NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2024

Kings captain Anze Kopitar reaches an assist milestone, the three stars of the week are announced, Martin St. Louis returns to the Canadiens’ bench, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist as his club held off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Kopitar reached the 40-assist mark for the 14th time, tying Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby for the most among active players. Sam Lafferty and Brock Boeser replied for the Canucks, who slipped to 45-19-8 and dropped to second overall with 98 points. The Kings (38-22-11) sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 87 points, one behind the second-place Edmonton Oilers.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks missed an opportunity to become the first team to reach 100 points and clinch a playoff berth this season. Canucks center Elias Lindholm missed this game for what is believed to be a hand or wrist injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.

An overtime goal by Jonathan Marchessault lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Logan Thompson stopped 32 shots for the Golden Knights (39-25-7), who hold a five-point lead over the Blues for the final Western Conference wildcard berth with 85 points. Brandon Saad scored and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves for the 38-30-4 Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist left this game in the second period favoring his right leg following a hit by Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid are the league’s three stars for the week ending March 24, 2024.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis has returned to the club following a two-week leave of absence to take care of a family-related matter. His son, Mason, suffered complications from an injury sustained while playing hockey in Connecticut requiring hospitalization. His condition has stabilized and he’s now recovering at home.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Anthony Duclair has been on fire since joining the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade from the San Jose Sharks earlier this month. He has points in all seven of his games with the Lightning.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Sharks, winger Mike Hoffman has been sidelined since March 9 recovering from a concussion following a hit from Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk. Meanwhile, rookie defenseman Ty Emberson’s season may be over due to a lower-body laceration suffered on Feb. 29.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes recalled forward Josh Doan from their AHL affiliate. The 22-year-old is the son of former Coyotes star Shane Doan.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Jaromir Jagr bobblehead dolls stolen on their way to Pittsburgh have been recovered. The 18,000 dolls were to be handed out during a game on March 14 at PPG Paints Arena. Fans who received vouchers for the dolls can redeem them during a drive-through event at the arena on Apr. 6.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2024

A five-point performance by the Leafs’ Auston Matthews, Kings captain Anze Kopitar reaches a points milestone, Hall-of-Famer Lanny McDonald talks about his near-death experience, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice and collected three assists in a 7-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Max Domi had four assists while William Nylander and John Tavares had a goal and two assists each for the 39-20-9 Maple Leafs, who sit third in the Atlantic Division with 87 points. Alex Ovechkin scored twice for the 33-26-9 Capitals (75 points), who remain one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews has a league-leading 57 goals, nine up on Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart. Some pundits are suggesting he could reach 70. He still has some distance to cover to reach that milestone but he’s within reach of 65, which was Ovechkin’s career high and the most scored by an NHL player in the salary-cap era.

Leafs defenseman T.J. Brodie was a healthy scratch from this game while teammate Ryan Reaves missed this contest with an eye injury. Capitals forwards T.J. Oshie (upper body) and Aliaksei Protas (lower body) missed this game and are listed as day-to-day.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist to reach 1,200 regular-season points as his club blanked the Minnesota Wild 6-0. Kevin Fiala, Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson also had a goal and an assist each while David Rittich turned in a 31-save shutout for the 36-22-11 Kings, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 83 points. The 34-28-8 Wild (73 points) are three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wildcard spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The third period got rough with 12 players (six from each team) receiving misconduct penalties.

Arvidsson returned to action for the Kings after being sidelined since Feb. 20. Meanwhile, Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin missed this game with a lower-body injury.

The Dallas Stars rolled to a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Jason Robertson had a goal and an assist and Tyler Seguin scored in his return to the Stars lineup after missing 11 games with a lower-body injury. With a record of 42-19-9, the Stars sit third in the Central Division with 93 points. Clayton Keller tallied his 28th goal of the season for the 28-36-5 Coyotes.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Famer Lanny McDonald revealed he was near death after suffering a heart attack at the Calgary airport six weeks ago. Doctors told the 71-year-old that he would’ve died if the episode had taken place minutes earlier on the plane or minutes later in the parking lot.

The quick response from two passing nurses and a policeman saved McDonald’s life. The policeman worked so hard administering CPR that he fractured McDonald’s sternum and several of his ribs.

McDonald underwent quadruple bypass surgery four days later and had a pacemaker installed eight days later.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to McDonald and his family in his recovery.

