NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2024

Oilers captain Connor McDavid has a six-assist performance, Bruins captain Brad Marchand reaches a career milestone, Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is suspended for five games, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected a career-high six assists (including his 600th career NHL assist) in an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist while Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists for the 31-17-1 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 63 points. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and David Perron each had two points for the Red Wings (27-19-6) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 60 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid also extended his home points streak to 19 games. His six-assist performance vaulted him into a tie with Boston’s David Pastrnak for third place in the NHL scoring race with 77 points. Meanwhile, Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury. It was his first game back with the Wings since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 18.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored a goal for his league-leading 90th point as his club nipped the Boston Bruins 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brayden Point. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves as his club improved to 29-20-5 and sit third in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Bruins captain Brad Marchand collected two assists in his 1,000th career NHL game. With a record of 32-11-10 for 74 points, the Bruins sit first in the Eastern Conference and second in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will honor Marchand’s milestone in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 19. Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot returned to action after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury.

After learning defenseman Morgan Rielly received a five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Grieg on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Bobby McMann tallied his first career NHL hat trick for the 27-16-8 Leafs as they sit in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 62 points. Jordan Binnington turned aside 28 shots for the Blues (28-22-2) as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs roster for this game was further depleted with John Tavares and Mitch Marner sidelined by an illness while Conor Timmins is out with mononucleosis.

The league-leading Vancouver Canucks doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Dakota Joshua lead the way with a Gordie Howe hat trick (including two assists) while Conor Garland tallied twice for the 36-12-6 Canucks (78 points). Petr Mrazek stopped 34 shots for the 14-36-3 Blackhawks as they sit in last place in the overall standings with 31 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Canucks, they’ve invited free agent forward Phil Kessel to work out for the team this week in Abbotsford, BC.

Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and collected two assists in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists to move within three points of Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race with 87 points. The Avalanche improved to 33-17-4 and sit in second place in the Central Division with 70 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored for the sixth straight game but his Capitals slipped to 23-21-8 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals playoff hopes are fading, winning just twice in their last 10 games.

The Dallas Stars (33-14-6) maintained their two-point lead over the Avalanche in the Central Division by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist for the 30-17-5 Hurricanes as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Stars announced that winger Evgenii Dadonov will be sidelined for several weeks with a lower-body fracture. He suffered the injury during Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk’s hat trick powered his club to a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists for the 22-25-2 Senators, who picked up their fourth straight win. Daniil Tarasov made 24 saves for the Blue Jackets (16-26-10) as they remain in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, a derogatory remark about Patrik Laine on a Jackets fan podcast is being used to rally support for the winger and raise charitable donations on his behalf for mental health awareness.

Laine is undergoing treatment through the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. One of the podcast hosts said the Blue Jackets winger was away because he was contemplating a “Remington retirement”, which is a slang term for suicide by gunshot. If you’d like to donate to Laine’s charitable fund you can do so at this link.

The Buffalo Sabres thumped the Los Angeles Kings 7-0 as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 33 saves for the shutout. Jordan Greenway scored twice and collected an assist for the 23-25-4 Sabres. With 58 points, the 24-16-10 Kings are clinging to a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings forward Carl Grundstrom left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced defenseman Owen Power will be sidelined for the next two weeks with an upper-body injury.

New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier tallied two third-period goals in a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Nico Daws stopped 30 shots for the Devils (27-21-4) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 58 points. Juuse Saros kicked out 43 shots for the 27-24-2 Predators (56 points) as they remain two points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

A 26-save performance by Philipp Grubauer carried the Seattle Kraken over the New York Islanders by a score of 2-1. Tomas Tatar netted the winning goal in a shootout for the 22-21-10 Kraken (54 points) as they sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth. Ilya Sorokin turned aside 29 shots for the Islanders (22-18-13) as they sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 57 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned to action after missing 19 games with a fractured bone in his leg.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau made 13 saves for his first NHL shutout to blank the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Juraj Slafkovsky had a goal and two assists for his first NHL three-point game while Nick Suzuki had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to eight games for the 22-23-8 Canadiens. Lukas Dostal stopped 33 shots for the 18-32-2 Ducks, who welcomed back defenseman Pavel Mintyukov after being sidelined since Jan. 9 with a separated shoulder.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

Recaps of Sunday’s game, Patrik Laine enters the player assistance program, and Filip Chytil is out for the season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues won in overtime for the third straight game by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Brayden Schenn scored the winning goal while Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists for the 26-20-2 Blues, who picked up their fifth straight victory to move into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points. Adrian Kempe, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Phillip Danault replied for the struggling Kings (22-15-10) as they’ve won just twice in their last 16 games and cling to the first Western wild-card spot with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich left this game with a lower-body injury in the third period. There was no postgame update regarding his condition. The Blues also announced blueliner Justin Faulk (lower-body injury) will likely remain sidelined through the upcoming All-Star break.

