NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2022

The Lightning takes a 2-0 series lead over the Panthers, the Blues tie their series with the Avalanche, the Jack Adams Award finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series over the Florida Panthers with a 2-1 victory in Game 2. Ross Colton snapped a 1-1 tie with 3.8 seconds remaining in the third period on a terrific behind-the-back pass by Nikita Kucherov from behind the Panthers’ net. Corey Perry opened the scoring for the Lightning in the first period but Eetu Luostarinen tied the game in the second. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves for the win while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots for the Panthers. The series shifts to Tampa Bay for Game 3 on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning have done an outstanding job neutralizing the Panthers’ vaunted offense, limiting the league’s high-scoring team in the regular season to just two goals thus far. They’re doing it with solid physical defensive play and strong goaltending from Vasilevskiy.

Like it or not, the Lightning are a great team, and great teams find a way to win. The Maple Leafs learned that lesson in the first round. Now, it’s the Panthers’ turn, and if they don’t address this issue soon, they’ll be joining the Leafs on the golf course next week.

St. Louis Blues winger David Perron (NHL Images).

A two-goal performance by David Perron led the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Pavel Buchnevich collected two assists while Jordan Binnington kicked out 30 shots for the win. Gabriel Landeskog tallied the Avs’ lone goal. The series heads to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Game 1 was all about the Avalanche’s dominance. It was a different story in Game 2, thanks again to Binnington’s goaltending but also head coach Craig Berube shuffling his lines. Buchnevich was moved to the first line with Perron and Ryan O’Reilly, Robert Thomas centered the second line with Jordan Kyrou and Brandon Saad, while Vladimir Tarasenko was moved to the third line alongside Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers’ Andrew Brunette, the New York Rangers’ Gerard Gallant, and the Calgary Flames’ Darryl Sutter are the finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant won the award as coach of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18 and was a finalist with the Florida Panthers in 2015-16. It’s the second time Sutter has been named a finalist and the first time for Brunette.

Sutter shrugged off the nomination. He said he’d rather see it go to younger coaches or to Gallant, who he felt got a raw deal with the Golden Knights and Panthers over the way he was let go by those clubs.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins president Cam Neely told reporters on Thursday that the club intends to extend the contract of general manager Don Sweeney. However, he was vague over the future of head coach Bruce Cassidy, suggesting the club needs some changes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe a coaching change will improve the Bruins next season. On the other hand, replacing Cassidy would make him appear the scapegoat for the front office’s inability to address the roster’s weaknesses, especially at the second-line center position.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Sweeney indicated he intends to open contract extension talks with David Pastrnak as soon as possible. The 25-year-old winger is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no indication that Pastrnak would entertain hitting the open market next summer. I expect the Bruins will try to get him signed to an eight-year extension worth between $8 million and $9 million annually.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Mike Smith will return in goal for the Oilers in Game 2 tonight against the Calgary Flames. He got the hook early in the first period of Game 1 after giving up three goals on 10 shots.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie faces some decisions over his recovery and healing from different ailments suffered over the course of this season. The 35-year-old winger was limited to 44 games this season by multiple injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aging bodies don’t bounce back as quickly from injuries. Oshie might also have to change the way he conducts his offseason training.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Anaheim Ducks forward Dominik Simon confirmed an altercation with Detroit Red Wings defenseman (and Czechia teammate) Filip Hronek during the ongoing World Championships led to his recent decision to leave the Czechia team and return home. Simon took responsibility for the incident, citing emotions from a recent game and from his personal life that led to his attempt to provoke a fight with Hronek.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan laments the deluge of sports betting ads on Hockey Night in Canada during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand why the NHL and HNiC are pushing gambling given the league’s recent tapping into the lucrative sports betting market. However, they’re going overboard with the neverending ads during commercial breaks and the constant huckstering by the HNiC staff. I also share Cowan’s unease over the effect it could have on compulsive gamblers and their families.

