NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2024

The Islanders, Penguins and Sabres keep their playoff hopes alive, David Pastrnak reaches a Bruins’ scoring milestone, the three stars and rookie of the month for March are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Bo Horvat and Simon Holmstrom gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The goal was Horvat’s 31st of the season for the 33-27-15 Islanders (81 points) as they moved to within one point of Washington Capitals for the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth. Petr Mrazek made 27 saves for the 22-48-5 Blackhawks.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each tallied twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied for five goals in the third period to defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-3. The Penguins improved to 34-30-11 (79 points) and sit three points behind the Capitals. Timo Meier and Jesper Bratt each scored their 25th goal of the season for the Devils as they fell to 36-35-4 and dropped six points back of the Capitals.

Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 6-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. JJ Peterka scored twice and collected an assist while Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who moved to 36-35-4 (77 points) and are five points behind Washington. Dylan Strome netted his 26th goal of the season for the 36-28-10 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres winger Jeff Skinner played his 1,000th NHL game. Teammate Jordan Greenway missed this game with an upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark turned in a 31-save shutout to blank the Nashville Predators 3-0. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (44-17-15), who sit third in the overall standings with 103 points. Juuse Saros turned aside 29 shots for the 43-28-4 Predators, who hold the first Western Conference wildcard spot (90 points) but have lost three straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak became the first Bruin since Adam Oates in 1992-93 to have at least 35 multi-point games in a season. With 46 goals, he’s also on pace to become the third player in franchise history with multiple 50-goal seasons, joining Phil Esposito (five) and Cam Neely (three).

The Vegas Golden Knights rode a four-goal first period to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, extending their points streak to seven games. Jonathan Marchessault tallied his 41st goal of the season and picked up two assists as the Golden Knights improved to 42-25-8. With 92 points, they’re third in the Pacific Division. Quinn Hughes scored two goals for the Canucks (46-21-8), who sit fifth overall with 100 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov was ejected from this game for boarding Vegas forward Brett Howden during the first period.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, trade deadline acquisition Tomas Hertl joined practice on Tuesday as a full participant. The 30-year-old center is recovering from knee surgery. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy hinted he might return to action for Friday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki scored twice to reach the 70-point plateau for the first time in a 5-3 upset of the Florida Panthers. Sam Montembeault kicked out 37 shots for the 29-33-12 Canadiens, who’ve won four of their last five games. Anton Lundell had a goal and an assist for the slumping Panthers (47-24-5), who’ve won two of their last 10 games and sit seventh overall with 99 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad left this game with an undisclosed injury. The Panthers played without forwards Matthew Tkachuk (illness) and Carter Verhaeghe (upper-body injury). Verhaeghe is week-to-week and is expected to be ready for the playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves and Vinni Lettieri snapped a 2-2 tie for the 36-29-9 Wild (81 points) as they’re six points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final Western wildcard. Drake Batherson netted his 27th goal of the season for the 33-37-4 Senators.

Anaheim Ducks winger Alex Killorn scored twice in a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. Troy Terry and Olen Zellweger each had three points for the 25-47-4 Ducks. Andrei Kuzmenko potted two goals for the 34-35-5 Flames.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg are the league’s three stars for March 2024. Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard was named Rookie of the Month for March 2024.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues top prospect Jimmy Snuggerud will return to the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers for his junior year. The 19-year-old winger has scored 42 goals in 79 NCAA games. He had 21 goals and 13 assists this season for the Golden Gophers and was named first-team All-Big Ten.

SPORTSNET: The ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers franchise had its membership terminated by the league’s board of governors.

The Growlers were the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate. Deacon Sports and Entertainment, the majority owners of the Growlers and ECHL club Trois Rivieres Lions, had proposed a sale of both teams but only the Lions were saved.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Saturday that there had been a lengthy battle behind the scenes over payments to cities and some NHL teams.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sports media insider Jonah Sigel reports Rogers Communications could sell TV rights to its Monday night games (including playoff games) to Amazon over the final two years of its contract.

