NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2022

The Leafs, Hurricanes, Blues and Kings go up 3-2 in their respective series, the Canadiens win the 2022 NHL draft lottery, the Vezina Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews snapped a 3-3 tie to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of their first-round series. Toronto rallied from a 2-0 deficit and held a 3-2 lead until Ryan McDonagh tied it for Tampa Bay before Matthews netted the game-winner. William Nylander had a goal and two assists and John Tavares had a goal and an assist for the Leafs, who hold a 3-2 series lead over the Lightning as the series returns to Tampa Bay for Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was the most entertaining game of this series. The Lightning dominated the opening period but the Leafs rallied in part thanks to a motivating between-period speech by center Jason Spezza. Their biggest test comes on Thursday as they must finally get the monkey off their backs and win the franchise’s first playoff series since 2004.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko tallied a natural hat trick in the third period to lead his club to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their opening-round series. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington picked up his second straight win by stopping 32 shots. Kirill Kaprizov scored both Wild goals. The series heads back to St. Louis on Thursday for Game 6 with the Blues holding a 3-2 lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues showed their mettle by overcoming a 2-1 series deficit to put themselves in the driver’s seat heading into Thursday’s contest. We’ll find out if the Wild can do the same to force a seventh and deciding game back home in Minnesota on Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes atoned for their undisciplined Game 4 loss against the Boston Bruins with a 5-1 victory in Game 5. Seth Jarvis scored two goals, Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck and Tony DeAngelo each had three points and Antti Raanta made 33 saves for the win. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned to the lineup after spending Game 4 in COVID protocol. The Hurricanes lead the series three games to two heading back to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the first and spent the next two periods falling further behind as they tried to play catch-up. They need more from their secondary scorers such as Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk and Craig Smith or this series will be over on Thursday.

An overtime goal by Adrian Kempe lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of their series. The Oilers overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period on two goals by Leon Draisaitl to force the extra frame. Kempe and Draisaitl each finished the night with two goals and an assist. The Kings hold a 3-2 series lead heading home to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are poised to pull off the first upset of the 2022 NHL playoffs unless the Oilers can win Game 6 and return home to Edmonton to take Game 7 on Saturday. The Oilers haven’t won a playoff series since 2017 so it’s gut-check time for Draisaitl, fellow superstar Connor McDavid and their teammates.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens will select first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft after winning the draft lottery on Tuesday evening. The New Jersey Devils won the second-overall selection while the Arizona Coyotes will get the No. 3 pick. The draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the full list of the draft order from selections 1 through 16. The remainder of the order will be determined by the outcomes of the four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The top prospect in this year’s draft is Kingston Frontenacs center Shane Wright. However, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes played coy over which player he’ll select on July 7, indicating he and his staff will continue to evaluate the prospects before making their final decision.

Winger Juraj Slafkovsky of TPS Finland and center Logan Cooley of the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) are also ranked among the top three in this year’s prospect pool.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will conduct due diligence but they’ll likely take Wright, who was ranked this year’s top prospect throughout this season. While the 18-year-old center isn’t a generational talent, he’s drawn favorable comparisons to Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. If Hughes chooses Wright, Canadiens fans will be thrilled if he becomes a multiple Selke Trophy winner.

Hughes’ son, Jack, is also among this year’s top-32 prospects. However, the Canadiens GM joked he wouldn’t be taking him with that selection.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks wound up with the sixth-overall selection. However, that pick goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the terms of last year’s Seth Jones trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could work in the Blackhawks’ favor. Had this year’s pick landed among the top two, the Blue Jackets would’ve received the Hawks’ first-rounder in the 2023 draft, which is considered to be deeper in talented prospects.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights wound up with the 16th overall pick but that selection goes to the Buffalo Sabres as part of last November’s Jack Eichel trade. The Sabres also own the ninth-overall pick.

