NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2017

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand could face a suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin.

 Game recaps, injury updates and reaction to NHL’s decision not to go to 2018 Winter Olympics in your morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2014 by blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Tuukka Rask turned in a 28-save shutout performance and winger David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins (94 points), who likely ended the Lightning’s thin playoff hopes. With 88 points, the Bolts are five out of a wild-card berth with three games remaining in the season.

The Bruins got the win without left wing Brad Marchand, who was ejected for spearing Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin in the groin. The incident is under review by the league’s department of player safety.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand has a long suspension history and was fined $10,000 earlier this season for a dangerous trip on Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. He could end up missing the start of the playoffs if the league decides on a lengthy suspension. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to clinch a playoff berth as they fell 4-1 to the Washington Capitals (114 points), who move ever closer to clinching their second straight Presidents’ Trophy. The Capitals played without defenseman John Carlson, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. The Leafs (93 points) fall one back of the Bruins and Ottawa Senators into the final wild-card spot in the East. 

Craig Anderson made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as the Senators downed the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. With 94 points, the Sens moved into a tie for second in the Atlantic Division with the Bruins, but still haven’t clinched a playoff spot. Sens winger Clarke MacArthur returned to lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion in training camp last fall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe MacArthur’s risking serious injury, but I admire his determination to continue his playing career. Here’s hoping he stays healthy. 

Thomas Hickey scored in overtime to lift the New York Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Isles (88 points) move to within five points of a wild-card spot in the East. 

The Minnesota Wild defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 to clinch second place in the Central Division and officially eliminate the Canes from the playoff race. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game with a lower-body injury but it’s not believed to be serious. Before the game, the two clubs honored Wild center and former Hurricanes captain Eric Staal on his 1,000th NHL game. 

Matt Murray turned aside 38 shots while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each collected two points to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins (109 points) moved three ahead of the Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division. 

Patrick Eaves, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Wagner scored to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames to move four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for top spot in the Pacific Division. It was a costly win for the Ducks, as defenseman Cam Fowler left the game in the third period following a knee-on-knee collision with Flames blueliner Mark Giordano. No word yet as to how long Fowler could be sidelined. 

Nick Shore had a goal and three assists as the Los Angeles Kings upset the Edmonton Oilers 6-4. The Oilers are four point back of the Ducks for top spot in the Pacific. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice for the Oilers. 

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 to move into a tie with the Oilers for second in the Pacific Division. The Sharks played without Joe Thornton (left leg injury) and Logan Couture (facial injury) and are hoping both will be back when the playoffs begin next week. 

Erik Johnson scored in overtime and Matt Duchene picked up three assists as the Colorado Avalanche overcame a 3-0 deficit to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. 

Patrik Laine scored twice to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. 

Julius Honka’s first NHL goal came in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, who were playing without winger Radim Vrbata (lower-body injury, day-to-day). 

Keith Kinkaid kicked out 35 shots and John Moore tallied the only goal as the New Jersey Devils edged the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0.

 SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league isn’t looking to negotiate its position on Olympic participation. The league announced on Monday it would not participate in the 2018 Winter Games on Pyeongchang, South Korea. “NHL clubs have not wanted to go to the Olympics and we have been saying that for months if not years,” said Bettman. “All we’ve done is confirmed it.”

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The International Ice Hockey Federation hasn’t given up on its efforts to broker a deal between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Alex Ovechkin intends to participate in the 2018 Olympic with or without the league’s approval. “I didn’t change my mind, and I won’t,” Ovechkin said. “It’s my country. You know, I think everybody wants to play there, and it’s the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games. So I don’t know. Somebody going to tell me don’t go, I don’t care. I just go.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on this situation in the Soapbox section

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes one of his 42 saves against the Minnesota Wild.

Game recaps, injury updates, Shattenkirk suspended & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Corey Crawford made 42 saves (20 in the second period alone) backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, moving the Hawks to within one point of the Wild for top spot in the Central Division. Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist for Chicago.

Two third-period goals by Paul Byron and Max Pacioretty lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The Canadiens retook sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. 

Corey Perry tallied two goals and set up another as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Washington Capitals 5-2, giving Ducks coach Randy Carlyle his 400th career NHL win. Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler each had a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who handed the Capitals their fourth straight defeat. 

The Capitals played without defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who received a two-game suspension for charging Los Angeles Kings blueliner Kevin Gravel. 

Joe Pavelski netted two goals as the San Jose Sharks thumped the Dallas Stars 5-1. 