Sigel believes Amazon’s interest in getting a foothold in NHL broadcasting suggests it could be part of a broader strategy.

Rogers Communications’ current broadcasting agreement with the NHL has two years to go. The league could prioritize streaming services in its next TV deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers wondered what effect the end of Rogers’ TV contract two years from now might have on the NHL’s hockey-related revenue (HRR). It could be a lucrative deal with Amazon or another streaming service. If so, there would be no negative impact on HRR.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 22, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – March 22, 2024

Could Jake Guentzel return to the Penguins? Which notable players could become buyout candidates this summer? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS

THE ATHLETIC: In his recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked whether Jake Guentzel might return to the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent this summer. He initially felt that was next to impossible but he isn’t so sure now after talking with team sources. Yohe believes Guentzel could be in play if his asking price is within $8 million annually rather than $10 million.

Could Jake Guentzel return to the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer? (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Never say never but Yohe admits he thinks it’s unlikely. Guentzel might be open to an offer from the Penguins if he goes to market on July 1. However, he’ll likely receive more lucrative contract proposals from other clubs. His time with the Carolina Hurricanes could convince him that it’s time to close the Pittsburgh chapter of his career and carry on elsewhere.

Yohe was also asked what the first order of business should be this offseason for Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas. He believes Dubas should attempt to move veteran wingers Reilly Smith and Rickard Rakell to clear cap space to make room for younger, hungrier players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yohe noted that the salary cap is expected to rise significantly next season, making it easier to move those players. Smith and Rakell have eight-team no-trade lists for next season and $5 million cap hits. However, Smith might be the easiest to move. He has a year left on his contract and a Stanley Cup championship on his resume. Rakell, meanwhile, has four more seasons remaining on his deal.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jacob Punturi believes the Penguins need to find a way to shed Ryan Graves’ contract. Signed last summer to a six-year, $27 million contract, the 28-year-old defenseman has struggled in his first season in Pittsburgh. He has a 12-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Graves won’t be easy despite the salary cap rising by a projected $4. 4 million. His $4.5 million cap hit isn’t the issue as the remaining five years of the deal. The Penguins could stick with Graves for next season and hope to improve his game.

BUYOUT CANDIDATES FOR THE COMING OFFSEASON

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau looked at five players who could be in consideration for contract buyouts during the two-week buyout window in late June.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic tops his list. The 36-year-old blueliner has two years remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks could hang onto Vlasic for one more season before going the buyout route. That way, they’ll only have part of his cap hit on their books for two seasons rather than four.

Philadelphia Flyers center Ryan Johansen is next. He has one year left on his deal with an $8 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend on Johansen’s health. He reportedly has a hip injury that has prevented the Flyers from sending him to their AHL affiliate. If Johansen is still recovering from that injury in June, the Flyers won’t be able to buy out his contract.

Justin Holl of the Detroit Red Wings, John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks, and Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres are Proteau’s other three buyout candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holl has two years left on his contract. However, the $1.133 cap hit per season for four years might not be difficult for the Wings to carry with the projected increases in the cap for the next two seasons.

The Ducks will likely try again to see if they can trade Gibson. If they have to retain salary over the final three seasons of his contract, it’s better than carrying $2.133 million annually for six years.

Given Skinner’s $9 million AAV for the next three seasons, he seems the least likely to be bought out. Proteau pointed out the Sabres would get a $1.44 million cap hit for next season, rising to $4.44 million for 2025-26 and $6.44 million for 2026-27 before dropping to $2.44 million annually for the final three years.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2024

Nathan MacKinnon extending his points streak plus the latest on Connor Bedard, Corey Perry, Cutter Gauthier and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon tied a franchise record for the longest season-opening home points streak in a 3-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. MacKinnon collected an assist to extend his streak to 23 games, tying Hall-of-Famer Joe Sakic. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice and Alexandar Georgiev had a 25-save shutout for the 27-12-3 Avalanche, who sit third in the overall standings with 57 points. Jiri Patera stopped 32 shots for the Golden Knights (23-13-5) as they sit second in the Pacific Division with 51 points.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson missed this game with an undisclosed injury. Teammate Miles Wood was sidelined by an illness. Meanwhile, Golden Knights forward William Carrier is listed as week-to-week following surgery for an upper-body injury.

