NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s game, the Islanders acquire Robert Bortuzzo from the Blues, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored two goals and set up another to extend his points streak to 10 games, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected four assists while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who picked up their sixth straight win and improved their record to 11-12-1. Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who suffered their second straight loss and slipped to 9-12-4.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild also lost Jonas Brodin as the defenseman left the game early in the third period after being crunched into the boards by Oilers winger Evander Kane.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eetu Luostarinen broke a 1-1 tie in the third period while Anton Lundell picked up two assists for the 16-8-2 Panthers. Tristan Jarry turned aside 30 shots while Reilly Smith scored for the Penguins (11-12-5), who’ve won just three of their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins also played without winger Bryan Rust as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets upset the St. Louis Blues 5-2. Jet Greaves kicked out 41 shots for his first career NHL victory while Yegor Chinakov scored twice and collected an assist for the 9-15-3 Blue Jackets. Robert Thomas tallied both goals for the Blues as they dropped to 13-12-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Blue Jackets as center Boone Jenner left this game after taking a puck to the face in the second period.


NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Robert Bortuzzo from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

This trade came after the Islanders placed blueliner Ryan Pulock (leg) on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 7. He’s the third Isles rearguard to be sidelined over the past two weeks, joining Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move indicates the Islanders preferred a more experienced NHL depth defenseman to help fill the void on their blueline rather than calling up someone from their AHL affiliate.

Bortuzzo is a 13-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019. However, he was a frequent healthy scratch this season as Scott Perunovich and Tyler Tucker garnered more playing time. Bortuzzo is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Andre Burakovsky is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. It was his first game since suffering a different upper-body injury that sidelined him for six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky has been banged up a lot this year. He also suffered a season-ending groin injury in January.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Devils, defenseman Brendan Smith was fined $2,864.58 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip against Kraken forward Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second fine for Smith since 2022.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Austin Watson was fined $2,022.57 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As time expired in that game, Watson deliberately shot the puck at Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. It’s the third time since 2017 that he’s been fined by the league.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2022

The Flames and Rangers advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 7 on an overtime goal by Johnny Gaudreau to win their first-round series four games to three. Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist while Tyler Toffoli also scored for Calgary. Jamie Benn and Vladislav Namestnikov replied for Dallas while Jake Oettinger made 64 saves in a losing cause. Stars center Roope Hintz was a late scratch with an upper-body injury while Flames defenseman Chris Tanev missed this game with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 6.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

The Flames will face off against the Edmonton Oilers in the first “Battle of Alberta” playoff series since 1991.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau silenced critics of his previous postseason performances by stepping up with his best playoff game in his career. The 28-year-old left winger leads the Flames with eight points in seven games. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom was superb in this series, finishing with a 1.53 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

Oettinger, however, was outstanding, with a 1.81 GAA and .954 SP. He was the reason the Stars pushed this series to overtime in Game 7 and came close to pulling off the upset. The 23-year-old has emerged as a franchise goaltender.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin’s overtime goal lifted his club to 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of their first-round series, eliminating the Penguins four games to three. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller also scored and Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves for the Rangers, who will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

Jake Guentzel, Danton Heinen and Evan Rodrigues replied for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry and Rickard Rakell returned from injury for this game. Crosby picked up an assist and Jarry made 26 saves. Forward Brian Boyle missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some controversy prior to Zibanejad’s game-tying goal in the third period as teammate Alexis Lafreniere wrestled the helmet off the head of Penguins defenseman Marcus Petterson. The incident was uncalled by the on-ice officials.

Under NHL rules, Pettersson had to immediately leave the ice as he cannot play without a helmet, leaving the Penguins scrambling to replace him and creating that scoring opportunity for Zibanejad. The Penguins were upset over that uncalled infraction, which was yet another in a seemingly endless parade of botched or missed calls by NHL officials throughout the first round.

Nevertheless, this was a hard-fought victory by the Rangers. The aging Penguins pushed them to the limit, doing so with key players sidelined at various stretches during this series. Shesterkin shook off a couple of shaky performances and was the difference-maker in Game 7 while Panarin, Zibanejad and Kreider stepped up when it mattered most.


NHL.COM: The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs begins on Tuesday, May 17 with the Florida Panthers facing off with the Tampa Bay Lightning while the Colorado Avalanche tangle with the St. Louis Blues.

The Carolina Hurricanes meet the New York Rangers while the Calgary Flames battle the Edmonton Oilers starting on May 18.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was hampered through this season by a hip injury that caused him to miss the first two months of this season. It’s the same hip he had surgery on in 2015 and there’s some concern it could prove career-ending.

Capitals winger Tom Wilson could be facing off-season surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in Game 1 of their series against the Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, winger Carl Hagelin hopes to continue his career following an injury suffered in practice in March that nearly cost him his left eye.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Backstrom intends to explore all his options in hope of being physically comfortable to play again. The 34-year-old center had 31 points in 47 games and six points in as many games against the Panthers.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Brendan Smith each received fines from the NHL department of player safety for their actions in Game 7 of their first-round series. McAvoy was fined $5,000.00 for tripping Hurricanes rearguard Brady Skjei while Smith was tagged for $2,000.00 for tripping Bruins winger David Pastrnak.

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment could miss Game 1 of his club’s second-round series against the Lightning with an unspecified injury.