NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Alex Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron, Mike Smith and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Thanks to two third-period goals by Kyle Palmieri, the New Jersey Devils nipped the New York Islanders 2-1. The Devils also honored Patrik Elias by retiring his No. 26 in a pre-game ceremony. They also exercised the option in head coach John Hynes’ contract. Before the game, the Islanders acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2019.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner had a four-point performance in a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Boston Bruins 4-3 on a late goal by Ron Hainsey. Leafs forward Mitch Marner had a four-point game (one goal, three assists) while Bruins winger Brad Marchand tallied twice. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was spotted after the game with his right foot encased in a walking boot cast. He’ll be re-evaluated on Sunday. 

Alex Ovechkin scored twice as the Washington Capitals thumped the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Ovechkin now sits four goals shy of 600 for his career. Teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov had a four-point performance, scoring once and setting up three others. 

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their fifth consecutive win by beating the Ottawa Senators 5-3. Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning had a goal and two assists. Things are also starting to get ugly between team owner Eugene Melnyk and some unhappy Senators fans, as arena security confiscated some homemade signs critical of Melnyk before the game. One fan was also ejected when they attempted to film the encounter.

Mikael Backlund scored and set up two others as the Calgary Flames romped to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Flames goaltender Jon Gillies made 27 saves for his second straight victory. Earlier in the day, the Flames placed goaltender Mike Smith (lower body) on injured reserve. 

Evgenii Dadonov’s hat trick powered the Florida Panthers to their ninth win in 12 games by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. Evgeni Malkin scored twice for the Penguins. 

Patrik Laine scored two goals, Dustin Byfuglien collected three assists and Nikolaj Ehlers had three points as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Dallas Stars 5-3. 

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. Wings center Henrik Zetterberg tallied his 335th career NHL goal, tying Ted Lindsay for the fifth-most goals in Red Wings history. 

Brayden Point’s shootout goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty also tallied and added an assist. 

The Edmonton Oilers spoiled the return of Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings’ lineup with a 4-3 win. Mike Cammalleri collected three assists for the Oilers. Carter had been sidelined since Oct. 18 with an ankle injury.

Josh Anderson’s third period goal stood as the winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. 

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their sixth win in eight games by blanking the Anaheim Ducks 2-0. Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta kicked out 26 shots for the shutout. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2017

The Buffalo Sabres are reportedly discussing an eight-year contract with center Jack Eichel.

Latest on Jack Eichel, Patrik Elias, Calvin de Haan & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres are reportedly discussing an eight-year contract extension with center Jack Eichel, who is in the final season of his three-year entry-level contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  No word on the dollars but I doubt he’ll get anything close to the $100 million deal recently signed by Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who was drafted first overall (ahead of Eichel) in the 2015 NHL Draft. I suspect he’ll get around $8 million per season, which is still a big chunk of change for someone entering his third NHL season. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils will retire Patrik Elias’ No. 26 in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 24 against the New York Islanders. Elias announced his retirement last March. He’s the Devils all-time leader in goals, assists and points and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003. 

NEWSDAY: The NY Islanders avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Calvin de Haan, inking him to a one-year, $3.3 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: de Haan’s gets a nice raise over the $1.966 annual cap hit of his previous contract. It’s also slightly above the $2.9 million in actual salary he made last season. He’ll be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency if he chooses to go that route. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Defenseman Nate Schmidt still hopes to avoid salary arbitration with the Vegas Golden Knights. His hearing is slated for today. He’s seeking a one-year deal worth $2.75 million while Vegas has countered with a two-year, $1.9 million offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt’s hearing is also the final one of this year’s arbitration period. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues are expected to announce a five-year affiliation deal with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. They’ve also reportedly signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a one-year, two-way contract. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Hey, Nashville Predators fans! You can help your club choose their next anthem singer. Tryouts are slated for Aug. 13. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: “Rostraver Ice Garden, which won the NHL’s Kraft Hockeyville USA contest a few weeks ago, will no longer host a Penguins preseason game Sept. 24 against the St. Louis Blues.” The facility is apparently not equipped at this time to stage the event, though the Penguins will stage a practice session there. 

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings’ preseason tickets at Little Caesars Arena go on sale Friday. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning single-game tickets go on sale Aug.11. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown celebrates his game winner against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game recaps, more opening-round match-ups determined, Bryan Bickell to retire & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor Brown scored the game winner late in the third period to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013, eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders from the playoff chase in the Eastern Conference.

