NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Sabres suspend Berglund, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM:  Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog each scored twice and linemate Nathan MacKinnon had a four-point game as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 6-4. Rantanen’s personal point streak has reached 14 games. Tyler Seguin scored twice for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There seems no stopping the Avalanche’s top line. Rantanen (56 points) and MacKinnon (52 points) sit one-two in the NHL scoring race while MacKinnon and Landeskog (21 goals apiece) sit among the league’s leading goal scorers. 

Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov’s first career hat trick powered his club to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo via NHL Images)

Aleksander Barkov’s first career hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime, lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs, who overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to force the extra frame. The Leafs have dropped four of their last five games, including two overtime defeats.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his seventh goal in his last three games to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Ovechkin now has a league-leading 29 goals. Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored twice in a losing cause. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced forward Patrik Berglund was suspended indefinitely for failing to report to the teams. It’s unknown when or if he’ll return and the reason behind the suspension is unclear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Berglund joined the Sabres this summer from St. Louis as part of the deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly to the Blues. He has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $3.85 million. Berglund spent most of this season on the checking lines and was a healthy scratch for a couple of games. It remains to be seen if he’ll return to the club later this season or if we’ll find out the reason behind his suspension. 

The Calgary Flames picked up their seventh win in their last eight games by downing the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in a fight-filled contest. Matthew Tkachuk tallied the winner in the third period. Wild defenseman Matt Dumba left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury. An update on his status is expected later today.

The Pittsburgh Penguins blew a two-goal lead but Phil Kessel’s overtime tally gave them a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 38 saves in his first start since Nov. 17. Penguins winger Tanner Pearson commemorated his first game against his former club with a goal. Earlier in the day, the Penguins revealed defenseman Kris Letang (left-leg injury) is listed as day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news on Letang comes as a relief for the Penguins, as there were fears his injury would sideline him for a lengthy period. With Justin Schultz out of the lineup until March, they cannot afford to lose their best defenseman. 

Four unanswered third-period goals gave the Montreal Canadiens a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators and head coach Claude Julien his 600th career NHL victory. Habs captain Shea Weber potted the game-winning goal after Artturi Lehkonen’s goal was overturned on a questionable diving call.

A three-goal first period enabled the Vancouver Canucks to cruise to a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Canucks winger Brock Boeser had a goal and an assist. Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. The loss is stoking speculation over head coach Dave Hakstol’s future with the struggling club.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal scored the only goal in a shootout to give his club a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Barzal also had a goal and an assist in regulation play. Red Wings winger Thomas Vanek had a three-point night, including the game-tying goal.

Daniel Sprong scored twice to give the Anaheim Ducks a 2-1 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After struggling to crack the Pittsburgh Penguins roster, Sprong seems rejuvenated with the Ducks, netting three goals in five games. 

Nashville Predators goaltender Jusse Saros kicked out 33 shots in regulation and overtime and Ryan Johansen potted the game-winner in a shootout to defeat the New Jersey Devils 2-1.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom will miss six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair an injured finger. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.375 million. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a slight pay bump from the $1.15-million AAV of his current contract. This should also put to rest any speculation suggesting he could be a trade candidate. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights center Erik Haula underwent knee surgery last month and is unlikely to return this season. 

THE SCORE: A fan at the United Center got into a scrap with Chicago Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk following the club’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Police were notified and the team is looking into the incident. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tommy Hawk gave a good account of himself in this slobber knocker. You know the Blackhawks season is going poorly when a fan starts taking out his frustrations on the mascot. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2018

Game recaps, Bettman upholds Wilson’s 20-game suspension, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Cam Talbot made 31 saves and rookie defenseman Evan Bouchard scored his first career NHL goal to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension of Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson. (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Capitals, they learned earlier in the day that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension of Capitals winger Tom Wilson, who received the punishment for hitting St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the head during a preseason game. Wilson has seven days to decide if he’ll take his case to an independent arbitrator.

Sidney Crosby and Derick Brassard each collected three points while Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel each scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Calgary Flames 9-1. Earlier in the day, the Flames activated defenseman Travis Hamonic off injured reserve.

