NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2016

Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr salutes the crowd after taking over sole possession of second place on the NHL’s all-time points leader list.

Game recaps, Jagr passes Messier among all-time points leaders, Legwand retires & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr’s assist on his team’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins moved him past Mark Messier into second place on the NHL’s all-time points list with 1,888. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug collected two assists. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A phenomenal achievement by one of the greatest players in NHL history. Jagr has a long way to go to catch all-time leader Wayne Gretzky’s 2,857 points. 

Scott Hartnell tallied a hat trick to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to their 11th straight win by crushing the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1. Sidney Crosby scored his club’s only goal, giving him a league-leading 23. The Jackets are now first overall in the Eastern Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been an incredible run thus far for the Jackets, who at this time a year ago were dead last in the league’s overall standings. The difference this season is a combination of a much-healthier roster and significant contributions from young players such as center Alexander Wennberg and rookie defenseman Zach Werenski. 

The Minnesota Wild’s Devan Dubnyk out-dueled Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, backstopping his club to their ninth consecutive victory with a 4-2 win. The win tied a franchise record for the Wild. The Canadiens, meanwhile, were playing without rugged defenseman Alexei Emelin, whose wife gave birth to a daughter earlier in the day. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 44 points in 32 games, the Wild hold the second-best record in the Western Conference. 

Nazem Kadri scored twice and Frederik Andersen turned in a 38-save shutout performance as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the floundering Colorado Avalanche 6-0. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche are an absolute mess, wallowing in the bottom of the overall standings. In the Denver media, the call has begun for general manager Joe Sakic to be replaced

Jonathan Drouin scored twice and added an assist while Victor Hedman collected three assists to lead the injury-depleted Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lightning forwards Vladislav Namestnikov (illness) and Cedric Paquette (lower-body injury) were scratched from the game. 

Mike Hofffman scored in overtime as the Ottawa Senators edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. 

Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and Patrik Laine tallied a rare road goal as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. 

Peter Budaj turned aside 28 shots backstopping the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators. 

Adam Henrique and P.A. Parenteau each had a goal and an assist while Corey Schneider collected his first shutout of the season in the New Jersey Devils’ 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

First period goals by Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk power the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:  The Blackhawks placed center Artem Anisimov (upper body) on injured reserve.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues did the same with center Paul Stastny, who also has an upper-body injury. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The lack of scoring this season from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is becoming cause for concern. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin’s goal stats could recover as the season progresses. Still, it has the potential to become a troubling issue for the Capitals’ hopes for a championship run.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks are exceeding expectations thus far this season. 

THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Toronto Maple Leafs rookie center Auston Matthews makes his NHL debut in his home town tonight when his Leafs meet the Coyotes. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay provided a $1 million gift to benefit sick children.

THE TENNESSEAN: David Legwand, the first-ever draft pick by the Nashville Predators and holder of several club records, announced his retirement after 17 NHL seasons. “His 956 career games, 210 goals, 356 assists and 566 points are all the most in franchise history.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Legwand never became a true franchise player for the Predators, but he did go on to have a solid NHL career, most of it in Nashville. In 1,136 games, he scored 228 gals and 390 assists for 618 points, along with 28 points in 55 playoff contests. He spent part of one season with the Detroit Red Wings, then played his final two seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres. 

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