Ryan McDonagh scored twice to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Carl Hagelin is sidelined at least four weeks with a lower-body injury. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray suffered a broken hand in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and is sidelined indefinitely. 

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Drew Shore for the remainder of this season. Shore was playing for Kloten HC of the Swiss-A League. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur still hopes to resume his NHL playing career. He was sidelined for the season by his fourth concussion in 18 months. He intends to take a wait-and-see approach toward a comeback. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand MacArthur’s determination to return to action. Given how many concussions he’s suffered in such a short period of time, he’s risking permanent brain damage by trying to resume his playing career. He can remain involved in hockey in many different ways, either as a scout, a coach or in a management role. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2017

Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin waves to the crowd after scoring his 1,000th career NHL point.

Game recaps, Henrik Sedin reaches 1,000 points, Clarke MacArthur done for the season & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Henrik Sedin scored the game-tying goal to reach his 1,000th career point as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Florida Panthers 2-1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brother Daniel has 968 career NHL points. He’ll hit that milestone later this season or early in 2017-18. 

Conor Sheary scored twice and Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Carolina Hurricanes 7-1. 

Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov each tallied three points as the Montreal Canadiens’ power-play carried them to a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. 

Ryan Ellis and James Neal scored in the shootout as the Nashville Predators nipped the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (back injury) returned from a 16-game absence, but forward Cody Bass will miss the remainder of the season to a lower-body injury.  

Kyle Okposo scored a power-play goal in overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan O’Reilly enjoyed a two-point performance for the Sabres, who saw defenseman Jake McCabe leave the game in the first period with an injured right arm

Scott Darling turned in a 30-save shutout performance and Marian Hossa scored the game’s only goal as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Boston Bruins 1-0. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators left wing Clarke MacArthur won’t be returning to action this season. After suffering his fourth concussion in 18 months during a preseason practice, MacArthur did not receive medical clearance to resume playing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is undoubtedly devastating news for MacArthur, but it’s for his own good. He should seriously consider transitioning from a playing career. He risks serious and permanent brain damage if he continues playing. If he wants to remain in hockey, he can get into coaching, scouting or management at the NHL level or elsewhere. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: An upper-body injury will keep Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg out of tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars placed defenseman Johnny Oduya (ankle) on injured reserve and called up Julius Honka.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel celebrates one of his two goals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel celebrates one of his two goals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Game recaps plus notable injury and waiver updates in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied with four third-period goals to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3. 

Patrik Laine scored his 16th of the season and set up Bryan Little’s winner in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the St. Louis Blues 3-2. 

Leon Draisaitl scored in overtime and Jordan Eberle collected three assists as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced defenseman Darnell Nurse is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury. 

Ivan Provorov scored two second-period goals only 30 seconds apart to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were playing without goalie Corey Crawford, who is sidelined two-three weeks following an appendectomy. 

Tuukka Rask kicked out 35 shots as the Boston Bruins held on for a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Bruins forward Matt Beleskey left the game with a lower-body injury. 

Mike Cammalleri scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the New Jersey Devils overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 5-4. Earlier in the day, the Predators claimed forward Reid Boucher off waivers from the Devils. 

Chris Kreider scored twice in the third period as the New York Rangers doubled up the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. 

Brian Boyle scored in a shootout and Ben Bishop made 31 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. 

Kari Lehtonen got his first shutout of the season as he backstopped the Dallas Stars to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While the Avs learned earlier in the day that sidelined captain Gabe Landeskog (lower-body injury) could soon return to the lineup, defenseman Erik Johnson suffered a broken fibula against the Stars and is sidelined for six weeks. Meanwhile, the Stars announced they’ve placed winger Patrick Sharp (concussion) on injured reserve

The Vancouver Canucks blew a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Ryan Miller made 38 saves while Markus Granlund and Bo Horvat scored in the shootout as the Canucks prevailed 3-2. 

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith made a franchise-record 58 saves but he couldn’t prevent his club from dropping a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Mike Condon turned in a 24-save shutout performance as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Florida Panthers 2-0. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur, currently sidelined by a concussion, remains hopeful of returning to action by early-January. 

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Los Angeles Kings placed winger Teddy Purcell on waivers. 

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW: Could the Vegas Golden Knights pursue former Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant to be their bench boss? 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Knights’ front office isn’t saying anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if GM George McPhee contacted Gallant to gauge his interest. 