DAILY FACEOFF: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly insists the science is still lacking regarding the link to CTE and repeated blows to the head.

The question was raised following the suicide of Chris Simon earlier this week. Simon’s family issued a statement expressing their strong belief that the former NHL enforcer suffered from CTE attributed to his playing career.

CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously. In a document submitted to an Ottawa court in 2017, Simon claimed he suffered from symptoms including depression, anxiety and PTSD.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Mayo Clinic, Columbia University, the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the NHS in the United Kingdom, Boston University and the Alzheimer’s Association are among those that would disagree with Daly.

THE SCORE: Speaking of Daly, he said the league probably wouldn’t have enough time to relocate the Arizona Coyotes if their owner fails to win June’s land auction. The Coyotes have been playing in Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat Mullett Arena while their ownership attempts to find a location to build a new arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported that relocation would be “on the table” if the Coyotes owner doesn’t win that land auction.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Joshua Roy has been sidelined indefinitely with an injured right hand. He suffered the injury blocking a shot during Tuesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

TSN: Boston University center Macklin Celebrini was named the NCAA’s Hockey East Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. The 17-year-old Celebrini is projected as the top prospect in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The San Jose Sharks could land Celebrini. They’re currently last in the overall standings and would have the best odds of winning the draft lottery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2023

The Sharks upset the Oilers, Connor Bedard sets a Blackhawks record while the Jets’ Kyle Connor and the Bruins’ Charlie Coyle enjoy hat-trick performances. Details on these stories and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks got a 39-save performance from Mackenzie Blackwood to hold off the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Tomas Hertl and Fabian Zetterlund each had a goal and an assist for the 2-10-1 Sharks. Darnell Nurse and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for 2-9-1 Oilers, who are tied with the Sharks with a league-worst five points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The arse has gone out of it for the free-falling Oilers. This could be Jay Woodcroft’s final game as their head coach. Whether a new bench boss can save their season remains to be seen given their porous goaltending, sloppy defensive play and lack of production but they have to do something.

Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard became the youngest player in franchise history to have a multipoint game in a 5-3 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bedard scored twice and set up two others while Nick Foligno collected three assists for the Blackhawks (5-7-0). Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos replied for the Lightning as they slipped to 6-4-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard is also the youngest player since 1944 with a four-point game. He now leads all rookies this season with seven goals and 11 points. Meanwhile, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

The Boston Bruins downed the New York Islanders 5-2 thanks to Charlie Coyle potting his first career NHL hat trick. Coyle finished with four points while David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists as the Bruins (23 points) took over first place in the overall standings with a record of 11-1-1. Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves for the Islanders as they dropped to 5-4-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins activated forward Jakub Lauko off injured reserve but he didn’t skate in this game. They also placed forward Morgan Geekie (upper body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the Nashville Predators by a score of 6-3. Connor finished the night with four points while Mark Scheifele had four assists as the Jets rose to 7-4-2. Filip Forsberg scored twice for the 5-8-0 Predators.

An overtime goal by Cole Caufield lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, snapping their four-game losing skid. Cayden Primeau made 27 saves for the win in his first game since Oct. 24 while Mike Matheson had a goal and two assists as the Canadiens improved to 6-5-2. Christian Fischer and JT Compher replied for the 7-5-2 Red Wings as they’re winless in their last four (0-3-1).

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games in a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Alexis Lafreniere and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and two assists while Louis Domingue stopped 25 shots in his first NHL game since 2021-22 as the Rangers improved to 10-2-1. Brandon Duhaime replied for the Wild as they fell to 5-6-2.

The Vancouver Canucks (10-2-1) extended their win streak to five games and pushed their points streak to nine games as they beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Elias Pettersson took over the lead in the NHL scoring race (24 points) with a goal and two assists while Ilya Mikheyev tallied twice. Drake Batherson and Artem Zub replied for the 5-7-0 Senators as they’re at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points.

Dallas Stars forward Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jake Oettinger stopped 27 shots as the Stars improved to 8-3-1 on the season. Boone Jenner and Kirill Marchenko replied for the Blue Jackets as they dropped to 4-6-3.

St. Louis Blues center Robert Thomas scored the game-winner as his club nipped the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. It was Thomas’ fifth straight goal as his club improved to 6-5-1. Lawson Crouse replied for the 6-6-1 Coyotes.

