NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2020

A roundup of notable news from the opening day of Phase 3 training camp, including the latest on Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Corey Crawford, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NOTES FROM DAY ONE OF TRAINING CAMP

NHL.COM: The league revealed a total of 30 positive COVID-19 tests from 4,934 tests administered to over 600 players taking part in the Phase 2 voluntary training period (June 8 to July 12). They’re also aware of an additional 13 players who tested positive outside the Phase 2 training. All players who tested positive were/have been self-isolated and followed CDC and Health Canada protocols.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will continue testing players in Phase 3 and will release weekly updates. Bear in mind this doesn’t mean all the players with positive tests remain sidelined. A number of them may have already recovered. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 last month. He said he was asymptomatic during his two weeks of self-quarantine at his Arizona home and is now fully healthy. Matthews indicated he couldn’t really pinpoint how and when he contracted the virus.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews remains the only player to be publicly identified as testing positive for the Coronavirus.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were missing from the opening day of Bruins’ training camp. Their absence was due to their quarantine period since returning from the Czech Republic. They’re expected to join their teammates within the next couple of days.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford missed practice yesterday and was declared “unfit to play” by head coach Jeremy Colliton. Under the NHL’s return-to-play protocols, the Blackhawks cannot disclose the reason behind Crawford’s absence or how long he’ll be away. Center Zack Smith (back injury) was also absent. 

TSN: Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw opted out of participating in the return-to-play plan to recover from ongoing concussion symptoms. He hopes to return to action for the 2020-21 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deadline for opting out was 5:30 pm ET yesterday.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko and forward Robert Bortuzzo were absent from practice yesterday. General manager Doug Armstrong said he expects the duo will return soon.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Patric Hornqvist is among 11 players absent from Penguins practice yesterday The others include forwards Anthony Angello, Adam Johnson, Sam Miletic, Sam Poulin, Phil Varone, defensemen Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Juuso Riikola, goaltenders Casey DeSmith, Alex D’Orio, and Emil Larmi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nine of the players were reportedly sidelined because of exposure with a person who has been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, though the teams didn’t identify them as per league protocols. They won’t be participating in practices until they’ve passed additional screenings. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and forward Colton Sissons weren’t with the main group at practice but skated earlier in the day.

THE ATHLETIC: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland was listed as unfit to play yesterday. It’s believed linked to post-concussion symptoms related to a head injury suffered nine months ago.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Martin Necas was the notable absence from the Carolina Hurricanes practice yesterday.

THE ATHLETIC’s Arpon Basu updated his story on three Montreal Canadiens reportedly testing positive for COVID-19, indicating two of those players tested were false positives.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: reported Brett Kulak, Xavier Ouellet, and Josh Brook missed practice yesterday. Max Domi is taking 7-10 days to decide if he’ll rejoin his teammates because he’s a type-1 diabetic with celiac disease.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Caleb Jones was listed unfit to play with the main group yesterday, but would skate with a smaller group working with extra goaltenders.

CALGARY SUN: Flames forwards Dillon Dube and Buddy Robinson were absent from yesterday’s practice.

TSN: Florida Panthers assistant coach Mike Kitchen opted out of the return-to-play plan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We better get used to this lack of information regarding the absence of players throughout the return-to-play plan. Don’t be surprised if this trend continues beyond the return-to-play period. It could make one yearn for the days when a player was absent because of an “upper-body” or “lower-body” injury.

CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the league’s hiatus. He was at training camp yesterday but admitted he’s not fully 100 percent.

TSN: Speaking of the Flyers, Nolan Patrick remains sidelined with a migraine disorder. He’s not expected to participate in the return-to-play plan.

IN OTHER NEWS…

MONTREAL GAZETTE/NEW YORK POST/TWINCITIES.COM: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov, New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, and Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov signed their entry-level contracts (ELC) yesterday. They’re allowed to practice with their new clubs but cannot participate in the upcoming playoff tournament in Phase 4 of the return-to-play plan. They will also burn off the first year of their ELCs.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild removed the interim label from head coach Dean Evason’s title, signing him to a two-year contract extension.

SPORTSNET: Mikhail Grigorenko is returning to the NHL in 2020-21, signing a one-year, $1.2-million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He spent the past three seasons in the KHL.

TORONTO SUN: Canadian broadcasters are unhappy over NBC Sports serving as the world feed for all NHL games played in the hub city of Toronto. Sportsnet will provide the world feed for the hub city of Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Final, to be held in Edmonton, will have Canadian and American feeds for the individual rights-holders.

