NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2024

The Oilers’ win streak reaches 16, Auston Matthews reaches 40 goals and Nikita Kucherov regains the lead in the scoring race. Get the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers extended their win streak to 16 games with a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists while Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists for the 29-15-1 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 59 points. Colton Sissons replied for the Predators (26-22-1) as they cling to the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 53 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are now one win away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest win streak (17 games) in league history. Corey Perry made his debut with the Oilers, logging 12:44 in ice time with two hits and two shots.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews netted his league-leading 40th goal as his club doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each collected two assists while Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves for the Leafs (25-14-8) as they hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 58 points. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots for the 30-12-5 Jets as they slipped to third place in the Central Division with 65 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews set a franchise record as the fastest player to reach 40 goals (46 games) and extended his team record for most 40-goal seasons with five. He also became the eighth player in Leafs history to reach 600 points and the fastest to reach that plateau. Meanwhile, the club announced that Calle Jarnkrok is sidelined week-to-week with a broken knuckle.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov collected two assists to regain the lead in the NHL scoring race with 85 points in a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel each scored twice as the 27-18-5 Lightning sit one point ahead of the Leafs in third place in the Atlantic Division. Ondrej Palat and Nico Hischier each had two points for the 24-20-3 Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hischier wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance. “I’m embarrassed, to be honest,” he said in a postgame interview. With the Devils sitting six points out of a wild-card berth, he called on his teammates to play “pissed off.” They’ve won just three of their last 10 games.

The Vancouver Canucks overcame a three-goal deficit to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on an overtime goal by Elias Pettersson, who finished the game with two goals and an assist. Brock Boeser tallied a hat trick while Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller each collected three assists for the Canucks (33-11-5) as they hold first place in the overall standings with 71 points. Alexandre Texier had a goal and an assist for the 15-23-10 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blue Jackets announced winger Patrik Laine returned to Columbus after suffering a setback in his recovery from a fractured clavicle. They also placed defenseman Adam Boqvist (upper body) on injured reserve and recalled blueliner Nick Blankenburg from their AHL affiliate in Cleveland.

A four-goal first period powered the Boston Bruins over the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2. David Pastrnak tallied twice and collected an assist while James van Riemsdyk had a goal and two assists for the 31-9-9 Bruins, who sit second in the overall standings with 71 points. Tyson Foerster scored both goals for the slumping Flyers (25-19-6), who’ve lost five straight games but remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Flyers honored Mark Recchi with induction into their Hall of Fame. Recchi spent 10 seasons with the Flyers, tallying 627 points in 602 games. He also played three seasons with the Bruins, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2011 during his final season.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart scored to extend his points streak to 13 games as his club nipped the New York Islanders 3-2 on an overtime goal by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the 31-14-4 Panthers as they sit in fourth place in the overall standings with 66 points. Semyon Varlamov turned aside 24 shots for the Islanders (20-17-12), who sit five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 52 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After beating the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Patrick Roy’s first game as their head coach, the Isles are winless in their last three contests (0-2-1). Before this game, Roy indicated that defenseman Adam Pelech is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He was sidelined by an illegal hit to the head on Thursday by Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, who received a five-game suspension as a result.

The Dallas Stars moved ahead of the Winnipeg Jets into second place in the Central Division with 66 points by dropping the Washington Capitals 5-4. Thomas Harley scored in overtime after his club blew a 4-2 lead and finished the game with two goals for the 30-13-6 Stars. Alex Ovechkin and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and an assist for the 22-18-7 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals winger Max Pacioretty left this game in the third period with a lower-body injury unrelated to his surgically repaired Achilles tendon. No word following the game regarding his condition.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin sniped two goals in a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider each had two assists while Alex Lyon stopped 28 shots for the Red Wings (26-18-5) as they hold the final Eastern wild-card berth with 57 points. Alec Martinez had two assists for the 29-15-6 Golden Knights (64 points) as they remain in second place in the Pacific Division.

A five-goal second period rallied the New York Rangers over the Ottawa Senators 7-2. Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists while Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the Rangers (30-16-3) as they remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 63 points. Brady Tkachuk and Jakob Chychrun scored for the 18-25-2 Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers captain Jacob Trouba missed this game as he’s serving a two-game suspension for elbowing Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev on Friday.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 as Dmitry Orlov broke a 1-1 tie with 36 seconds remaining in regulation time. Seth Jarvis collected two assists for the 28-15-5 Hurricanes, who sit two points back of the Rangers in second place in the Metro Division. Logan Cooley tallied for the slumping Coyotes (23-22-3) as they dropped their third straight game and sit four points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 49 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott missed this game with a lower-body injury.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom kicked out 32 shots for a 1-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks. Elias Lindholm scored the only goal as the 22-22-5 Flames (49 points) snapped a four-game losing skid and sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth. Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for the 14-34-2 Blackhawks, who remain at the bottom of the overall standings with 30 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Flames announced that forward A.J. Greer is out for eight weeks with a fractured foot.

