NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2020

The Bruins become the first team to reach 100 points this season,  Mika Zibanejad and Filip Forsberg set franchise records with their respective clubs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask kicked out 36 shots to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0, snapping the latter’s nine-game winning streak. Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron were the goal scorers as the league-leading Bruins became the first team to reach 100 points this season. The Flyers played without defenseman Philippe Myers, who’s sidelined at least four weeks with a fractured patella in his right knee.

Mika Zibanejad is the fastest player to score 40 goals in New York Rangers history (Photo via NHL Images).

Mika Zibanejad became the fastest player to reach 40 goals in New York Rangers history in a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice for the Rangers (78 points), who sit three points out of an Eastern wild-card berth. The slumping Stars (82 points) sit third in the Central Division, but they’re winless in their last six contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how many great scorers the Rangers have had in their long history, that’s quite an achievement by Zibanejad.

The Nashville Predators (78 points) moved into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by doubling up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Filip Forsberg scored twice, becoming the first player in Predators’ history to register six 20-goal seasons. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced leading scorer Tomas Tatar is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

Auston Matthews’ 47th goal of the season was also the game-winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Teammate Mitch Marner collected two assists as the Leafs (81 points) opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division. Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly returned to action for the first time after suffering a broken foot nearly two months ago. The Lightning are eight points behind the Bruins.

Evgeni Malkin scored twice and picked up an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New Jersey Devils 5-2. With 86 points, the Penguins sit third in the Metropolitan Division. Earlier in the day, the Penguins announced center Nick Bjugstad is considered week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian tallied twice and added an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek made 23 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a concussion in late February. With 81 points, the Canes move into the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Wings, meanwhile, have the dubious honor of clinching last place in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The silver lining for the Wings is they have the best odds of winning the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

The struggling New York Islanders winless skid reached seven games as they fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks. Brock Nelson scored twice for the Isles while Thatcher Demko made 45 saves for the Canucks (78 points), who moved back into the second Western wild-card berth, The Isles (80 points) sit one point out of an Eastern wild-card spot.

A natural hat trick by Nicolas Deslauriers carried the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon’s status remains uncertain after suffering a lower-body injury during Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar is expected to provide an update later today. Meanwhile, the Avs announced former Colorado Rockies stars and MLB Hall-of-Famer Larry Walker will be their honorary emergency backup goalie during Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues placing Troy Brouwer on waivers has raised speculation sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko could be nearing a return from shoulder surgery.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic could return to action against the Islanders on Thursday.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets assigned Mark Letestu to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. A diagnosis of myocarditis sidelined him for all but seven games this season.

THE SCORE: The Columbus Blue Jackets will continue to allow fans at their home games despite the Ohio governor’s recommendation that indoor sports events be held without spectators over coronavirus concerns. The team has recommended those fans at higher risk, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, should avoid these events.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2020

Game recaps, Predators GM David Poile reaches a historic milestone, Tomas Hertl out of the season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene gave the Nashville Predators a 6-5 win over the New Jersey Devils. Forsberg also scored twice in regulation, while Devils forward Pavel Zacha scored two goals and collected an assist. The Predators (55 points) are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The win was the 1,507th of Predators GM David Poile’s career, moving him past Glen Sather into first place for most victories for an NHL general manager.

Filip Forsberg scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the New Jersey Devils 6-5 (Photo via NHL Images)

Al Iafallo’s hat trick lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 overtime victory over the slumping Arizona Coyotes, who’ve won three of their last 10 games. The Coyotes (58 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision with Kings forward Dustin Brown.

The Montreal Canadiens kept their fading playoff hopes alive by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Winger Brendan Gallagher marked his return to the roster following a six-game absence by tallying the game-winning goal. Sabres captain Jack Eichel netted his 30th of the season. The Habs sit eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they acknowledged reports of employing illegal tactics recruiting tactics but declined to comment on any potential investigation. Some CHL teams accused the club of putting draft-eligible players through physical testing, which isn’t allowed before the annual NHL combine in June. They could face fines of $250K or more.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Bad news for the struggling San Jose Sharks, as winger Tomas Hertl is out for the season after suffering torn knee ligaments during Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Sharks sinking toward the bottom of the Western standings, Hertl’s injury could be the final nail in the coffin for this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins announced winger David Backes won’t be reporting to the AHL affiliate in Providence after recently clearing waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Backes simply won’t be playing for a while as the Bruins consider their options. He won’t be suspended, he’s not retiring, and his contract won’t be terminated. I’ll have more on his situation in the rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: The St. Louis Blues recalled forward Troy Brouwer.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Tyler Motte (upper body) was placed on injured reserve.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers placed Kris Russell and Joakim Nygard on injured reserve.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2020