The Dallas Stars thumped the Minnesota Wild 7-2. Esa Lindell had three assists while Mason Marchment and Nils Lundkvist each had two points for the Stars (24-11-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 53 points. Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist while Jesper Wallstedt made 27 saves in his NHL debut for the 17-19-4 Wild.

A shootout goal by Sean Couturier gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost scored in regulation as the Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit while Jamie Drysdale picked up an assist in his first game with his new club. Cayden Primeau stopped 37 shots for the 17-17-6 Canadiens while the Flyers (21-14-6) sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers dominated most of this game but Primeau stole a point for the Canadiens in this contest.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks announced rookie star Connor Bedard underwent surgery to repair a fractured jaw. He’ll be sidelined for six to eight weeks. The 18-year-old center suffered the injury on Jan. 5 after being checked by New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith.

SPORTSNET: Corey Perry is cleared to sign with a new NHL team after meeting this week with league commissioner Gary Bettman. The 38-year-old winger’s contract was terminated by the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 30 for engaging in what the club called unacceptable conduct that violated the team’s workplace rules and his standard player contract.

Perry subsequently issued an apology, adding he was seeking treatment for his struggle with alcohol. He’s now an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It didn’t take long for speculation to arise over which club Perry might sign with. Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now believes five or six clubs could be in the mix with Stauffer suggesting the Oilers should be looking into it.

Perry remains well-respected around the league. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he signs with a new club before the March 8 trade deadline, making him eligible to play in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs.

NHL.COM: Prospect winger Cutter Gauthier declined to go into details as to why didn’t want to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers. His decision forced his trade earlier this week to the Anaheim Ducks.

Gauthier told the Ducks podcast “Light The Lamp” on Wednesday that the decision was a personal matter between himself, his family and his agent. He also addressed rumors claiming former Flyers center Kevin Hayes influenced his decision. “I would like to specifically say that he had zero, zero conflict with anything that had to do with the trade…(Hayes) had nothing to do with the situation at hand. “

As for his plans going forward, Gauthier intends to focus the remainder of his sophomore season with Boston College, who have a good shot at winning the Beanpot tournament and the NCAA championship. After that, he intends to sign an entry-level contract with the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gauthier’s within his rights to keep his reasons for spurning the Flyers a private matter. Nevertheless, it will only serve to stoke a rumor mill that’s been churning furiously over why he made that decision.

Speaking of Hayes, Flyers head coach John Tortorella went off on the reporter who claimed the Blues center was involved in Gauthier’s choice.

It just pisses me off that you guys throw that around and affect someone’s life”, said Tortorella. The Flyers bench boss acknowledged that he and Hayes had a problem regarding his playing time last season. Nevertheless, Tortorella praised him as “a good man” and called the reporter’s story “bullshit”.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers captain Connor McDavid wasn’t pleased with a review of an offside call that wiped out teammate Zach Hyman’s goal during the club’s 2-1 win on Tuesday over the Chicago Blackhawks. “If it takes 15 minutes to determine whether it’s offside or not, it probably doesn’t matter,” he said following the game.