An overtime goal by Marcus Pettersson gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Penguins forward Lars Eller scored in his 1,000th career game as his club improved to 22-17-7 (51 points). Jake Allen made 30 saves for the 20-21-8 Canadiens.

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry scored two goals as his club tamed the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Lukas Dostal stopped 35 shots for the 17-30-2 Ducks. Mats Zuccarello collected two assists for the 21-23-5 Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild forward Marcus Foligno missed this game due to illness.

The Buffalo Sabres tallied five unanswered goals in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. JJ Peterka scored twice while Dylan Cozens had a goal and two assists for the Sabres (22-23-4). William Eklund picked up two assists for the 13-32-4 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Sabres as forward Jack Quinn left the game with an injured left leg following a hit by Sharks forward Tomas Hertl. Head coach Don Granato indicated Quinn’s injury should be considered more than day-to-day for recovery.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2023

The Sabres keep their playoff hopes alive, the Avalanche move up in the Central Division, Coyotes minority owner is suspended after arrest for strangulation charge, US President Joe Biden makes a playful dig at the Maple Leafs, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 upset of the New Jersey Devils. Alex Tuch scored two goals and collected an assist for the 34-31-6 Sabres (74 points), who sit six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Jack Hughes also had two goals and an assist for the Devils (45-19-8) as remain two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 98 points.

Buffalo Sabres winger Alex Tuch (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar each had a goal and two assists to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. The Avalanche improved to 42-23-6 (90 points) and sit one point behind the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. Clayton Keller scored his 35th goal of the season for the 27-34-12 Coyotes, who were officially eliminated from playoff contentions.

An overtime goal by Boone Jenner lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 upset win over the New York Islanders. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist while Kent Johnson scored a lacrosse-style “Michigan” goal for the 23-41-7 Blue Jackets. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Islanders 37-27-9, who hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 83 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Blue Jackets announced winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for two to four weeks with a triceps strain suffered during practice on Thursday.


ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL following his arrest on Thursday night in Aspen, Colorado, on a felony strangulation charge. He also faces a misdemeanor third-degree assault charge.

Barroway posted bond on Friday and is under a court order not to have any contact with his wife unless it involves their children.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barroway was the Coyotes’ majority owner from 2014 to 2019 before selling 95 percent of the team to current owner Alex Meruelo. The club issued a statement on Friday indicating they were aware of the allegations against Barroway and are working with the league to gather more information before issuing an appropriate response.

SPORTSNET: US president Joe Biden took a playful dig at the Toronto Maple Leafs during his address in the Canadian House of Commons on Friday.

I have to say, I like your teams except the Leafs,” said Biden, drawing a standing ovation from many House of Commons members.

I’ll tell you why. They beat the Flyers back in January, that’s why. I married a Philly girl (Jill Biden). If I didn’t say that, I’d be sleeping alone and fellas, I like you but not that much,” he said, drawing laughter from the parliamentarians and their guests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I thought it was a good-natured, funny remark by Biden. Unlike previous presidents, he’s a hockey fan and has been following the Flyers for years. I was a little surprised by how many parliamentarians stood and cheered. It just goes to show how many House members are fans of the other six Canadian clubs.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Logan Thompson, Reilly Smith and Alec Martinez will be unavailable for the final game of the Golden Knights’ Western Canada road trip. Thompson and Smith returned to Las Vegas for injury maintenance while Martinez is away for personal reasons.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins forward A.J. Greer received a one-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Montreal Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman in the face on Thursday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman’s face was carved up by Greer’s stick. The Canadiens winger wasn’t pleased about the Bruins forward getting only one game for his actions.

Hoffman noted he received a two-game suspension earlier in his career for cross-checking an opponent in the back of the head. However, Greer only got one game for an intentional cross-check to the face.

Hoffman deserved his two-game suspension because hits to the head are dangerous and the league is supposedly trying to eliminate that from the game. He’s right, however, to be upset with the inconsistency over the way the league hands down its punishments.

Greer’s hit was more egregious and deliberate, striking an opponent in the face. The last time I checked, the face was part of the head. And yet, he gets the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.

The department of player safety has received increasing criticism from fans on social media and from pundits over its puzzling rulings. However, the league’s brain trust continues to defend and support it. Hoffman’s comments won’t change things.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: With goaltender Ville Husso listed as day-to-day, the Red Wings recalled netminder Alex Nedeljkovic from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Canucks re-signed defenseman Christian Wolanin to a two-year, two-way contract.

THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Canucks, their long-time TV color commentator John Garrett will be retiring from their regional broadcasts at the end of this season. He’s been in the role since 2002. A former NHL goaltender in the late-1970s and early-1980s, he began his broadcasting career in 1986 on Hockey Night in Canada and moved to Sportsnet in 1998.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the end of an era for Canucks broadcasting. Love him or hate him, Garrett was always entertaining. Best wishes for an enjoyable retirement.