Boone Jenner and Anthony Duclair each scored twice and Artemi Panarin collected three assists to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The loss gives the Blues just two wins and seven points in nine games, raising questions over head coach Mike Yeo’s future behind the bench.  They also played without defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who was placed on injured reserve

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues were supposed to be much better than this. Last season, the problem was a lack of scoring depth. This season, it’s lousy defensive play. If they don’t reverse their fortunes soon, Yeo could be relieved of his duties. 

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, uncertainty over the futures of pending free agents Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin is among the factors behind the drop in their attendance thus far this season. Attendance is down nearly 1,000 fans per game compared to this point last season and more than 2,000 from the whole of last season. 

The Minnesota Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves and Eric Fehr scored a goal and set up another.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of coaches in danger of losing their jobs, this latest defeat does nothing to help Kings’ bench boss John Stevens. Firing him, however, probably won’t help. The aging Kings’ core is struggling in a league trending toward youth and speed. 

Jason Dickinson scored twice and set up another in the Dallas Stars’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf tallied both goals for the Ducks, who’ve lost their fourth straight game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After getting off to a strong start in October the Ducks are in free-fall approaching month’s end. Their weak puck possession is catching up with them.

Zdeno Chara scored twice and Jaroslav Halak had a 28-save shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

The Buffalo Sabres overcame three one-goal deficits to edge the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Jason Pominville potted two goals and Kyle Okposo scored the winner on a power-play with 1:01 remaining in the third period. Max Domi also scored twice for the Canadiens.

Filip Forsberg scored the game-tying goal in the third period and Kyle Turris tallied the winner in overtime as the Nashville Predators squeezed past the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Nico Hischier netted two of the Devils’ goals.

Patrick Kane scored his ninth goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the New York Rangers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat also scored and set up another goal. The Rangers also lost defenseman Adam McQuaid to a lower-body injury in the second period. 

Third-period goals by Clayton Keller, Brad Richardson, and Lawson Crouse carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

SPORTSNET: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green is set to make his season debut tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Green’s been sidelined by a liver virus. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Scott Darling from his AHL conditioning stint. 

CBC.CA: Former NHL player Peter Worrell recalls the racist incident that occurred to him during a Junior hockey game in Quebec and how his teammates, coaches, and management helped him overcome it and continue his playing career. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2018

Bob Cole returning for 50th and final season on Hockey Night in Canada, Carolina Hurricanes resurrect the Whalers jersey for two games plus the latest injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Long-time Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Bob Cole will return for his 50th and final season in 2018-19. The 85-year-old will call 10 game during the first half of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For millions of Canadians, Cole was the voice of Hockey Night in Canada for decades. He ranks with Foster Hewitt, Danny Gallivan and Dan Kelly among the greatest play-by-play men in the show’s history. Check out this link and this link and this link for some of his greatest calls. 

NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes will wear throwback Hartford Whalers jerseys for two games this season against the Boston Bruins. The first game will be December 23 and the second on March 5.

The Carolina Hurricanes will play two games this season wearing the Hartford Whalers jersey. (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A classy move by the Hurricanes to honor their past. The Whalers jersey is among the most iconic in NHL history. Here’s hoping they also blast some Brass Bonanza during the home game.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders winger Andrew Ladd is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and remains questionable for the club’s season opener next week. General manager Lou Lamoriello said he currently doesn’t plan to place Ladd on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was suspended for the club’s remaining two preseason games and the opening game of the regular season for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. As I noted yesterday, Bortuzzo had been fined twice by the league in the last two years.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are hoping recently demoted forward Eeli Tolvanen will remain with their AHL affiliate. He has a clause in his contract allowing him to return to his KHL team (Jokerit) after 10 games with the Milwaukee Admirals. If he returns to the KHL, he’ll be ineligible to return to the NHL for the remainder of the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tolvanen is a highly-touted Predators prospect who was expected to crack their roster this season. They’re obviously hoping some time in the minors will better acquaint him to the North American game. 

