NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 1, 2022
Notable highlights from Friday’s preseason play, Canadiens’ rookie Juraj Slafkovsky’s underwhelming preseason play, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart says he’ll be ready for his club’s season-opener, plus the latest injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Matt Duchene scored twice in a five-point performance to lead the Nashville Predators to a 7-1 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Lightning in preseason action on Friday. Tanner Jeannot had four points (including two goals) while Filip Forsberg collected three assists.
San Jose Sharks hopeful Danil Gushchin tallied a hat trick in a 7-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored two goals for the Golden Knights. Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was stretchered from the ice after crashing into the end boards. He was taken to a hospital for observation and was said to have full movement of his extremities and was fully conscious and alert.
Speaking of the Ducks, sophomore center Trevor Zegras will undergo more medical tests after suffering an upper-body injury in a preseason game on Wednesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Robertson scored twice and added an assist as his club downed the Ottawa Senators 6-3.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes called Juraj Slafkovsky’s performance in his first two NHL preseason contests “a little underwhelming”. Hughes said the club would do what was best to help the 2022 first-overall pick to improve. He didn’t rule out having the 18-year-old winger start the season with their AHL affiliate in Laval.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Internet trolls and panicky Canadiens fans are already calling Slafkovsky a bust. Sensible hockey fans understand it’s far too early for that kind of assessment.
The young Slovak is trying to adjust to a different style of game on a smaller ice surface. Some players can adjust quickly while others need more time.
The worst thing the Canadiens can do is try to push Slafkovsky into their lineup before he’s ready. If he needs a season in the AHL to adjust to the North American game then so be it. If he’s not NHL-ready yet he shouldn’t be on their roster this season simply because he’s a first-overall draft pick.
Slafkovsky could become a superstar. He could become a bust. He could become something in-between. It’s ridiculous to write him off after just two meaningless preseason contests.
Speaking of the Canadiens, winger Josh Anderson explained the upper-body injury that sidelined him since the start of training camp was a spider bite on his hand that got infected.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t a radioactive spider so he won’t turn into the NHL’s version of Spiderman. Anderson is expected to return to their lineup before the end of their preseason schedule.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Carter Hart will miss the Flyers’ first four preseason games. However, the 24-year-old goaltender said he expected to be ready for the club’s season opener on Oct. 13 against the New Jersey Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers will need a healthy Hart at his best if they hope to reach the playoffs this season. They’re already missing Ryan Ellis from their blueline for the season while center Sean Couturier will miss the start of the schedule with an upper-body injury.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Andrew Copp hopes to make his debut with the Red Wings in their season-opener on Oct. 14. The versatile 28-year-old forward signed with the Wings as a free agent but is still recovering from offseason abdominal surgery.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Dahlstrom requires shoulder surgery that will sideline him for six months. Blueliner Jordie Benn will be out for three weeks with a groin strain.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Ty Dellandrea will miss the next two-three weeks with a broken finger.
SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings forward Jacob Doty received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference on Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel in a recent preseason game.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed Scott Harrington to a one-year, two-way contract. The 29-year-old defenseman earned the job while on a professional tryout offer.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes claimed goaltender Jonas Johansson off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche.