NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 13, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 13, 2020

Recaps of yesterday’s playoff games, the Penguins fire their assistant coaches, the Leafs respond to the qualifying-round elimination and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron’s double-overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Bergeron’s linemates David Pastrnak (one goal) and Brad Marchand (two assists) picked up their first points of the postseason. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton returned to action after missing the qualifying round with an undisclosed injury, but winger Justin Williams and blueliner Sami Vatanen were ruled “unfit to play” for Game 1.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25K for his comments disputing the Bruins’ second goal when Anders Bjork appeared to swat the puck out of Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek’s glove on the ice to teammate Charlie Coyle. “This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” said Brind’Amour following the game. “That one is a crime scene.”

 

  SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, the officials got the call wrong, but Brind’Amour should know the league takes a dim view of coaches publicly airing their grievances about officiating.   The New York Islanders overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Washington Capitals 4-2 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, and Anthony Beauvillier tallied four unanswered goals for the Islanders while T.J. Oshie netted both Capitals goals. The Caps were unhappy with Lee over a late hit on Nicklas Backstrom that sidelined the center for the rest of the game. A further word on Backstrom’s condition could be provided later today.  

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle’s goal late in the second period gave the Isles a much-needed lift. They went on to dominate the Capitals in the final frame.

A three-goal outburst within a 1:23 span in the third period powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes in the first game of their opening-round series. Nazem Kadri, J.T. Compher, and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers while Philipp Grubauer made 14 saves for the shutout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colorado controlled this game from the opening faceoff. Only the play of Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper kept this scoreless until the Avs’ third-period flurry.

Carter Hart made 27 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers held off the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Joel Farabee tallied the game-winner 16 seconds after the Habs tied it on a second-period power-play goal by Shea Weber. Habs goalie Carey Price made a breathtaking stick save on a second-period Scott Laughton blast, preventing either a sure goal or perhaps serious injury to teammate Nick Suzuki as the youngster attempted to block the shot.

 

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a physical,closely-contested game that could set the tone for the remainder of the series. Both goaltenders were outstanding.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Horvat, Troy Stecher (with the game-winner), and J.T. Miller netted three unanswered third-period goals. Canucks netminder Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a close game until the Canucks blew it open with three goals on five shots. The Blues played better than they had in the round-robin but seemed to wilt in that final period.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins dismissed assistant coaches Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin, and Mark Recchi yesterday. A search for new assistants for head coach Mike Sullivan will begin at once.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford promised changes after his club’s qualifying-round exit. He’ll turn next to his roster, but don’t expect any big changes there other than perhaps trading goalie Matt Murray and letting Justin Schultz depart via free agency. If those moves fail to improve the Pens next season, Sullivan could lose his job while Rutherford looks at maybe a bigger roster move or two.

The Penguins also opted to retain their 2020 first-round pick (15th overall). They will instead send their 2021 first-round pick to the Minnesota Wild to complete February’s Jason Zucker trade.

NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist’s future with the New York Rangers appears hazy following a recent meeting with team president John Davidson. The long-time Rangers starting goalie lost his job to rookie Igor Shesterkin this season and the club doesn’t intend to carry three goalies next season. Lundqvist has a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $8.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could be trying to convince Lundqvist to retire, removing his full cap hit from their books. They could also buy him out, but that would only save $3 million next season and give them $1.5 million in dead cap space for 2021-22.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan reaffirmed his faith in general manager Kyle Dubas during yesterday’s online end-of-season press conference. Dubas, meanwhile, defended his players and resisted the notion that management misread the club’s potential. Leafs stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly acknowledged the disappointment and frustration over yet another early postseason exit but maintain their belief they have the core to develop into a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unhappy Leafs followers appear to be running out of patience with “The Shanaplan”, Dubas’ management, and the inconsistent performance of some of the club’s stars. It’ll be interesting to see what off-season moves they make to address their roster deficiencies, especially on the blueline. Another erratic season could cost Dubas his job and perhaps lead to a core player getting traded.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: An undisclosed injury appears to be affecting Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin. He failed to register a shot in the Stars’ Game 1 loss to the Calgary Flames, marking the second time in three games he’s done so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The low-scoring Stars need veterans scorers like Seguin at his best if they hope to stage a run for the Stanley Cup.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little is unsure if he’ll play again after suffering a punctured eardrum and concussion when he was struck in the head by a shot during a game last November. He’s been sidelined ever since as he recovered from surgery to repair his eardrum. His symptoms have reduced but brain scans revealed lingering damage that could put his future at risk if he continues playing hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Little intends to take time to heal as he undergoes further tests and seeks different medical opinions. Nevertheless, his playing career appears in jeopardy.