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames’ Jacob Markstrom, Nashville Predators’ Juuse Saros, and New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin are the 2022 finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three are certainly worthwhile candidates. Shesterkin is considered the favorite as he led all starters during the regular season with a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Patrick Marleau officially announced his retirement as an NHL player on Tuesday. He spent 21 of his 23 seasons with the San Jose Sharks and holds the league record for most games played with 1,779. Marleau is also the Sharks’ all-time leader with 1,607 games played, 522 goals and 1,111 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Marleau and his family in their future endeavors.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip on Calgary Flames forward Trevor Lewis during Game 4 on Monday.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights center Jack Eichel played the final six weeks of the regular season with a broken finger.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s action, the Blackhawks trade Brandon Hagel to the Lightning, the Predators are still talking contract extension with Filip Forsberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin each collected three points as the Colorado Avalanche held off the San Jose Sharks 5-3. The Sharks rallied from a 4-0 deficit to cut the lead to one goal before Nichushkin scored his second of the game late in the third period to seal the win. With 93 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, Joe Thornton tallied his 430th career goal and Spencer Knight made 17 saves to blank the Anaheim Ducks 3-0, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. The Panthers (90 points) hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference while the fading Ducks (65 points) are five points behind the Vegas Golden Knight for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Panthers as defenseman Aaron Ekblad left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg. Head coach Andrew Brunette said there was no structural damage and it doesn’t appear Ekblad will be sidelined long-term.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Washington Capitals on a shootout goal by Alex Ovechkin, who also scored his 39th of the season in the third period to tie the game. Seth Jarvis scored twice for the Hurricanes while Antti Raanta made 37 saves in a losing cause. With 88 points, the Hurricanes are five points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals (80 points) sit one behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals saw two players sidelined by injuries as Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk both left the game. It’s unclear how long they will be sidelined.

As for the Bruins, Taylor Hall snapped a 2-2 tie and Charlie McAvoy netted the insurance goal as they doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Bruins forward Charlie Coyle collected three assists while Brad Marchand tallied his 25th goal to tie Rick Middleton for the second-most 25-goal seasons (nine) in franchise history. Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in a losing cause as the Jets (66 points) are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Calgary Flames 1-0. Dustin Tokarski turned in a 24-save shutout while Tage Thompson netted the winning goal in overtime. The Flames remain on top of the Pacific Division with 82 points.

Third-period goals by Josh Norris and Alex Formenton lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 12th straight road loss. Norris is the Senators’ leading goal scorer with 25 goals in 45 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Nick Paul out of this game after he reportedly rejected a four-year, $10 million contract extension. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, Paul could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline. It’s believed the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are interested in the versatile forward.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks trade winger Brandon Hagel, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a fourth-rounder in 2024 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, a first-round pick in 2023 and a first-round pick in 2024. Both first-round picks are top-10 protected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I confess I was surprised the Blackhawks moved the 23-year-old Hagel, who’s emerged as a hardworking two-way forward with an affordable $1.5 million cap hit through 2023-24. He seemed the type of player they needed as part of their roster rebuild.

The word among Chicago pundits prior to this trade was Hagel wasn’t going anywhere unless the Blackhawks got a significant offer. They certainly got it from the Lightning. Katchouk and Raddysh are young players who had difficulty cracking the Lightning’s deep forward lines. They’ll get plenty of opportunities to develop in Chicago. Those two first-rounders will help Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson restock his club’s depleted prospect pipeline.

Hagel will be a solid addition to the Lightning as they attempt to become the first team to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions since the New York Islanders in 1982. He’s comparable to forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Bolts win their last two championships before salary-cap limitations forced their departures last summer.

THE ATHLETIC: Hagel’s trade has left Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews mulling his future. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Toews confessed to being shocked that Hagel got traded, suggesting it left the impression no one on the club was safe from being moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The futures of Toews and Patrick Kane have become the topic of speculation this season after Stan Bowman stepped down as GM earlier this season. I suspect they’ll start turning up in trade rumors during the offseason.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Meanwhile, the Blackhawks placed Connor Murphy on long-term injury reserve and Tyler Johnson on injured reserve.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Nashville Predators have re-engaged in contract discussions with Filip Forsberg’s agent but progress has been marginal thus far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Forsberg gets shipped out on Monday with the Predators jockeying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. We’ll see how things unfold.

