NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2020

The Lightning eliminate the Bruins, the Avalanche stay alive against the Stars, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the fourth time in six years, the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Eastern Conference Final. Victor Hedman scored in double overtime as the Lightning edged the Boston Bruins 3-2 to win their second-round series four games to one.

Tampa Bay LIghtning defenseman Victor Hedman (NHL Images)

Hedman had a goal and an assist while teammates Brayden Point and Kevin Shattenkirk each had two assists. Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli scored in regulation for the Bolts, who played without winger Nikita Kucherov as he left the game before the third period after being high-sticked by Zdeno Chara in the first period. David Pastrnak and David Krejci scored for the Bruins.

 

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning did a good job keeping Boston’s top line under wraps as this series went on. The Bruins’ lack of secondary scoring and the absence of starting goalie Tuukka Rask were contributing factors to their early demise.

After reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season and winning the Presidents’ Trophy this season, questions are being asked if the Bruins’ championship window is closing. Asked about his future plans, the 43-year-old Chara said he hadn’t reached a decision, intending to be open-minded.

No word yet as to how long Kucherov might be sidelined. Bolts blueliner Ryan McDonagh returned to the lineup since being sidelined in the first game of this series.

The Colorado Avalanche avoided elimination by riding a five-goal first period to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their second-round series. Avs third-string goalie Michael Hutchinson made 31 saves in his first-ever playoff start while the Stars’ Ben Bishop was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots. Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and collected an assist, giving him a playoff-leading 23 points. Andre Burakovsky scored twice and added an assist. The Stars still lead the series 3 games to 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop was shaky in his first start since Aug. 13 but he had little help from his teammates. The Stars were flat-footed and unprepared in the first period, outshot 23-5 in the first period.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers hired Jacques Martin as their new assistant coach.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Jeremy Rutherford cites sources claiming St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Bill Armstrong is believed to be a finalist for the vacant Florida Panthers GM position.

TSN: Thirteen NHL clubs will carry salary cap overages into next season. The Stars lead the list with over $2.9 million, followed by the Bruins ($1.928 million), Vancouver Canucks ($1.7 million), Carolina Hurricanes ($1.367 million), and Buffalo Sabres ($1.275 million). Because of the unusual circumstances emerging from this season, those teams have the option of dividing that amount equally over the next two seasons.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers re-signed forward Patrick Russell to a one-year, $700K contract extension.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said the club intends to honor defenseman Andrei Markov, who spent his entire 16-season NHL career with the Habs.    

 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2019

The Bruins’ top line has a big game against the Rangers, Oilers suffer their first home loss of the season, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand combined for 13 points as the Boston Bruins thumped the New York Rangers 6-2. Bergeron tallied a hat trick while Marchand and Pastrnak collected five points each. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after giving up four goals on 31 shots. Rangers center Mika Zibanejad left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury following a check from Bergeron and is listed as day-to-day.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak collected five assists in a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

The Edmonton Oilers suffered their first home loss of the season as they fell 6-2 to the Florida Panthers. Oilers goaltender Mike Smith was pulled after giving up three goals on the first three shots of the second period. Brian Boyle picked up his first points (one goal, one assist) since signing with the Panthers last week. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee each scored a goal as the New York Islanders picked up their seventh straight victory by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist for the Flyers. The Islanders played without forwards Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl as leg injuries have sidelined them for four-to-six weeks. Flyers forward Scott Laughton missed the game with a broken finger and is expected to miss four weeks.

David Perron’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Perron also had three assists while teammate Ryan O’Reilly scored twice and collected two helpers. Blues center Alexander Steen left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.

The Chicago Blackhawks snapped a four-game losing skid by beating the Los Angeles Kings 5-1. Forwards Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat each collected three points as they were reunited on the same line. Veteran Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch, though the club downplayed this move as a rest day.

Nick Paul (two goals, one assist) and Brady Tkachuk (one goal, two assists) led the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 upset of the San Jose Sharks. Veteran Senators winger Bobby Ryan was a healthy scratch. Brent Burns collected two assists for the Sharks.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Golden Knights rookie Nicolas Roy tallied his first career NHL goal.