Milestone nights for Patrick Marleau and Rasmus Sandin, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau scored two goals as the San Jose Sharks doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Marleau passed Guy Lafleur and moved into a tie with Mike Modano for 25th on the all-time goals list with 561. While Marleau has 1,185 career points, he also became the first player to reach 1,100 points as a member of the Sharks. He’s their franchise leader with 1,101.

Patrick Marleau sits 25th on the NHL’s all-time goal list (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau is one of just two active players (Washington’s Alex Ovechkin being the other) sitting among the NHL’s top-50 all-time goal scorers. That’s a testament to his consistency and durability over his long career. 

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenseman Rasmus Sandin tallied his first career NHL goal in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. He also collected an assist while teammates William Nylander and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist. It was a costly victory as winger Kasperi Kapanen left the game with an injured arm. X-rays were negative and he’ll be reevaluated today.

The Washington Capitals rode a 31-save performance by Braden Holtby to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist. The Capitals played without captain Alex Ovechkin, who served a one-game suspension for skipping the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. Canadiens forward Dale Weise played his 500th career NHL game.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as his club edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos also tallied two goals as teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy’s winning streak ended at 10 games. Stars forward Roope Hintz left the game with an upper-body injury and Andrew Cogliano was sidelined by a lower-body injury.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their ninth straight home win by downing the St. Louis Blues 3-1. J.T. Miller scored two goals and Chris Tanev collected two assists as the Canucks opened a three-point lead atop the Pacific Division.

Shootout goals by Nikita Gusev and Jack Hughes carried the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa goaltender Marcus Hogberg kicked out 50 shots to carry his club into the shootout frame.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2020

The NHL community mourns the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant, plus the latest on Jeff Skinner, Anthony Duclair and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: The NHL community took to social media yesterday mourning the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash in California. Wayne Gretzky, Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur, P.K. Subban, and Mitch Marner were among those expressing their condolences to Bryant’s family on Twitter yesterday.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is among a number of people in the NHL community mourning the sudden death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sympathies to Bryant’s family, friends, and former teammates.

Marner and Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Frederik Andersen voiced their support for the establishment of a viable professional women’s hockey league. “A lot of those players are great players, and to see them not in a league right now is disappointing,” Marner said. “I really hope they get a league back up and running.”

Ottawa Senators winger and All-Star representative Anthony Duclair hopes to stay in Ottawa and help the rebuilding club. “When the change is gonna happen, when Ottawa’s gonna become a contender, I want to be part of that,” Duclair added. “So I’m working as hard as I can.” Duclair is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights, but there have been no contract talks thus far with Senators management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair rejuvenated his sagging NHL career with the Senators. General manager Pierre Dorion’s focus is on his unrestricted free agents, like center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. I daresay contract talks with Duclair will commence at some point following the end of the regular season. Given how well he’s played since coming to Ottawa last season, I expect they’ll try to keep him.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner returned to practice yesterday for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Dec. 27. He could be in the lineup when the Sabres face the Senators on Tuesday.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko will return to action tonight after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. Winger Sammy Blais (wrist injury) could also be back. The Blues also placed winger Troy Brouwer on waivers yesterday.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks recalled forward Troy Terry from his AHL conditioning stint.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have loaned forward Lias Andersson to Swedish club HV71. Andersson had left the Rangers’ AHL affiliate last month and requested a trade, but there appears to be a thaw in the relationship between the 21-year-old forward and Rangers’ management.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2019

Flames coach Bill Peters accused of making racial slurs to a former player, Henrik Lundqvist reaches another milestone victory, former Leafs coach Mike Babcock criticized for bullying tactics, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their points streak to five games with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Jake Guentzel netted the winning goal in overtime. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed ailment on Nov. 4.

During the game, former NHL player Akim Aliu took to Twitter insinuating Flames coach Bill Peters uttered racial slurs at him when the two were in the minors a decade ago. Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the club will make a complete investigation before commenting on Aliu’s comments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aliu didn’t directly name Peters but referred to the Calgary airport code. He played for Peters on the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10. That’s when the former defenseman claims the remarks were made.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career victory by downing the Minnesota Wild 3-2 (Photo via NHL Images).

