the opportunity to be themselves.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what weight Laine’s comments have in his contract negotiations with Jackets’ management. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

The report also noted Laine made a disrespectful comment toward Brad Larsen (then an assistant coach) during a game this season, leading to Tortorella benching the winger. Larsen is now the Jackets’ head coach but the article cited sources saying the incident was quickly resolved with no lingering issues between the two.

THE ATHLETIC: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is unhappy he doesn’t have a new contract yet with the club. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. “I can’t help but be honest with you that I’m a little bit disappointed that it’s gotten this far and it’s had to come to this point,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talks are reportedly ongoing between the two sides but they’re not yet close to a deal. Salary cap constraints are an issue here. The Avalanche must also re-sign Norris Trophy finalist Cale Makar and Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins re-signed defenseman Brandon Carlo to a six-year, $24.6 million contract. The annual average value is $4.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a reasonable contract for the 24-year-old Carlo, who’s coming off a two-year deal worth $2.85 million annually. The only concern here is his injury history. He played in just 27 games this season. When healthy, however, he’s an effective shutdown defenseman.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller announced his retirement after seven NHL seasons, citing health issues after battling injuries the past two seasons. He played 352 games for the Bruins, tallying 72 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Miller in his future endeavors.

TSN: It appears the Toronto Maple Leafs could lose two Zachs to free agency on July 28. The Leafs remain far apart in contract talks with winger Zach Hyman while all indications suggest defenseman Zach Bogosian will head to the open market.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $2.2 million.

THE SCORE: Lightning winger Pat Maroon admitted he was the one who accidentally damaged the bowl of the Stanley Cup during the club’s victory celebration in Tampa on Monday. He was attempting to lift the Cup and slipped on the wet stage and fell backward. It was raining at the time of the incident.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2021

Connor McDavid widens his lead in the NHL scoring race, Mikko Rantanen enjoys a four-point performance and Robby Fabbri tallies a hat trick. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored twice to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers have the same number of points (40) as the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Scotia North Division but the latter hold three games in hand. McDavid (58 points) extended his points streak to eight games and leads the NHL scoring race by nine points over teammate Leon Draisaitl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is on pace for 98 points in 56 games this season.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen scored twice and added two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and two assists as Colorado peppered Wild goaltender Cam Talbot with 55 shots. Avs defensemen Cale Makar and Bo Byram returned from upper-body injuries that had sidelined each from multiple games. Wild defenseman Matt Dumba left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. The Avalanche (38 points) moves one point up on the Wild into second place in the Honda West Division.

A hat trick by Robby Fabbri enabled the Detroit Red Wings to hold off the Dallas Stars 3-2. It was a costly victory for the Wings as goalie Jonathan Bernier left the game in the second period with an apparent injury to his right leg. An update is expected on his condition today.

The New Jersey Devils held off the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 thanks to goaltender Scott Wedgewood’s 40-save performance. Devils forward Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist. Wedgewood got the call after starter Mackenzie Blackwood suffered an upper-body injury during warmups. No update was provided for his status. Earlier in the day, the Penguins placed forwards Evgeni Malkin and Teddy Blueger (undisclosed) on injured reserve. The Pens sit in third place in the MassMutual East Division with 37 points.

A new head coach didn’t change the Buffalo Sabres fortunes as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins in their first game with Don Granato behind the bench. The Sabres fall to 0-11-2 in their last 13 games. David Krejci collected three assists for the Bruins, who sit one point behind the Penguins in the East Division.

The Philadelphia Flyers (33 points) moved to within three points of the Bruins by edging the New York Islanders 4-3. The Flyers blew a 3-0 lead but got the win on Oskar Lindblom’s second goal of the game late in the third period. Travis Konecny had three assists for the Flyers while Isles defenseman Nick Leddy had three helpers. Before the game, the Flyers announced defenseman Robert Hagg would be sidelined two-to-four weeks with a shoulder injury. The Islanders (42 points) remain in second place in the East.

An overtime goal by Seth Jones lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. It was Jones’ second goal of the game. Carolina center Sebastian Aho countered with two goals. The Hurricanes remain in third place in the Discover Central Division with 42 points while the Jackets (31 points) climbed to within two points of the fourth-overall Chicago Blackhawks.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bolts goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 19 saves for his 10th straight victory while Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist. The Lightning (44 points) opened a two-point lead over the Hurricanes and Florida Panthers for first place in the Central Division. Chicago center Dylan Strome scored in his first game since being sidelined a month ago by a concussion. The Blackhawks have dropped three straight.

The Nashville Predators got two goals from Calle Jarnkrok and a 40-save effort from Juuse Saros to edge the Panthers 2-1. Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Panthers, who remain in second place in the Central.

Anaheim Ducks rookies Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras each scored their first NHL goals in a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Drysdale finished the game with two points while Adam Henrique tallied the game-winner. Clayton Keller and Conor Garland replied for the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drysdale and Zegras offer what could be a promising look at the Ducks’ future depending on what moves management makes to rebuild the roster.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen admits he’s been battling a nagging lower-body injury for the past six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news won’t silence Andersen’s critics but it explains his struggles since returning to action from the same injury that sidelined him for two weeks in the second half of February.