NORTH JERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils play-by-play announcer Steve Cangialosi is stepping down after 11 seasons.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Savannah Ghost Pirates will be the ECHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Love the name of the franchise and the logo. I’ll have to look into buying a Ghost Pirates hat or a jersey at some point.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2022

The Leafs down the Hurricanes, the Senators defeat the Devils, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAMES RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews each scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Marner tallied the winner in overtime to extend his goals streak to eight games while Matthews moved into third place (31 goals) in the NHL goal-scoring race. The Leafs (63 points) have won six straight and sit three points behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

Ottawa Senators forwards Connor Brown and Nick Paul each had a goal and an assist while goaltender Matt Murray made 32 saves in a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. Brown has missed nine games with a broken jaw.

HEADLINES

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner and Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb.6, 2022.

SPORTSNET: Jack Eichel skated in practice with the Vegas Golden Knights without a non-contact jersey yesterday for the first time since they acquired him last November from the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s debut with the Golden Knights reportedly remains several weeks away. He could suit up by late February at the earliest but there’s talk his first game could take place in March.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins have shut down goaltender Tuukka Rask for the remainder of this week with a lower-body injury.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Netminder Mike Smith has come off injured reserve but his age and injury history suggest the Oilers cannot rely on him to carry the starter’s duties for the remainder of this season. He’s only appeared in six games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could turn to inexperienced Stuart Skinner if Smith gets hurt again and/or if Mikko Koskinen continues to struggle. General manager Ken Holland could also try to add a goalie before the March 21 trade deadline.

CBS SPORTS: The Ottawa Senators will be without center Josh Norris for two more weeks as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed top prospect goalie Mack Guzda to a three-year entry-level contract. Guzda, 21, is an undrafted netminder with the Barrie Colts who was the OHL’s top goalie in December and January. He’ll continue to play for the Colts but could join the Panthers or their AHL affiliate in Charlotte at the end of the OHL season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Guzda signing prompted some observers to wonder if this move means the Panthers could shop young goalie Spencer Knight, perhaps to the Arizona Coyotes as part of a package for Jakob Chychrun before the March 21 trade deadline. However, I think that conjecture is premature. Trading away Knight this season would leave the Panthers without a reliable backup for Sergei Bobrovsky. They won’t toss an inexperienced kid into that role.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2022

Tuukka Rask makes a triumphant return to the Bruins, the 2022 All-Star Game rosters and captains are revealed but several notable players are passed over, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in his season debut as he backstopped the Boston Bruins over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. David Pastrnak tallied all of the Bruins’ goals, including the game-winner on the power play to snap a 2-2 tie in the second period. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist for the Flyers while teammate Carter Hart turned aside 33 shots. With 44 points, the Bruins moved to within three points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Penguins, they fell 6-2 to the Los Angeles Kings as the latter tallied four unanswered third-period goals, including three in a span of 1:23. Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored twice and set up another while Sean Durzi had a three-point performance and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves. The Kings (43 points) move into third place in the Pacific Division.

Nikita Kucherov collected two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 24 shots as the Tampa Bay Lightning doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. The Lightning holds a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings with 55 points. The Canucks have lost three of their last four contests.

The New York Rangers Rangers got a 37-save shutout from Igor Shesterkin in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Chris Kreider scored twice, including his first NHL shorthanded goal. Braden Schneider scored in his first NHL game. The Rangers (52 points) sit atop the Metropolitan Division while the Sharks (41 points) still cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with a one-point lead over the Calgary Flames.

Speaking of the Flames, they were upset 4-1 by the Ottawa Senators. Nick Paul tallied twice while Matt Murray made 27 saves for his first win of the season. The Flames have dropped four straight games.

Connor Hellebuyck picked up the shutout with a 33-save performance to blank the Detroit Red Wings 3-0. Andrew Copp scored two goals and Kyle Connor scored shorthanded. The Jets (39 points) are two points behind the Sharks and one back of the Flames.