Leafs starting goalie Frederik Andersen left the game in the second period with an apparent head injury following a collision with Penguins forward Tom Sestito. No word yet on his status for the playoffs. 

The Boston Bruins (95 points) fell to the Washington Capitals 3-1, leaving them tied for third with the Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for the start of the playoffs later this week. The Bruins are also missing blueliner Torey Krug (lower body).  

The Ottawa Senators clinched (98 points) clinched second spot in the Atlantic Division with a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. 

Connor McDavid tallied his 100th career NHL assist as the Edmonton Oilers (101 points) secured home-ice advantage in the opening round of the postseason with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. It’s the first time since the Oilers reached 100 points since 1986-87.

Vladimir Tarasenko’s shootout goal gave the St. Louis Blues (97 points) a 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Blues clinched third place in the Central Division and will face the Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the playoffs. Hurricanes winger Bryan Bickell has announced his retirement following this season. He was diagnosed last November with multiple sclerosis. 

The Wild set a franchise record for wins (49) and points (106) with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. 

Chris Tierney had a two-point game as the San Jose Sharks downed the Calgary Flames 3-1. The Sharks (99 points) secured third place in the Pacific Division while the Flames hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Sharks scratched captain Joe Pavelski, ending his ironman streak at 495 games. 

The Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Before the game, long-time Devils star Patrik Elias went through a final warm-up with his teammates and was overcome with emotion during the ceremonial puck drop with his family. Elias recently announced his retirement. 

Drew Doughty’s overtime goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks, who’ve now dropped four straight games. It was also the final game for long-time Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller, who’s retiring after 44 seasons behind the mike. 

The Winnipeg Jets finished their season with a seven-game win streak by edging the Nashville Predators 2-1. The Preds face the Blackhawks in the opening round of the playoffs. 

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, handing the playoff-bound Jackets their sixth straight loss entering their final game of the regular season today against the Leafs. Flyers goalie Steve Mason picked up his 200th career win. 

Alex Galchenyuk’s overtime goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in the second-to-last NHL game at the Joe Louis Arena. The Habs end the season atop the Atlantic Division with 103 points. 

James Reimer turned in a 30-save shutout as the Florida Panthers snapped a six-game losing skid by blanking the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. It was the final NHL game for retiring Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton. 

Tyler Seguin’s shootout goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Four of the eight opening-round series are now set. In the East, it’s the Penguins vs the Blue Jackets and the Canadiens vs the Rangers. In the West, the Blackhawks face the Predators and the Wild tangle with the Blues. 

NBC SPORTS: The NHL Draft Lottery will reportedly take place on April 29.












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 1, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 1, 2017

New York Islanders star John Tavares suffered an apparent leg injury during Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

No April Foolin’ here. Game recaps, Patrik Elias retires and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders (84 points) moved within four points of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference by edging the New Jersey Devils 2-1. It was a costly win for the Isles, as team captain John Tavares left the game with an apparent leg injury. The Isles also learned defenseman Travis Hamonic (left wrist/hand injury) and Casey Cizikas (nagging hand injury) are out for the rest of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Hamonic and Cizikas is bad enough, but if Tavares is out for the final week of this season, it’s likely the death blow to their playoff chances. 

Shootout goals by Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers, snapping the Pens’ four-game losing skid and extending the Rangers home losing streak to eight games. The Blueshirts played without defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who’s day to day with an undisclosed injury, and rookie winger Jimmy Vesey (healthy scratch). The win moves the Pens (105 points) within one of the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Artemi Panarin scored twice and Patrick Kane collected three assists as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Blue Jackets 3-1. 

Brian Elliott turned in a 36-save performance backstopping the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Flames (92 points) clinched a playoff berth, moving within one point of the slumping Sharks (two wins in their last 10 games) for third in the Pacific Division.

Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon scored in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche nipped the St. Louis Blues 2-1. However, the Blues still picked up a point to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves the Nashville Predators as the only club yet to secure a postseason berth in the West. With 89 points, they’re eight up on the Kings for the final wild-card berth. 

Speaking of the Kings, they kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks. Jonathan Quick made 35 saves while Jarome Iginla and Tyler Toffoli scored the only goals. 

Christian Dvorak and Alexander Burmistrov each scored twice as the Arizona Coyotes upset the Washington Capitals 6-3. 