 










When It Comes to Discipline, NHL Remains a Garage League

When It Comes to Discipline, NHL Remains a Garage League

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2019

Connor McDavid extends his points streak to 11 games, Robert Bortuzzo receives a four-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored the only goal in a shootout as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. He also picked up an assist in regulation to extend his points streak to 11 games. McDavid sits one point behind linemate Leon Draisaitl (48 points) in the NHL scoring race. Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski collected three assists. The Oilers played without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who could be sidelined for two more games with an injured hand.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 11 games in a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images)

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark kicked out 43 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Jack Eichel had three points and Zemgus Girgensons tallied twice for the Sabres. Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle maintained his ironman streak at 820 games. He underwent dental surgery to replace nine missing teeth after taking a puck to the mouth during Saturday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist as his club blanked the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Goaltender James Reimer made 19 saves for the shutout. The Wings are winless in their last six contests.

HEADLINES

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo received a four-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Predators announced Arvidsson will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a slap on the wrist for Bortuzzo, who has a history of questionable hits. He was suspended last year for two pre-season games and a regular-season game for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny, fined in 2017 for repeatedly cross-checking New York Islanders center Brock Nelson, and received a two-game suspension in 2014 for a late hit on Jaromir Jagr. Meanwhile, the Predators will be without one of their better forwards for over a month.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot has a hearing scheduled for today with the department of player safety for boarding Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson on Saturday.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman TJ Brodie is poised to return to action after collapsing on the ice during practice on Nov. 14. Subsequent medical examinations did not uncover any significant concerns.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2019

Connor McDavid extends his points streak to 10 games, the Leafs get their second straight win under Sheldon Keefe, the Islanders’ point streak reaches 17 games and more from a busy Saturday in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice to extend his points streak to 10 games in a 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Linemate Leon Draisaitl collected three assists to maintain a one-point lead (47-46) over McDavid in the NHL scoring race

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 10 games (Photo via NHL Images).

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their second straight win under new head coach Sheldon Keefe by downing the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. Former Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie collected two points while former Leafs center Nazem Kadri picked up two assists.

Logan Couture’s overtime goal lifted the San Jose Sharks over the New York Islanders 2-1. Despite the loss, the Isles extended their points streak to 17 games (15-0-2).

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat tallied the only goal in a shootout as his club edged the Washington Capitals 2-1. Elias Petterson also scored for the Canucks while Jakub Vrana tallied for the Capitals. Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler left the game with an upper-body injury.

The Calgary Flames snapped a six-game winless skid with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Matthew Tkachuk netted the only goal in the shootout frame while goalie David Rittich made 36 saves for the win. Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Antti Raanta kicked out 43 shots as the Arizona Coyotes edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. The Coyotes have won three of their last four games to maintain their hold on fourth overall in the Western Conference. The Kings’ five-game home-winning streak came to an end. Arizona forward Lawson Crouse left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Andrew Copp’s third-period goal gave the Winnipeg Jets a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jets captain Blake Wheeler scored and added an assist. It was a costly win for the Jets, as blueliners Josh Morrissey and Nathan Beaulieu and goalie Laurent Brossoit left the game with injuries.

The Boston Bruins overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on an overtime goal by Torey Krug. David Krejci scored two consecutive third-period goals to force the extra frame while Patrice Bergeron collected four assists.

Brendan Lemieux scored twice as the New York Rangers rallied from a 4-0 deficit to upset the Montreal Canadiens 6-5. Max Domi and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice in a losing cause for the Canadiens.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his franchise-best 132nd career win backstopping his club over the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov returned from a two-game absence with a goal and an assist. Brayden Point scored two goals for the Bolts.

The New Jersey Devils rolled to a 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Blake Coleman tallied twice for the Devils while Wings forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the first period with an lower-body injury.

Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Teuvo Teravainen collected three assists. The Hurricanes have won five of their last six contests.

The Nashville Predators ended a six-game winless streak by dropping the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will have a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Viktor Arvidsson, who left the game with a lower-body injury.

Shootout goals by Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Roope Hintz and John Klingberg each picked up a point in their first games back from injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019

Latest on Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Antti Niemi, Nail Yakupov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t ruling out captain Zdeno Chara from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in St. Louis. However, he suggested the big defenseman wasn’t trending in the right direction. Chara suffered what the Bruins are calling a “facial injury” in Game 4 and some reports suggest his jaw is broken. He didn’t participate in practice yesterday.

Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk, meanwhile, participated in practice wearing a no-contact jersey. He’s been under concussion protocol since Game 2 but hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo returns to the lineup for Game 5 after being a healthy scratch in the previous contest. He’ll replace Joel Edmundson, who will be a healthy scratch for the third time in this postseason. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson recently underwent groin surgery (Photo via NHL Images).

 NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery on May 31 to address a groin injury suffered during the regular season. He’s begun rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery in time for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That injury plagued Karlsson since midseason. He was sidelined for 29 games during the regular season and missed the final game of the Western Conference Final. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Karlsson’s health will be a factor during his contract negotiations. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi signed with Finnish club Jokerit in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niemi’s NHL career is over after 11 seasons. The 35-year-old backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup in 2010 and enjoyed his best seasons (2010-11 to 2014-15) with the Sharks. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he bounced from the Sharks to the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and the Canadiens as a backup goalie. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Former Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is joining SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. In March, he was sentenced to “four months of conditional imprisonment (probation) in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine, a case that stemmed back to September 2018.”

TSN: A report on Tuesday claimed the Arizona Coyotes had interest in KHL winger and former NHL player Nail Yakupov. However, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan cites an NHL source claiming that report is “completely inaccurate.”

THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets center Jack Roslovic fired agent Ken Robinson and replaced him with Claude Lemieux. Roslovic is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have held talks with former New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano about possibly becoming an assistant coach in Ottawa.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2019

Blue Jackets and Islanders on the verge of sweeping their respective series, Golden Knights take a 2-1 series lead and the Jets get their first win in this year’s playoffs. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets are on the verge of winning their first-ever playoff series and eliminating the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning following a 3-1 victory in Game 3 of their opening-round contest. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves while Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. The Lightning played without Nikita Kucherov (one-game suspension) and defenseman Victor Hedman (undisclosed injury).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t have mattered if Kucherov and Hedman were in the lineup. The LIghtning has been consistently outplayed in this series by a Blue Jackets team that’s gaining confidence with each period. While many of the Bolts have been part of this roster since 2015 and experienced playoff difficulties before, they never faced adversity throughout their record-tying 62-win regular season. They’ve forgotten how to deal with this type of determined, hardworking opponent that never backs down. You can see it in their growing frustration as this series goes along. They have no answers because they never had this problem during the regular season. 

The New York Islanders are also poised to sweep their opening-round series as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Isles goalie Robin Lehner kicked out 25 shots while Jordan Eberle scored for the third straight game. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has yet to tally a point in this series. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speed was a significant weapon in the Penguins’ arsenal during their march to two straight Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. However, most of their best players are now in their early-30s and seem to be struggling to keep pace with the fleet-footed Islanders, who hold a 3-0 series lead for the first time since the 1983 Stanley Cup Final. Eberle, who was traded by the Edmonton Oilers over concerns of his postseason scoring, has silenced his critics with his timely offense in this series. 

Mark Stone tallied a hat trick in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL Images)

Mark Stone’s hat trick powered the Vegas Golden Knights to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks to take a 2-1 lead in their series. Paul Stastny also scored twice for the Golden Knights. Sharks center Joe Thornton could receive supplemental discipline for his headshot on Golden Knights winger Tomas Nosek. The Sharks also played without defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who suffered what appears to be a head injury in Game 2. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slow starts and shaky goaltending plagued the Sharks throughout the regular season and were on display in this game. Stone, meanwhile, has been the Golden Knights’ best player in this series. 

Kyle Connor tallied twice, Patrik Laine scored for the third straight game and Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets downed the St. Louis Blues 6-3. The Blues lead the series two games to one. Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo played in this game after receiving seven stitches to close a cut on his right wrist in Game 2. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets were getting plenty of scoring chances in the first two games of this series but were thwarted by Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington. Having finally broken through in Game 3, expect the Jets to keep up the pressure on the St. Louis rookie. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri will have an in-person hearing today with the NHL’s department of player discipline for cross-checking Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the head during Game 2 of their opening-round series. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: DeBrusk and teammate Torey Krug both traveled with the Bruins to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 of their series with the Leafs. No word if they’ll be skating in Game 3 tonight. 

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins blueline depth is being tested with Krug, Kevan Miller, John Moore, and Connor Clifton sidelined or banged up. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators provided no updates to the status of sidelined forwards Brian Boyle (illness) and Wayne Simmonds (knee). 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner Cale Makar to an entry-level contract. The young defenseman could make his NHL debut tonight in Game 3 of their opening-round series with the Calgary Flames.