A four-goal third period carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 6-0 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes. Elvis Merzlikins turned in a 31-save shutout and Yegor Chinakhov scored two goals. The loss leaves the Hurricanes two points behind the Rangers in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Third-period goals by Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Seattle Kraken 2-1. The Blues extended their home points streak to 13 games while the Kraken have lost eight straight. With 49 points, the Blues are one point behind the first-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division.

The Predators, meanwhile, saw their five-game win streak halted in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Jeff Skinner tallied twice while Aaron Dell made 29 saves for the Sabres.

Mathew Barzal broke a 2-2 tie to lift the New York Islanders over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 Barzal’s teammates Zach Parise and Josh Bailey each collected two points as the Isles’ played their first game in 11 days.

Philipp Kurashev scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2, handing the latter their five straight loss. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane also scored to snap a 13-game goalless drought. The Canadiens played without goalie Jake Allen, who is sidelined for a week with a lower-body injury. Teammate Chris Wideman also missed this game as he’s serving a one-game suspension for head-butting Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula.

HEADLINES

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox and Colorado Avalanche blueliner Cale Makar were among the notable first-time selections for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game to be held in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena on Feb. 5.

Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid were named captains of their respective division squads as chosen by fan voting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link to see the full rosters as well as the candidates for the “Last Man In” for each division to be decided by fan voting.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin were among the notables passed over for selection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The exclusion of Markstrom, Rantanen and Ekblad could be a result of being overshadowed by their more well-known teammates. Marchand’s snub is likely tied to his well-earned reputation for questionable play.

Shesterkin still isn’t as well-known as he should be, though his profile should improve if the Rangers remain among the league’s top clubs. It won’t help him become a participant in this year’s All-Star Game but could help him garner recognition for next season’s event.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: A partial tear in a thumb tendon has sidelined Oilers goaltender Mike Smith for at least a week, possibly two. The club has recalled Stuart Skinner from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Signing Evander Kane could help resolve that issue…oh, wait, he’s not a goaltender…never mind…

SPORTSNET: Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome, New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere and Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny are among the notable players added to the NHL’s COVID protocol on Jan. 13.

AHL’s Iowa Wild signed Eric Staal to a professional tryout contract.

TSN: The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said individual active NHL players will not be permitted to take part in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, any player under an NHL contract cannot participate in the Beijing Olympics.

THE SCORE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Quebec finance minister Eric Girard the league isn’t aware of any opportunity at this time that would lead to a franchise returning to Quebec City.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As one observer noted on Twitter, that was Bettman’s polite way of saying, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Oh, and for those of you saying, “What about the Arizona Coyotes?”, should that club be relocated, it’ll likely be to another American city in the Western Conference such as Houston.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2021

The Canucks remain unbeaten since their coaching change, the Flyers’ Claude Giroux reaches a milestone, changes made to COVID protocol rules, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks extended their winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on an overtime goal by J.T. Miller. Ducks Sam Carrick opened the scoring but Tanner Pearson tied it for the Canucks. It was a costly loss for the Ducks as defenseman Cam Fowler suffered an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An impressive turnaround by the Canucks since hiring Bruce Boudreau as their head coach. With 32 points, they’re just four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

Claude Giroux collected his 600th career assist as his Philadelphia Flyers picked up a 3-2 overtime victory against the Seattle Kraken. Giroux now sits second all-time among Flyers scorers with 884 career points. James van Riemsdyk scored twice including the game-tying goal that set the stage for Ivan Provorov’s game-winner. Martin Jones made 34 saves for the win.

The Washington Capitals blew a 3-0 lead but rallied to down the Nashville Predators 5-3 on third-period goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Carl Hagelin. Washington defenseman John Carlson finished the night with a goal and three assists. With 45 points, the Capitals moved to within one point of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by MacKenzie Weegar, Carter Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair carried the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 30 shots for the Panthers as they picked up their league-leading 15th home win. Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist.