After 20 NHL seasons, all with the New Jersey Devils, forward Patrik Elias yesterday officially announced his retirement. The 40-year-old will skate with the Devils in warmups during their final home game on April 8. Knee surgery ended his playing career, sidelining him for all of this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elias’ place as one of the greatest players in Devils history is secure. He’s their all-time leader in “goals (408), assists (617), points (1,025), power-play goals (113), power-play points (333) and game-winning goals (80).” He’s also their all-time playoff leader in “goals (45), assists (80), points (125), power-play goals (21) and power-play points (52).” Elias was a key factor in two of the Devils three Stanley Cup championship runs (2000 and 2003). I believe he’ll one day be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Good news for the Minnesota Wild, as left wing Zach Parise will return to action tonight, just four days after suffering a scary hit near his right eye. 












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel (81) scores in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Game recaps, Ribeiro requests a trade, Elias leans toward retirement & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel scored twice, including the game winner in overtime, and set up another as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 after blowing a 3-1 lead. Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky netted two points.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored the game winner in his season debut to give the Florida Panthers a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Panthers goalie James Reimer picked up his 100th career NHL win. 

Mikael Backlund scored in overtime and T.J. Brodie collected four assists as the Calgary Flames beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Before the game, sidelined Devils forward Patrik Elias (recovering from knee surgery) hinted he’s leaning toward retirement. 

Sebastian Aho’s early third-period goal stood as the game winner as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1. 

Danny DeKeyser late third-period goal gave the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders, snapping the latter’s six-game points streak. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro was placed on waivers after he requested a trade. He was a healthy scratch in the Preds’ last three games and in five of the last eleven. He has 21 assists and 25 points in 46 games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ribeiro’s a skilled playmaker, but at 37 he’s at the tail end of his career and dropped down the Predators’ depth chart this season. He also carries a $3.5 million salary-cap hit. We’ll find out later today if there’s a club willing to take a chance on him. 

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola has withdrawn his nomination as President Trump’s Secretary of the Army, claiming that removing himself from his extensive business ties has proven insurmountable. 

NEWSDAY:  Connecticut’s governor and Hartford’s mayor have reached out to the New York Islanders, offering the use of Hartford’s XL Center if they leave Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d love to see the NHL return to Hartford, but I doubt the Islanders’ ownership and the league will consider that city as a possible replacement for Barclays Center.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Arizona State University has pulled out of a potential new arena plan that would bring the Arizona Coyotes to Tempe. 

TSN: Friday’s meeting in New York between the NHL, the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation was “a courtesy”, according to IOC Thomas Bach. He said he would leave further negotiations on NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Games in the hands of the league and the IOC. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While nothing of substance was accomplished, this meeting is being cautiously considered a positive step forward. 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 14, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 14, 2016

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel celebrates one of his two goals against the LA Kings.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel celebrates one of his two goals against the LA Kings.

Game recaps, stars of the week, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Jamie Benn tallied one goal and set up two others while Tyler Seguin had two assists to lead the Dallas Stars to a 6-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Stars scored five unanswered goals in the third to overcome a 2-1 deficit. 

Jack Eichel scored twice and set up another as the Buffalo Sabres overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. Jeff Carter netted two goals for the Kings. 

Mike Fisher scored twice as the Nashville Predators netted six straight goals to beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3. 

Jeff Skinner tallied twice as the Carolina Hurricanes scored six third-period goals to overcome a 5-2 deficit and defeat the Vancouver Canucks 8-6. Sven Baertschi scored twice and set up another in a losing cause for the Canucks. 

Justin Braun and Joe Pavelski helped the San Jose Sharks overcome a 2-0 deficit, setting the stage for Logan Couture’s shootout winner to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. 

Matt Niskanen scored twice as the Washington Capitals doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2. 

Sam Gagner tallied a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets collected their seventh straight victory by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t a particularly good night for defensive hockey, as comebacks were definitely the recurring theme.

Devan Dubnyk turned in a 29-save performance backstopping the Minnesota Wild to their fifth straight win by downing the Florida Panthers 5-1. Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin and Jason Pominville each collected two points. 

Scott Darling turned in a 33-save performance as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the New York Rangers 2-1. 

Jamie McGinn scored twice to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, who also lost defenseman Alexey Marchenko to a shoulder injury

ESPN.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek, New York Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner were the NHL’s three stars for he week ending Dec. 11. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils claim they weren’t expecting free-agent winger Patrik Elias to return during the first half of this season. Elias is still rehabbing from off-season knee surgery. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Actor and NHL fan Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69. Thicke suffered a heart attack yesterday while playing hockey with his youngest son. He was a long-time fan of the Los Angeles Kings and a close friend of Wayne Gretzky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Thicke’s family, friends and family.