IN OTHER NEWS…

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Adam Lowry will have a phone hearing today with the league’s department of player safety. Lowry hit Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington from behind during Saturday’s Heritage Classic game. 

CBS SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte is sidelined for a week with a lower-body injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 24, 2019

Updates on the Stanley Cup Finalists, Islanders re-sign Brock Nelson, Oilers reportedly to hire Dave Tippett as head coach, and the Senators hire D.J. Smith as head coach. Details and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Over 16,000 fans turned out for a Bruins intra-scrimmage game last night at Boston’s TD Garden. Bruins winger Brad Marchand left the game after jamming his left hand in a collision with Connor Clifton but returned to finish the contest. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Vince Dunn has resumed skating after missing the last three games of the Western Conference Final. Dunn was sidelined after taking a puck to the face during Game 3. He’s believed to be dealing with concussion symptoms. There’s no timetable for his return. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders re-signed center Brock Nelson to a six-year, $36-million contract. Nelson was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s completing a one-year, $4.25-million deal. 

New York Islanders re-sign center Brock Nelson (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a considerable pay raise for Nelson, who’s coming off a career-high 53-point performance.  Cap Friendly indicates the deal ($6 million annual average value) comes with a full no-trade clause in the first two years and a modified no-trade for the remaining term.

Such is the market value for a second-line center under a constantly rising salary cap. I anticipated Nelson would get at most $5.5 million on a five-year contract. 

Newsday’s Arthur Staple anticipated Islanders captain Anders Lee can expect a deal (from the Isles or someone else) worth $7 million annually. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins reports Dave Tippett is the new head coach of the Oilers. The hiring could be formally announced as early as today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tippett has 14 seasons of NHL head-coaching experience under his belt. However, there’s some concern over whether he can coach the new up-tempo style prevalent around the league. If he can’t, there won’t be much change in the Oilers’ fortunes. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators introduced D.J. Smith as their new head coach. Smith was an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like this hire by the Senators. Smith spent four seasons with the Leafs. Before that, he spent three seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. In 2014-15, he guided the Generals to the OHL championship and the Memorial Cup. He has lots of experience with young players, which should prove invaluable for the rebuilding Senators. 

Speaking of the Leafs, they hired former Florida Panthers assistant coach Paul McFarland as Smith’s replacement. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Two members of the San Jose Sharks dealt with multiple injuries during the playoffs. Captain Joe Pavelski suffered a head injury in the opening round. He also aggravated a knee injury in Game 5 of the Conference Final and had surgery on his left hand. Tomas Hertl suffered a head injury in Game 5 of the Final and broke his left pinkie finger in the opening round.

Erik Karlsson confirmed he reaggravated a lower-body injury and hopes to avoid off-season surgery. Joe Thornton suffered a groin injury in the conference final.

Thornton also said he hasn’t reached a decision yet on his future. If he does return for one more season, he said it’ll only be with the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Thornton has another year left in him. I also expect the Sharks will re-sign captain Pavelski. I don’t believe they can afford to re-sign Karlsson. 

MLIVE.COM:  Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin will be fine after being struck in the groin by a shot during a game against Canada in the IIHF World Championships. Larkin missed the remaining games for Team USA, who were eliminated yesterday by Russia. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have hired Mike Modano as an executive advisor to Craig Leipold, the club owner. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings cut ties with defenseman Slava Voynov after his season-long suspension was cut in half by an independent arbitrator. Voynov pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor corporal injury to his spouse in 2015. He was suspended indefinitely by the NHL and spent two months in jail before returning to Russia. The conviction was expunged last summer, but the league levied a one-year suspension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voynov can sign with an NHL club after 41 games this coming season. Given the reason behind his suspension, I doubt any NHL team will risk the public backlash. 

SPORTSNET: Jacques Martin will be staying with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach. He was interviewed by the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators for their head-coaching positions. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, they re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year deal worth $700K per season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks hired Tomas Mitell as an assistant coach. 

