NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2019

The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019 is officially inducted, the three stars of the week, Cory Schneider on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The six newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame were officially inducted on Monday night in Toronto. Entering the Hall are former NHL stars Sergei Zubov and Guy Carbonneau, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, hockey pioneers Hayley Wickenheiser and Vaclav Nedomansky, and Boston College coach Jerry York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2019. I was touched by Wickenheiser’s induction speech in which she spoke of the difficulties and resistance she overcame as a girl playing hockey in the 1980s. She remains a role model for thousands of aspiring female hockey players.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson collected two points in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images).

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson extended his points streak to seven games with two assists in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 15th goal of the season. Washington winger Garnet Hathaway could face supplemental discipline after being ejected for spitting on Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson following their on-ice scrap.

Antti Raanta turned in a 31-save shutout as the Arizona Coyotes downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Conor Garland tallied his team-leading 10th goal of the season and added an assist.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle are the NHL stars for the week ending Nov.17, 2019.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers and recalled Louis Domingue. Given his $6 million annual salary-cap hit on a contract that runs through 2021-22, it’s unlikely anyone will claim him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils will get very little salary-cap relief with this move. They’re painting this as a way for Schneider to see more playing time and regain his once-stellar form. He’s been hampered by injuries in recent years, taking a toll on his performance.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has suffered his fourth concussion since joining the club in 2016 and his second in this calendar year. The club also announced Tage Thompson is sidelined three-to-five weeks with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report reminds us Okposo was hospitalized in 2017 due to post-concussion symptoms and reaction to medication. Given the frequency of his head trauma, it might be time to seriously consider retirement. Here’s hoping he makes a quick recovery from his latest injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will be without two key forwards for a lengthy period. Jonathan Drouin underwent wrist surgery while Paul Byron will require knee surgery. Drouin’s agent claims his client will be sidelined eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will feel their absence. Drouin was off to his best start since joining the Habs in 2017 with 15 points in 19 games. Byron, meanwhile, is among their best-skilled two-way forwards.

SPORTING NEWS: Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. He’s undergoing concussion protocol since being struck in the head by a shot from Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson on Saturday. He has not yet been diagnosed with a concussion.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2019

Game recaps, Maple Leafs clinch a playoff berth, Oilers officially eliminated from the playoff race, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning became the third team in NHL history to win 60 games in a season with a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Yanni Gourde scored two goals and Nikita Kucherov added three assists. Earlier in the day, the Lightning revealed defenseman Victor Hedman is doubtful to play the club’s remaining regular-season games due to an upper-body injury

John Tavares scored the winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images)

John Tavares scored the winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth by edging the New York Islanders 2-1. Tavares also set a franchise record for most goals by a Leafs center (46), while reaching a personal best with his 87th point of the season. The Leafs will face the Boston Bruins next week in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The Washington Capitals missed an opportunity to clinch first place in the Metropolitan Division by dropping a 5-3 decision to the Florida Panthers. Vincent Trocheck scored two goals and Aleksander Barkov collected three assists for the Panthers. The Capitals (102 points) remains three points ahead of the Islanders. 

The Calgary Flames picked up their 50th win of the season by thumping the Los Angeles Kings 7-2. Derek Ryan scored twice and Mark Jankowski had a three-point performance. Flames forward Sam Bennett left the game late in the second period following a hit from Kings defenseman Kurtis McDermid but is expected back in the lineup for their next game. 

Kevin Hayes scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Jack Roslovic also scored twice for Winnipeg.  With the win, the Jets (96 points) move into sole possession of first place in the Central Division, holding a two-point lead over the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.  Dylan Strome scored two goals for the Blackhawks (80 points), who sit six points out of a playoff spot. 

The Blues, meanwhile, slipped past the Predators into second place in the Central Division with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the shootout. The Blues and Predators each have 94 points but the Blues have lost one fewer game. The Avalanche (86 points) picked up a point and hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. 

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their first win in six games by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, eliminating the latter from postseason contention. Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury missed his ninth straight game as he works his way back from a lower-body injury. 