The St. Louis Blues extended their home points streak to 10 games by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and two assists for the Blues. With 41 points, they’re one back of the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Oilers goalie Mike Smith made 29 saves in his first game since being sidelined by an ankle injury on Oct. 19.

New Jersey Devils forwards Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. The win snaps a six-game losing skid for the Devils. Sabres forward Tage Thompson scored twice.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The NHL and NHL Players Association agreed to reduce the isolation period for a positive COVID test from 10 days to five for fully vaccinated players and hockey operations staff, including coaches. That’s in line with new guidelines announced earlier this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. However, the 10-day isolation period remains in effect in Canada based on federal and provincial guidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication yet if the federal and respective provincial governments in Canada will also lower their isolation guidelines or provide exemptions for the NHL.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser and Pittsburgh Penguins Kasperi Kapanen were among a handful of players added to the COVID protocol yesterday.

NHL.COM: The International Ice Hockey Federation yesterday canceled the remainder of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship after the United States, Czechia and Russia forfeited games when players tested positive for COVID-19.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: IIHF president Luc Tardiff said the federation hopes to continue the WJC in the summer of 2022 in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of NHL draft picks were participating in this tournament. It was also an opportunity for fans to catch their first glimpse of notable prospects such as the Kingston Frontenac’s Shane Wright, considered the favorite to be the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

There’s also talk that players in this tournament who turn 20 before next summer will be allowed to participate in the IIHF’s plans for a summer event. There are also said to be plans afoot to stage other canceled tournaments this summer, including the recently canceled Women’s Under-18 Championship.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anze Kopitar recently picked up his 673rd career NHL assist to move past Wayne Gretzky into second place among the Kings’ all-time scorers in that category. The milestone came during the Kings’ 6-3 loss on Tuesday to the Vegas Golden Knights.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

Leon Draisaitl powers the Oilers to a comeback win, the Kings and Ducks extend their winning streaks, the Blue Jackets set to honor Rick Nash and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the third period as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-3. Draisaitl leads all NHL scorers with 12 goals and also collected an assist. Teammate Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his points streak to 12 games. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for the Bruins.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 26 points, Draisaitl sits two points ahead of McDavid atop the NHL scoring race.

A 34-save shutout performance by Jonathan Quick carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Anze Kopitar and Andreas Athanasiou were the goal scorers as the Kings (8-5-1) extended their win streak to seven games. The Senators have nine players on the COVID protocol list, including Matt Murray, Alex Formenton and Nikita Zaitsev going on the list yesterday. Sens defenseman Artem Zub left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be the last game the Senators play for a while if more of their players end up on the COVID list over the next couple of days. The league is monitoring their situation closely and could postpone several upcoming games.

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games in a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists as the Ducks (8-4-3) have won six in a row. Jared McCann tallied twice for the slumping Kraken (4-9-1), who’ve dropped three straight games.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists while defensemen Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard each had two points as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the Vancouver Canucks 7-1. The Avs scored three times in the first period and another three in the second to put the game out of reach. Colorado blueliner Bowen Byram left the game in the first period after taking an elbow to the face from Canucks center Bo Horvat. Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman was ejected in the third period for swinging his stick at the head of Avs forward Kiefer Sherwood.

The New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Islanders 4-0 with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicking out 42 shots for the shutout. Dougie Hamilton led the way with a goal and an assist.

Zach Fucale made 21 saves to become the first goalie in Washington Capitals history to notch a shutout in his first NHL game in a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller were the goal scorers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist but remains tied with Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list with 741.

Shootout goals by Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tristan Jarry got the win by stopping 36 shots. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored to extend his points streak to eight games. After getting off to a 10-0-1 start, the Panthers are 0-2-1 in their last three contests.

Matt Duchene tallied two goals, including the game-winner to lead the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Mikhail Granlund collected four assists for the Predators while Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues.