ESPN.COM: On a non-NHL note, the National Women’s Hockey League “is increasing salaries, offering a 50-50 split of sponsor-related revenues and improved benefits in an agreement reached with its players’ association.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2019

Hurricanes upset the Capitals to advance to the second round, the full second-round schedule released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: There will be a new Stanley Cup champion this season as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Washington Capitals 4-3 in double overtime to win Game 7 and advance to the second round of the playoffs. Brock McGinn scored the winning goal as the Hurricanes overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to force overtime. Justin Williams picked up his NHL record 15th career Game 7 point by assisting on McGinn’s goal. The Hurricanes will face the New York Islanders with Game 1 of that series starting tomorrow night at Barclays Center in New York.

Brock McGinn scored in double overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Washington Capitals 4-3 in Game 7 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The spring of upsets continues in this year’s postseason, with all four division leaders eliminated from the opening round for the first time in NHL history. This was the first series victory for the Hurricanes in 10 years. Their remarkable run this season reignited their once-dormant fan base.

It was a tough loss for the Capitals, who’d hoped to stage a second straight championship run. Not to detract from the Hurricanes’ impressive never-say-die attitude and solid work ethic in this series, but the Capitals were also their own worst enemies. Having two two-goal leads slip through their fingers and failing to generate a shot on goal during a rare overtime powerplay in this game will haunt them throughout the offseason. 

The league released the full second-round schedule. It kicks off tonight with the Boston Bruins hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their series while the Dallas Stars travel to St. Louis to face the Blues.

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, Nashville Predators winger Wayne Simmonds, and Hurricanes winger Justin Williams are this year’s finalists for the Messier NHL Leadership Award.

 

 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (lower-body injury) is ruled out for Game 1 of Dallas’ series against the St. Louis Blues.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed goaltender Thatcher Demko to a two-year, $2.1-million contract. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators have sought permission from the Pittsburgh Penguins to speak with assistant coach Jacques Martin. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have parted ways with assistant coach Don Granato. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2019

Game recaps, Flames retire Jarome Iginla’s No. 12, Ducks officially re-sign Jakob Silfverberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild picked up their fifth straight victory by doubling up the Calgary Flames 4-2, snapping the latter’s seven-game winning streak. The Wild’s Ryan Donato scored to extend his points streak to five games. With 70 points, the Wild hold the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Wild winger Zach Parise missed the game with an undisclosed injury. 

Before the game, the Flames honored former captain and future Hall-of-Famer Jarome Iginla by raising his No. 12 to the rafters of the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, and with all due respect to Lanny McDonald, Iginla was the greatest player in Flames history. He was also among the elite power forwards of the “Dead Puck Era”, tallying 20-or-more goals 17 times in his 20-season career. He’s going to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.  

Sidney Crosby’s four-point performance carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images)

Sidney Crosby had a four-point performance to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens. Crosby moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time Penguins goal-scoring list with his 495th career goal. Jakes Guentzel also scored twice for the Penguins (77 points), who moved ahead of the Canadiens (77 points) for the first Eastern wild-card berth on the basis of games in hand. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied an NHL record by collecting their 50th win in their 66th game by thumping the hapless Ottawa Senators 5-1. The Lightning matched the record set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings. They sit atop the NHL’s overall standings with 104 points. 

Leon Draisaitl tallied his 40th goal of the season and Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each collected three points. The loss leaves the Jackets (75 points) two points outside of the Eastern Conference playoff standings while the Oilers (63 points) sit seven points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Los Angeles Kings dealt a blow to the Chicago Blackhawks’ playoff hopes with a 6-3 victory. Dustin Brown scored twice and Jonathan Quick turned aside 29 shots. The Kings snapped a 10-game losing skid. Brendan Perlini also scored two goals for the Blackhawks (63 points) who sit seven points out of a postseason berth. 