The officials shut the game down for over six minutes reviewing the play from different angles before deciding that Leon Draisaitl’s skate blade might’ve been a centimetre offside and that he held the puck a fraction of a second too long.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The offside reviews, like the goal reviews, are taking way too long to reach conclusions. The league must do something to address this. I understand they want to ensure they’re reviewing every angle closely. However, they’re sometimes reaching their decisions long after the fans have seen it for themselves on the arena jumbotron.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres are awaiting word about Jeff Skinner as he underwent a series of tests for an upper-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs recalled Ilya Samsonov from their AHL affiliate but will continue to assess the struggling goaltender closely.

OTTAWA SUN: Forward Shane Pinto can now practice with his Senators teammates. He has only five games remaining in his 41-game suspension for violating the league’s sports-wagering rules.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Ducks claimed defenseman Gustav Lindstrom off waivers from the Canadiens.

TORONTO SUN: The NHL Players Association officially unveiled a new in-house education program called “Line Change”, which instructs players in training each other in identifying potential mental health issues. Twenty players, including Calgary Flames captain Mikael Backlund, have already taken part in the three-hour session.

Keith Pelley is expected to be announced as the president and chief executive of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and the MLS club Toronto FC. Pelley is a former president of Rogers Media and of Bell Media’s TSN.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 11, 2022

Kris Letang returns to the Penguins following a stroke, the Leafs and Mitch Marner continue their streaks, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos extends his points streak, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 as defenseman Kris Letang returned to their lineup for the first time since suffering a minor stroke 12 days ago. Letang was held pointless but played a team-leading 22:14 of ice time while Sidney Crosby scored two goals and collected an assist for the Penguins, who’ve won five straight and improved their record to 16-8-4. Peyton Krebs replied for the Sabres as they dropped to 12-14-2.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres played without winger Jeff Skinner. He’s serving a three-game suspension for cross-checking Penguins winger Jake Guentzel in the face during their game on Friday.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his franchise-record points streak to 22 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. Marner scored the game-winner and collected an assist on one of William Nylander’s two goals as the latter reached a single-game personal best of five points. The Leafs (18-5-6) are unbeaten in their last 14 games (11-0-3). Noah Hanifin tallied twice for the Flames as they slipped to 13-11-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs (42 points) are one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. Before the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said forward Nick Robertson could miss six-to-eight weeks with a shoulder injury. He is not expected to undergo surgery.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 4-1. Stamkos extended his points streak to 13 games while the Lightning boosted their record to 17-9-1. The Panthers dropped to 13-11-4.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves to shut out the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-0. Matt Boldy, Connor Dewar and Sam Steel were the goal scorers as Minnesota sits at 14-11-2. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov was held scoreless, bringing his 14-game points streak to an end. The Canucks dropped to 12-13-3.

Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron scored in his 1,000th career NHL game but his club dropped a 3-2 decision to the Dallas Stars. Nils Lundkvist got the winner in overtime as the Stars improved to 16-7-5 while the Wings sit at 13-8-6.

The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Islanders 3-0 on a 16-save shutout by Pyotr Kochetkov. Paul Stastny, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Staal scored for the Hurricanes (15-6-6) while the Islanders are 17-12-0 on the season.

First-period goals by Anze Kopitar and Viktor Arvidsson 19 seconds apart enabled the Los Angeles Kings to double up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 and improve their record to 15-11-4. Cole Caufield tallied his 16th goal of the season for the Canadiens (13-12-2) as they’ve dropped three of their last four contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens moved sidelined winger Brendan Gallagher to injured reserve. Winger Mike Hoffman returned to the Habs lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators got third-period goals by Alex DeBrincat and Drake Batherson to hold off the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-2. The Senators improve to 11-14-2 while the Predators slide to 12-11-2.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa still had more to say about former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claiming the Canucks were practicing passing around the Stanley Cup before Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Final between the two clubs. Chara made that claim recently on the “Games with Names” podcast.

Now a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, Bieksa previously told colleague Jeff Marek that the incident never happened nor did the Canucks contact the league to ask how many family members would be allowed on the ice when they won the Cup.

During Saturday’s HNiC telecast, Bieksa called Chara’s comments “one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.” He pointed to the fact that there was no record of this supposed incident despite the plethora of media coverage of that series.

