NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Miles Wood receives two-game suspension. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth was sidelined during his club’s 7-4 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: Claude Giroux had a three-point game, including his 200th career goal, as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the New York Rangers 7-4. Flyers backup Alex Lyon took over for a sidelined Michal Neuvirth at the start of the second period when Neuvirth left the game with a lower-body injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on the severity of Neuvirth’s injury. With starter Brian Elliott out for several weeks following core muscle surgery, losing Neuvirth for a significant period could jeopardize the Flyers’ hopes of clinching a playoff berth. I’ll have more in the Rumors section. 

A hat trick by Connor McDavid powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, spoiling the return of Avs center Nathan MacKinnon after missing eight games to injury. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jake Guentzel scored and added two assists while Riley Sheahan tallied two goals for the Pens. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two months ago, the Blue Jackets sat third in the division and fourth overall in the Conference while the Pens were at the bottom of the division and 11th in the conference. Since then, the clubs have pretty much flipped their positions. The Jackets are currently second-last in the Metropolitan and 10th in the Conference. 

A four-goal first period by the San Jose Sharks set the stage for their 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. It was a costly victory, however, as their leading scorer Brent Burns left the game with an undisclosed ailment. No word as to how long he’ll be sidelined but his teammates are optimistic he won’t be out for long. 

Kyle Connor scored twice, Mathieu Perreault had a goal and two assists and Blake Wheeler had three assists as the Winnipeg Jets thumped the Florida Panthers 7-2. 

Taylor Hall scored in overtime as the New Jersey Devils edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Devils played without forward Miles Wood, who received a two-game suspension for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov. 

A late third-period goal by Auston Matthews lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. 

The NHL issued a statement yesterday condemning the racial taunts and abuse by several Chicago Blackhawks fans against Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

Smith-Pelly told the Washington Post, “We’re at a time now where we can’t brush it under the rug. You’ve got to start calling people out and making sure people see other people’s true colors. That’s why I’m trying to get the conversation started and show, whoever these people were, their true colors.”

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 5, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 5, 2018

Game recaps, Filip Forsberg receives three-game suspension plus updates on Bobby Ryan, Zdeno Chara and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 390th career victory (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury collected his 390th career victory, moving past Dominik Hasek into 13th overall on the NHL all-time wins lists. 

The Montreal Canadiens won consecutive games for the first time since mid-January by defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Artturi Lehkonen scored twice while Tomas Plekanec picked up his 600th career NHL points. The Senators were playing without winger Bobby Ryan, who’s sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury. 

Brent Burns scored a goal and set up another as the San Jose Sharks downed the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg received a three-game suspension for interference on New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey during Saturday’s game. Forsberg was not penalized on the play as Vesey suffered an upper-body injury.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played in his 1,400th NHL game during Boston’s 4-1 victory on Saturday over the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, Chara will have an opportunity to add to that total with Boston after this season. It’s believed the 40-year-old blueliner, who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent in July, could re-sign with the Bruins. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: As most of the Blackhawks’ veteran core withers this season, younger players such as Nick Schmaltz, Vinnie Hinostroza and Alex DeBrincat are carrying more of the load. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Blackhawks sitting five points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, there’s no season-saving deal coming at the trade deadline. Management should put its focus on building up with the young players already on the roster and adding more if possible during the offseason. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2017

Game recaps, injury updates, Senators owner talks relocation and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Sam Gagner score in overtime as the Vancouver Canucks edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3 to snap their four-game losing skid.

Markus Granlund scored twice while Daniel and Henrik Sedin each collected three assists for the Canucks, who learned earlier in the day defenseman Chris Tanev will be sidelined two-three weeks by a groin injury. Brent Burns tallied two goals for the Sharks while their leading scorer Logan Couture left the game in the third period after being struck in the jaw by the shoulder of Canucks forward Alexander Burmistrov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on Couture is expected today. It would be a serious blow to the offensively anemic Sharks if he’s sidelined for a significant period of time. 

Rick Nash’s late third-period goal was the game winner as the New York Rangers doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Kings forward Marian Gaborik, playing in his 1000th career NHL game, had a goal and an assist.

The Carolina Hurricanes blew a 4-2 lead but an overtime goal by Jaccob Slavin gave them a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres, spoiling the hat trick scored by Sabres star Jack Eichel. The teams combined for six goals in the third period.

Brian Boyle scored twice, including his 100th career NHL goal, to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Danny DeKeyser, Trevor Daley and Tomas Tatar scored as the Detroit Red Wings downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1.