Tuukka Rask made 20 saves and Brad Marchand scored the only goal as the Boston Bruins shut out the New Jersey Devils 1-0. With 87 points, the Bruins remain three up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Devils were playing without forward Kurtis Gabriel, who received a one-game suspension for boarding Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick. 

The Leafs, meanwhile, defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. John Tavares and Mitch Marner each had a goal and two assists. The Sabres (68 points) playoff hopes are fading as they sit nine points out of a wild-card in the East. 

Sebastian Aho scored in overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. It was the fifth straight win for the Hurricanes (78 points), who sit one up on the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their sixth consecutive victory by downing the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (69 points), who sit one point out of a Western Conference playoff spot. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced defenseman Jason Demers is being sent to their AHL affiliate in Tucson on a two-week conditioning stint. Demers has been sidelined since November with a lower-body injury. 

Jamie Benn’s hat trick powered the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Stars (71 points) moved into the first wild-card spot in the West and sit just three points back of the Blues for third in the Central Division. Blues winger Jaden Schwartz received a $5,000.00 fine for cross-checking Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks officially re-signed winger Jakob Silfverberg to a five-year contract extension worth $5.25-million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the deal also comes with a modified no-trade clause in which he submits a 12-team no-trade list. He’s a good two-way winger and a streaky scorer, who reached the 40-point plateau in each of the last two seasons. The raise seems a tad high but he provides the Ducks with much-needed experience and skill on the wing. 

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry received a two-game suspension for high-sticking Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg. 

CBS SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks could be without two key players for today’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Defenseman Brent Burns is battling illness while Evander Kane has a mid-body injury

CBS SPORTS: New York Islanders winger Matt Martin is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2018

Game recaps, players of the week, plus updates on Ilya Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo, Karl Alzner, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Mitch Marner set up three goals, Frederik Andersen made 38 saves, and Patrick Marleau collected an assist in his 1,600th career NHL game as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2. David Pastrnak tallied both Bruins goals.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller left the game in the first period after taking a puck to the throat while winger Jake DeBrusk might require medical assessment after being struck by a shot in the back of his head. Miller’s x-rays were negative but he remained in the hospital for observation. 

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Patrick Marleau played in his 1,600th career NHL game. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Washington Capitals faced their former coach Barry Trotz for the first time, defeating his New York Islanders 4-1. Tom Wilson scored twice as the Capitals extended their winning streak to six games.

Before the game, the Capitals presented Trotz and his assistants Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn with their Stanley Cup rings. Earlier in the day, the Islanders activated winger Matt Martin off injured reserve.

Artemi Panarin had three points and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Detroit Red Wings 7-5. Anthony Mantha scored two goals for the Wings. 

The Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Jonathan Huberdeau (three points) scored the game-tying goal and Mike Hoffman netted the winners.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers revealed goaltender Roberto Luongo is considered day-to-day after re-injuring his right knee. Luongo injured the knee in the Panthers’ season opener and was sidelined for a month. 

Three third-period goals gave the New York Rangers a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist. 

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 25, 2018. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk’s playing time has declined under new head coach Willie Desjardins. In July, the Kings signed Kovalchuk to a three-year contract with a no-movement clause in its first two seasons. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication the Kings are looking to move Kovalchuk but his reduced ice time has caught the attention of NHL pundits. Could be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks, especially if the Kings fail to make any notable improvement. 

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens placed defenseman Karl Alzner on waivers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alzner signed a five-year, $23.125-million contract last year with the Canadiens but he’s been a frequent healthy scratch this season as the Habs employ a faster-paced system. He’s not expected to be claimed and could be sent to their AHL affiliate in Laval.

It’s also possible the Canadiens are making this move to determine if there’s any possibility of trading him but his salary, modified no-trade clause, and his lack of speed mean they probably won’t find any takers unless they agree to pick up half of his salary. Even then, it’s doubtful they’ll find a deal. They could consider buying him out next summer, though they’ll face cap hits of $4.194 million in 2020-21 and $2.194 million in 2021-22. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (lower-body injury) could return to the lineup tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.