NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 6, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 6, 2020

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines, recaps of Wednesday’s games plus the latest on Jake Muzzin,  Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Micheal Ferland, and more.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jeff Petry scored his second game-winning goal as the Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, taking a 2-1 lead in their qualifying-round series. Habs captain Shea Weber led the way with a goal and two assists.

 

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens seemed done like dinner midway through the second period. They’re now poised to eliminate the Penguins in Game 4 on Friday. And speaking of potential upsets…

The Chicago Blackhawks got two unanswered third-period goals by Matthew Highmore and Jonathan Toews to nip the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 and take a 2-1 lead in their qualifier. Toews finished the game with two goals while teammate Corey Crawford made 25 saves to become the 20th goaltender in NHL history to record his 50th career playoff win. Leon Draisaitl scored twice and set up another for the Oilers. Edmonton defenseman Adam Larsson was unfit to play while Oilers winger Tyler Ennis left the game in the second period with an apparent leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bounces went the Blackhawks’ way as Highmore’s goal was a deflection from a point shot while Toews’ deflected shot bounced in off an Oilers’ defenseman. They’re now poised to eliminate the Oilers if they win Game 4 on Friday.

The Boston Bruins won’t be the top seed in the 2020 playoffs after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning in round-robin play. Tyler Johnson tallied the winning goal late in the third period. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 32 saves in his return to action after being unfit to play in their first round-robin game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the first time in NHL history the season’s Presidents’ Trophy winner won’t be the top seed in the playoffs. The Bruins are 0-2 in round-robin play. While they are guaranteed a playoff spot, they risk drawing a tougher first-round opponent the lower they sink in the round-robin seedings.

The Florida Panthers avoided elimination by hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Third-period goals by Mike Hoffman and Brian Boyle broke a 1-1 tie while Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves for the win. A rare penalty by Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov for playing the puck beyond the trapezoid behind his net led to Hoffman’s power-play goal. The Isles hold a 2-1 series lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the Panthers’ first postseason victory since the 2016 playoffs. It certainly came at the right time. They also shook up their lineup yesterday, scratching Mike Matheson and Frank Vatrano after their disappointing performances in the first two games.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Conor Garland, Taylor Hall, and Carl Soderberg lifted the Arizona Coyotes over the Nashville Predators 4-1. The Coyotes hold a 2-1 series lead. Darcy Kuemper enjoyed a bounce-back effort in this contest with a 39-save performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes weathered the first-period onslaught from the Predators and opened the scoring on their first shot of the game. They finally got some productions from Hall and Garland, who’d been held goalless in the first two games.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz kicked out 27 shots to shut out the Dallas Stars 4-0 in round-robin action. Cale Makar tallied the game-winner while Joonas Donskoi and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars were without starting goalie Ben Bishop and defenseman John Klingberg in this game. Both were declared unfit to play. Under league protocols, no reason was given for their absence, but it doesn’t appear as though it’s COVID-related.

HEADLINES TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin won’t be available for the remainder of his club’s qualifying-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was injured in Game 2 and taken to hospital with what appeared to be a head or neck injury. Muzzin was released yesterday and returned to the Leafs hotel within the safety zone and will remain in quarantine until cleared. Martin Marincin will replace him in the lineup for today’s match with the Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t face supplemental discipline for the hit that sent Muzzin to hospital after colliding awkwardly with Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstand.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets aren’t ruling out Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine for Game 4 of their qualifier with the Calgary Flames later today. Both players have been sidelined since Game 1. The Flames hold a 2-1 series lead and could wrap it up with a win today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need some help following a dispiriting loss in Game 3. They also need Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor to start cashing in or this series will be over later tonight.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland is out of action and has returned to his home in Brandon, Manitoba. He’s been declared “unfit to play”, raising speculation it’s tied to the concussion symptoms that sidelined him for most of this season.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Lars Eller returned to Washington to be with his wife as she gives birth to their second child. He’ll rejoin his teammates following a period of quarantine and testing in the first round of the playoffs.

