NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2020

Ducks-Blues game postponed following Jay Bouwmeester’s cardiac incident, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Last night’s game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues was postponed after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident and collapsed on the Blues’ bench in the first period. Thanks to the quick response of the medical staff of both clubs, Bouwmeester was stabilized and reportedly conscious, alert, and moving his extremities as he was transported to a local hospital for further tests and observations. An update on his condition will be released later today.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester hospitalized following a cardiac incident (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A frightening moment for all concerned. Here’s hoping Bouwmeester makes a full recovery and returns to action soon.

Yanni Gourde’s overtime goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy extended his franchise-record points streak to 19 games. The Bolts (79 points) have won eight straight games and sit one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. It was a costly win for the Lightning, as Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli left the game with lower-body injuries.

Philipp Grubauer turned in a 34-save shutout as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Ottawa Senators 3-0. The Avs (72 points) have won eight of their last nine contests and sit one behind the Western Conference-leading Blues. Earlier in the day, the Avalanche learned center Nazem Kadri will miss multiple weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s injury has sparked speculation the Avs could seek a short-term replacement before the trade market. I’ll have more shortly in the Rumors section.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn’s hat trick powered his club to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Stars (69 points) have won four of their last six games and sit third in the Central Division, while the Hurricanes (67 points) are two points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists while Kailer Yamamoto scored twice in the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers (66 points) sit one back of the Vancouver Canucks for first in the Pacific Division, while the Blackhawks (58 points) are six points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced captain Connor McDavid will be sidelined two-to-three weeks with a quadriceps injury.

The New York Islanders blew a 3-0 lead but rallied on goals by Ryan Pulock and Leo Komarov to down the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Isles center Mathew Barzal collected three assists while teammate Casey Cizikas left the game in the first period with an apparent cut to his left leg. The Isles (72 points) sit third in the Metropolitan Division, while the Flyers (69 points) hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

An overtime goal by Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes had seemingly won the game earlier in the extra frame, but it was overturned due to goaltender interference. Zach Hyman scored both regulation goals for the Leafs (68 points), who hold third place in the Atlantic Division.

Mike Matheson, Mark Pysyk and Noel Acciari each had a goal and two assists to power the Florida Panthers over the New Jersey Devils 5-3. The Panthers sit two points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division.

Sam Reinhart’s early third-period goal held up as the game-winner as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Sabres sit 10 points behind the third-place Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Wings forward Anthony Mantha picked up two assists. Teammate Brendan Perlini suffered a bruised right orbital bone and received several stitches to his face after being struck by a skate in the first period.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock made 26 saves to shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0. Kevin Fiala scored and picked up two assists for the Wild (60 points), who sit four points behind the Golden Knights and Coyotes for one of the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference.

New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin kicked out 42 shots in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He briefly left the game early in the first period under the league’s concussion protocol but showed no ill-effects upon his return. Chris Kreider scored twice for the Rangers (60 points), who sit nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Jets (63) sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the West. Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba received a mixed reaction from Jets fans in his first game back in Winnipeg since getting traded to New York last summer. Before the game, Randy Carlyle and Tomas Steen were inducted into the Jets Hall of Fame.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will be sidelined for eight-to-ten weeks with an injured right ankle.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens remain mum on the status of captain Shea Weber. The Habs captain remains sidelined with a lower-body injury and there’s no timetable for his return.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks winger Antoine Roussel was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Nashville Predators defenseman Yannick Weber.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers re-signed forward Joakim Nygard to a one-year, $875K contract.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 11, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 11, 2019

Game recaps, the fallout from the Ducks firing coach Randy Carlyle, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues extended their winning streak to six games by edging the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime. Vladimir Taranseko tallied a hat trick, including the game-winning goal. Viktor Arvidsson scored twice for the Predators. With the win, the Blues (59 points) move into the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference and sit two points behind the third-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division. 

Vladimir Tarasenko’s hat trick lifted the St. Louis Blues to their sixth straight win (Photo via NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (one goal, one assist) extended his points streak to 14 games in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Dominik Kahun scored twice, Alex DeBrincat collected three assists and Cam Ward made 43 saves. The Blackhawks (55 points) winning streak is now at seven games and they sit four points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth. 