THE SCORE: Top prospect Alexis Lafreniere won’t be returning to Rimouski Oceanic training camp and he won’t be playing in Europe as he prepares for his NHL career. He intends to train at home and report to his NHL team whenever their training camp opens this fall. It’s expected the New York Rangers will select him with the first-overall pick in this year’s draft in October.










Notable Former NHL Stars Still Awaiting Induction Into Hockey Hall of Fame

Notable Former NHL Stars Still Awaiting Induction Into Hockey Hall of Fame

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

Bill Peters releases a statement regarding his alleged use of racial slurs, the Boston Bruins re-sign Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on an overtime goal by Elias Lindholm. Flames defenseman TJ Brodie collected his first points since returning to the lineup after collapsing during practice on Nov. 14. The Sabres have just one win in their last six games. They also announced Vladimir Sobotka is sidelined indefinitely following surgery on his right knee while Rasmus Dahlin is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Flames coach Bill Peters released a statement yesterday apologizing for racial slurs aimed at former NHL player Akim Aliu a decade ago (Photo via NHL.com).

The Flames’ victory was overshadowed by the ongoing controversy surrounding head coach Bill Peters. He was accused of uttering racial slurs toward former NHL player Akim Aliu when both were with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs a decade ago. Former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan also accused Peters of kicking him during a game in 2015-16.

Peters was not behind the bench against the Sabres, having returned to Calgary as the club investigates his previous conduct. Read below for further details.

Brad Marchand scored his fifth goal in four games as the Boston Bruins nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1. The Bruins have won five straight games. The club also announced the re-signings of Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner (details below).

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their third straight win under new coach Sheldon Keefe by crushing the Detroit Red Wings 6-0. Andreas Johnsson scored twice and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves as the Leafs peppered the Wings with 54 shots. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard left the game in the first period after suffering a mid-body injury. An ailing Jonathan Bernier took over, giving up three goals on 40 shots.

St. Louis Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist scored twice as his club held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. He subsequently left the game with a lower-body injury. Ivan Barbashev also collected three assists. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored and picked up two assists.

The New York Rangers picked up their third straight win by hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves for the win as his teammates tallied three first-period goals.

Evgeni Malkin had five points while teammates Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust each had four as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 6-3 deficit to beat the Vancouver Canucks 8-6. J.T. Miller and Adam Gaudette each tallied twice for the Canucks.

The Washington Capitals picked up their first win in three games by defeating the Florida Panthers 4-3. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby kicked out 37 shots. The Panthers are winless in their last three contests.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made 15 saves in the third period to preserve a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers extended their points streak to four games.

Max Pacioretty’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Paul Stastny’s overtime goal as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 4-3. The Knight snap a three-game winless skid. Earlier in the day, they placed forward Valentin Zykov on waivers.

Arizona Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak scored twice in the first period and buried the winner in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Coyotes have won four of their last six games.

The Colorado Avalanche tallied three third period goals to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who ended Edmonton captain Connor McDavid’s points streak at 11 games.

Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo each collected two points as the Los Angeles Kings downed the New York Islanders 4-1. It’s the Isles second straight loss coming off a 17-game points streak. The Kings also activated Trevor Lewis from injured reserve.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine collected three points as his club tallied five straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for the win while Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each picked up two points.

HEADLINES

Calgary Flames head coach Peters issued an apology yesterday in a letter to general manager Brad Treliving, calling the incident “isolated and immediately regrettable.” TSN’s Frank Seravalli noticed a discrepancy in the statement. Peters claimed he immediately returned to the dressing room and apologized to the team following the racial slur aimed at Aliu, but the latter claimed that didn’t happen even after the team captain confronted Peters.

Seravalli also pointed out that Peters didn’t acknowledge the incident with Jordan. However, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour acknowledged that incident took place, as well as another in which Peters punched an unnamed player. Brind’Amour was Peters’ assistant coach when those episodes took place. He claimed the incidents were addressed by the players and management and never happened again.

