NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2021

Filip Forsberg enjoys a four-goal performance, the Panthers and Blues turn deficits into victories, the Devils re-sign Jack Hughes, Rod Brind’Amour and Brendan Lemieux fined, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Filip Forsberg scored four goals as the Nashville Predators thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Forsberg also reached his 400th career point in this contest. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the shutout while Mikael Granlund collected four assists.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg now has 10 goals and 15 points in just 13 games. Granlund, meanwhile, has 25 points in just 22 games. He had a combined 57 points over the last two seasons but should exceed that total this season at his current rate of production.

Four unanswered third-period goals lifted the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals. Sam Reinhart buried the winner with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each collected three assists for the Panthers.

Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in a shootout as the St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-0 deficit to drop the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. O’Reilly also scored in regulation while Jordan Binnington settled down from a shaky first period to make 30 saves for the win. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed the game to attend the birth of his second child while Erik Cernak returned to the Bolts lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.

Dallas Stars forward Roope Hintz tallied a hat trick as his club downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Joe Pavelski also scored for the Stars and collected two assists while Braden Holtby picked up the win with a 39-save performance. Earlier in the day, the NHL fined Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour $25,000.00 for inappropriate conduct during Sunday’s game against the Capitals. Brind’Amour yelled at the referees late in the game over a slashing call against Sebastian Aho that gave the Capitals a 5-on-3 power play.

Shootout goals by Trevor Zegras and Kevin Shattenkirk lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. The Kings rallied back from a 4-1 deficit in the third to tie the game. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Oct. 22. The Kings also played without winger Brendan Lemieux, who was suspended five games for biting Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the “Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Department”, Brendan and his father Claude Lemieux hold the dubious honor of being the first father/son duo in NHL history to be suspended for biting opponents during their respective careers.

The Detroit Red Wings got a 41-save performance from Alex Nedeljkovic as they nipped the Boston Bruins 2-1. Marc Staal broke a 1-1 tie in the third period. The Bruins were playing without Brad Marchand (three-game suspension) and head coach Bruce Cassidy after he was placed in COVID protocol yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of COVID protocols, the NHL sent a memo to its 32 teams yesterday outlining a series of new measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Those steps include canceling team Christmas parties, charity events and autograph sessions.

A 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes moved the Minnesota Wild into a tie with the Calgary Flames for first place in the Western Conference standings. Jordan Greenway had a goal and two assists while Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist. Clayton Keller scored and set up another for the Coyotes.

Timo Meier scored twice and James Reimer kicked out 32 shots as the San Jose Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Devils center Jack Hughes returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a dislocated shoulder. Earlier in the day, the Devils announced Hughes signed an eight-year, $64-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are making a major investment in the 20-year-old Hughes after just 120 games and 55 points since 2019-20. He’s shown considerable potential since last season but will face a lot of pressure to meet the expectations that come with this contract. If he does, this could turn into a worthwhile deal for one of their core players.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Evander Kane downplayed reports from earlier this summer claiming his San Jose Sharks teammates were frustrated by his behavior and didn’t want him back on the team this season. He said his end-of-season interview with management was positive, singling out how well he worked with the younger players and praising his performance. Kane cleared waivers Monday and reported to the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas, where he took part in his first practice with the team on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meanwhile, there were reports during the offseason claiming the Sharks attempted to trade Kane earlier in the summer. They’re reportedly trying to do so again. Draw your own conclusions, folks.

CBC SPORTS: Quebec Remparts general manager and coach Patrick Roy has expressed interest in the Montreal Canadiens’ vacant general manager position. “Since 1993, this club has been running in circles,” said the Canadiens Hall-of-Famer. “What do they have to lose by giving me a chance, and seeing what I can do with this club?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The issue would be whether the temperamental Roy could work well with Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ new executive VP of hockey operations. That might not be possible given his departure from the Colorado Avalanche in 2016 over a disagreement regarding the direction of that club. The last thing the Habs will want is their next GM butting heads with Gorton and turning their disagreements into a media circus.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed defenseman Cody Ceci in COVID protocol yesterday. The club also canceled Tuesday’s practice and order two rounds of tests.