Brad Marchand’s overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche (55 points), handing the latter their seventh straight loss and dropping them four points out of a Western playoff spot. The Avs are also 1-11 in overtime this season. The Bruins (70 points) move one ahead of the Montreal Canadiens into third in the Atlantic Division. 

Third-period goals by Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, snapping their three-game losing skid. Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian missed the game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

Marcus Johansson scored two goals and Nico Hischier had three assists as the New Jersey Devils edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Hurricanes (62 points) remain one point out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes announced goaltender Scott Darling has been granted a leave of absence for personal reasons. Darling has spent most of this season with the Hurricane’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling’s performance has suffered over the last two years. Hopefully, this leave of absence gives him the opportunity to rest and refocus on getting his career back on track. 

The New York Islanders (72 points) picked up their third straight win by nipping the Minnesota Wild 2-1, widening their lead in the Metropolitan Division by five points. The Wild (59 points) have won just once in their last six games and now cling to the final wild-card spot in the West.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored twice to snap a 10-game goalless drought to help his club beat the Florida Panthers 5-2. Entering the game at the end of the second period, Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo appeared in his 1,030th career game, moving past Patrick Roy into second place on the all-time list. 

New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made a career-high 55-saves on his 23rd birthday in a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Earlier in the day, the Leafs activated winger Tyler Ennis off injured reserve.

SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday fired head coach Randy Carlyle. General manager Bob Murray takes over as interim coach for the remainder of the season. Murray said he’ll name a full-time replacement in the offseason. Dallas Eakins, coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego and former head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, is considered a definite candidate for the job. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a move long overdue and probably should’ve been made two or three weeks ago before this current tailspin got out of hand. For those wondering why Eakins isn’t promoted now, it appears Murray and company prefer he finish the season with their farm club. Murray also said he wants to focus on the roster to better determine what needs to be fixed. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens placed winger Kenny Agostino on waivers and demoted defenseman Karl Alzner to their AHL affiliate in Laval. 

CBC.CA: Stratford, PEI native Zack MacEwen has been called up by the Vancouver Canucks. MacEwen, 22, spent the past two seasons with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica, NY.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, fighting continues to decline, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: After missing three games with a lower-body injury, New Jersey Devils rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves as his club edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Teammate Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist. Flyers forwards Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk also had two-point performances. 

The New York Rangers picked up their first-ever victory at Barclays Center by defeating the New York Islanders 2-1. Mats Zuccarello tallied the winner late in the third period for the Rangers, who lost defenseman Fredrik Claesson to an apparent right shoulder injury

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov widened his lead in the scoring race with three points in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres (Photo via NHL Images)

Three unanswered third-period goals by Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Callahan lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Kucherov, the NHL’s scoring leader, collected three points and now has 75 in 45 games. 

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak’s late second-period goal proved to be the game-winner as his club nipped the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Sean Kuraly had a goal and two assists while Tuukka Rask turned aside 30 shots. 

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price kicked out 28 shots to pick up his third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Phillip Danault had two assists for the Canadiens, who vaulted over the Islanders and Sabres into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Washington Capitals 2-1 on an overtime tally by Artemi Panarin, after which he and his teammates mimicked Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov’s “bird dance” goal celebration. Capitals starter Braden Holtby left the game after being struck in the left eye with a stick in the second period. He was originally expected to return to action but team doctors felt it better that he remain out of the game. Holtby will be re-evaluated later today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The blade of Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson’s stick somehow slipped through Holtby’s mask during a scrum in front of the Capitals’ net. Here’s hoping the injury isn’t serious. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Thomas Vanek also scored twice and Dylan Larkin collected three assists. Following the game, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau called the loss the worst he’s experienced since taking over as Minnesota’s bench boss.  “Effort, compete, I don’t know where it was,” said Boudreau. 

Boudreau wasn’t the only coach to rip his team’s performance as Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars expressed his unhappiness over his club’s effort in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.  “It’s everybody. Unfortunately, I’m very frustrated that I have not been able to gain consistency in our performance, and I haven’t been able to change the culture of mediocrity,” said Montgomery. Vladimir Taransenko scored twice for the Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild and Stars possess the talent to be higher than they currently are in the standings. They’re starting to turn underachievement into an art form. 

Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch set a franchise record with a nine-game points streak as his club beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Shea Theodore. Tuch and Max Pacioretty each had two points. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks. 