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle (NHL Images)

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jared McCann tallied his 20th goal of the season and Joey Daccord made 30 saves for the 21-18-10 (52 points) as they sit two points behind the Kings and Blues. Yegor Chinakhov scored both goals for the 15-24-10 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period while hitting McCann into the boards. There was no postgame update regarding his status but he’s considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Blues.

HEADLINES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine has entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. In an Instagram post, the 25-year-old winger indicated he’s taking time to work on prioritizing his mental health and well-being. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen issued a press release saying Laine has the full support of the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine has been struggling with injuries since being acquired by the Blue Jackets in 2021. He has nine points in 18 games this season.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Filip Chytil is sidelined for the remainder of this season with a suspected concussion. He’s been out since Nov. 2 and suffered a setback in his recovery on Friday while skating with his teammates during morning practice. The Rangers have placed him on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chytil took to Instagram saying he’s staying positive and hopes to return stronger than ever. However, there’s genuine concern that the oft-injured Chytil’s career could be in jeopardy. He’s been sidelined 10 times by injuries since 2018-19. This news will only fuel speculation that the Rangers will look to the trade market for a short-term replacement.

NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly on Saturday.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Unsigned Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton turned himself in to London, Ontario police on Sunday to face a charge of sexual assault. It’s in connection with allegations that five members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team attacked a woman at a hotel.

Formenton’s lawyers issued a statement saying their client will “vigorously defend his innocence”, asking people not to rush to judgment until hearing all the evidence.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson has been activated off LTIR following a 12-game absence with a lower-body injury.

INSIDE AHL HOCKEY’s Tony Androckitis reports the Carolina Hurricanes have loaned goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves during the upcoming NHL All-Star break. The move is believed to be a paper transaction designed to allow the Hurricanes to accrue some salary-cap space.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks set a franchise record with their 1-0 loss on Saturday to the Calgary Flames. It was their 20th straight road defeat.










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 Rumor Mill – January 26, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2024

The Blue Jackets could listen to offers for Patrik Laine and Ivan Provorov plus the latest on the Senators and Kings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

JACKETS COULD LISTEN ON LAINE AND PROVOROV

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is willing to at least listen to trade offers for winger Patrik Laine and defenseman Ivan Provorov.

He also indicated there were other players the Jackets GM could listen on but didn’t indicate who they were.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

Dreger said teams are interested in forward Boone Jenner but the Jackets captain is a “heart-and-soul guy” so it’s highly unlikely they’ll trade him. Their “untouchables” include young players such as rookie Adam Fantilli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know which clubs would be interested in Laine unless they’re hoping to pay very little to get him and have the Jackets retain up to half of his $8.7 million average annual value through 2025-26. Injuries and inconsistent play have likely hurt his value in the trade market.

Provorov was acquired by the Blue Jackets last June from the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an AAV of $6.75 million and lacks no-trade protection. He has 23 points in 47 games and could still have value as a top-four puck-moving defenseman. Nevertheless, his cap hit could be a sticking point.

LATEST ON THE SENATORS

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Steve Staios said he’s been exploring all options for his club heading toward the March 8 trade deadline. He remains focused on adding experienced players with leadership ability who play a 200-foot game.

Staios said the market would dictate if he’ll be able to find such players this season. If not, he’ll continue looking in the offseason.

The Senators GM said he hasn’t approached Vladimir Tarasenko yet about waiving his no-trade clause. The 32-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and carries a $5 million cap hit.

Staios also expressed his disappointment that Jakob Chychrun has come up in trade rumors. He’s not surprised other clubs covet the 25-year-old defenseman but said his club will try to find the cap space to sign him to a contract extension. Staios also doesn’t want to rush to a decision regarding his club’s core players leading up to the trade deadline.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes Staios seeks a gritty winger and a right-shot defenseman.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steve Warne observed Staios said he’ll keep Jacques Martin as interim head coach for the rest of this season while continuing to search for a full-time replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it’s only a matter of time until Staios asks Tarasenko to waive his no-trade clause. He’s likely waiting to see how the market develops for the scoring winger. That decision could come by late February.