TSN: Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. They also traded minor leaguer Kole Sherwood to the Nashville Predators for future considerations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2021

The Panthers tied a winning-streak record, McDavid and Draisaitl reach scoring milestones, Alex Ovechkin tallies his most assists through 20 games, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their 11th straight home win to start the season as they downed the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Aaron Ekblad tallied in overtime as the Panthers tied the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks for the longest season-opening home win streak at 11-0-0. The victory also propelled them into first overall with 31 points.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each scored two goals and collected two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Zack Kassian also chipped in a goal and two assists while the Coyotes Clayton Keller had a three-point performance. Draisaitl has a league-leading 20 goals and 40 points, joining Wayne Gretzky as the only Oiler to score 20 goals in less than 20 games. McDavid, meanwhile, netted his 400th career assist. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes placed goaltender Carter Hutton in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl maintains a four-point lead over McDavid in the NHL scoring race.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected three assists in a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin (33 points) has 18 assists in 20 games, exceeding his previous best (17) in 2008-09. He joins Mario Lemieux, Johnny Bucyk, Gordie Howe and Martin St. Louis as the only players’ age 36 or older to reach at least 18 assists in their first 20 games of the season. Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz left the game with an upper-body injury. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield potted his first goal of the season.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri had two points to extend his points streak to 10 games to help his club beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Kadri has netted 21 points during that streak. Sonny Milano scored both goals for the Ducks. Earlier in the day, the Ducks listed Adam Henrique as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs netted four goals in the second period on route to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist while Rasmus Sandin chipped in three helpers. The Leafs have won seven of their last eight. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed forward Andreas Athanasiou in COVID protocol.

A four-goal first period powered the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno each collected two points for the Bruins, handing the Sabres their fourth straight loss. Bruins netminder (and former Sabre) Linus Ullmark didn’t start as he’s nursing a minor undisclosed injury but served as a backup in this contest.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala scored in the shootout as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Wild goalie Cam Talbot made 40 saves in regulation and overtime and was perfect in the shootout. The Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit on goals by Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sherangovich with Nico Hischier assisting on both.

A 36-save performance by Tristan Jarry carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Penguins have won four straight while the Canucks have dropped seven of their last eight contests.

Elvis Merzlikins kicked out 36 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0, spoiling Pierre-Luc Dubois’ return to Columbus for the first time since getting traded to Winnipeg in January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ usually reliable offense has dried up of late, managing just four goals in their last four games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets continue to exceed expectations, winning seven of their last 10 contests.

The Detroit Red Wings got 35 saves from Alex Nedeljkovic to snap a four-game losing streak by doubling up the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Adam Erne broke a 2-2 tie while Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist. Blues center Brayden Schenn returned to action after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Wings placed defenseman Danny DeKeyser in COVID protocol.

Chris Kreider and Kevin Rooney each scored twice to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, who had seven players in COVID protocol. The Isles have lost seven straight games. Adding to their misery, defenseman Noah Dobson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Arthur Staple shot down a rumor claiming Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello asked the league for a postponement. NHL sources said they didn’t believe any such request came from Lamoriello. The league continues to monitor the Isles’ situation closely. Yesterday was the first time in a week the club had no new COVID cases.

Max Pacioretty collected an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2. Pacioretty missed 17 games with a fractured foot. Filip Forsberg scored both Predators’ goals as he returned from a nine-game absence with an upper-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken got 35 saves from Philipp Grubauer and a late goal in the third period by Marcus Johansson to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Jared McCann tallied the tying goal on a power play in the second period for the Kraken (6-12-1), giving them their second straight win. The Hurricanes (14-3-1) sit two points behind the first-overall Panthers.

A three-point effort by Timo Meier (one goal, two assists) gave the San Jose Sharks a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Sharks forward Nick Bonino also scored in what was his 700th career game. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the Senators.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2021

Check out the latest on Tuukka Rask, Jack Campbell and Filip Forsberg in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Chris Johnston reports goaltender Tuukka Rask has been working out at the Boston Bruins training facility. He remains without a contract as he works toward returning from offseason hip surgery. His agent told Johnston his goal is to get healthy and return to play as soon as possible, perhaps by January.

Former Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (NHL Images).

