NHL ProteauType: Dryden Is Right – Make The Nets Bigger
Recaps of Monday’s action, the Leafs acquire Alex Galchenyuk, three stars of the week and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for the shutout while Clayton Keller scored the only goal as the Arizona Coyotes blanked the St. Louis Blues 1-0. The Coyotes took four of the seven games in this series. Blues defenseman Torey Krug left the game after the second period with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.
The New York Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored and Josh Bailey collected two assists for the Islanders while Victor Olofsson tallied for Buffalo. It was the Sabres’ first game since their schedule was paused after Jan. 31 due to COVID-19.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The long layoff adversely affected the Sabres’ performance in this contest. They had nine shot attempts in the third period but none of them reached the net.
Evgenii Dadonov scored the tying and winning goals as the Ottawa Senators roared back from a 5-1 deficit to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in overtime. Auston Matthews scored twice for the Leafs while teammate Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist in his return after missing 10 games to a rib injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators deserve credit for not giving up after falling behind by four goals. However, the Leafs were their own worst enemies as complacency seemed to set in after they took that big lead.
Speaking of the Leafs, they acquired forward Alex Galchenyuk from the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Galchenyuk is on the move just two days after being acquired by the Hurricanes from the Senators. He’s now on his seventh team since 2018 and is expected to join the Leafs’ farm club because he already cleared waivers before the trade went down. He also doesn’t have to quarantine because he was still in Ottawa preparing to head to Carolina when this deal went down.
The Leafs were in the market for a depth forward. Acquiring Galchenyuk is an affordable move to bring in some additional experience.
And speaking of the Hurricanes, they tallied six unanswered goals to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and set up two others, Brock McGinn had a goal and three assists, Jordan Staal netted two goals and James Reimer made 37 saves for the win.
The Florida Panthers held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4, handing the latter their first home loss of the season. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anton Stralman each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Alexander Volkov tallied twice for the Lightning.
Dominik Kubalik scored twice, including the winner in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Wings overcame a two-goal deficit to force the extra frame.
The Winnipeg Jets downed the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 as Blake Wheeler tallied the winning goal in the third period. Jets center Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson each scored twice for the Oilers as they overcame 4-2 and 5-3 deficits.
Johnny Gaudreau’s overtime goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead until Brock Boeser force overtime with a shorthanded goal late in the third period.
San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture had a goal and an assist to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 14.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars postponed their game last night against the Nashville Predators at the request of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson as a severe winter storm left hundreds of thousands of Dallas residents without power.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers canceled practice on Monday at the request of the NHL as a measure of caution. The club has seven players on the COVID-19 protocol list. They are still scheduled to practice today. They’ve been shut down for a week now.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Jakub Zboril are still nursing injuries and are questionable for Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin believes prospect forward Cole Caufield will turn pro at the conclusion of his college season with the University of Wisconsin. It’s uncertain if Caufield will play any games with the Canadiens this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield’s offensive exploits in college play and in the 2021 World Juniors have generated plenty of anticipation among Habs fans. Time will tell if he can successfully make the jump into the NHL.
THE ATLANTIC: NHL Hall-of-Fame goaltender Ken Dryden believes oversized upper-body goaltending equipment has changed the game and not for the better. He feels expanding the net is a viable solution.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dryden makes a compelling case. He points to golf-club technology making championship courses longer, how a lighter soccer ball now makes it possible for players to curve or drop shots around a goaltender, and how the three-point shot eventually improved scoring in basketball.
Game recaps, Mike Matheson fined, Patrick Sharp to retire and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Patrik Berglund tallied a hat trick to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. With the win, the Blues (94 points) moved one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference, setting the stage for their showdown tonight to decide who qualifies for the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning widened their lead over the Boston Bruins for first overall in the Eastern Conference by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 7-5. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist to reach 100 points for the first time in his career. Teammate Yanni Gourde set a franchise record for goals (25) and points (64) by a rookie. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos sat out the game with a lower-body injury but is expected to be ready for the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (100 points) secured home-ice advantage in the upcoming 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators. Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each collected two points while goaltender Casey DeSmith made 35 saves. The Penguins sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in Crosby’s career, he played in every game during the regular season.