The Seattle Kraken (5-6-3) blew a 3-1 lead but still defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 as Oliver Bjorkstand scored his second goal of the game with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists for the 8-4-0 Avalanche as they dropped their first home game of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche also lost forward Artturi Lehkonen in the second period after falling face-first into the boards. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and is reportedly alert, responsive and has full movement of his limbs. An update on his condition could be released on Friday.

An overtime goal by Bryan Rust gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings (8-2-3). Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had his 450th career multipoint game with a goal and an assist while Erik Karlsson collected two assists as the Penguins improved to 6-6-0 with their third straight victory. Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar collected an assist to move into second place on the franchise’s all-time points list with 1,155.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar has a ways to go to catch franchise leader Marcel Dionne’s 1,307 points.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks great Trevor Linden slammed the club’s former general manager Jim Benning. Linden, who as team president hired Benning in 2014, claimed the former GM probably wouldn’t have chosen Elias Pettersson in the 2017 NHL Draft if he’d had the choice.

Benning refuted Linden’s story, claiming the decision to select Pettersson was a group one. “We were always going to draft Pettersson. The whole group like Petey,” he said.

Benning added that he felt the scouting group hadn’t watched other players enough and wanted them to conduct their due diligence. He called rumors that he liked another player over Pettersson “simply not true,” adding that he told team owner Francesco Aquilini he was drafting the young center the night before the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This sad little attempt at a pissing contest serves no purpose and changes nothing regardless of whose side of the story you believe. The Canucks chose Pettersson, who is currently the NHL’s leading scorer and a big reason why the club is off to its best start in years.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh reports Kraken winger Jordan Eberle is doing well after suffering a deep cut to his leg from a skate blade during practice on Wednesday. He’s listed as day-to-day.

CBS SPORTS/DAILY FACEOFF: The Washington Capitals placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (lower body) on injured reserve and announced winger Anthony Mantha is day-to-day after taking a puck to the ear during Wednesday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames have recalled goaltender Dustin Wolf amid speculation that starting goalie Jacob Markstrom could be nursing an injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2023

Anze Kopitar reaches a milestone goal as his Kings extend their road wins streak, a four-point night for the Senators’ Tim Stutzle, and the Wild make two trades. Get the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

RECAPS OF WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored his 400th career goal as his club beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 to extend their season-opening road win streak to seven games. Kopitar and Adrian Kempe each had a goal and an assist while Cam Talbot made 37 saves as the Kings improved to 8-2-2. William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights (11-2-1) as they’ve lost two straight but remain on top of the overall standings with 23 points.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are road warriors but they’ve won only once (1-2-2) on home ice. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights were without center Chandler Stephenson as he is sidelined with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to miss one more game.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3. Tim Stutzle had a goal and three assists, Claude Giroux and Dominik Kubalik each tallied twice and Mathieu Joseph collected three assists for the 5-6-0 Senators. William Nylander had a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games but his Leafs dropped to 6-5-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were short three regular defensemen for this game with Thomas Chabot, Artem Zub and Erik Brannstrom sidelined. However, it was the Leafs who struggled defensively in this contest.

An overtime goal by Sam Reinhart lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov, Evan Rodrigues and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 7-4-1. Anthony Mantha tallied two goals for the 5-4-2 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Capitals, they placed center Nicklas Backstrom (hip) on long-term injury reserve. He’s taken time away from the team and isn’t expected to return to action this season.

HEADLINES

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild made two trades on Wednesday. They shipped defenseman Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for winger Adam Raska and a fifth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft. They also acquired defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2025 seventh-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bogosian is in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $850K while Addison is on a one-year deal worth $825K.

The Wild wanted an experienced physical presence on their blueline. They traded away Addison to free up room and salary-cap dollars to take on the 33-year-old Bogosian, who appeared in just four games this season with the Lightning. Raska is a 22-year-old winger with eight games of NHL experience who is likely heading to the Wild’s AHL affiliate.

