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. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

Game recaps, injury updates and much more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

NHL.com: A hit by New Jersey Devils’ winger Taylor Hall on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen knocked the latter from the game and overshadowed the Devils 3-2. victory.

Larsen was knocked unconscious and was stretchered from the game. Latest word is Larsen was awake and responsive and was taken to hospital for further evaluation. Though Hall was reassured the hit was clean, he still expressed remorse. He said his intention wasn’t to injure Larsen, a former teammate. 

Also during the game, Devils forward Travis Zajac suffered a facial injury after crashing head first into the boards, but was stitched up and returned to action. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will review the hit, but it remains to be seen if it will be ruled illegal. While a case could be made that it was a blindside hit, Hall didn’t target Larsen’s head or hit him from behind. Here’s hoping Larsen didn’t suffer a serious injury and returns to action soon. 

Marian Hossa scored twice while Scott Darling turned in a 22-save shutout performance to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. However, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook left the game with an upper-body injury

Jakub Voracek tallied in overtime after Wayne Simmonds scored twice in regulation to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, giving the Flyers their sixth straight victory. 

Jaden Schwartz scored twice, including in overtime, as the St. Louis Blues overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens center Davis Desharnais left the game in the third period with an apparent knee injury. Earlier in the day, the Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) on injured reserve

Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves backstopping the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The Rangers also lost forwards Rick Nash (groin) and Matt Puempel (concussion) to injury

Henrik Zetterberg’s shootout goal capped a rally for the Detroit Red Wings that saw them roar back from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored his 17th of the season, tying him for first in the league. 

Rasmus Ristolainen’s overtime tally gave the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Ristolaninen also collected two assists in the contest, as did Oilers captain Connor McDavid. 

Roma Josi’s overtime marker gave the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who dropped their sixth straight game. 

Sean Monahan’s third period power-play goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted backup goalie Jhonas Enroth and called up Antoine Bibeau. Meanwhile, unrestricted free agent netminder Karri Ramo signed a professional tryout contract with the Marlies, the Leafs’ AHL affiliate. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This doesn’t mean Ramo has signed with the Leafs. That will depend upon his performance with the Marlies over the next several games. He remains a UFA and can sign with any NHL club he chooses.

ESPN.COM: Hall of Famer Eric Lindros is calling for a national standard to diagnose and treat concussions in sports. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think that’s a great idea, but getting some pro sports leagues to recognize such a standard is another matter. The commissioners of some of those leagues (hello there, NHL commish Gary Bettman) refuse to acknowledge the link between concussions and serious brain injuries. 

The NHL and NHLPA are in talks to give teams a “bye week” in the 2017-18 schedule. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell is no fan of Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s suggestion of a one-game wild-card play-in for the postseason. 

NEW YORK POST: The NHL will be moving its headquarters to a new location in New York City. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2016

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes one of his 42 saves against the Vancouver Canucks.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes one of his 42 saves against the Vancouver Canucks.

Game recaps, Senators acquire Condon from Penguins, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.  

NHL.COM: Carey Price put in a 42-save shutout performance as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Vancouver Canucks 2-0. The victory was the Habs eighth straight, lifting their record to 9-0-1 on the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price is showing no ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. He’s now second among goalies in wins (six) and save percentage (.964) and third in goals-against average (1.17). 

Defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Matt Murray returned from injury to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 thumping of the Anaheim Ducks. Letang scored a goal and set up another, while Murray made 32 saves. The Ducks were playing without first-line forwards Ryan Getzlaf  (day-to-day, upper-body injury) and Nick Ritchie (concussion protocol). Earlier in the day, the Ducks placed winger Mason Raymond on unconditional waivers in preparation for a mutual termination of his contract. 

Mark Streit scored the game-tying goal late in the third and Jakub Voracek potted the winner in overtime to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. 

TSN: The Ottawa Senators yesterday acquired goaltender Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2017. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Andrew Hammond injured and Matt O’Connor still not fully ready for prime time, the Senators needed a quality backup for starter Craig Anderson, whose wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. Condon is an affordable short-term option for Ottawa. 

THE TENNESSEAN’s Adam Vingan reports Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tom Gilbert faces a disciplinary hearing today for boarding/charging Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie in a recent game. 

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower-body injury) on injured reserve. 

NBC SPORTS:  The league is investigating the poor ice conditions at Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis hints at a possible moves of those teams out of their downtown Washington arena.  He stresses he’s not actively seeking to move those franchises to Virginia or Maryland and hasn’t had any active discussions about leaving Verizon Center. Leonsis danced around the suggestion of moving to the current site of RFK Stadium.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds to me like Leonsis is eyeing a new stadium to house his teams sometime within the next 10 years.