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career win as his club edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. He moved into fifth place on the all-time wins list. Tony DeAngelo scored the winner in overtime. During the game, Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello was given a video tribute and a nice ovation by Rangers fans. Zuccarello spent nearly nine seasons with the Blueshirts.

The Dallas Stars tied a franchise record with their seventh straight win as they doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Alexander Radulov scored twice and set up another as the Stars extended their points streak to 12 games. Stars defenseman John Klingberg collected three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After dropping eight of their first name games, the Stars have roared back in November. They now sit third overall in the Western Conference.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 26 saves to blank the New York Islanders 3-0, snapping the latter’s franchise-record 17-game points streak. It’s the Isles’ first regulation loss since Oct. 11. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.

Shorthanded third-period goals by Cedric Paquette and Ondrej Palat carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Palat also collected two assists. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak will have a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for elbowing Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who left the game with a concussion.

Jakub Voracek scored the tie-breaking goal as the Philadelphia Flyers nipped the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Sean Couturier also tallied for the Flyers, while J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks, who’ve won just three of their last 11 contests. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced winger Antoine Roussel (knee injury) was heading to their AHL affiliate in Utica for a conditioning stint.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo turned in a 25-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Oliver Bjorkstrand netted the game’s only goal.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but went on to down the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Daniel Carr. Blues goaltender Jake Allen made 37 saves. Winger Troy Brouwer finally made his season debut with the Blues following a wait for his work visa to be approved.

After blowing a 3-0 lead, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on an unassisted overtime tally by Patrick Marleau. Timo Meier also scored twice for the Sharks.

HEADLINES

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 24, 2019.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is under criticism for his treatment of winger Mitch Marner during the latter’s rookie season. Babcock asked Marner to rank his teammates based on their work output, then shared the results with his teammates. The players were reportedly more upset with Babcock than they were with Marner. Babcock confirmed the story to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, claiming he was trying to focus on work ethic and role models with Marner and apologized at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock also came under fire from former NHL players Mike Commodore and Mark Fraser. They claim most of the players who skated for the long-time NHL coach hated him, as he used his power to turn teammates against each other. The emerging stories have dimmed some of the luster from Babcock’s otherwise stellar NHL record.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, center Alexander Kerfoot received a two-game suspension for boarding Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrick Bergeron will be sidelined for two games with a lingering lower-body injury.

YARDBARKER: The Florida Panthers demoted goaltender Sam Montembeault to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

NJ.COM: Tom Fitzgerald has stepped away from his assistant coach duties with the New Jersey Devils and returned to his position as their assistant general manager.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2019

Henrik Lundqvist ties Curtis Joseph on the all-time wins list, the NHLPA files a grievance on behalf of Dustin Byfuglien, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 454th career victory in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals. He ties Curtis Joseph for fifth on the all-time list. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom missed the game with an upper-body injury, while teammate Garnet Hathaway received a three-game suspension for spitting on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 454th career win (Photo via NHL Images).

Brady Tkachuk scored in overtime as the Ottawa Senators edged the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied his team-leading 13th goal of the season. The Senators played without winger Bobby Ryan, who entered the NHL/NHLPA assistance program. Before the game, the Canadiens honored Guy Carbonneau for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN: The NHLPA filed a grievance yesterday against the league on behalf of Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien challenging his suspension. Byfuglien was suspended by the club for failing to show up for training camp. It was initially believed he was taking time to consider his playing future. The situation took a turn earlier this month when he underwent surgery to repair his ankle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien isn’t being paid during this suspension. There have been questions over why he didn’t show up to training camp, fail his medical, undergo surgery, go on long-term injury reserve, and receive payment. Both sides have kept quiet on the matter, but differing opinions have emerged.

The Jets reportedly claimed Byfuglien, who was hampered by an ankle injury last season, passed his exit medical at the end of last season. The Byfuglien camp apparently disputed this, believing their client hadn’t fully recovered. The grievance will be heard by an independent arbiter soon, likely early in the new year.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Sammy Blais requires wrist surgery and will be sidelined for at least 10 weeks. The club signed free-agent winger Troy Brouwer to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

WGR550: Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Don Granato is back behind the bench after being sidelined by severe pneumonia for several weeks.