Connor Carrick scored the winning goal and picked up an assist as the New Jersey Devils doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich was held out of the game for precautionary reasons related to being sent into concussion protocol during Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Detroit Red Wings left winger Tyler Bertuzzi, and Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 31, 2019. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens got some good news as winger Paul Byron will return to the lineup this week after missing two games with a concussion.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks rookie Tory Terry suffered a broken tibia during Friday’s loss to the Calgary Flames. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

Game recaps plus the latest on Ben Bishop, Mats Zuccarello, Paul Byron and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: David Pastrnak scored a hat trick and set up two other goals to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins (103 points) sit five up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins roster depth was also bolstered by the return of defenseman Torey Krug and Marcus Johansson from injuries. 

David Pastrnak’s three-goal, five-point performance powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers kept their wild-card hopes alive by edging the Leafs 5-4 on a shootout goal by Sean Couturier. Carter Hart made 38 saves for the Flyers while Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. The Flyers (82 points) sit eight points behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the second wild-card spot. Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin made his season debut after being sidelined by a knee injury

Speaking of the Flyers, forward Jori Lehtera was reportedly sentenced to four months of conditional imprisonment in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine. The Flyers placed Lehtera on waivers in early-February and he last played for their AHL affiliate on March 1. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Lehtera’s play already narrowed his chances of landing with another NHL team after this season. This news likely slams that door. Here’s hoping he can get his life back on track.

The Dallas Stars (86 points) maintained their three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by nipping the Calgary Flames 2-1. It was a costly win for the Stars, as starting goalie Ben Bishop was once again sidelined with a lower-body injury. Bishop is listed as day-to-day and the club intends to call up a goaltender for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

Stars winger Mats Zuccarello required a couple of stitches over his right eye following a collision with teammate Joel L’Esperance during morning practice yesterday. Zuccarello was otherwise unharmed as he continues his recovery from a broken arm. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon collected two points and Tyson Barrie set a franchise record for most goals (73) by a defenseman. The Avs (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot. 

THE SCORE: Agent JP Barry, who represents Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, is questioning the unwritten rules about players settling scores by fighting. Byron suffered a concussion during a fight with Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday. Weegar missed two weeks with a concussion in January following a hit by Byron, who received a three-game suspension. Barry pointed out Byron gave up five inches and 50 pounds to Weegar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  If Byron had a history of dirty play, was unrepentant over that hit on Weegar and received no supplemental discipline by the league, one could argue he got what he deserved. But that’s not the case. Hockey’s a rough game but that fight served no purpose at all.

CBS SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers winger Brad Malone was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of demoting him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $850K.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2019

Game recaps, Lightning extend Jon Cooper’s contract, Flyers re-sign Michael Raffl, an update on Erik Karlsson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl tallied his first career NHL hat trick while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored three times to lead the Edmonton Oilers to an 8-4 drubbing of the Los Angeles Kings. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected four points while Kings captain Anze Kopitar had three assists. With 76 points, the Oilers are five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl tallied his first career NHL hat trick in an 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings (Photo via NHL images).

Darcy Kuemper turned in a 31-save shutout as the Arizona Coyotes nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. With the win, the Coyotes (81 points) move into a tie with the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western wild-card berth. The Blackhawks (76 points) remain five points behind.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 49th goal of the season and John Carlson netted his 400th career point as the Washington Capitals downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Sitting atop the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals (98 points) opened a three-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.

Before the game, Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov responded to Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry calling him “a jerk” over his bird dance goal celebrations. “If he want(s) to say something, he can call me or he can meet me, but to call me (a) jerk on TV doesn’t make him look good, you know? But whatever he said, my parents (taught) me a lot of good things when (I was) young, and I’m not going to say anything bad about a guy who’s much older than me,” said Kuznetsov.

Speaking of the Islanders, they failed to gain ground on the Capitals after the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked them 4-0. Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky picked up his third shutout in his last four games and moved into a tie with Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury for the league lead with eight. The Jackets (88 points) remain two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Earlier in the day, the Islanders announced winger Andrew Ladd suffered a season-ending injury in his left knee. His recovery time will be four-to-five months and he’s expected to be ready for training camp in September. 

