NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2020

The Lightning crushed the Bruins, the Flyers edge the Islanders in overtime, and the Avalanche get a big win over the Stars. Meanwhile, the NHL faces criticism over its response to protests over the Jacob Blake shooting. The latest in today’s morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the Boston Bruins 7-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round series. Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and set up three others while Alex Killorn tallied twice and added an assist. The Bolts chased Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak from the game after he gave up four goals on 16 shots. His replacement, rookie Dan Vladar, didn’t fare any better, allowing three goals on 15 shots.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was over in the second period as the Lightning scored four goals to take a 6-1 lead by period’s end. The Bruins were undisciplined and the Bolts made them pay with three power-play goals. 

Philippe Myers scored in overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New York Islanders 4-3 to tie their series at a game apiece. Kevin Hayes scored twice for the Flyers, who blew a 3-0 lead as the Isles battled back to tie the game after replacing goalie Semyon Varlamov with backup Thomas Greiss.



SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ top forwards played significant roles in this game, with Hayes scoring twice, Sean Couturier potting his first of the playoffs and assisting on Myers’ game-winner, while Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny each collected an assist. Nevertheless, the Flyers also learned a three-goal lead isn’t safe against the determined Islanders.

The Colorado Avalanche scored three unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Dallas Stars 6-4 in Game 3 of their second-round series. The Stars lead the series two games to one and were on the verge of taking a 3-0 series lead after rallying from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead before the Avs’ staged their comeback. Nazem Kadri netted the winning goal, Cale Makar collected three assists, and Nathan MacKinnon added two helpers. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin tallied for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an entertaining contest that see-sawed back and forth before the Avs rallied for the win. It wasn’t a shining moment for the goalies, as Colorado’s Pavel Francouz and Dallas’ Anton Khudobin looked shaky in this match.


SPORTSNET: The NHL opted not to postpone Wednesday’s games in the wake of the NBA’s decision to delay its games after players from several of its teams boycotted games in protest over the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The NHL instead staged a moment of reflection before the Tampa/Boston and Colorado/Dallas games.

The NHL’s decision prompted criticism from Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba and San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who are among the members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance fighting racial injustice. Dumba called the move “disheartening” while Kane felt it was disappointing. Both men felt the NHL should do more to acknowledge the situation. 

CBC SPORTS: Hockey analyst Kelly Hrudey shared those sentiments, saying he felt the NHL should’ve postponed those games to show support for their NBA peers and the Black Lives Matter movement. He felt the league was missing out on important discussions about racial injustice.

ESPN.COM: Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning players said they learned about the NBA players boycott just before their game and didn’t have sufficient time to discuss the matter.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara voiced his support for his peers in other sports who sat out yesterday’s games. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he would’ve supported his players had they opted not to play. Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson of the Dallas Stars and Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche also voiced support, adding boycotting games isn’t the only way to back the cause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what transpires for today’s NHL games between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders and the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks. The league could be forced to postpone those games if players from those teams opt not to participate in support of their NBA peers.

THE SCORE: Sharks captain Logan Couture issued an apology after a tweet he made regarding American politics went viral. Couture claimed he was sucker-punched in Toronto after talking about voting for the Republican Party and mentioning US President Donald Trump. He added he didn’t explicitly say he’d vote for Trump but would vote Republican if he was an American citizen. Couture subsequently deleted those tweets after facing considerable criticism. The Sharks issued a statement condemning the use of violence toward Couture.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault issued an apology for lashing out at several fans on Instagram who criticized his play during his club’s 5-2 loss to Vancouver. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko will undergo a third surgery on his left shoulder and will be sidelined for five months. Meanwhile, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong indicated one-fifth of his squad tested positive for COVID-19 at some point before they departed for Edmonton on July 19. None of those players were asymptomatic, but their fitness levels were affected because they couldn’t train while under quarantine.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes will forfeit its second-round pick in 2020 and its first-round pick in 2021 as punishment for violating the NHL’s combine scouting policy. The league prohibits teams from testing prospects’ fitness before its’ annual draft combine.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Claude Julien expects to return behind the Canadiens bench whenever next season begins. The Habs coach had to leave his club during their first-round series against Philadelphia after experiencing chest pains. He had a stent implanted in one of his arteries and is expected to make a full recovery.

