NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2020

Alexander Ovechkin tallies his 700th career goal, the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to a Zamboni driver, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin became the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 career goals in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. A power-play goal by Devils defenseman Damon Severson snapped a 2-2 tie late in the third period. With the loss, the Capitals (80 points) remain tied for first place with the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division, with the Penguins holding a game in hand.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is the eighth player in NHL to score 700 career goals (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved milestone for The Great Eight. The next one is overtaking Mike Gartner (708) for seventh on the all-time list. The Capitals, however, have won just three of their last 10 games. With Ovechkin’s chase for 700 goals now over, perhaps it will bring about a shift in their focus.

The Penguins, meanwhile, missed an opportunity to take a two-point lead over the Capitals by dropping a 5-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Jack Eichel scored twice, despite a midsection ailment preventing him from bending over to take faceoffs. Evgeni Malkin scored both Penguins’ goals. The Sabres (64 points) are eight behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, who sit third in the Atlantic Division. Earlier in the day, they officially terminated defenseman Zach Bogosian’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel has 35 goals on the season. The young Sabres captain is doing everything he can to keep the his club’s playoff hopes alive.

Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes, who pressed into service 42-year-old emergency backup (and Zamboni driver) David Ayres when regular goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were sidelined. Ayres made eight saves on 10 shots to preserve the win. The Hurricanes (74 points) moved into a tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot, holding two games in hand over the Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For Ayres, this was a moment he and his family and friends will never forget. The Hurricanes did a fine job putting him at ease, as well as checking the Leafs to a near-standstill in the third. That was perhaps the most embarrassing regular-season defeat in Leafs history. I’ll leave it to Steve Dangle to summarize this debacle.

The Philadelphia Flyers (77 points) doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2, widening their lead over the New York Islanders for third place in the Metro by three points. Scott Laughton scored two goals and Justin Braun collected three assists. Following the game, the Flyers got a visit from teammate Oskar Lindblom, who’s battling Ewing’s sarcoma. “Really good, really good to see him,” said Laughton. The Jets (69 points) hold a one-point lead over the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Lindblom in his ongoing treatments. Here’s hoping he make a full recovery.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Max Domi scored twice for the Habs (66 points), putting them six behind the Leafs in the Atlantic. Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot left the game with an injured left leg in the first period, but coach D.J. Smith believes it wasn’t anything serious.

The New York Rangers also kept their playoff hopes alive by edging the San Jose Sharks 3-2. Jesper Fast scored twice and Igor Shesterkin kicked out 44 shots for the Rangers (70 points), who’ve won seven of their last eight contests and sit just four points out of a wild-card berth in the East. Joe Thornton scored both goals for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ surge of late raises questions over whether GM Jeff Gorton will be a seller at the trade deadline. Until recently, it was assumed he’d start peddling some pending free agents like Fast and Chris Kreider. That might not be a certainty now.

Conor Garland and Clayton Keller each scored twice as the Arizona Coyotes upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3. With 70 points, the Coyotes hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Earlier in the day, they revealed defenseman Jakob Chychrun could miss multiple games with a hip injury. Meanwhile, goaltender Darcy Kuemper was assigned to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are winless in eight straight games after dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Nashville Predators. Jusse Saros turned aside 40 shots for the Predators while Rocco Grimaldi netted the game-winning goal. The Predators (68 points) sit one back of the Jets for the final Western wild-card berth.

Tyler Toffoli scored his first two goals with the Vancouver Canucks in a 9-3 thrashing of the Boston Bruins. J.T. Miller also collected three assists for the Canucks (72 points), who sit two behind the Pacific Divison-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored twice and leads the league with 45 goals. The Bruins remain the overall league leaders with 90 points.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, picked up their fifth straight win by defeating the Florida Panthers 5-3. Reilly Smith scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for Vegas. The Panthers (70 points) remain two behind the Leafs. They’ve won just three of their last 11 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are blowing a golden opportunity to pass the struggling Leafs and secure a grip on the final playoff spot in the Atlantic. They’re also in danger of being overtaken by the Canadiens and Sabres.

Joonas Donskoi’s shootout goal gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The Avs (79 points) sit one back of the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Western Conference. Earlier in the day, the Kings re-signed Martin Frik to a two-year contract extension.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Shootout goals by Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck gave the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. Panthers goalie James Reimer made 41 saves for the win. Earlier in the day, the Panthers activated forward Jayce Hawryluk and placed MacKenzie Weegar on injured reserve. 

Goaltender Tomas Greiss made 31 saves and Casey Cizikas scored twice as the New York Islanders blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0. The Isles (74 points) hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard commemorated his 500th career NHL game by kicking out 40 shots in a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou scored twice and Frans Nielsen potted the game-winner. Earlier in the day, Wings forward Martin Frk cleared waivers and was demoted to their AHL affiliate. 