SPORTSNET: A report from a Swedish media outlet indicates winger Oskar Lindblom will be traveling to the Toronto bubble to join his Philadephia Flyers teammates. He missed the bulk of this season battling a rare form of bone cancer and finished his treatment on July 2. He could return to action in September if the Flyers are still in the playoffs by then.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Tomas Hertl has resumed skating for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury in January.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi has re-signed a one-year contract with Finland’s Karpat. It’s believed the deal contains an out-clause should Puljujarvi return to the Oilers next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports suggest the relationship between Puljujarvi and the Oilers has improved after he spent last season in Finland. With the NHL tentatively planning a full 82-game schedule in December, it makes sense for him to get in some meaningful playing time in Finland before NHL camps open in November.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): The general managers of the seven non-playoff teams have submitted a proposal to the league allowing their clubs a two-week mini-camp before training camp for all clubs open in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like a reasonable proposal. Those teams haven’t played since the regular season was derailed in mid-March and they’re now amid an unusually long off-season.  










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 23, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 23, 2020

No decision yet on canceling or postponing the 2020 Draft, why the Senators haven’t released the names of the players who tested positive for COVID-19, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL has yet to decide on postponing or canceling the 2020 NHL Draft or the 2020 NHL Awards show. The draft is scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal while the Awards show is to be staged in Las Vegas in June. Any season restart is expected to cause a shift in the off-season schedule.

No decision yet on postponing or canceling the 2020 NHL Draft (Image via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the season and playoffs are canceled before June, the off-season calendar will likely remain in place but with notable changes. The draft could be a teleconference affair. The awards could be made through a formal announcement instead of a lame attempt at a glittering television broadcast, upsetting fans of cheesy, cringe-worthy TV.

NBC SPORTS: The NHL Board of Governors will hold a conference call today at 3 pm ET. Financial issues will be the primary focus, with the potential for a discussion on escrow.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch spoke with sports legal expert Eric Macramalla regarding the Senators not revealing the identities of the two players who test positive for COVID-19.

“Individuals have an expectation of privacy with respect to their personal information and personal health information is generally considered the most confidential,” said Macramalla. “It’s a fundamental principle of privacy law is that an organization should only collect, use, and disclose an individual’s personal information based upon consent. Therefore, personal information (including COVID-19 test results) should not be disclosed without the player’s consent.”

Macramalla also explained there are legal guidelines restricting journalists revealing the players’ names. “As well, as per the ethics guidelines of the Canadian Association of Journalists, there is an argument that unless there is a public health basis to disclose that information, which there is not, journalists should not be sharing the positive test results of players with the public.”

SPORTSNET: The St. Louis Blues announced a relative of a Blues employee tested positive for COVID-19. “The diagnosed individual is in self-isolation along with members of the individual’s family,” the Blues wrote in a statement. “All Blues’ staff who may have come into close contact with the employee have been notified.”

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman John Klingberg “contributed to COVID-19 relief by donating a signed Winter Classic Jersey to athletesrelief.org, which helps local nonprofits working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and with the most vulnerable populations.”

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Zach Whitecloud to a two-year, $1.45-million contact extension.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2019

The Islanders extended their winning streak to 10 games, Zdeno Chara plays his 1,500th career NHL game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders extended their league-leading win streak to 10 games with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas each had a goal and an assist while rookie Cole Bardreau tallied his first career NHL goal on a penalty shot.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 1,500 career NHL game (Photo via NHL Images).

The Montreal Canadiens blew three leads but managed to defeat the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-4. Victor Mete tallied twice for the Canadiens. Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored a goal to extend his points streak to 13 games while teammate Brad Marchand’s 13-game point streak came to an end. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated in his 1,500th career NHL game while Montreal Canadiens bench boss Claude Julien coached his 1,200th career NHL contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara received a nice ovation for his achievement from the Bell Centre fans. Despite the long-running rivaly between the two clubs, Chara is respected by Canadiens fans.

The New Jersey Devils nipped the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on shootout goals by Nikita Gusev and Jesper Boqvist. Mackenzie Blackhawks made 32 saves for the Devils. Jets center Bryan Little left the game in the third period after being struck in the head by a slapshot from teammate Nikolaj Ehlers. A further update on his condition is expected today. Jets defenseman Nathan Beaulieu made his season debut.

Ben Bishop made 36 stops and Radek Faksa scored twice as the Dallas Stars picked up their fourth straight win by beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-1. After going 1-7-1 to open the season, the Stars are 7-1-0 in their last eight games. It was a costly win for the Stars as defenseman John Klingberg left the game with a lower-body injury. He could be sidelined for at least two weeks. Following a hot start to the season, the Avs have dropped five straight games.