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Antoine Roussel (concussion) will miss the start of the season,. 

CBS SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Daniel Sprong is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Travis Boyd is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks signed defenseman Brandon Davidson to a one-year, $650K contract. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed forward Mark Letestu to a one-year, two-way contract. He was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Cleveland. 

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

Corey Perry and Seth Jones sidelined. Details and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry underwent surgery Wednesday on his right knee to repair his MCL and meniscus and will be sidelined approximately five months. He suffered the injury during warm-ups on Monday prior to a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry sidelined by knee surgery. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the 33-year-old Perry’s production has declined in recent years, his absence will still be felt by the Ducks. This could, however, provide an opportunity for the club to bring a younger forward or two into the lineup, either promoting from within or via trade or waivers. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones suffered a sprained knee and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing a top-pairing rearguard like Jones is a serious hit to the Blue Jackets’ blueline. He’s not the only Jackets defenseman currently sidelined. Ryan Murray is out indefinitely with a groin injury. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is considered a suspect by Finnish police in a large cocaine ring but has denied any wrongdoing. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall issued a statement saying they’ve spoken with Lehtera and the league office regarding the report out of Finland but has no further comment at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this case unfolds and if Lehtera will face any charges. The report has one Philadelphia sportswriter calling upon the Flyers to bury the forward in the minors to avoid his situation becoming an unnecessary distraction for his teammates. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Zack Smith is determined to prove his critics wrong after clearing waivers yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Smith’s situations later this morning in the Rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury unrelated to the hip injury that ended his 2017-18 campaign. 

New York Rangers forward Matt Beleskey is out two-to-four weeks with a separated shoulder. 

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will have a meeting today with the NHL’s department of player safety for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny during a preseason game on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bortuzzo could face a suspension. He’s been fined twice by the league for previous incidents.

THE ATHLETIC: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is considering staging an outdoor game featuring the Columbus Blue Jackets.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have contributed 92 pallets and three truck loads of donated goods as part of the club’s Hurricane Florence Relief Drive. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 23, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Connor McDavid, Patrik Laine, Jonathan Toews and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Anze Kopitar’s four-goal performance carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 7-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Anze Kopitar scored four goals as the Los Angeles Kings crushed the Colorado Avalanche 7-1. Tobias Rieder also scored twice for the Kings (89 points), who moved back into third place in the Pacific Division by one point over the Anaheim Ducks. With 88 points, the Avs hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their franchise-record 51st win of the season with a 7-6 victory over the New York Islanders. The win also moves the Lightning (106 points) into first place overall with the Nashville Predators. J.T. Miller scored twice and Brayden Point had a three-point performance for Tampa Bay. Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier and Ryan Pulock each scored two goals for the Isles.

Sergei Bobrovsky’s 33-save shutout performance carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers. It was the Jackets’ 10th straight win, moving them into a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins (89 points) for second in the Metropolitan Division. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. The Panthers, with 81 points, remain one behind the New Jersey Devils for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Connor McDavid’s four-point game (two goals, two assists) powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-2 thrashing of the Ottawa Senators. With 94 points, McDavid sits one behind Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced defenseman Oscar Klefbom underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If McDavid wins the scoring title this season it’ll strengthen the case for those who believe he should win this year’s Hart Trophy, despite the fact the Oilers won’t make the playoffs. 

Auston Matthews signaled his return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup with a goal to help his club beat the Nashville Predators 5-2. Matthews missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury. Morgan Rielly collected three assists for the Leafs, who snapped the Predators’ 15-game points streak.

The Vegas Golden Knights became the first expansion team to reach 100 points in a 2-1 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks. Logan Couture netted the game winner for the Sharks (93 points), who remain four ahead of Los Angeles for second in the Pacific Division.

The Washington Capitals blanked the Detroit Red Wings 1-0, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Brett Connolly scored the only goal and Philipp Grubauer kicked out 39 shots. Earlier in the day, the Wings announced defenseman Mike Green will undergo season-ending cervical spine surgery. Meanwhile, the Capitals recalled goalie Pheonix Copley as starter Braden Holtby appeared to suffer a leg injury in a recent game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And now you know why the Red Wings couldn’t find any takers for Green at last month’s NHL trade deadline. 