NHL.COM: Defenseman Mike Green announced his retirement after 15 seasons with the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, and Edmonton Oilers. He netted 501 points in 880 career NHL games, as well as 37 points in 76 playoff contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green’s best years were with the Capitals, including back-to-back 70-plus point campaigns in 2008-09 and 2009-10. He was a First Team All-Star and a finalist for the Norris Trophy in both those seasons. Injuries, however, would hamper his performance over the remainder of his career. Best wishes to Green and his family in their future endeavors.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2020

Sidney Crosby picks up four points in his return to action, Connor Hellebuyck sets a Jets record, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored and set up three others to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Minnesota Wild 7-3. It was Crosby’s first game since undergoing core muscle surgery two months ago. Evgeni Malkin tallied twice for the Penguins. Wild winger Zach Parise potted two goals as his club dropped its fourth straight game.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a four-point performance in his first game since Nov. 9 (Photo via NHL Images).

After being blown out 8-4 in their previous game, the Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the New Jersey Devils 7-4. Austin Matthews tallied a hat trick, John Tavares had three points, and call-up defenseman Rasmus Sandin had two assists. Blake Coleman netted a hat trick for the Devils.

Connor Hellebuyck set a franchise record for shutouts as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. Hellebuyck made 41 saves for his 18th career shutout, setting the club record. Kyle Connor scored twice and picked up an assist.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 34 saves for his second straight shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Boston Bruins. The Jackets are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers (47 points) but the latter holds the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with a game in hand. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask left the game in the first period with a concussion after getting elbowed in the head by Columbus forward Emil Bemstrom. There was no penalty on the play.

The Dallas Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on an overtime goal by Esa Lindell. Nathan MacKinnon had two assists for the Avalanche, who’ve dropped nine of their last 12 contests.

A lacrosse-style goal by Filip Forsberg couldn’t prevent his Nashville Predators from dropping a 4-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisailt each had three points for the Oilers, as the duo remain atop the NHL scoring race.

Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall each scored twice to lead the Arizona Coyotes over the San Jose Sharks 6-3. Derek Stepan and Conor Garland each collected three points for the Coyotes.

The Tampa Bay Lightning overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to edge the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on a shootout goal by Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 38 saves to pick up his ninth consecutive victory. Jeff Carter had two points for the Kings.

A four-goal first period carried the New York Islanders to an 8-2 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Brock Nelson scored twice and Jordan Eberle netted his 500th career NHL point. The Isles snapped a three-game losing skid.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored the game-winner as his club doubled up the Vegas Golden Kights 4-2. Sabres winger Sam Reinhart also scored and picked up two assists. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault returned to action following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights have dropped four in a row.

Jonathan Toews’ overtime goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the slumping Ottawa Senators. Dominik Kubalik tallied twice for the Blackhawks, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame. The Senators are winless in their last eight games (0-4-4).


NORTHJERSEY.COM: Devils center Nico Hischier will replace sidelined teammate Kyle Palmieri in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25.

THE ATHLETIC: A lower-body injury will prevent Arizona Coyotes netminder Darcy Kuemper from participating in the upcoming All-Star Game.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian vows to repay Matthew Tkachuk in kind after taking what he considered to be two blindside hits from the Calgary Flames winger in a recent game. Kassian is serving a two-game suspension from the league following an altercation with Tkachuk after the second hit. The league determined Tkachuk’s hit didn’t break the rules. Kassian’s first game following his suspension will be against the Flames on Jan. 29.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have a feeling league officials will let both players know they’ll be closely watched in their upcoming games against each other.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson will be sidelined five-to-six months following shoulder surgery yesterday.

KSDK.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Colton Parayko (upper-body) on injured reserve and activated blueliner Carl Gunnarsson.