The San Jose Sharks picked up their sixth straight victory by downing the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has yet to score against his former club. The Sharks activated blueliner Justin Braun off injured reserve but lost winger Joonas Donskoi to an upper-body injury

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s 38-save performance carried his club to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping the latter’s six-game road winning streak. It was Quick’s 301st career victory, tying him with Mike Richter for fourth all-time among American-born netminders. Anze Kopitar scored two goals and Jeff Carter had a three-point game. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel netted both of his team’s goals. 

Arizona Coyotes rookie Conor Garland scored twice, with the first deflecting in off his face, in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Garland left the game for stitches and returned to score the winner in the third period.

THE SCORE: Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle didn’t take kindly to a reporter’s question about his job security following the club’s 10th straight loss on Friday. He abruptly ended the media scrum, calling the reporter “a jerk” and complaining about being asked “dumb questions”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlyle certainly seems to be feeling the heat right now. Remains to be seen if Ducks general manager Bob Murray intends on replacing him. Despite the long losing skid, the Ducks are only one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, they risk tumbling further out of contention if they fail to find a way to pull out of their tailspin. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Fighting continues to decline in the NHL. At the mid-point of this season, the number of fighting majors is down to 0.38 per game. 










Updated Look At NHL Coaches on the Hot Seat

Updated Look At NHL Coaches on the Hot Seat

Earlier this month, I looked at several NHL coaches thought to be at risk of losing their jobs. Since then, the St. Louis Blues fired Mike Yeo while Todd McLellan was relieved of his duties by the Edmonton Oilers.

Yeo was among those on my previous list. Given the Blues ongoing struggles since then, it wasn’t surprising when his firing was announced last week.

McLellan wasn’t on my list because the Oilers at that time had recently overcome a slow start and seemed to be surging in the Western Conference standings. Their resulting slump led to his dismissal.

Given these recent developments, it’s time to revisit and revise the listing. Some who were on the original compilation have seen an upturn in their fortunes while others could still be feeling the heat.

Dave Hakstol, Philadelphia Flyers. While many of the Flyers faithful remain disenchanted with Hakstol, GM Ron Hextall remains patient with his coach and his roster. They’re playing .500 hockey right now as their performances continue to blow hot and cold. Their inconsistency continues to cast a harsh spotlight upon Hakstol.

Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher could be among several NHL coaches feeling the heat this season. (Photo via NHL.com).

Guy Boucher, Ottawa Senators. He’s in the final season of his contract and there’s no certainty he’ll be back after this season. Though the Senators defied expectations earlier this season, they’ve sunk in recent weeks toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference. With the club seemingly at the mercy of their unpredictable owner Eugene Melnyk, it wouldn’t be surprising if Boucher was handed his walking papers before the new year.

Bob Boughner, Florida Panthers. With a knee injury sidelining goaltender Roberto Luongo for the opening month of the season, the Panthers got off to a sputtering start. They’ve shown some improvement since Luongo’s return and aren’t out of playoff contention yet but remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. If they don’t gain ground in the standings soon, speculation could grow over Boughner’s job security.

Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins. With the Penguins sitting outside the Eastern Conference standings, GM Jim Rutherford is shopping around for trades to bolster his struggling roster. Sullivan can’t be faulted for injuries sidelining several key players, goalie Matt Murray’s shaky start and the lack of skilled depth among his checking lines. But if there are no season-saving trades on the horizon, perhaps Rutherford will consider a coaching change.

Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks. Despite losing top defensemen Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm to recent injuries, the Ducks entered this week holding onto third place in the Pacific Division. Despite critics suggesting Carlyle’s tactics no longer work in a league trending toward youth and speed, Ducks general manager Bob Murray is sticking by his coach. Their recent improvement could reduce some of the heat Carlyle’s felt in recent weeks.

Jeff Blashill, Detroit Red Wings. After one of the worst starts in franchise history, the Red Wings rallied back in recent weeks. They’re now within striking distance of a wild-card berth, silencing Blashill’s critics. The Wings aren’t going to part with him now.

 










NHL Coaches Potentially On The Hot Seat

NHL Coaches Potentially On The Hot Seat

One month into the 2018-19 NHL campaign, two head coaches – Los Angeles’ John Stevens and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville – lost their jobs within 48 hours of each other. Stevens was fired by the Kings last Sunday while the Blackhawks axed Quenneville the following Tuesday.

That’s quite a contrast to 2017-18 when no coaches were fired during the regular-season schedule. Stevens and Quenneville join Alain Vigneault and Dave Tippett among several noteworthy former NHL bench bosses currently on the sidelines.

Some of them could end up behind an NHL bench in the near future.

Several struggling teams could opt for a coaching change later this season. Here’s a look at the current coaches on the hot seat.

Jeff Blashill, Detroit Red Wings. The Wings haven’t shown much improvement under Blashill, wallowing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Granted, they’re still a rebuilding club with a mix of youngsters who’ve yet to reach their full potential and past-their-prime veterans. However, Blashill was supposed to advance the development of their young talent. For the most part, that hasn’t happened as quickly as hoped. The Wings could be willing to just let Blashill’s contract expire at the end of this season but the opportunity to bring in someone like Quenneville might hasten his departure.

The Ottawa Senators’ Guy Boucher could be among several NHL coaches potentially on the hot seat this season. (Photo via NHL.com)

 Guy Boucher, Ottawa Senators. From owner Eugene Melnyk’s cantankerous ways to the trading away of veterans Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, and Derick Brassard amid rumors of a divided dressing room, to several current players being secretly filmed recently mocking assistant coach Martin Raymond, the Senators have lurched from one disaster to another over the past 13 months. In the middle is Boucher, who’s in the final year of his contract trying to guide a retooled roster back to respectability. While the Sens are off to a better-than-expected start, Boucher still faces an uncertain future in Ottawa.

Bob Boughner, Florida Panthers. After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2017-18, the Panthers were expected to take a serious step toward playoff contender status during Boughner’s second season behind the bench. So far, however, they’ve stumbled out of the gate and find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. A big reason was the absence of starting goalie Roberto Luongo for over a month with a knee injury. Boughner can’t be faulted for the poor play of backups James Reimer and Michael Hutchinson, but he could start feeling the heat if the Panthers fail to reverse their fortunes soon.

Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks. With the Ducks transitioning toward youngster talent, they’re still struggling to adjust as the league shifts toward a faster-paced offensive style. That could cast Carlyle, who tends to favor a more physical defensive game, into a harsh spotlight. It hasn’t helped that aging forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry have been sidelined by injuries, with Perry out until March with a knee injury. Nevertheless, with the Ducks tumbling down the standings following a hot start, Carlyle could be on thin ice.

David Hakstol, Philadelphia Flyers. Hakstol’s success in the US college ranks hasn’t carried over into his NHL tenure. Under his coaching, the Flyers reached the playoffs in two of the last three seasons but failed to advance beyond the opening round. To be fair, Hakstol hasn’t had an established NHL starting goaltender and the defense is made up largely of still-developing youth. Still, the Flyers continue to struggle to find consistency. GM Ron Hextall is staying patient with Hakstol but he could be a lengthy losing streak away from losing his job.

Mike Yeo, St. Louis Blues. After bolstering their offense last summer, the Blues were expected to return to Stanley Cup contender status. Instead, they’re stuck near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Following a 7-4 loss to Columbus, Yeo suggested his efforts could be in question, prompting speculation he’d be the first coach fired this season. Management has stuck by Yeo so far but if the Blues don’t improve soon, he could be out of the job by the end of November.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2017

The Nashville Predators need Pekka Rinne to return to form in Game 3 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Latest Stanley Cup Final news, Ducks extend Carlyle’s contract and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Entering Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Nashville Predators need goaltender Pekka Rinne to regain his previously stellar form to avoid a 3-0 deficit in the series.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (lower-body injury) remains questionable for Game 3 tonight. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks extended the contract of head coach Randy Carlyle to 2018-19, with an option to 2019-20. Assistant coaches Trent Yawney and Rich Preston, goalie coach Sudarshan Maharaj and director of player development Todd Marchant will also return next season. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues hired former defenseman Barret Jackman as their new development coach. 

NHL.COM: There’s a 50-50 chance winger Valeri Nichushkin returns to the Dallas Stars next season. He has a year remaining on his KHL contract. 

THE DENVER POST: Jim Montgomery has withdrawn from consideration for the Florida Panthers’ head coach position and is returning as coach of the University of Denver hockey team. 

NEWSDAY: Barclays Center has no plans to make any significant design changes to retain the New York Islanders for the long term.