YAHOO SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer expressed concern over the status of Jack Eichel after the center departed Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury (arm) after blocking a shot. They’re awaiting more conclusive results as to his condition.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

Claude Giroux plays his 1,000th (and possibly final) game with the Flyers, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Golden Knights lose Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner denies he’s seriously injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s 1,000th and possibly final game with the Philadelphia Flyers ended in a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators thanks to Joel Farabee’s game-winner late in the third period. Farabee, Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers while Giroux was held scoreless. Predators defenseman Roman Josi collected three assists to set a single-season franchise record with 55 assists while teammate Filip Forsberg scored his 210th career goal to tie the franchise record. The Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 74 points.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux is not traveling with the Flyers to Ottawa to face the Senators tonight. He’s expected to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a five-game losing skid by beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 but lost Jack Eichel as he left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with one of his arms. There was no immediate update on his condition. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice as the Golden Knight (70 points) remain one point up on the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Panthers, meanwhile, remain one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 88 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Golden Knights starting goaltender Robin Lehner denied a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claiming he could miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Nevertheless, his frequent absences to injury this season and the Golden Knights’ struggles while he’s out of the lineup fuels speculation that management is shopping for a goalie.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs as rookie goalie Erik Kallgren made 34 saves for his second straight win in his second NHL start. Ondrej Kase tallied the winning goal for the Leafs (83 points), who are 4-1-1 in their last six and move within one point of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

The Stars, meanwhile, got the game-tying and winning goals by John Klingberg to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime to snap a three-game losing skid. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 31 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Jan. 13.

Leon Draisaitl scored his 40th goal of the season as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 6-1 dubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Connor McDavid was among five Oilers to finish the night with two points while Mike Smith made 27 saves for the win. With 72 points, the Oilers have won four straight and sit in third place in the Pacific Division.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 38th goal of the season, Anthony Mantha scored twice and Vitek Vanecek stopped 39 shots as the Washington Capitals thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game with a lower-body injury. The Capitals (78 points) move within a point of the Boston Bruins for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Detroit Red Wing netminder Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 43 shots and Pius Suter scored the only goal to blank the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Canucks center J.T. Miller’s point streak ended at 13 games. The loss leaves the Canucks (67 points) three points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Speaking of shutouts, Cal Petersen made 29 saves for his third of the season in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe were the goal scorers as the Kings (76 points) hold a four-point lead over the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division.

A shootout goal by Bryan Rust lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s point streak ended at 10 games. Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 43 saves in a losing cause. The Penguins (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division while the Blues (77 points) sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild in second place in the Central Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves for the win as Kyle Palmieri broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 40th goal of the season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot’s season is over after suffering a broken right hand during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Andrew Copp was shaken up but avoided another concussion following a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist on Sunday. He passed a return-to-play test on Tuesday. Copp has suffered four concussions in his playing career.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made to shore up Vegas’ injury-depleted blue line.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was placed on the NHL COVID protocol list.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2022

The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights on Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo, the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau takes over the lead in the scoring race and much more from a busy night of action in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres spoiled Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Eichel was held scoreless while Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch (the two players he was traded for) each tallied a goal for the Sabres. It was a milestone game for Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson as he made 30 saves for his 300th career NHL victory. The loss leaves the Golden Knights in third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel fired a shot at Sabres fans following the game as he received a mixed reaction from the Buffalo crowd. “That’s about the loudest I’ve heard this place, ever,” he said. “It only took seven years and me leaving for them to get into the game.”

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each collected four assists and Sam Reinhart netted a hat trick as the Florida Panthers dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3. Huberdeau broke his own franchise single-season record by picking up his 64th assist and vaulted over the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid into first place in the scoring race with 82 points. With 85 points, the Panthers move into a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first overall in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got a 36-save shutout by Antti Raanta to blank the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. Ethan Bear and Sebastian Aho were the goal scorers as the Hurricanes sit two points behind the first-place Avalanche in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog could face supplemental discipline from the league for criticizing the officiating during and following the game after receiving a misconduct penalty in the final minute.