The Canadiens (90 points), meanwhile, rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers and moved within a point of the Hurricanes for the first wild-card spot. Carey Price made 33 saves while Tomas Tatar scored twice and collected an assist. Canadiens forward Paul Byron left the game with a suspected concussion following a fight with Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar.

Anaheim Ducks rookie Sam Steel had his first NHL hat trick as his club edged the Vancouver Canucks 5-4. Despite the win, the Ducks are officially eliminated from the playoff race. 

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson kicked out 35 shots to shut out the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. The Sabres have lost 13 straight road games. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday announced they’ve signed head coach Jon Cooper to a multi-year contract extension. Cooper is the league’s longest-tenured active coach and is the franchise leader in wins (300) and games (500). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes as no surprise. Under Cooper’s tenure, the Lightning won their first Presidents’ Trophy this season, reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and advanced to three Eastern Conference Finals (2015, 2016, 2018). 

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks have reduced Erik Karlsson’s practice schedule as he continues to rehab a groin injury. Karlsson recently said he expected to be 100 percent in time for the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs. 

NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed winger Michael Raffl to a two-year, $3.2-million contract extension. It’s a 32 percent pay cut from his current three-year, $7.05-million deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raffl’s production has declined in recent years but he remains a versatile, physical checking-line forward. He obviously had no qualms about accepting a pay cut to stay with the Flyers. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, Canadiens and Flyers swing a four-player trade, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart collected his eighth straight win backstopping his club to a 6-2 drubbing of the Anaheim Ducks. Hart tied Jocelyn Thibault as the only two goalies in NHL history to win eight straight games before their 21st birthday. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher confirmed Hart would remain with the club for the remainder of the season. While the Flyers have points (9-0-1) in their last 10 games, the Ducks have just two victories in their last 21 contests, sending them tumbling to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart’s the biggest reason behind the Flyers’ recent resurgence, providing them with the quality goaltending that was lacking earlier in the campaign.

As for the Ducks, injuries and a lack of scoring depth have crippled them this season, but I also believe general manager Bob Murray’s reluctance to fire head coach Randy Carlyle is another contributing factor. It’s apparent the players have tuned out Carlyle. Big changes are required in Anaheim and they should start behind the bench as soon as possible.

**UPDATE** The Ducks fired Carlyle this afternoon. Murray will take over as the coach on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. 

John Tavares’ overtime goal lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 (Photo via NHL Images).

John Tavares’ overtime goal gave the Toronto Maple Leafs (71 points) a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, opening a two-point lead over the latter for second in the Atlantic Division. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens shipped David Schlemko and Byron Froese to the Philadelphia Flyers for Christian Folin and Dale Weise, placed defenseman Karl Alzner on waivers, and placed Paul Byron (forearm) on injured reserve as winger Andrew Shaw returned to the lineup. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A bit of tinkering here for both clubs, with Schlemko and Weise as the notable players in this deal. By moving Schlemko to the Flyers, the Canadiens shed his $2.1 million salary-cap hit through next season while bringing back Weise ($2.35 million through 2019-20), who was a popular checking line forward during his previous tenure in Montreal.

The Canadiens sent Weise to their AHL affiliate but there’s talk they’ll try to bring him up into the roster soon. Schlemko, meanwhile, is expected to skate alongside promising Philippe Myers on the Flyers’ blueline.  

The St. Louis Blues picked up their fifth straight win by nipping the Nashville Predators 3-2. Blues rookie goalie Jordan Binnington picked up his ninth win in 11 starts and teammate Vladimir Tarasenko stretched his points streak to seven games. The Blues (57 points) maintained their grip on the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton collected two assists to tie Gordie Howe (1,049) for ninth on the all-time list in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Kevin Lebanc tallied a hat trick for the Sharks. Following the game, Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock criticized his players’ performance. “At this time of year, the coaches can’t want it more than the players,” he said. The Oilers (53 points) are four points out of a playoff berth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players are a disheartened bunch right. They’ve tried their best since the All-Star break but their lack of depth is hampering those efforts and hurting morale. Scolding them won’t overcome those issues. 