Rask could be an option for teams seeking help between the pipes. However, Johnston believes the 34-year-old free agent hopes to return with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston said Rask had been a little non-committal about his playing future. Back in August, however, he indicated his willingness to return to the Bruins for less money this season. I believe their game plan is to sign Rask to a cheap, prorated one-year deal. They’ll then send Jeremy Swayman back to their AHL affiliate as he’s waiver-exempt for this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculated about how much it’ll cost the Toronto Maple Leafs to sign Jack Campbell to a contract extension. The 29-year-old goaltender is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. He’s earning $1.65 million annually on his current contract.

Contract talks between the two sides have yet to begin. When they do, LeBrun suggested the annual average value could be somewhere between $4 million and $5 million on a four-to-five year deal if he has another solid season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems about right, though if Campbell were to become a Vezina Trophy finalist that number gets pushed to $6 million annually.

LeBrun also reported contract talks between the Nashville Predators and Filip Forsberg are expected to start soon. The 27-year-old winger is completing a six-year deal with a $6 million AAV. LeBrun speculates the Forsberg camp could seek an eight-year extension and wondered if either side will use the eight-year, $56 million extension signed by Gabriel Landeskog this summer with the Colorado Avalanche as a comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also acknowledged Forsberg and his agent are unlikely to accept anything less than the $8 million AAV currently earned by teammates Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen. However, I don’t think Predators GM David Poile is keen to have a third $8 million forward on the roster. Unless Duchene or Johansen are moved (and I don’t see that happening), Forsberg could end up hitting the open market next summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2021

The Hurricanes reach their season-opening ninth straight win, Leon Draisaitl overtakes Connor McDavid in the points race, more fallout from the Blackhawks scandal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes extended their season-opening win streak to nine games by rallying to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Jesper Fast and Martin Necas scored in the third period to give the Hurricanes the victory while goaltender Frederik Andersen (27 saves) remains undefeated (8-0-0) this season. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks (1-8-2).

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (NHL Images).

Leon Draisaitl (20 points) scored twice to overtake teammate Connor McDavid in the NHL scoring race in a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, ending the latter’s four-game win streak. McDavid (19 points) collected two assists to extend his points streak to nine games. Draisaitl is the first player to reach 20 points in less than nine games to start a season since Mario Lemieux in 2002-03.

The Columbus Blue Jackets overcame a 2-0 deficit and blew a 4-2 lead before nipping the Colorado Avalanche in overtime 5-4. Cole Sillinger and Jake Bean scored twice with the latter tallying the game-winner. Bowen Byram tallied two goals and Nazem Kadri collected three assists for the Avalanche.

A shootout goal by Arthur Kaliyev lifted the Los Angles Kings to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Torey Krug had a goal and an assist for the Blues (6-1-1). The Kings (4-5-1) have won three straight games.

HEADLINES

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich’s name has been stamped out in the club’s 2009-10 section of the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks requested Aldrich’s name be removed from the Cup following an independent investigation confirming a 2010 sexual assault allegation against him by former Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach was covered up by senior team executives.

TSN: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews offered clearer support of Beach. “I can’t undo what happened, I’d just like to know more and more about what Kyle feels and what he wants and what he envisions for the future,” said Toews.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Brian Dumoulin were placed in COVID protocol after testing positive for the coronavirus. Head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby displayed mild symptoms while Dumoulin is asymptomatic. This news comes less than 48 hours after Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel tested positive. Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel, Jeff Carter and Zach Aston-Reese also tested positive and were placed in isolation at times since preseason.

THE ATHLETIC: The Nashville Predators will retire Pekka Rinne’s No. 35 on Feb. 24. Rinne retired in July following 15 NHL seasons all spent with the Predators.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Predators, winger Filip Forsberg is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is listed as day-to-day after being struck in the head by a shot from teammate Brett Kulak during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. He is not believed to have suffered a concussion.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban was fined $15,000.00 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip of Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is how much Subban’s stock has fallen. He only appears in headlines now when he’s being fined for dangerous trips (also known as slew footing).

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott is listed as day-to-day with an injured foot.

TSN: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers have loaned winger Vitali Kravtsov to the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk. He can be recalled by the Rangers once the KHL season is over. The 21-year-old winger refused assignment to the NHL and returned to Russia awaiting a trade.