Jakob Silfverberg scored a goal and set up two others as the Anaheim Ducks (99 points) downed the Dallas Stars 5-3 to take over third place in the Pacific Division.
If the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers end the season tied for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot, they’ll play a one-game play-in on Tuesday to determine which one qualifies for the postseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have 96 points with one game remaining while the Panthers have 92 points with two games left. The Flyers face the New York Rangers this afternoon. If they win that game or pick up a point in an overtime/shootout loss, they’ll clinch that playoff berth and the Panthers will be eliminated.
Vancouver Canucks center Adam Gaudette is the winner of the 2018 Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA Division 1 hockey.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp has indicated his intent to retire at the end of this season. He spent 14 seasons in the NHL, 11 of those with the Blackhawks, helping them win three Stanley Cup titles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharp had a productive NHL career, tallying 20-or-more goals and 40-plus points eight times. Over the last two seasons, however, it was apparent that age and the wear-and-tear of his long career had taken a toll upon the 36-year-old winger. Best wishes to him in his future endeavors.
SUN-SENTINEL: The NHL’s department of player safety has fined Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson $2,000.00 for diving.
NEW YORK TIMES: Jaromir Jagr isn’t ruling out a possible return to the NHL next season. Jagr began this season with the Calgary Flames but was released from his contract on Jan. 28 and returned to the Czech Republic to play for his hometown team Kladno.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr’s age (46) and his on-ice struggles with the Flames this season will scare off most clubs. An NHL return could depend on him swallowing his pride and accepting a professional tryout offer.
THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden once again calls upon NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to take action in the prevention of head injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dryden is right that Bettman is the league’s central decision maker and could implement significant rule changes when it come to concussions and hits to the head. However, Bettman’s reluctance to do so could be tied to the lawsuit the NHL is currently embroiled in with former players who believe the league didn’t do enough to protect them from head injuries.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators were saddened yesterday to learn of the death of 17-year-old Jonathan Pitre, the youngster who suffered from a rare, painful disease called epidermolysis bullosa. In 2014, the Senators signed Pitre to a contract making him a scout for a day. They also closely supported his fight against the disease.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rest in peace, Jonathan. My condolences to his family, friends and the Senators organization.
Stars of the week plus updates on Erik Karlsson, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Parise & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov scored twice to power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Kucherov now has seven goals this season, scoring in six straight games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov came into his own last season as a goal scorer. I expect he’ll be challenging for the Richard Trophy this season.
Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 15.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson makes his much-anticipated return to action tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. He’s been recovering from off-season foot surgery.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers yesterday placed forward Leon Draisaitl (concussion-like symptoms) on injured reserve.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise left practice yesterday after suffering a setback in his attempt to return from an undisclosed injury.
TSN: The Winnipeg Jets placed forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) on injured reserve.
BSN DENVER: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday and has returned to Denver for evaluation.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner is expected to start tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals on the fourth line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move will be a short-term one. Marner carries a team-worst plus-minus of minus-6 and this is to improve his defensive game.
USA TODAY: Over five weeks after starting a 24-week chemotherapy program for colon cancer, NBC Sports hockey analyst Ed Olczyk is returning to the broadcast booth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Welcome back, Eddie, and continued best wishes for a swift recovery.
MACLEAN’S: Hall of Famer Ken Dryden calls upon NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to do more to reduce concussion injuries and make the game safer for the players. Dryden examines the issue in detail in his new book “Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For years, the league has been slow to recognize the seriousness of concussion-related injuries, especially with regards to life-altering brain trauma such as CTE. In recent years, it has taken steps to address concussion injuries but more work is still required to make the game safer.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights apologized for a series of tweets on its Twitter account deemed as sexist prior to the club’s recent game against Boston.