The Senators aren’t under any pressure to move Chychrun as he’s signed through next season. They could consider shopping him during the offseason if any difficulties arise during contract negotiations. It’ll likely cost at least $8 million annually on a long-term deal to keep him in the fold. Combined with Thomas Chabot’s and Jake Sanderson’s cap hits, that would mean tying up $24 million in three left-shot defensemen, though Chychrun does play on the right side with the Sens.

KINGS TO STAY THE COURSE FOR NOW

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the struggling Los Angeles Kings intend to stay the course despite losing 12 of their last 14 games. That means no coaching change or trades, at least for now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are clinging to one of the wild-card berths in the Western Conference. If they slip out of contention, I think general manager Rob Blake will have little choice but to replace head coach Todd McLellan or shake up the roster with a trade.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2023

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby continues moving up among the all-time points leaders, the three stars of the week are announced and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby broke a 3-3 tie in a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Crosby also collected an assist to move into 13th place among the NHL’s all-time points leaders with 1,535. Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel also had a goal and an assist for the 14-13-3 Penguins (31 points), who sit three points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Ryan Hartman, Jake Middleton and Vinni Lettieri scored for the Wild (12-13-4) as they overcame a 3-0 deficit before Crosby netted the game-winner.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby will soon overtake Joe Thornton, who sits 12th with 1,539 points. He’s also within range of Ray Bourque (1,579) and Phil Esposito (1,590).

An overtime goal by Justin Barron lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Josh Anderson and Christian Dvorak gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead but Gabriel Vilardi and Cole Perfetti replied for the Jets to force the extra period. The Canadiens improved to 14-13-4 (32 points) to sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot. The Jets fell to 18-9-3 and slipped into third place in the Central Division with 39 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey left the game early in the third period after taking a puck to the face but got stitched up and returned 11 minutes later.

Speaking of the Central Division, the Dallas Stars regained first place (40 points) by nipping the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on an overtime goal by Thomas Harley. Matt Duchene tallied twice and collected an assist as the Stars improved to 18-8-4. Matty Beniers and Tomas Tatar each had a goal and an assist for the 10-14-9 Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, Stars head coach Pete DeBoer indicated that starting goaltender Jake Oettinger is considered week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 shots in a 3-1 upset of the Florida Panthers. Mikael Backlund broke a 1-1 tie in the third period as the Flames have won three of their last four and improved to 13-14-5 (31 points), sitting one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Sam Reinhart scored for the Panthers (18-11-2) as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 38 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Panthers placed forward Anton Lundell on injured reserve.

The Anaheim Ducks held off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Adam Henrique and Troy Terry each had a goal and an assist for the 12-19-0 Ducks, who’ve won two straight games. Alex DeBrincat tallied twice and Patrick Kane had two assists for the Red Wings (15-12-4), who have lost three straight and sit just outside the final Eastern wild-card spot with 34 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin returned to action after missing the last four games with a head injury. However, goaltender Ville Husso left this game with an injured right leg.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko and New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 17.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed winger Patrik Laine (fractured clavicle) on injured reserve.

TSN: The Boston Bruins have loaned forward Matthew Poitras to Canada for the upcoming 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. Poitras, 19, has 13 points in 27 games with the Bruins this season.

TSN: The Carolina Hurricanes signed free-agent goaltender Aaron Dell to a professional tryout offer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2023

A milestone game for the Rangers’ Chris Kreider, the league and NHLPA investigate a breach in treatment protocol for Coyotes defenseman Juuso Valimaki, and the Avalanche trade Tomas Tatar to the Kraken. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored two goals in a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves while Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox each picked up two assists for the Rangers (20-7-1) as they sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference with 41 points. Lukas Dostal made 34 saves for the Ducks (10-19-0) as they’ve lost five straight games and nine of their last ten.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a milestone game for Kreider as he surpassed Adam Graves to move into third place among the Rangers’ all-time goalscoring leaders with 281. He also tied Graves for fourth on their all-time list for power-play goals (100) and surpassed the 500-point mark (501). He’s just seven points away from surpassing Graves for tenth place among the Blueshirts in total points.

The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders 5-4 on a shootout goal by David Pastrnak, who also had a goal and an assist in regulation time. James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Geekie also each scored and collected an assist for the 19-5-4 Bruins, who sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points. Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists while Mathew Barzal set up two goals for the Islanders (14-7-8), who sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 36 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders announced that defenseman Scott Mayfield (upper body) was placed on injured reserve before this game.