NHL Injury Outlook Week 15: The Start of 2020

NHL Injury Outlook Week 15: The Start of 2020


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2019

Bruins and Sharks advance to the second round, King Clancy Trophy finalists revealed, second-round schedule scenarios, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Barclay Goodrow’s overtime goal lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their opening-round series, propelling the Sharks into the second round against the Colorado Avalanche.

Barclay Goodrow’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their opening-round series. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Sharks overcame a 3-0 deficit with four power-play goals in the third period after Golden Knights center Cody Eakin received a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking Sharks center Joe Pavelski, who was forced to lead the game with a head injury. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault scored the game-tying goal in the final minute of the third to force the extra frame. Logan Couture scored twice and Kevin Labanc had a four-point performance for the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks deserve full marks for overcoming a 3-1 series deficit and a 3-goal deficit in this game to defeat the Golden Knights. It was an impressive comeback for a club that appeared poised for a quick first-round elimination.

Marchessault and his Vegas teammates weren’t happy with the severity of the penalty to Eakin, which turned the tide of the game as the Golden Knights appeared to have the game in hand up to that moment. I don’t believe Eakin intended to injure Pavelski, who was knocked off balance and struck his head on the ice, but the blood pouring out of the latter’s helmet pretty much sealed Eakin’s fate. 

For the second straight year and the third time since 2013, the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of an opening-round series, this time with a 5-1 victory. The Bruins move on to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round. Joakim Norstrom and Sean Kuraly each had a goal and an assist while Tuukka Rask made 32 saves. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was the Bruins’ supporting cast who got the job done in this one, with Nordstrom, Kuraly, Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson tallying four of Boston’s five’ goals. The Bruins series victory, however, is being overshadowed by the blizzard of press coverage over the Leafs failure yet again to advance to the second round. I’ll have more on that later this morning in the Rumors section.

The Carolina Hurricanes hope to have sidelined forwards Andrei Svechnikov (concussion) and Micheal Ferland (upper-body injury) back in the lineup for tonight’s Game 7 against the Washington Capitals. 

The NHL released its second-round schedule scenarios, with the next round kicking off on Thursday with the Columbus Blue Jackets facing off against the Boston Bruins and the Dallas Stars meeting the St. Louis Blues. 

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, and Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker are this year’s finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian underwent his second hip surgery in 14 months and could miss the start of next season. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to correct a chronic minor ailment. The procedure isn’t expected to affect his offseason training. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Former NHL forward Neal Broten “has been cited in western Wisconsin for what is now his third drunken-driving arrest.” 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2019

Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their eighth straight win over the Buffalo Sabres in a 6-5 overtime victory. Teuvo Teravainen scored twice including the game-winner. It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Sabres, who had overcome a 5-3 deficit to force the extra frame. Jeff Skinner also scored two goals while Sam Reinhart called out his goaltenders. “We need more from our goalies and we need it from the start of hockey games. It’s frustrating.”

Mike Matheson’s overtime goal lifted the Florida Panthers over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tied Mario Lemieux for the most games played (915) in franchise history. 

Josh Bailey scored the only goal in the shootout as the New York Islanders edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1. The Isles (68 points) hold a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the OT winner in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Capitals, they blew a 3-1 lead but Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal enabled them to squeak past the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. It was Kuznetsov’s second goal of the game. The Avs (53 points) have dropped 15 of their last 18 contests and sit two points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference

Tyler Toffoli’s shootout goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak. Veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf was a healthy scratch

Jonathan Drouin and Phillip Danault each had four-point performances as the Montreal Canadiens dominated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. It was the Canadiens’ eighth win in their last 10 games and moved them within one point of the Toronto Maple Leafs (69 points) for second in the Atlantic Division. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 48 saves in a losing cause while coach Paul Maurice called his club’s performance “horseshit.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gotta love Maurice’s blunt assessment. Not to take anything away from the Canadiens’ well-deserved victory but the Jets certainly weren’t at their best in this contest. 