Johnny Gaudreau tallied a hat trick to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rasmus Andersson collected two assists while Jacob Markstrom got the win by stopping 30 shots. The Flames sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 77 points, five up on the second-place Los Angeles Kings. The Lightning (80 points) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau banked two of his goals in off the back of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s enjoying a fine performance in a contract year and is a big reason behind the Flames’ improvement this season.

The Leafs, meanwhile, dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Arizona Coyotes. The Leafs overcame 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to force the extra frame. Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun scored the winner but it was controversial as he got away with a blatant hold on the stick of Leafs center Auston Matthews moments before. Chychrun finished the night with two goals, Matthews tallied his league-leading 44th goal of the season while Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot had three points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek was terrible, getting the hook after giving up four goals on 12 shots, with three of those while he was out of position. Erik Kallgren made 10 saves but gave up the overtime goal. Earlier in the day, the Leafs announced starter Jack Campbell will miss two weeks with a rib injury.

A late goal by David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Pastrnak had two goals on the night while Brandon Hagel tallied twice for Chicago. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane collected an assist to tie Bobby Hull for second place among the franchise’s all-time scoring leaders with 1,153 points. With 75 points, the Bruins hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas scored twice as his club downed the New York Rangers 6-2, chasing Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin after he gave up four goals on 17 shots. Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou each collected two points for the Blues (73 points) as they hold a two-point lead over the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. The Rangers remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points.

The Wild, meanwhile, got shootout goals by Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Fiala in a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Matt Boldy scored twice for the Wild as did Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond. The two clubs also engaged in a big brawl at the end of the second period.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist and Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the win as the Predators (70 points) opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first Western Conference wild-card berth. With 63 points, the Ducks remain four behind the Stars.

Tomas Hertl’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings to snap a three-game losing skid. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson picked up two assists in his return to the lineup after missing 15 games recovering from a forearm tendon surgery. Trevor Moore had three points for the Kings (72 points), who hold a four-point lead over Vegas for second place in the Pacific Division.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor’s 35th goal of the season was also the winner as his club squeaked past the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Eric Comrie made 33 saves as the Jets (62 points) are five points back of the Stars. The Devils honored Travis Zajac in a pregame ceremony for playing 1,000 games with the franchise, a feat he accomplished last February when there were no fans allowed at Prudential Center due to COVID restrictions. Zajac retired at the end of last season.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves to shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Anders Lee picked up the hat trick while Ryan Pulock collected three assists.

An overtime goal by Josh Norris gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken. It was Norris’ second goal of the game. Senators goalie Anton Forsberg picked up the win with a 30-save effort.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price continues to train at the club’s training facility and is reportedly aiming at returning to action in April. He’s encountered a couple of setbacks in his recovery from offseason knee surgery that has sidelined him all season thus far.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen is sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.

THE ATHLETIC: The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg on injured reserve.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard is sidelined by a lower-body injury and has returned to Denver for further evaluation.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers value Ristolainen’s size and physical play. His new contract isn’t unreasonable in term or dollars as he’s completing a six-year deal worth $5.4 million annually.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Marco Scandella returned to action on Thursday after missing over a month with a lower-body injury. Forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Oskar Sundqvist missed Thursday’s game against the Rangers nursing injuries.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets granted forward Alexandre Texier a leave of absence for personal reasons stemming from the personal losses of people close to him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Markus Niemelainen to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $762K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2022

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid and the Canucks’ J.T. Miller lead their respective teams to victory in Wednesday’s action, former Sabres captain Jack Eichel prepare for his first game in Buffalo, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s overtime goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Washington Capitals 4-3. McDavid finished with two points to lead the league with 81 points, two up on teammate Leon Draisaitl. Washington center Nicklas Backstrom also had a goal and an assist to become the second player in franchise history to reach 1,000 career points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless and remains tied with Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time goals list with 766.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the sixth consecutive season McDavid has scored 30 goals and 80 points. The win puts the Oilers (66 points) one behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. With 72 points, the Capitals hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, sitting one back of the Boston Bruins.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal and three assists in a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks (64 points), who sit two points behind the Oilers. Canadiens forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Rem Pitlick each netted three points.