The Winnipeg Jets tallied four straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 26 shots for the win.

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit made 24 saves as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. Golden Knights forwards Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg each scored their first-ever NHL goals.

Nick Suzuki snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2 to end the latter’s five-game road winning streak. Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist.

HEADLINES

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Rick Nash will become the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his number retired in an on-ice ceremony before their March 5, 2022 game against the Boston Bruins. The first-overall pick by the Blue Jackets in 2002, Nash is their franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash deserves that honor. He was a true franchise player but the Jackets management wasted most of his nine-season tenure in Columbus by failing to build a solid supporting cast around him.

SPORTSNET: Lawyers representing the Chicago Blackhawks sent a letter to Kyle Beach’s attorney requesting mediation in their lawsuit settlement negotiations. In the letter, the club’s lawyers called Beach’s initial demand “extraordinary”. Beach’s lawyer replied the Blackhawks did not make a counteroffer. The former player is suing the team over its handling of his allegations of sexual assault against former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury suffered 23 days ago. He’s unlikely to rejoin the club for the remainder of their current road trip.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo $2,000.00 for diving and embellishment in a recent game against the Florida Panthers.

The Arizona Coyotes announced assistant coach Phil Housley has been placed on the COVID protocol list.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski cites a source saying the NHL is in talks with Las Vegas officials about staging two new skills competition events outdoors on the Las Vegas Strip during the 2022 All-Star weekend (Feb. 4-5, 2022).










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2021

The Flyers down the Bruins, the Blues defeat the Golden Knights plus the Jets brace for more COVID-19 cases, an update on the Oilers’ Mike Smith and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Cam Atkinson, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Boston Bruins 6-3. Atkinson scored twice, Couturier and Joel Farabee each had a goal and an assist and Martin Jones made 37 saves for the win. Boston made it interesting by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the second period on goals by Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand. Bruins forward Nick Foligno left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Cam Atkinson (NHL Images).

Jordan Binnington made 42 saves and Vladimir Tarasenko tallied the go-ahead goal to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Brandon Saad and Ivan Barbashev also tallied for the Blues while William Karlsson scored Vegas’ only goal.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are reportedly bracing for more positive COVID-19 tests after captain Blake Wheeler tested positive and went into self-isolation on Tuesday. The club didn’t comment on the report but is expected to provide an update on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli broke this story. He followed up on Twitter saying some tests that were initially positive have since been confirmed negative. Seravalli said it’s possible most of the roster will be cleared to play tonight against the Anaheim Ducks but the Jets are awaiting clarity on this changing situation.

TSN: Speaking of the Jets, they assigned prospect forward Cole Perfetti to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. He’ll be sidelined for at least one week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ playoff hopes rest on a healthy Smith unless backup Mikko Koskinen can step up in his absence, something he’s had difficulty doing in the past.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi is looking forward to facing the Canadiens in Montreal tonight. It will be his first game against his former team since signing a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet in August. Kotkaniemi said he has no hard feelings and nothing but “real good memories” of his time with the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given how poorly the Canadiens have started the season, Kotkaniemi could rub more salt in the wound by scoring during a Hurricanes victory tonight.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, defenseman Joel Edmundson has taken a leave of absence to be with his father, who’s suffering from cancer. Edmundson has been sidelined thus far by an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson’s absence is part of the reason the Canadiens are 0-4-0 to start this season. He was a strong physical presence on their blueline last season, especially in the playoffs. Factor in the absence of starting goalie Carey Price (NHL player assistance program)and team captain Shea Weber (injuries) plus the departure of two-way center Phillip Danault (free agency) and it’s unsurprising the Canadiens look terrible thus far.

TSN: Florida Panthers forward Joe Thornton was fined $1,875.00 for slashing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Boris Katchouk on Tuesday.

Calgary Flames placed forward Glenn Gawdin on waivers yesterday.

Former NHL forward Artem Anisimov signed a one-year contract with KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.