Addison could use a fresh start after struggling with the Wild over the past two years. The 23-year-old blueliner should get plenty of opportunities to get his NHL career back on track in San Jose.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Jordan Eberle suffered a deep cut from a skate blade to the upper part of his leg during practice on Wednesday. General manager Ron Francis said Eberle appeared to avoid serious injury but was taken to a hospital for an MRI to determine if there was any tendon damage. The Kraken have called up Shane Wright as an emergency replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis believes Eberle “dodged a bullet” but they won’t know for certain until they get the results of the MRI. An update on his condition could be released today.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goalie Jonathan Quick joined starter Igor Shesterkin on the “day-to-day” list. They’ve recalled netminders Louis Domingue and Dylan Garland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are being cautious with Shesterkin and Quick, who have experienced “soreness” from recent play. Shesterkin participated in an optional practice on Wednesday so he could be ready for their matchup tonight with the Wild.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the four-game suspension of Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Bruins, forward Morgan Geekie is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Derek Forbort (undisclosed) remains questionable for Thursday’s contest with the New York Islanders.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell cleared waivers yesterday and has been sent to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. The Oilers are expected to recall netminder Calvin Pickard.

DAILY FACEOFF: Colorado Avalanche forward Ross Colton was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for crosschecking New Jersey Devils winger Timo Meier on Tuesday.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott is expected to miss some time with an undisclosed injury.

CBS SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob MacDonald could be out for at least a week with an undisclosed injury.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed forward Andreas Johnsson on waivers to terminate his contract. Johnsson, 28, is expected to return to his native Sweden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnsson tallied a career-best 20 goals and 43 points with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018-19 but never regained those heights again.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2023

The Golden Knights set an NHL record, Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard reached a milestone, Oilers captain Connor McDavid suffered an injury and Kings captain Anze Kopitar set a franchise record. Details on these and other stories in the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights became the first defending Stanley Cup champion to start a season with a 6-0-0 record in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago rookie Connor Bedard opened the scoring with his first NHL goal on home ice but the Golden Knights put the game out of reach with third-period goals by Nicolas Roy, Mark Stone and Paul Cotter. The loss dropped the Blackhawks to 2-4-0.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Mark Scheifele capped a three-goal rally in a 3-2 win by the Winnipeg Jets (2-3-0) over the Edmonton Oilers. However, their win was overshadowed by an injury to Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who missed the final minutes of regulation and the overtime period. McDavid appeared to injure his hip in the first period after getting entangled with Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss dropped the Oilers’ record to 1-3-1. We should get more details about McDavid’s condition on Sunday. With the Oilers stumbling from the gate, losing their best player for any significant period could be a significant blow.

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand scored two goals and added an assist to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his fifth goal of the season while Jeremy Swayman got the win with a 32-save performance as the Bruins improved to 4-0-0. Kings captain Anze Kopitar set a franchise record by skating in his 1, 297th game as his club’s record dropped to 2-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was a healthy scratch from this game as he was late for a team meeting.

The Colorado Avalanche are 5-0-0 after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and three assists while Logan O’Connor scored a shorthanded goal for the third straight game. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jaccob Slavin each had a goal and an assist for the 3-3-0 Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury-depleted Hurricanes lost another player as Brett Pesce missed this game with a lower-body injury. He joins center Sebastian Aho and goaltender Frederik Andersen on the sidelines.

The Detroit Red Wings downed the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Dylan Larkin had a goal and two assists, Joe Veleno tallied twice and Ville Husso made 35 saves as the Wings improved to 4-1-0. Jake Sanderson and Ridly Greig replied for the 3-2-0 Senators, who managed to hold Alex DeBrincat scoreless in his first game in Ottawa since being traded to Detroit in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators fans gave DeBrincat a “warm” welcome by booing him every time he touched the puck. Nevertheless, the Wings’ convincing victory gave him the last laugh.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka stopped 32 shots in a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jason Zucker and Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes (3-2-0) while Frank Vatrano tallied for the 1-3-0 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zucker left this game with a lower-body injury while teammate Michael Carcone suffered an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first NHL player to defy the league’s ban on using Pride Tape, sporting a few strands of the rainbow-colored tape near the top of his stick.

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Islanders 3-1. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist while Casey Mittelstadt collected two assists as the Sabres moved to 2-3-0. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves and Noah Dobson scored for the 2-1-1 Islanders.

Third-period goals by Andrei Kuzmenko and Brock Boeser gave the Vancouver Canucks a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Kuzmenko and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and an assist, Ilya Mikheyev collected an assist in his first game since his knee surgery in January, and Casey DeSmith kicked out 34 shots for the 3-2-0 Canucks. Sam Reinhart scored two goals for the 2-3-0 Panthers.