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov collected four points in a 6-0 win over the Dallas Stars (Photo via NHL Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy tied a franchise record with his 17th shutout in a 6-0 drubbing of the Dallas Stars. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored twice and added an assist while NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov (92) points widened his lead with a four-point effort. The Bolts are also the first team to reach 90 points this season. Stars defenseman John Klingberg left the game in the third period after blocking a shot with his left leg. He underwent x-rays and coach Jim Montgomery thinks he’s okay but couldn’t say for certain. 

Brian Boyle’s first goal with the Nashville Predators proved to be the winning goal in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 34 stops as his club ended a three-game losing skid. 

The Colorado Avalanche snapped an eight-game losing streak by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. With the win, the Avalanche (57 points) sit two points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane extended his points streak to 16 games and set a franchise record by collecting an assist in 15 consecutive contests in a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Kane had three points in the game as the Blackhawks (57 points) also sit two points behind the Wild. In a pregame ceremony, the Blackhawks honored winger Chris Kunitz for playing in his 1,000th career game. 

The streaking St. Louis Blues picked up their eighth consecutive victory by shutting out the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Jordan Binnington stopped 21 shots and Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues (69 points), who rose to third place in the Central Division. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes placed Michael Bunting on waivers. 

Auston Matthews scored twice, including his 100th career goal, as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Vegas Golden Knights 6-3. 

Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser scored in the shootout as the Vancouver Canucks nipped the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed defenseman Chris Tanev (ankle) on injured reserve. The Canucks (59 points) are tied with the Wild but the latter, with one extra win and two games in hand, holds the final Western wild-card spot.

T.J. Oshie scored twice and Alex Ovechkin netted his league-leading 39th goal to give the Washington Capitals a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2019

Game recaps plus updates on Erik Karlsson, Nikolaj Ehlers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Unanswered goals by Bryan Rust, Teddy Blueger, and Jared McCann gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Leon Draisaitl tallied the lone goal for the Oilers (53 points), who dropped six points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Penguins (67 points) opened a three-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Jakob Silfverberg scored the only goal as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 (Photo via NHL Images).

Rookie goaltender Kevin Boyle made 35 saves to pick up both his first NHL shutout and victory as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Jakob Silfverberg scored the lone goal as the Ducks snapped a seven-game losing skid. It was also the first coaching win for Ducks general manager Bob Murray, who’s filling the role of bench boss on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Boyle was pressed into service with Ducks regulars John Gibson and Chad Johnson on injured reserve

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has finally returned to practice after being sidelined for over two weeks with an unspecified ailment unrelated to anything he’s had to deal with in the past. There’s still no timetable for his return to action. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers return from an unspecified upper-body injury (likely a wrist or shoulder injury) has been delayed by another one-to-three weeks. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings have placed Martin Frk on waivers. He was their top selection (49th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 20, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 20, 2018

Salary cap could be over $79 million, the latest on Mike Hoffman, recent contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports the NHL salary cap for 2018-19 could come in between $79 million to $80 million, depending upon how much of a salary-cap inflator the NHLPA votes for later this week. The cap inflator can go as high as five percent but the PA membership could once again approve 1.35 percent, the same as last season. The escrow withholding from players’ salaries would be below 10 percent for the first time since 2011-12. 

Despite Mike Hoffman’s personal baggage, the Florida Panthers believe he’ll be a good fit with their club. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the PA approves the full five percent the cap ceiling would rise to around $82 million. However, it appears the players prefer lower escrow claw-backs from their salaries. As Seravalli notes, however, even with the lower inflator number the cap will make its biggest increase since 2013-14. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo and center Aleksander Barkov welcomed their club’s addition yesterday of winger Mike Hoffman, acquired yesterday as part of a three-team deal with the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks. Despite the personal baggage dogging Hoffman in Ottawa regarding allegations of cyberbullying levied against his fiancee by Erik Karlsson’s wife, the players believe he’ll be a good fit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not everyone agrees with this. Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde believes it’ll take more than GM Dale Tallon saying this lurid story about Hoffman’s fiancee is “in the past” to make it so. He feels this trade will either be seen as a smart trade for a scorer by a team in need of a lucky break or a desperate one other clubs wouldn’t make. 