Bieksa also noted that Chara seemed to walk back his comments during the podcast. He believed the former Bruins captain was showing a lack of respect toward the Canucks and their leaders at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieska made a valid point about the lack of substantiation of Chara’s claims. So far, there’s been no response from the former Bruins star.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for a hit to the head of Washington Capitals defenseman Alexander Alexeyev.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek hopes to return to the lineup on Tuesday to face the Capitals. He’s missed the last three games with a minor groin injury.

THE SCORE: The Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames at the 2023 Heritage Classic.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL player Chris Therien has released a book chronicling his life and career, including his struggle with alcoholism and his subsequent decade of sobriety.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2022

Alex Ovechkin reaches another goal-scoring milestone, the Coyotes beat the Bruins for the first time since 2010, Kevin Bieksa disputes Zdeno Chara’s story about the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored the 500th even-strength goal of his NHL career in a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ovechkin is now just four goals away from 800 and six away from surpassing Gordie Howe for second place on the all-time list. The Capitals have won three straight games and improved to 13-12-4 while the Kraken slip to 15-8-3.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was ejected in the second period for an illegal hit to the head of Capitals blueliner Alexander Alexeyev, who left the game with an upper-body injury.

The Arizona Coyotes defeated the Boston Bruins for the first time since 2010 as Lawson Crouse’s goal with 14 seconds remaining in the third period lifted them to a 4-3 win. Crouse finished the night with two goals while Karel Vejmelka made 44 saves for the Coyotes (8-13-4). David Pastrnak scored his 19th of the season for the Bruins (21-4-1), who maintain their hold on first place in the overall standings with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crouse’s goal was the result of a linesman negating what the Bruins believed should’ve been an icing call. It caught them by surprise, leading to a turnover that resulted in Crouse’s game-winner.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson scored two goals in a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. Mathew Barzal and Alexander Romanov each collected two assists as the Islanders move to 17-11-0 on the season. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt and Dougie Hamilton each had two points for the Devils (21-5-1), who missed an opportunity to vault over the Bruins into first place in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes finished the game with a shift of 6:02, setting a league record for the longest recorded shift. Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier left the game in the first period with what’s believed to be a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Jonathan Marchessault gave the Vegas Golden Knights a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. William Carrier also scored for the Golden Knights (20-8-1), who remain on top of the Western Conference with 41 points. Scott Laughton replied for the 9-13-6 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo was a healthy scratch from this contest.

The Winnipeg Jets picked up their fourth straight win by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. Cole Perfetti, Blake Wheeler and Adam Lowry scored for the Jets (18-7-1) as they sit atop the Central Division with 37 points. Taylor Raddysh replied for the Blackhawks as they sink to 7-15-4.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter scored in overtime to beat the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-3. Evgeni Malkin and Rickard Rakell each had two points as the Penguins (15-8-4) have won four straight games. Casey Mittelstadt collected three assists for the 12-13-2 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres winger Jeff Skinner faces a hearing on Saturday with the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Penguins forward Jake Guentzel in the face during the dying seconds of the third period.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored to extend his goal streak to seven games in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had three points while Stuart Skinner made 42 saves as the Oilers improved to 16-12-0. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov collected an assist to extend his points streak to 14 games while his club dropped to 13-11-2 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid leads the league with 25 goals and 54 points.

A 41-save performance by Igor Shesterkin carried the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on shootout goals by Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. Braden Schneider scored in regulation for the Rangers as they raise their record to 14-10-5. Mikko Rantanen tallied for the injury-depleted Avalanche (13-10-2) as they’ve gone winless in four straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panarin collected an assist on Schneider’s goal to extend his assist streak to five games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets ended a three-game skid by dropping the Calgary Flames 3-1. Patrik Laine, Eric Robinson and Sean Kuraly tallied for the Jackets (9-15-2) but they lost goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a lower-body injury during the first period. Michael Stone replied for the Flames, who fall to 13-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was Johnny Gaudreau’s first game again the Flames since signing with the Blue Jackets in July. He was held scoreless in this contest.