An overtime goal by Cole Caufield lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Washington Capitals 3-2. The Canadiens (2-1-1) led 2-0 on goals by Sean Monahan and Brendan Gallagher but Capitals forward Dylan Strome netted two goals to force the extra frame. Jake Allen got the win with a 31-save performance while the Capitals sank to 1-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin remains stalled at 822 career goals four games into his season as he’s yet to find the back of the net.

The Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-0) overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on an overtime goal by John Tavares. Matthew Knies scored twice and collected an assist while Joseph Woll made 29 saves for the win after Ilya Samsonov got the hook when he gave up three goals on four shots. Nikita Kucherov also scored twice and collected an assist while Jonas Johansson stopped 48 shots as the Lightning dropped to 2-2-2.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski scored in overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. The Flyers overcame a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. Stars forward Wyatt Johnston had a goal and two assists as his club improved to 3-0-1. Travis Konecny scored twice for the 3-1-1 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers defenseman Marc Staal is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury after being placed on injured reserve on Friday. He was sidelined during Thursday’s win over the Edmonton Oilers.

An overtime goal by Jack Roslovic lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli netted his first career NHL goal while his club improved to 3-2-0. Filip Gustavsson made 49 stops for the 2-2-1 Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Blue Jackets announced that center Patrik Laine is day-to-day after being elbowed in the head on Friday by Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who received a four-game suspension for the incident. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets lost forward Liam Foudy as he was plucked off the waiver wire by the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they got two goals from Tommy Novak to down the San Jose Sharks 5-1. Juuse Saros stopped 31 shots to backstop his club to a 3-3-0 record. Tomas Hertl replied for the 0-4-1 Sharks.

A two-goal performance by Brandon Saad gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jordan Binnington got the win with 31 saves as the Blues improved to 2-1-1. Evgeni Malkin scored to extend his goal streak to four games but his Penguins dropped to 2-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The second period has been death for the Penguins in their last three games as they’ve been outscored 6-0 in that frame.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Filip Chytil collected three assists as the Rangers moved to 3-2-0 on the season. Justin Schultz tallied for the Kraken as they sank to 1-4-1.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2023

The Kings sign Anze Kopitar to a contract extension, the Red Wings terminate Filip Zadina’s contract, the Senators sign Zack MacEwen, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Kings signed captain Anze Kopitar to a two-year, $14 million contract extension. The average annual value is $7 million and comes with a full no-movement clause for the 35-year-old center.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar is accepting a $3 million pay cut from his current cap hit of $10 million. Nevertheless, some observers feel the Kings overpaid to keep their captain in the fold beyond 2023-24, pointing to his age and lack of speed. They’re concerned the Kings won’t get full value should his play decline.

There’s a good chance Kopitar’s performance will drop off over the tenure of his next contract. Indeed, that decline could begin during the coming season.

On the other hand, Kopitar could remain the Kings’ best all-around forward. He’s been a model of consistency and durability throughout his NHL career. During his 17 NHL seasons (all with the Kings), he’s reached or exceeded 60 points 14 times and led the Kings in scoring in 15 of those seasons. That includes 2022-23 when he tallied 74 points.

In short, Kopitar’s new contract could be money well spent if he at least remains among the Kings’ best forwards.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed Filip Zadina on unconditional waivers on Thursday to terminate his contract by mutual consent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings attempted to trade Zadina (at his request) but couldn’t find any takers. He also cleared waivers earlier this week. The Wings took this step after the 23-year-old winger reportedly informed them that he wouldn’t report to their AHL affiliate if he were demoted.

The sixth-overall pick in the 2018 draft, Zadina struggled to reach expectations as a scoring forward. He’s giving up the remaining two years of his contract and $4.56 million in actual salary over that time, hoping for a fresh start elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed forward Zack MacEwen to a three-year, $2.35 million contract. The average annual value is $775K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators hope MacEwen will add more muscle to the lineup. They also don’t want captain Brady Tkachuk fighting in every game.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Washington Capitals signed Andrew Cristall to a three-year, entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cristall, 18, was projected by some observers to be chosen in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. Instead, he dropped into the second round where the Capitals choose him 40th overall. As the report indicates, this could be a steal for the Caps, especially after Cristall impressed during their recent rookie development camp.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson recently said he’s very close to being done making offseason moves. He indicated that they might make a depth addition or two via free agency but could remain patient on that and wait until the fall.