Four unanswered third-period goals lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-2 upset of the Vegas Golden Knights. Casey Mittelstadt scored twice and collected an assist while Dylan Cozens had a goal and two assists for the 13-15-3 Sabres. Ivan Barbashev and Jack Eichel replied for the Golden Knights (20-6-5) as they held a three-point lead over the Bruins for first place in the overall standings with 45 points.

An overtime goal by Filip Forsberg lifted the Nashville Predators over the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5. Roman Josi and Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and two assists for the Predators (17-13-0), who’ve won three straight games and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 34 points. Martin Necas and Stefan Noesen each had a goal and an assist for the 16-12-2 Hurricanes as they cling to the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 34 points.

The Dallas Stars overcame a 4-2 deficit in a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist while Scott Wedgewood made 25 saves as the Stars improved to 17-8-3 and sit in second place in the Central Division with 37 points. Drake Batherson scored two goals and Jakob Chychrun picked up three assists for the 11-14-0 Senators, who have dropped seven of their last 10 games and remain mired in last place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars goalie Jake Oettinger started this game but left just eight minutes into the first period with a lower-body injury. He will not be traveling with his team to St. Louis for Saturday’s game against the Blues.

Meanwhile, Senators winger Vladimir Tarasenko missed this game due to a family matter. Teammate Mathieu Joseph suffered a lower-body injury early in the first period and didn’t return.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram made 21 saves to shut out the San Jose Sharks 1-0. Mattias Maccelli scored for the Coyotes (14-13-2) as they regained the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 30 points. Kaapo Kahkonen turned aside 23 shots for the 9-18-3 Sharks.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli cited sources indicating the NHL and NHL Players Association are investigating a gap in treatment protocol as defenseman Juuso Valimaki was left in a Dallas hospital without care for hours last month after suffering a serious facial injury during a game against the Stars on Nov. 14.

According to Seravalli’s sources, Valimaki was dropped off at the emergency room and left to advocate for his own care with his wife Vilma (who was traveling with him during that road game) and a Coyotes employee. After initial observation, the overworked Dallas hospital told Valimaki to find a local hotel and return the next day as they were treating more critical incoming trauma patients.

Valimaki, however, required immediate treatment. With a bloodied face, a hole in his mouth, and internal bleeding, he was unable to function. Doctors later said he might have asphyxiated in his sleep on his blood had he gone to the hotel as instructed. Five hours later after the NHLPA stepped in, Valimaki received 55 stitches in his mouth to close the wound, which included a fractured bone and the loss of three teeth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s story indicates it was Valimaki’s wife who called the NHLPA after her husband spent an hour in the emergency room without care. It was two hours later when his face and wound were finally cleaned, another hour before he was admitted to the hospital for surgery to close the wound in his mouth and another 12 hours before he received surgery to repair the fractured bone in his mouth and realign his remaining teeth.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Avalanche traded winger Tomas Tatar on Friday to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tatar, 33, signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract this summer with the Avalanche. He struggled to mesh with his new club, tallying one goal and nine points in 27 games. The move frees up cap space for the Avalanche if they wish to make another move later in the season.

The Kraken, meanwhile, are struggling to score this season. Pressed for cap space, they hope Tatar (a former six-time 20-plus goal scorer) can regain his form in Seattle.

THE PROVINCE/SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Vancouver Canucks traded forward Jack Studnicka to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Nick Cicek and a 2024 sixth-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In what could be a related move, the Sharks also placed forward Nico Sturm on injured reserve.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers general manager Daniel Briere doesn’t intend to be a buyer before this season’s NHL trade deadline. While the club is exceeding expectations, Briere doesn’t intend to mortgage the future just to sneak into the playoffs.

Briere would love for the Flyers to reach the postseason. However, he still believes his club should stockpile draft picks rather than trade those assets for rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Briere becomes a seller by the March 8 deadline if the Flyers are still holding a playoff berth by then. He could stand pat rather than shop his own pending unrestricted free agents such as Sean Walker and Nick Seeler.

Both defensemen have reportedly drawn lots of interest in the trade market. Briere could still move one or both by March 8 for the right offer.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine is expected to miss six weeks as he recovers from a fractured clavicle suffered during Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine has been plagued by injuries over the past three seasons. He’s recently surfaced in media trade conjecture though there’s no indication he wants to be moved or that the Blue Jackets are shopping him. If he was available in the trade market, his injury history would hurt his value.

CBS SPORTS: The Los Angeles Kings placed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (lower body) in injured reserve. He’s listed as week-to-week.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Kings, backup goalie Pheonix Copley left practice on Friday with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings have reportedly called up David Rittich.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward Vinnie Hinostroza on waivers to send him to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.