Most Costly Early-Season NHL Injuries

Most Costly Early-Season NHL Injuries

An ankle injury has sidelined Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

An ankle injury has sidelined Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

We’re only a month into the 2016-17 NHL season, but already several notable players are sidelined by injuries. Some are already proving costly to their respective teams. Here’s a look at the most notable (by team) thus far.

Mike Smith, goaltender, Arizona Coyotes (lower-body injury, injured reserve since Oct. 18). The Coyotes are struggling to cope without their veteran starter. Backup Louis Domingue won only four of 11 starts. Smith’s absence is a key reason the Coyotes are at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Jack Eichel, center, Buffalo Sabres (high-ankle sprain, injured reserve since Oct. 11). The Sabres have several players sidelined but Eichel’s absence is keenly felt. While they’ve got 14 points in 15 games, they’re near the bottom of the league in goals.

Justin Faulk, defenseman, Carolina Hurricanes (upper-body, IR since Nov. 6). The Hurricanes top defenseman, Faulk skates a team-leading 24:10 minutes per game. With the Hurricanes at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, losing Faulk for a significant period could prove fatal to their playoff hopes.

Seth Jones, defenseman, Columbus Blue Jackets (fractured foot, IR since Nov. 6). Jones logs big minutes for the Jackets (24:14 per game) and is among their leaders in hits, blocked shots and takeaways. Out for at least three weeks, they’re going to miss his blueline presence.

Jonathan Huberdeau, left wing, Florida Panthers (ruptured Achilles tendon, IR since Oct. 7). Their top-line left wing, Huberdeau’s absence has been capably filled by Jonathan Marchessault. However, they’re still missing his presence and skills, as evidenced by their mediocre start (7-7-1) this season.

Jonathan Quick, goaltender, Los Angeles Kings (groin injury, IR since Oct. 12). Call-up Peter Budaj’s done a good job filling in for Quick, who’s out until early-January at the latest. At some point, however, Quick’s lengthy absence could start catching up with the Kings.

Travis Hamonic, defenseman, New York Islanders (broken thumb, IR since Nov. 5). Hamonic is the Isles’ best all-around blueliner. Sidelined four-to-six weeks, his absence is a significant blow for this floundering (5-7-3) club.

Clarke MacArthur, left wing, Ottawa Senators (concussion, IR since Sep. 24). The Senators are doing okay without MacArthur (9-5-0), but they were really counting on his veteran leadership and grit this season. His lengthy absence last season was a factor in their missing the playoffs. It could become an issue again in 2016-17.

Jannik Hansen, left wing, Vancouver Canucks (fractured rib, IR since Nov. 6). With the Canucks struggling offensively, losing a 20-goal scorer such as Hansen is a serious setback for the Canucks. Ou four-to-six weeks, by the time Hansen returns, it could be too late to save their season.

Bryan Little, center, Winnipeg Jets. (lower-body injury, IR since Oct. 13). While the Jets have 16 points in as many games, Little’s absence leave them short of skilled offensive depth at center.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2016

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky makes one of his 32 saves against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky makes one of his 32 saves against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game recaps, injury updates and latest suspensions in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Rookie Zach Werenseki tallied a goal and set up another while Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 32 shots to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 upset victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray left the game with an upper-body injury.

Earlier in the day, the Jackets called up forward Sonny Milano. Blackhawks blueliner Trevor van Riemsdyk was sidelined by an apparent right-arm injury. 

Johnny Boychuk’s shorthanded goal lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. It was the first time Isles forward Ryan Strome faced off against Coyotes center and younger brother Dylan Strome in an NHL contest. Ryan tallied a goal while Dylan was held off the score sheet. Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock was sidelined with a lower-body injury.  Earlier in the day, the Coyotes placed defenseman Jarred Tinordi on waivers

Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves as the Detroit Red Wings downed the Nashville Predators 5-3. 

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Dale Weise received a three-game suspension for his shoulder-to-the-head hit on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp (concussion) was placed in injured reserve, while Patrick Eaves could be out with a lower-body injury. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen (facial injury) is questionable for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. 

OTTAWA SUN: Despite suffering his fourth concussion in 18 months, Ottawa Senators winger Clarke MacArthur is determined to continue his NHL career. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  The Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenseman Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed injury) on IR and recalled blueliner David Warsofsky. 

NBC SPORTS:  Former Carolina Hurricanes first-round pick Zach Boychuk signed a contract with KHL club HC Sibir. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Former NHL defenseman Douglas Murray has retired. He spent almost eight of his nine NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks (2005-06 to 2012-13), followed by one season with the Montreal Canadiens. He tallied 64 points and 412 PIMs in 518 NHL games.