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers re-signed defenseman Matt Benning to a two-year contract extension while the Vancouver Canucks re-upped forward Reid Boucher to a one-year, two-way contract. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings won’t give forward Martin Frk a qualifying offer, making him eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray has been sober for nearly a year after seeking treatment last year for an addiction to painkillers. Souray admitted he had difficulty adjusting to life after his playing career ended. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

Game recaps, analysis of the Kings trading Cammalleri to Oilers, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 8-2.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the Kings traded winger Mike Cammalleri to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jussi Jokinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri was losing ice time with the Kings as younger forwards such as Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe took on more prominent roles on their scoring lines. The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and that’s where he’ll likely be slotted.  Jokinen, meanwhile, struggled with the Oilers and didn’t have the confidence of head coach Todd McLellan. The Kings hope he’ll provide experienced depth to their checking lines. 

Zach Werenski’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, sidelined Canadiens goaltender Carey Price assured the media his current lower-body injury isn’t related to the season-ending one he suffered in 2015-16, insisting it remains a minor issue. He’s been sidelined nearly two weeks. The Habs also claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Niemi’s poor performance this season, this move provoked criticism by Habs followers on Twitter. However, GM Marc Bergervin justified the decision, citing Price’s injury and uncertainty over how long backup Al Montoya might be sidelined by a concussion.

Call-up Charlie Lindgren’s playing well but Bergervin wanted a little more experienced behind him. Niemi played under Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite when both were with the Chicago Blackhawks, so perhaps Waite can help Niemi overcome his current difficulties in goal. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves while Adam Lowry scored and set up another to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who set a league record by become the first team not to record a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season. Prior to the game, the Jets inducted former star Dale Hawerchuk into their Hall of Fame.

Earlier in the day, the Coyotes traded goaltender Louis Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Michael Leighton and winger Tye McGinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The writing was on the wall for Domingue with the Coyotes when he struggled filling in for sidelined starter Antti Raanta, forcing the Coyotes to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils. He’ll become the Lightning’s third-string goalie. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his third straight shutout and also collected an assist as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Sidney Crosby snapped an 11-game goalless skid and Conor Sheary scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Sam Reinhart had a three-point performance for the Sabres.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie potted two goals for the Capitals. The loss spoiled the return of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed 13 games with a left hand injury.  Earlier in the day, the Predators learned winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber will be sidelined several weeks with lower-body injuries.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck’s shootout goals gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 40 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers. Jamie Benn tallied twice for the Stars.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller fractured his left clavicle during Sunday’s game against Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk could be sidelined for a week with a groin injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t expect winger Clarke MacArthur to play this season. MacArthur failed his team medical upon reporting to training camp in September and has since moved with his family to Florida. He’s been hampered by concussions in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs called up forward Nikita Soshnikov and demoted forward Frederik Gauthier.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2016

Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri scores the game winner against the Edmonton Oilers.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri scores the game winner against the Edmonton Oilers.

Game recaps, stars & rookie of the month & much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nazem Kadri scored twice (including the game winner in overtime) as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. The game was hyped as the first meeting between Leafs rookie star Auston Matthews and Oilers sophomore star Connor McDavid, but both were held off the score sheet. 

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 60th career NHL shutout in his club’s 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Rangers rookie Jimmy Vesey tallied a goal and set up two others. 

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up two more as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the New York Islanders 6-1, prompting Isles fans to call for the firing of head coach Jack Capuano. Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin left the game following a hit to the head from Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan. The hit will be reviewed by the league’s department of player safety. Drouin will be evaluated today.

Patrick Kane scored one goal and set up two others to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 thumping of the Calgary Flames. 

Rickard Rakell had a goal and two assists in his season debut as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Los Angeles Kings 4-0. 

Craig Smith scored twice as the Nashville Predators snapped a three-game losing skid with a 5-1 rout of the Colorado Avalanche. 

Sam Gagner scored the tying goal in the dying seconds of the third and Seth Jones netted the winner early in overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. 

Braden Holtby made 43 saves and Jay Beagle scored in the dying seconds of the third period to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, who were without defenseman Mark Stuart and Shawn Matthias (lower-body injuries).

Tuukka Rask turned aside 33 shots backstopping the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

The Buffalo Sabres picked up their third straight win by downing the Minnesota Wild 2-1. The Wild also learned center Zac Dalpe will be sidelined 4-6 weeks following knee surgery yesterday. 

Kyle Turris scored in overtime as the Ottawa Senators nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. 

Louis Domingue made 39 saves as the Arizona Coyotes upset the San Jose Sharks 3-2. 

ESPN.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Marchessault were named the NHL stars of the month for October 2016.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander was named NHL rookie of the month for October 2016. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  I’m sure that came as a surprise for some folks expecting Auston Matthews to garner that honor. However, Nylander ended October as the NHL leading scorer among rookies. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen is showing no sign of slowing down as he turns 40 today. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Forward Martin Frk is back with the Detroit Red Wings. Three weeks after losing Frk to the Carolina Hurricanes via waiver, the Wings reclaimed him yesterday.