Anders Nilsson 45-save shutout carried the Ottawa Senators to a 4-0 victory over the floundering Anaheim Ducks, who’ve dropped six straight games and 18 of their last 20. Ducks goaltender John Gibson was pulled from the game following the second period as a precautionary measure following a collision with teammate Jaycob Megna.

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 36 shots to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. 

The St. Louis Blues continued their climb in the Western Conference standings by blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0. Brayden Schenn scored the only goal and Jordan Binnington made 32 stops for the Blues (55 points), who vaulted into the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, the Blues were wallowing near the bottom of the conference and most observers expected them to be sellers by the trade deadline. There’s no more talk of selling now. 

Speaking of teams rising from the dead in the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks picked up their sixth consecutive victory and moved to within two points of a wild-card spot by nipping the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Jonathan Toews. The Canucks (55 points) sit just behind the Blues in the wild-card race. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed goalie Thatcher Demko would miss seven-to-10 days with a slight sprain. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt we’ll hear any more talk about the Blackhawks approaching Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook about waiving their no-movement clauses. 

The Nashville Predators ended the Dallas Stars’ five-game win streak with a 3-2 overtime victory. Ryan Johansen tallied the winner for the Predators, who activated center Kyle Turris off injured reserve. 

The Edmonton Oilers kept their playoffs hopes alive by downing the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to snap a seven-game winless skid. The Oilers (53 points) sit two points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Following the game, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau lamented his slumping club’s poor performance. “There’s some guys there that just are a shell of the players that I’ve known for two-and-a-half years,” he said. 

San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones made 36 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl each scored twice and picked up an assist. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2019

Game recaps plus updates on Erik Karlsson, Mikko Rantanen, Tuukka Rask, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks picked up their second straight win following a 12-game losing skid by edging the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Goaltender John Gibson made 29 saves and rookie Troy Terry collected his first two NHL points, including a goal. Daniel Sprong also had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, Devils winger Kyle Palmieri was named as Taylor Hall’s replacement in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game while Miles Wood (lower body) was placed on injured reserve. 

A six-goal second period powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-1 drubbing of the Los Angeles Kings. Avs winger Mikko Rantanen scored twice but also left the game as a precautionary measure due to a lower-body injury. Tyson Barrie collected three assists. 

St. Louis Blues rookie goalie Jordan Binnington made 28 saves to pick up his fourth win in five stars in a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. The Blues also activated forward Alex Steen off injured reserve but winger David Perron is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

The Dallas Stars snapped a four-game losing skid by doubling up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Ben Bishop made 27 stops while blueliners John Klingberg and Esa Lindell each collected two assists. 

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is now sixth on the NHL’s all-time wins list. (Photo via NHL Images)

New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist backstopped his club to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. It was his 446th career victory and moved Lundqvist into sixth on the all-time wins list. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion following a first-period collision with Rangers forward Filip Chytil. Mika Zibanejad scored twice for the Blueshirts. 

Two third-period goals by Nolan Patrick helped the Philadelphia Flyers down the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Flyers rookie goalie Carter Hart turned aside 33 shots. 

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored twice and set up another to lead his club to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. Evander Kane scored twice for the Sharks while teammate Erik Karlsson was a late scratch due to a nagging lower-body injury. 

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Eklad scored a goal and added an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. It was Ekblad’s 62nd career goal, setting a franchise record for defensemen. 

Zach Parise’s 20th goal of the season was also the game-winner as the Minnesota Wild nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. 

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault tallied a hat trick in a 7-3 thumping of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the ninth win in 11 games for the Golden Knights, who also welcomed back defenseman Colin Miller off injured reserve. 

The Calgary Flames extended their points streak to eight games (7-0-1) by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Flames captain Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists. 

NBC SPORTS: The concussion lawsuit settlement deadline for NHL players has been extended. It’s not immediately clear what the new deadline is for the 318 players who had sued the league claiming it failed to protect them or warn them about the dangers of head injuries.