San Jose Sharks rookie goaltender Eetu Makiniemi made 23 saves for his first NHL win in a 6-1 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks. Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl each collected two points for the Sharks as they improved to 9-16-5. Trevor Zegras replied for the 7-18-3 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks captain Logan Couture left this contest in the third period after blocking a shot. The club had no update on his condition following the game.

IN OTHER NEWS…

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa claims former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is lying over a story he told this week about the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the two teams.

In a recent interview with the “Games With Names” podcast, Chara claimed the Canucks were practicing how to handle the Stanley Cup after winning the first two games of the series in Vancouver. He also said the Canucks were apparently calling the league to find out how many family members they were allowed to have on the ice to help them celebrate after winning the Cup. Chara said he and his teammates used those stories as motivation as they rallied and defeated the Canucks in seven games.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek subsequently tweeted that Bieksa denied the story. “Never happened…100 percent didn’t happen”, he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like the bad blood between the players on those teams hasn’t fully faded despite the passage of time. It’ll be interesting to hear if Chara and Bieksa have any further comments about this.

OTTAWA SUN: League sources say NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are telling prospective bidders for the Senators that they want actor Ryan Reynolds to be a minority partner. The league believes Reynolds production company can tell the story of the Senators’ sale plus their marketing department likes the publicity the actor would generate for the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reynolds has previously expressed interest in buying the Senators if he could get a partner to help him with the purchase.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, forward Mathieu Joseph is out for two weeks with a lower-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Leafs forward Pierre Engvall received a one-game suspension from the department of player safety for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi on Thursday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the Leafs place Morgan Rielly on LTIR and the Stars’ Jason Robertson is on pace to match a franchise points record. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres snapped an eight-game losing skid by thumping the Montreal Canadiens 7-2. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead within the first 2:13 and finished the night with Jeff Skinner scoring twice and adding three assists, Tage Thompson enjoying a four-point performance while Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each collected three points. Cole Caufield and Sean Monahan replied for the Canadiens (9-9-1) while the Sabres improve to 8-11-0.

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner (NHL Images).

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied two third-period goals to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin picked up the win with a 35-save performance to boost his club’s record to 10-6-4. Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists for the 11-9-2 Kings.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury against the New York Islanders on Monday. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days.

Rielly joins fellow blueliners Jake Muzzin (neck) and T.J. Brodie (strained oblique) on the sidelines. The Leafs have called up Victor Mete and Mac Hollowell.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rielly’s absence is stoking trade speculation that began when Muzzin went down last month. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill update.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Jason Robertson can tie a Stars franchise record for the longest points streak (13) held by Dave Gagner when his club faces off on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Robertson, 23, currently sits third among NHL scorers with 14 goals and 29 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson and Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger are two of the brightest young stars in the league right now. The Stars are currently second overall in the Western Conference in part because of those youngsters but they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Hopefully, that changes as the season rolls on.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Good news for the Blackhawks as defenseman Seth Jones is returning to the lineup after being sidelined for 10 games with a broken thumb.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers provided an update on sidelined forwards Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny and Wade Allison. Laughton will miss approximately two weeks with a suspected head injury, Konecny is out 10-14 days with an injured right hand while Allison is out for two-to-three weeks with a hip pointer/strained oblique muscle.

Laughton, Konecny and Allison joined Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk, Cam Atkinson and Bobby Brink on the sidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no wonder the Flyers have struggled in recent weeks.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks have called up Aaron Dell as starting goaltender James Reimer is out with a lower-body injury. Forward Nico Sturm is also sidelined as he has an upper-body injury.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins forward Trent Frederic is listed as day-to-day with an apparent shoulder injury.