Jacob Markstrom made 44 saves and Elias Pettersson scored the winner in a shootout to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames. Pettersson also collected two assists in regulation. Flames winger James Neal lost some teeth after being struck in the mouth by the stick of Canucks defenseman Alex Biega but he was able to finish the game. Biega received a double-minor penalty. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed sidelined winger Sven Baertschi is dealing with post-concussion syndrome

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby surpassed Mario Lemieux for most games played in franchise history (916) in a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins (63 points) have dropped four straight and cling to the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

An overtime goal by Patrice Bergeron gave the Boston Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Before the game, the Bruins honored Bergeron for recently playing his 1,000th career NHL game. The Kings also activated forward Trevor Lewis off injured reserve.

Third-period goals by Conor Sheary, Connor Mittelstadt, and Kyle Okposo carried the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres (61 points) sit two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference

The Minnesota Wild snapped their four-game losing skid by doubling up the New Jersey Devils 4-2, handing Devils goalie Cory Schneider his 20th consecutive loss. With the win, the Wild (59 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference

Ryan Pulock scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the New York Islanders edged the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. It was the Avs’ sixth straight defeat, putting them three points behind the St. Louis Blues (57 points) for the final wild-card berth in the West. 

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson made 44 saves as his club downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. Mark Stone scored twice against the Jets, who’ve dropped three straight games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Jets’ recent slump puts more pressure on GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to swing a deal before the trade deadline. 

The Arizona Coyotes ended a five-game losing skid by holding off the Dallas Stars 3-2. Alex Galchenyuk scored twice for the Coyotes (53 points), who sit four points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Stars defenseman Roman Polak left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. 

Mike Hoffman’s overtime goal gave the Florida Panthers a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals, giving the Panthers their sixth win in their last eight contests. Brett Connolly scored twice for the Capitals. 

Cam Atkinson scored the game-tying and winning goals as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied to down the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2019

Game recaps, Alex Ovechkin and Patrice Bergeron reach notable milestones, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist to become the highest-scoring Russian-born player in NHL history (1,180 points) in a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. During a timeout, the Capitals honored Canucks center Jay Beagle for his 10 seasons with the club. Beagle signed with the Canucks last summer as a free agent. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is now the highest-scoring Russian player in NHL history (Photo via NHL Images).

Earlier in the day, the Canucks learned defenseman Alexander Edler suffered a concussion and required stitches during Monday’s game against Philadelphia. An injury to backup goalie Thatcher Demko on Monday prompted the Canucks to call up Mike DiPietro on an emergency basis

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron celebrated his 1,000th career NHL game by scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, ending the latter’s eight-game points streak.

Sam Reinhart scored the only goal in the shootout frame as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Minnesota Wild 5-4. The Sabres (58 points) are three points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Vince Dunn tallied the game-winner. The Blues (53 points) sit one point out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference

A four-goal third period powered the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Tyler Toffoli scored two straight goals while Ilya Kovalchuk tallied in his first game back in New Jersey since departing the Devils in 2013 for the KHL. 

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves to blank the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. The Hurricanes (58 points) are also three points out of wild-card contention in the Eastern Conference. 

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher scored two first-period goals to lead his club to a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Canadiens also learned earlier in the day that forward Paul Byron did not suffer a fracture to his left forearm on Sunday. The Ducks announced defenseman Korbinian Holzer has left the team and returned home for personal reasons. 

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on a shootout goal by Alex Tuch. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves. 

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi scored a goal and set up two others in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. 

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski’s shorthanded overtime goal enabled his club to down the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Jets head coach Paul Maurice was appearing in his 1,500th career NHL game. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson remains sidelined by an illness but could rejoin his teammates later in their four-game road trip. 

A three-goal outburst in the third period gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice for the Jackets. 

The Chicago Blackhawks tallied five straight third-period goals to thump the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. The Blackhawks now sit three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom returned to the lineup after missing 21 games with a broken finger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was an ugly collapse by the Oilers, who are also three points out of playoff contention but also have just three wins in their last 10 games. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have won five straight to play themselves into the postseason picture after spending most of this season wallowing near the bottom of the conference. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Pitlick will miss the next eight weeks recovering from wrist surgery.