HEADLINES

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel claims he feels “no bitterness” against the Buffalo Sabres as he prepares to face his former club in Buffalo for the first time since being traded to Vegas last November. Eichel claimed he had a “phenomenal time” in Buffalo, adding the team and the city treated him and his family well.

It’s a slightly different tone from the one Eichel had in an interview filmed with ESPN a week ago in which he said he felt the Sabres were toying with him when they didn’t trade him last summer and stripped him of the captaincy in a phone call. However, he had already made his trade request and the club was trying to arrange a deal. He also wasn’t healthy enough to attend training camp due to his neck injury.

Pressed on those points, Eichel replied that he may have disagreed with some points over the way the situation was handled. He also said he felt a lot of pride in being the team captain and was unhappy over having the captaincy taken from him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel and the Golden Knights face off tonight against the Sabres with the latter planning a video tribute to him at some point during the game.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is reportedly ok after being shaken up by a hit from Capitals winger Tom Wilson during Tuesday’s game between the two clubs.

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Brendan Lemieux and defenseman Mikey Anderson are all listed as week-to-week. Arvidsson and Lemieux are sidelined by lower-body injuries while Anderson has an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Arvidsson is a significant blow as he’s second among Kings scorers this season with 18 goals and 38 points in 50 games. His absence could send management into the trade market for help.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich has been sidelined for eight weeks by wrist surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues were reportedly in the market for a defenseman before Perunovich went down. This news will only stoke that speculation.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets placed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (lower body) on injury reserve and recalled blueliner Ville Heinola.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Kyle Clifford to a two-year contract extension worth $762,500 per season. They also inked defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a one-year, two-way deal.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have brought back Norm Maciver as associate general manager. He’d previously been in the organization in various roles between 2006 and 2021 before departing to become director of player personnel for the Seattle Kraken.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Hall-of-Famers Guy Lafleur, Lanny McDonald and Kim St-Pierre have been named to the Order of Hockey in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Lafleur, McDonald and St-Pierre for this well-deserved honor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2022

The Avalanche spoil Jack Eichel’s Golden Knights debut, the Flames pick up their eighth straight win, the Panthers down the Hurricanes in a possible playoff preview, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche spoiled Jack Eichel’s debut with the Vegas Golden Knights with a 2-0 victory. Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves for the shutout while Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen scored in the third period. Eichel saw 17:32 of ice time, registered one shot and picked up four PIMs. With 74 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers atop the overall standings while the Golden Knights (59 points) sit three points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel will need time to return fully to game shape after having not played in nearly a year. He will improve as he returns to form in the coming games.

Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

Speaking of the red-hot Flames, they picked up their eighth straight win by thumping the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Elias Lindholm stretched his points streak to six games with two goals and an assist while Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Rasmus Andersson each had three points. The Ducks have 55 points and sit behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Kings also have 55 points but hold two games in hand over the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors could increase about the Ducks if they fail to halt their current slide. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. They’ve already surfaced several times in this season’s rumor mill and we could start hearing more about them as trade candidates.

Aaron Ekblad scored in overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in what could be a preview of a potential playoff series between these two clubs. Panthers winger Sam Reinhart scored at 19:11 of the third period to set the stage for Ekblad’s winning goal while teammates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau each had two points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the most entertaining game of the night. It was a close contest between two potential Stanley Cup contenders.

Mark Scheifele scored a natural hat trick and picked up an assist as the Winnipeg Jets tamed the Minnesota Wild 6-3. Blake Wheeler had four assists for the Jets (50 points), who moved within five points of the final Western wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need a more consistent effort if they hope to gain ground in the playoff race. They’ve won just five of their last 15 games.

TSN: Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens was fined $2,235.42 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking New York Islanders center Brock Nelson on Tuesday.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs claimed forward Adam Brooks off waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights.