NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2022

Recaps of Saturday’s preseason games, the Flames extend coach Darryl Sutter’s contract, Kyle Okposo is the Sabres’ new captain, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 to sweep their two-game NHL Global Series in Prague, Czechia. Second-period goals by Filip Forsberg and Nino Niederreiter lifted the Predators past the Sharks while Kevin Lankinen made 31 saves for the win.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Auston Matthews and William Nylander each scored twice while Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each picked up three assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

A hat trick by Vladislav Namestnikov carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Corey Perry collected three assists while Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 27 shots for the Lightning.

The Los Angeles Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-3. Arthur Kaliyev led the way with a goal and two assists. Ducks netminder John Gibson left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury after taking a shot off his mask. An update on his condition is expected on Sunday.

Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each had three-point performances to lead the Minnesota Wild over the Dallas Stars 5-1. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win by stopping 22 shots.

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made 24 saves to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 6-0. Ivan Barbashev tallied twice for the Blues.

The Ottawa Senators swept their two-game Kraft Hockeyville series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-2 win thanks to an overtime goal by Drake Batherson. The Canadiens were winless in preseason play with an 0-6-2 record.

An overtime goal by Dylan Strome lifted the Washington Capitals over the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-3. Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper got the win with a 36-save effort while teammate John Carlson collected three assists.

The New Jersey Devils got two-point performances from Jack Hughes and Alexander Holtz to top the Boston Bruins 5-3. David Krejci picked up two assists for the Bruins.

A 28-save performance by Ilya Sorokin helped the New York Islanders defeat the New York Rangers 3-1. Josh Bailey had two assists for the Isles. Rangers winger Sammy Blais left the game in the first period and didn’t return but head coach Gerard Gallant said Blais “should be fine.”

The Vegas Golden Knights downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-1. Reilly Smith and Paul Cotter both had two assists on the night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those were the final games of the 2022 preseason. The regular season opens on Tuesday, Oct. 11 with the Tampa Bay Lightning facing off against the New York Rangers while the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Los Angeles Kings.

HEADLINES

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames yesterday announced that head coach Darryl Sutter had agreed to a two-year contract extension that begins next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there. The Flames made significant improvement after Sutter took over as head coach during the 2020-21 season. Management sees this team as a Stanley Cup contender and wants an experienced, steady hand behind the bench.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres named Kyle Okposo as their new team captain with Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Dahlin as their alternate captains. Okposo is the 20th captain in Sabres history and the first since Jack Eichel was stripped of the captaincy prior to trading him last November to the Vegas Golden Knights.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: Calgary Flames defenseman Juuso Valimaki, Detroit Red Wings center Austin Czarnik and Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Mark Friedman are among those placed on waivers on Saturday. Teams have until noon ET on Sunday to claim them.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens claimed defenseman Jonathan Kovacevic off waivers Saturday from the Winnipeg Jets.

TSN: Andrea Skinner has stepped down as interim chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors. The organization has been losing sponsors and support from provincial organizations over its mishandling of sexual assault allegations leveled against several players on Canada’s 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner’s departure is a start but there needs to be a complete overhaul of Hockey Canada’s leadership.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2022

Sean Couturier could have some good news today, better conditioning contributed to the Flames’ improvement last season, plus the latest on Joe Thornton, Matt Dumba and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers center Sean Couturier will address the media later today regarding his rehab from back surgery. It could be an indication that his rehab went well and he’ll be ready for training camp next week. The Flyers will have their physicals on Sept. 21 and will take to the ice the following day.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Couturier will be vital to the Flyers’ hopes for improvement. His injury and absence contributed to their poor performance last season.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Improved player conditioning last summer played a key role in the Flames bouncing back from missing the playoffs in 2021 to finishing atop the Pacific Division last season.

Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said the club was among the poorest-trained he’d ever seen after taking over behind the bench midway through the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. He demanded that his players train harder last summer to become faster players. As a result, half a dozen of them went on to career-best performances in 2021-22.

Sutter’s message to the players heading into this summer wasn’t much different. “Train 10 percent harder”, he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pandemic likely had something to do with the Flames’ poor team conditioning in 2020-21. There was considerable uncertainty throughout the autumn of 2020 over when the season would take place, how many games would be played and what the scheduling would look like.

That would’ve created havoc for the players’ offseason training. Creatures of habit, their workout programs were thrown off-kilter by the pandemic, sometimes forcing them to train on their own or in groups smaller than they were used to.

Some teams probably had more difficulty adjusting than others. Last summer brought more of a semblance of normalcy toward their offseason plans and probably made it easier for them to improve their conditioning.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Flames, they’ve signed forward Cody Eakin to a professional tryout offer.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former Sharks center Joe Thornton has returned to San Jose with his family while he figures out his future. He’s been recently seen skating a few times with some of the Sharks players at the club’s practice facility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton’s playing career could come to an end if he doesn’t get a contract with an NHL club for 2022-23. The 43-year-old saw action in just 34 regular-season games and one playoff contest with the Florida Panthers last season.

TSN: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was among several black NHL players who took part in the documentary “Black Ice” examining the role of players of color in Canadian hockey. Dumba, 28, is a founding member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

TVA SPORTS: Former NHL coach Craig Ramsay believes Juraj Slafkovsky will make his debut with the Montreal Canadiens this season. Ramsay, 71, saw the first-overall draft pick’s potential as part of Slovakia’s coaching staff in the 2022 Winter Olympics, where the 18-year-old winger was the tournament’s leading scorer.

Ramsay, 71, explained why Slafkovsky shone in international play while his stats were unimpressive playing in Finland. The Slovakian team let the young winger play to his strengths as an offensive player whereas he was forced to play a more defensive trapping style in Finland.

Slafkovsky could thrive playing for Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis. Ramsay believes St. Louis will help the young Slovakian winger correct his mistakes while allowing him the freedom to let him bloom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ramsay said he never yelled at Slafkovksy behind the bench for making mistakes but instead spoke quietly to him about them in a positive way following the game. That’s the same approach St. Louis took with his players last season and they responded well.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin continues to work his way back from a career-threatening eye injury suffered in practice last March. He took part in scrimmages with teammates last week wearing a regular practice jersey.

GOPHNX.COM: Conor Timmins has fully recovered from a season-ending knee injury and is ready to start his first full season with the Arizona Coyotes. The 23-year-old defenseman played in just six games for the Coyotes last season.

THE ATHLETIC: Andrew Lustgarten will step down as president and CEO of MSG Sports at the end of 2022. MSG Sports is the parent company of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. James Dolan, owner of both clubs, will continue to oversee operations for the Rangers and Knicks.