TSN: On the eve of his club facing off against the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL 100 Classic at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he doesn’t intend to sell the club but hinted at the possibility of relocation. Melnyk cited his frustration over the decline in ticket sales in recent years, adding that his front office is running on a shoestring budget and suggesting cuts to player salaries could be next. While the Senators are in talks with the National Capital Commission about developing land at LeBreton Flats for a new downtown arena, Melnyk said it wasn’t a certainty that the project will take place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Melnyk has the right to air his frustrations whenever he wants. Doing so prior to his team hosting its first outdoor game in Ottawa, however, is poor timing and won’t sit well with the local fan base. As Ottawa is a government town, the ongoing screw-ups with the Phoenix pay system could be one reason behind the decline in ticket sales. Another could be the fact the Sens are no longer the dominant franchise they were a decade ago. Melnyk could also be subtly trying to put public pressure on the city of Ottawa in an attempt to garner himself a favorable arena deal. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Ryan Callahan is out three-four weeks after suffering an upper-body injury (possibly his right arm) during Thursday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers have activated starting goaltender Cam Talbot off injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll need Talbot to quickly regain his form if they hope to gain ground in the Western Conference. Lousy goaltending is one of the reasons they’ve sunk toward the bottom of the standings. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets coach Paul Maurice recently set a dubious milestone, surpassing Al Arbour for the most regulation losses (578) by a head coach in NHL history. “Now in his 20th NHL season, Maurice has amassed a record of 618-578-99-106.”



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2017

Game recaps plus latest on Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Backstrom, Brent Burns & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov scored and set up two others to power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The league-leading LIghtning have won eight of their last 10 games, including five straight road contests.

Leon Draisaitl scored in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers edged the New Jersey Devils 3-2, extending the latter’s losing streak to four games. Devils forward Brian Boyle scored his first goal of the season after returning to action following treatment for leukemia.

Jason Zucker tallied a hat trick and Devan Dubnyk turned in a 41-save shutout effort to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-0 blanking of the Montreal Canadiens, who were playing without top forward Jonathan Drouin (upper-body injury) and defenseman Shea Weber (lower body).

The Philadelphia Flyers’ top line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier scored all of their club’s goals in their 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jaromir Jagr got his first goal of the season and Johnny Gaudreau had a three-point performance (including two goal) to give the Calgary Flames a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Anthony Mantha netted three points for the Wings.

Jakob Silfverberg scored twice and Rickard Rakell had three assists in the Anaheim Ducks’ 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Ducks goalie Ryan Miller made 13 saves against his former club before leaving in the third period with a lower-body injury. The Canucks were playing without defenseman Chris Tanev, who could be sidelined two-three weeks with an upper-body injury.

Shootout goals by Brayden Schenn and Alexander Steen gave the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby claims he’s unconcerned over his nine-game goalless streak. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also has only three assists during that streak. He’s gone through similar droughts before and rebounded well, which is probably why his current production woes haven’t garnered as much attention this time around. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns’ offense is also sputtering. Coming off a career-best 76-point effort last season, he currently has just seven assists in 14 games. That’s adversely affected the Sharks in the wins column. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns is a key piece of the Sharks’ offensive punch. When he’s not producing they feel it. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom’s strong defensive play has come at the expense of his offensive game, as he’s mired in a career-long seven-game scoreless drought. Linemate T.J. Oshie hasn’t scored in eight games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The offseason changes to the Capitals roster has placed Backstrom into more of a defensive role this season. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Veteran Stars forward Jason Spezza has yet to score a goal this season. His 15-game goalless drought is the second-longest of his career. He has only five assists during that stretch. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Now in his 15th NHL season, age and the wear and tear over his long career could be catching up with Spezza. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is now listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. 

BSN DENVER: A peanut allergy has landed Colorado Avalanche forward Alexander Kerfoot in a Swedish hospital. Fortunately, he’s not expected to miss any games. The Avalanche are playing two games in Sweden against the Ottawa Senators. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vadim Shipachyov’s short NHL tenure is over as he and the Vegas Golden Knights officially part ways. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Kukla’s Korner observes, he’s the first player to retire as a Golden Knight. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was the big winner at the 2017 NHL Awards.

The winners at the NHL Awards and the inaugural roster of the Vegas Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award in last night’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas. McDavid was also named to the First All-Star Team. The Oilers captain also won the Art Ross Trophy as this season’s leading scorer.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won his fourth Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, tying Hall of Famer Bob Gainey as the only players to win it four times. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns took home the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, beating out Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie for the second time in his career. His head coach John Tortorella won his second Jack Adams award as coach of the year. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews took home the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.  Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau won the Lady Byng trophy as the most gentlemanly player and Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance after taking time off during this season to be with his wife Nicholle, who was battling cancer. Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is this season’s GM of the Year. 

During the Awards show, the league honored former NHL player Bryan Bickell, whose career was cut short by multiple sclerosis. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only surprise for me was Burns winning the Norris. Not that he doesn’t deserve it but I expected Karlsson would take home the award. I know some folks were upset with Tortorella winning the Adams over Toronto’s Mike Babcock and Edmonton’s Todd McLellan but Torts’ Blue Jackets finished the season with more points than the Leafs and Oilers. 

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, winger James Neal and defenseman Marc Methot are among the notable players making up the Vegas Golden Knights inaugural roster. Here’s a look at the complete list (via TSN)


Teemu Pulkkinen (Coyotes)
William Carrier (Sabres)
Cody Eakin (Stars)
Tomas Nosek (Red Wings)
Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers)
Reilly Smith (Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (Lightning)
James Neal (Predators)
Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders)
Brendan Leipsic (Maple Leafs)
David Perron (Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (Rangers)
Erik Haula (Wild)
Alex Tuch (Wild)
William Karlsson (Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (Blue Jackets)


Luca Sbisa (Canucks)
Jon Merrill (Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Kings)
Jason Garrison (Lightning)
Deryk Engelland (Flames)
Jake Bischoff (Islanders)
Colin Miller (Bruins)
Marc Methot (Senators)
David Schlemko (Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Ducks)
Shea Theodore (Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Capitals)


Calvin Pickard (Avalanche)
Jean-Francois Berube (Islanders)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Penguins)

The Golden Knights also stocked up on draft picks in trades made with several NHL clubs, including two first-round selections in the upcoming 2017 NHL draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the players selected by Vegas could end up flipped to other teams in the upcoming days. I’ll have more on that in my Rumors section later this morning.

Whatever the Golden Knights roster eventually looks like, it certainly won’t be a playoff contender next season. However, management is loading up with draft picks and prospects to stock up their youth pipeline. They also picked up several promising players in Theodore, Schmidt, Pickard, Tuch, Karlsson, Haula and Miller who could form this club’s long-term nucleus. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2017

Johnny Gaudreau (right) celebrates teammate Micheal Ferland’s goal against the Montreal Canadiens.

Game recaps, injury updates, Sestito suspended, Canucks debunk drinking culture story & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. It was the Flames’ eighth straight victory and snapped the Habs’ six-game winning streak.The Flames, however, lost defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Michael Stone to injuries

Erik Karlsson scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Sens move within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens with two games in hand. 

Andrew Ladd’s overtime goal lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The win keeps the Isles in the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, one point up on the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Fredrik Andersen made 36 saves and Tyler Bozak scored a goal and set up another as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. 

Jarome Iginla scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. The Kings move within one point of the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Logan Couture scored two power-play goals and Brent Burns collected three assists to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals. 

Jonathan Bernier had a 43-save shutout performance and Corey Perry scored the only goal as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. 

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up another to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. It was a costly win, as forwards Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette all left the game with injuries

Sebastian Aho scored two straight third-period power-play goals, including his 20th of the season, and Cam Ward turned aside 40 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the New York Rangers 4-3. 

Francois Beauchemin scored the game winner late in the third period to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Sestito received a four-game suspension for boarding on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings have recalled goaltender Jimmy Howard from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. 

THE ATHLETIC: Philadelphia Flyers center Valtteri Filppula confirmed he refused a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the recent trade deadline. He said it was nothing against the Leafs or coach Mike Babcock, who coached Filppula during their tenures with the Detroit Red Wings. He explained he compiled his no-trade list last summer and the Leafs weren’t on his list of preferred destinations. He opted to stick with his list when approached by Lightning management regarding a possible trade to the Leafs. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Glendale’s city manager and former mayor both lay the blame for the Arizona Coyotes’ financial mess on the club icing a lousy product for years, not the location of the club’s current arena. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They make a good case. While the current arena is located well away from downtown Phoenix, the Coyotes could’ve attracted more fans had they regularly put a competitive team on the ice over the past decade.

PUCK DADDY:The arbitration process is one reason behind the reluctance of NHL general managers to release their lists of protected players prior to the NHL expansion draft in June. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the GMs don’t those players who are left unprotected and passed over by Vegas feeling slighted and disrespected and having those feelings carry over into contract negotiations and salary arbitration. 

NBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden denied claims by Irish hurler and football player Lee Chin claiming the Canucks had a culture of heavy drinking between games. Chin was taking part in a job-swapping TV show with former Canucks goalie Alex Auld. Chin subsequently apologized for his comments.