The San Jose Sharks downed the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 to pick up their first win in six games. Timo Meier tallied a goal and an assist while teammate Patrick Marleau became the sixth player in league history to skate in his 800th consecutive NHL game. The Sharks also welcomed back defenseman Radim Simek. He’d been sidelined since March 12 recovering from a knee injury. Earlier in the day, it was reported Sharks winger Evander Kane was being sued by a Las Vegas casino over $500,000 in unpaid gambling markers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane is his own worst enemy. This is the latest in a string of questionable off-ice behavior stretching back to his days with the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres.

Reilly Smith scored twice as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, extending the latter’s winless skid to five games. Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win with a 29-save performance.

Third-period goals by Auston Matthews and William Nylander 30 seconds apart lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Matthews and Nylander finished the night with two points each.

The Calgary Flames overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the winning goal.

Jaden Schwartz scored on a 3-on-none rush in overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues have won five in a row.

Unanswered third-period goals by Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee, and Claude Giroux carried the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart turned aside 33 shots for the win.

Third-period goals by Mats Zuccarello, Eric Staal, and Zach Parise enabled the Minnesota Wild to double up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Zuccarello finished with two points as the Wild picked up their first road win in five games.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE ATHLETIC: (Subscription required) There is concern over synthetic drugs like cocaine and molly (a pill form of MDMA also known as Ecstasy) becoming more popular among some younger NHL players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fascinating in-depth examination of the topic of drug use by NHL players. The piece notes the subject is “often shrouded in secrecy, protected by confidentiality and mostly kept obscured, save for the odd rumor that gains traction on Twitter or hockey message boards.” It attempts to answer how common drug use is in the NHL, the most prevalent drugs, and what the league and the players association are doing to address the issue. It’s well worth the read.

ESPN.COM: In a recent poll of NHL players, the Washington Capitals have the worst visitors’ dressing room while Winnipeg is considered the worst road city.

CBS SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley was placed on injured reserve.










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 – December 20, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Sabres to terminate Patrik Berglund’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and goaltender Matt Murray made 31 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals 2-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin saw his 15-game point streak come to an end. Washington winger Tom Wilson knocked Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak out of the game with three punches during a first-period fight between the two. An update on Oleksiak’s status is expected today.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Habs goalie Carey Price’s ill-timed pass across his crease led to Rantanen’s game-tying goal. On a plus note for the Canadiens, they got a rare power-play goal. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday placed center Patrik Berglund on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. He was recently suspended by the club for failing to report but there have been few details from either side regarding the situation. Berglund has three years remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $3.85 million but that will be removed from their cap payroll once his contract is terminated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHLPA could intervene on Berglund’s behalf, though his refusal to report gives the Sabres justification to end his contract. 

NBC SPORTS: After a slow start with the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting his offensive groove back. With seven assists in his last six games, he now has 23 points in 35 contests.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman John Klingberg will return tonight from a six-week absence (broken hand) to face the Chicago Blackhawks.

THE SCORE: Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to return from ankle surgery on Saturday to face the Sharks.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings starting goaltender Jimmy Howard will return to action tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Howard hurt his back during warmups prior to Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes general manager John Chayka said starting goaltender Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) could miss the remainder of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta’s been out since Nov. 27. The Coyotes are 5-6-0 in his absence. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights placed winger Max Pacioretty (leg injury) on injured reserved and called up Brandon Pirri.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Marcus Kruger became the third Blackhawks to be placed on IR with a concussion within the last 10 days. Artem Anisimov recently returned but goalie Corey Crawford remains sidelined. 

EDMONTON SUN:  Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira received a two-game suspension for a cross-check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn on Tuesday. Dunn received a $1,942.20 fine by the league for cross-checking Khaira. 

SPORTSNET: Ottawa’s National Capital Commission “is moving to terminate a development deal with Rendez-Vous LeBreton Group, which includes Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, in the wake of bitter legal infighting within the development group.” Melnyk and business partner John Ruddy have filed lawsuits against each other. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Melnyk is the Senators’ owner, the club seems to have little chance of getting a new downtown arena.