NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2021
Alex Ovechkin ties Brett Hull for fourth on the all-time goal-scoring list, the Rangers hand the Panthers their first regulation loss, the Kings down the Leafs, the stars of the week are revealed & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 741st career goal in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Ovechkin moves into a tie with Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list. He also collected two assists in this contest while Tom Wilson scored twice and Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists. The Sabres (5-5-2) have gone 0-4-1 in their last five games.
The New York Rangers handed the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss this season by handing on for a 4-3 victory. The Blueshirts jumped to a 4-0 lead but needed a 42-save performance by Igor Shesterkin to get the win. Shesterkin is 8-0-0 when stopping 40-plus shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So don’t worry about defense, Rangers, Shesterkin’s got your back. Kidding aside, the Blueshirts are fortunate to have a stellar young netminder between the pipes or this game would’ve had a different outcome. He was under siege in the third period as the Panthers outshot the Rangers 17-3.
Jonathan Quick kicked out 33 shots and Phillip Danault scored two goals and set up another as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1. After going 1-5-1, the Kings have won five straight games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Danault is no longer with the Montreal Canadiens but he continues to haunt the Leafs. His former club sorely misses his two-way skills as his departure is among the reasons the Habs are dreadful this season.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 7, 2021.
LAS VEGAS SUN: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel is looking forward to his upcoming artificial disc replacement surgery and resuming his career with his new club. Meeting with the press on Monday, he expressed relief that he can put the past eight months behind him.
Eichel also believes his standoff with the Buffalo Sabres over treatment for his injured neck could lead to changes in the collective bargaining agreement. Under the CBA, teams have the final say over the medical treatment of their players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That change might have to wait until the next round of collective bargaining in 2026 or 2027 if it is extended for an additional year. Still, it’s a good bet the NHL Players Association will push for its members to have more say over decisions regarding hockey-related injuries.
TSN: In an interview with Rick Westhead, the mother of a former high school hockey player who was sexually assaulted by Bradley Aldrich was overcome with emotion watching Kyle Beach apologize to her son. She also thanked him for filing a police complaint against Aldrich, who allegedly sexually assaulted Beach during his tenure as the Chicago Blackhawks video coach in 2010.
Aldrich was allowed to step down from his job by the Blackhawks on his own terms with a positive reference letter from the club. While serving as a volunteer high school coach four years later, he pleaded guilty in Houghton, Michigan to sexually assaulting the high school player and served nine months in jail.
The player’s mother was also furious at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for saying the league needed more information before it would commit to providing the same psychological counseling it is now providing for Beach. She called on Bettman to retire, accusing him of lacking empathy for kids and young players. “And if he needs more information, I got a whole folder full of it here for him he can read,” she said.
The player filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks. The two sides are in settlement talks though the club is trying to have the suit dismissed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fallout from this scandal will continue to hang over the Blackhawks and the league for a long time. I also wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Bettman’s retirement. I’ve also seen and heard calls from some pundits and one notable player agent demanding the 32 NHL team owners fire Bettman. That’s easier said than done because he only needs the support of eight team owners to remain in his job.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing hip surgery on Monday.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators canceled practice yesterday out of caution after two more players were placed on the COVID protocol list. Forwards Connor Brown and Dylan Gambrell joined winger Austin Watson, defenseman Nick Holden and associate coach Jack Capuano on the list.