Former Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. claimed then-Hurricanes GM Ron Francis never informed him about Peters’ alleged physical abuse of the two players. He claimed he would’ve fired Peter “in a nanosecond” had Francis told him about those claims.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman cites a source claiming a face-to-face meeting between Peters and the league will likely occur, depending on the Flames’ own actions. That raises the possibility of league-mandated punishment along with whatever the Flames do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Peters remains coach of the Flames. His statement hasn’t done anything to dampen calls for his firing. This situation could result in more players coming forward, either on their own or through the NHLPA, with their own stories of mental and physical abuse by NHL and minor-league coaches.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins yesterday re-signed forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to multi-year contract extensions. Coyle inked a six-year deal worth an annual average value of $5.25 million while Wagner got a three-year deal with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyle’s contract was the most notable, as he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s become a valuable part of the Bruins’ lineup since being acquired in a trade last season from Minnesota. He’s proven to be a versatile two-way third-line forward who can play center or on the wing but also move up to the second line when the need arises. The term seems a little long and the salary a little high but the Bruins are willing to pay it to keep him in the fold.










Where Are They Now? 2006 Carolina Hurricanes

Where Are They Now? 2006 Carolina Hurricanes

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2019

Game recaps, stars of the week, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: NHL scoring leading Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up three others to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kucherov is now one point shy of 100 on the season. He was also named the league’s first star for the week ending Feb. 17. St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby were the second and third stars.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s five-point performance powered his club to a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images).

The Lightning didn’t escape from the game unscathed as defenseman Victor Hedman left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. However, Lightning coach Jon Cooper doesn’t think it’s too serious. 

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton tallied his first hat trick since 2010 but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club from dropping a 6-5 overtime decision to the Boston Bruins. Charlie McAvoy tallied the winner for the Bruins, who extended their win streak to six games. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci each had three-point performances. 

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat also had a five-point game (three goals, two assists) as the Chicago Blackhawks nipped the Ottawa Senators 8-7. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane collected three points to extend his points streak to 18 games. Colin White and Thomas Chabot each tallied twice for the Senators. The Blackhawks (59 points) sit one point out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

The Colorado Avalanche also moved to within a point of that wild-card spot by blanking the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves for the shutout. 

Alex Ovechkin scored twice and John Carlson collected his 300th career point as the Washington Capitals hung on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Ovechkin leads the league with 42 goals. 

The Calgary Flames (79 points) took over the top spot in the Western Conference by downing the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik each had a goal and an assist.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has returned to Buffalo for evaluation after not feeling well over the weekend. Defenseman Marco Scandella is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. 

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen will be sidelined for a month with a fractured rib. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes after suffering a minor leg injury over the weekend. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed forwards Jujhar Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi on injured reserve, recalled defenseman Andrej Sekera and Josh Currie, and placed defenseman Brandon Manning on waivers

TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks acquired center Peter Holland from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Darren Raddysh. 

THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’amour doesn’t care what critics think of his club’s elaborate post-game victory celebrations. “It’s about our players engaging our fans and thanking them for sticking with us, being there (for us), and trying to provide a little levity to a pretty serious game. We push these guys pretty hard,” he said. 

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Scott Powers interviewed former Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, who explained how a serious skin condition changed his life and brought his playing career to an end. The condition began about six years ago and worsened over time, while the treatments also took a toll. Since he stepped away from the game in 2017, the condition has cleared up and Hossa said he can now lead a normal life. He’s also finally accepted that his playing days are over. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Travis Hamonic, Tom Wilson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Erik Karlsson got his first point with the San Jose Sharks, collecting an assist on Kevin Labanc’s overtime goal in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Evander Kane and Timo Meier also tallied for the Sharks while Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings. 

Rod Brind’Amour got his first win as an NHL head coach as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. (Photo via NHL.com)

Rod Brind’Amour got his first victory as an NHL head coach as his Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. Goaltender Curtis McElhinney also got his first win with the Hurricanes after being claimed off waivers from Toronto earlier this week. Sebastian Aho and Micheal Ferland each collected a goal and an assist. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt was placed on injured reserve after suffering a broken jaw during Thursday’s practice in Gothenburg, Sweden. He’s expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks. The Devils also signed free-agent forward Drew Stafford to a one-year, $810K contract. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic is listed as week-to-week following a facial fracture suffered during a fight with Vancouver Canucks blueliner Erik Gudbranson during Wednesday’s season opener. 

TSN: The NHL Players Association has filed an appeal on behalf of Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson, who received a 20-game suspension earlier this week by the NHL’s department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during a preseason game.