NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2023
The Oilers’ Connor McDavid reaches 40 goals on the season while Canucks fans bid farewell to Bruce Boudreau during Hockey Day in Canada, Canadiens winger Cole Caufield to undergo season-ending surgery, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 40th goal of the season to double up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected three points for the Oilers (27-18-3), as they vaulted over the Los Angeles Kings into third place in the Pacific Division with 57 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid becomes the fastest player to reach 40 goals in a season (48 games) since Jaromir Jagr did it in 46 games in 1995-96.
The Canucks (18-25-3) have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Before the game, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported they’re expected to announce the hiring of Rick Tocchet as their new head coach on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news prompted an outpouring of support for embattled head coach Bruce Boudreau on social media and from Canucks fans during this game. Boudreau was touched by the cheers from the fans, bidding them a tearful farewell at the end of the game.
As I said before, the Canucks’ front office handled this situation very badly. They could’ve just fired Boudreau and named one of their assistant coaches to replace him on an interim basis until a full-time bench boss was found. Instead, they left him to twist in the wind as rumors ramped up over his future, forcing him to answer questions from the media day after day over his impending fate. It reflects poorly on the Canucks as a franchise, raising concerns over the direction of the club.
An overtime goal by Rem Pitlick lifted the injury-depleted Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pitlick finished the night with two points while Sam Montembeault stopped 36 shots as the Canadiens (20-24-3) overcame a 2-0 deficit to win three of their last four games. The 28-11-8 Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 64 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced that Cole Caufield will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his injured right shoulder. Caufield’s agent revealed his client had played with the injury over the past two-three months and was willing to continue but team doctors decided he would risk worsening the damage. The 22-year-old winger is the 11th Hab currently sidelined, joining such notables as Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Kaiden Guhle, Jake Allen and Juraj Slafkovsky.
Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the New York Islanders by a score of 5-2, handing the latter their eighth loss in their last nine games. The Hurricanes (29-9-8) hold a four-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points. With 51 points, the Islanders (23-20-5) remain two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Islanders recalled forward Aatu Raty to replace Cal Clutterbuck, who is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin missed this game with a lower-body injury.
Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to blank the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Radek Faksa tallied twice for the Stars (28-13-7) as they hold a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 63 points. The Coyotes dropped to 14-27-5.
Speaking of the Jets (61 points), they improved to 30-16-1 with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Captain Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists to reach his 900th career point while Mark Scheifele scored twice and collected an assist. Josh Norris replied for the Senators as they slipped to 20-23-3.
The Vegas Golden Knights remain one point behind the Jets for third overall in the Western Conference by downing the Washington Capitals 6-2. Paul Cotter tallied twice while Nicolas Roy had a goal and two assists for the 29-16-2 Golden Knights while T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson replied for the 25-18-6 Capitals, who remain three points ahead of the Penguins in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 56 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.
A shootout goal by Nathan MacKinnon lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. Alex Newhook scored in regulation for the Avalanche (25-17-3) as they’ve won five straight and vaulted over the Calgary Flames into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Ryan Donato replied for the Kraken, who’ve dropped three of their last four contests. At 27-14-5 (59 points), they sit one point behind the first-place Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.
The Flames, meanwhile, defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 as Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists while Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist. Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning (29-15-1) as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames (22-16-9) have the same number of points as the Avalanche (53), but the latter has three more wins and holds two games in hand.
Third-period goals by Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and Cole Smith powered the Nashville Predators to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Duchene scored twice while teammate Roman Josi collected three assists for the 22-18-6 Predators, who move within three points of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Kings (25-17-6) have lost three straight games and slipped into the first Western wild-card berth with 56 points.
Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon kicked out 29 shots to win his first start of the season by beating the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 23-20-5. With 51 points, they’re two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Kirill Kaprizov had three assists for the Wild (25-16-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild played without winger Marcus Foligno as he is sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.
The Chicago Blackhawks got a 29-save performance from Jaxson Stauber in his NHL debut to upset the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Jason Dickinson had a goal and two assists for the 14-26-4 Blackhawks, who’ve won six of their last seven games. Jordan Kyrou and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal and an assist for the Blues (23-21-3), who sit four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.
Buffalo Sabres forwards Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs each tallied two goals in a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ilya Lyubushkin collected three assists for the 23-19-3 Sabres as they moved to within four points of an Eastern wild-card spot with 49 points. Trevor Zegras scored twice and collected an assist for the 13-29-5 Ducks.
The Philadelphia Flyers got goals from Scott Laughton and Noah Cates to hold off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Carter Hart turned aside 30 shots for the Flyers (20-20-7) as they’ve won five of their last seven games. Lucas Raymond replied for the Red Wings as they slipped to 19-18-8 on the season.
Three unanswered third-period goals by Patrik Laine, Gustav Nyquist and Sean Kuraly lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Jackets improved to 14-30-2 while the Sharks fell to 14-24-9.