Claude Giroux collected three assists and Travis Konency tallied twice as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New York Rangers 4-3. The Flyers (88 points) remain one point behind Columbus for third in the Metropolitan Division.

Third-period goals by Valentin Zykov and Jeff Skinner lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The duo each scored twice for Carolina (75 points), who sit seven points behind the New Jersey Devils for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Vancouver Canucks snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. Alex Edler scored two goals for the Canucks. The Blackhawks played without captain Jonathan Toews, who’s expected to miss several games because of an upper-body injury

TSN: Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine suffered a bruised leg after blocking a shot in a recent game against Los Angeles. While the injury isn’t serious, the Jets offered no timeline for his return. 

CBS SPORTS: Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza (back injury) could miss the remainder of the regular season. 

St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo received a fine for cross-checking Boston Bruins winger Jordan Szwarz.

NORTHJERSEY.COM:  With Corey Schneider struggling, the New Jersey Devils could ride the hot hand with backup Keith Kinkaid in their quest to clinch a playoff berth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider’s been in a horrible slump lately, going winless in his last 11 starts with a .868 save percentage. Kinkaid, meanwhile, won nine of his last 12 starts with a .931 save percentage. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks broadcaster Ed Olczyk announced he’s now cancer free. He’d been battling colon cancer since last fall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, “Edzo!” Good news indeed. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2016

The Ottawa Senators retire Daniel Alfredsson’s No. 11.

Game recaps, Senators retire Daniel Alfredsson’s number & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Anthony Mantha’s overtime goal gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Before the game, the Senators honored former captain Daniel Alfredsson by retiring his number 11

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alfredsson was truly the greatest player in the Senators’ modern history. He spent 17 of his 18 NHL seasons with Ottawa, 13 as their captain. He holds the franchise records for goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108), won the 1996 Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and led the Sens to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007. In my opinion, he’s a future Hall of Famer. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 14 games by downing the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. Alexander Wennberg scored twice and Nick Foligno netted a goal and two assists for the Jackets. 

Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter had two-point performances leading the Minnesota Wild to a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Isles. The Wild have now won 12 straight games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This sets the stage for the Jackets’ game against the Wild In Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. One of these clubs will see their winning streak come to an end. 

Matt Puempel got his first career NHL hat trick and Kevin Hayes picked up three assists as the New York Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3. 

Ryan Spooner scored twice and David Krejci tallied a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins doubled up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Bruins forward David Backes was knocked out of the game by a blindside hit from Sabres center William Carrier, who could face a suspension as a result.

Tyler Seguin netted two goals to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was forced from the game following a collision with Jarome Iginla but coach Lindy Ruff said he suffered no ill effects from the incident. 

Patrick Kane scored and set up another and Corey Crawford turned aside 36 shots to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Ryan Johansen set up both of the Predators’ goals. 

Antoine Vermette and Ryan Kesler each collected two points as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1. 

Jordan Eberle netted two assists in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings 

Brendan Gallagher’s game-tying goal set the stage for Phillip Danault’s overtime winner as the Montreal Canadiens rallied to edge the Florida Panthers 3-2. It was reported Panthers center Aleksander Barkov will miss two-three weeks with an undisclosed injury. 

Auston Matthews netted a goal and an assist while Nazem Kadri tallied the winner in overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning also learned forward Brayden Point (upper-body injury) will be sidelined four-to-six weeks. 

Shootout goals from Mike Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson plus a 43-save effort by Kevin Kinkaid helped the New Jersey Devils squeak past the Washington Capitals 2-1. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could put an end, for a while at least, to the trade rumors dogging Pens veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. A solid performance by Fleury, however, could boost his trade value once Murray returns. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $2.3-million contract extension. 

TORONTO SUN: Hundreds of seats remain available for this Sunday’s Centennial Classic at BMO Field between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.