NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2019

Game recaps, Alex Ovechkin to skip the 2020 All-Star Game, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins center Patrick Bergeron enjoyed his third straight two-goal game in a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves for the shutout. The Bruins played without defenseman Torey Krug, who suffered an upper-body injury earlier in the week. Sabres winger Jeff Skinner left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has scored twice in each of his last three games (Photo via NHL Images).

An own goal in overtime by New Jersey Devils blueliner Damon Severson gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory. Leafs forwards John Tavares and William Nylander each had a goal and two assists, as did Devils forwards Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt. Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev left the game in the third period with a wrist injury after being accidentally clipped by Bratt’s skate blade. Earlier in the day, the Leafs revealed forward Trevor Moore is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That goal pretty much symbolized the Devils’ season. They played well enough to win this one, only to lose it bizarrely.

T.J. Oshie’s scored in overtime as the Washington Capitals nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Earlier in the day, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin announced he’ll skip the 2020 NHL All-Star Game next month in St. Louis. Ovechkin thanked the fans for voting him captain of the Metropolitan Division, but felt he needs the extra time to rest and prepare for the second half of the season. He’ll receive an automatic one-game suspension by the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if other players follow Ovechkin’s lead.

The Calgary Flames won the latest match in the Battle of Alberta by thumping the Edmonton Oilers 5-1. Andrew Mangiapane had a three-point game while teammates Elias Lindholm and T.J. Brodie had two points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just four wins their last 15 games, the Oilers have slid from first place in the Pacific Division at the start of December to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Flames, meanwhile, have won 10 of their last 15.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner won his first game against his former club in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. He made 38 saves as the Blackhawks are 4-2-0 in their last six contests. Duncan Keith and Dylan Strome each picked up two assists.

New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 39 shots backstopping his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and picked up an assist while Artemi Panarin scored and set up two others for the Rangers.

The Minnesota Wild tallied three unanswered third-period goals to down the Colorado Avalanche 6-4. Wild forward Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala each collected two points while Avalanche winger Matt Calvert scored twice. Avs rookie defenseman Cale Makar returned to action after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry turned aside 30 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. The Penguins have won five of their last six games.

David Perron’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues their seventh straight win as they downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-4. Tyler Bozak scored twice and Jaden Schwartz picked up three assists. Kyle Connor tallied twice for the Jets.

Three goals within a 1:37 span in the second period enabled the Anaheim Ducks to hang onto a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Cam Fowler and Devin Shore each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks. Nate Schmidt tallied twice for the Golden Knights.

The Los Angeles Kings overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on an overtime goal by Jeff Carter. Martin Frk scored twice for the Kings. Sharks center Joe Thornton netted his first goal of the season. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed forward Trevor Lewis (upper body) on injured reserve.

IN OTHER NEWS…

YARDBARKER: Former Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk is ineligible to play in the KHL for the remainder of this season.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha is sidelined at least a month with a rib injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forwards Joel Armia (wrist injury) and Paul Byron (knee) are listed as week-to-week. Center Jesperi Kotkaniemi is slated to return to action tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing eight games with a concussion.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2019

Game recaps, stars of the week, the Kings place Ilya Kovalchuk on unconditional waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jonathan Huberdeau collected four assists and Noel Acciari tallied a hat trick as the Florida Panthers crushed the Ottawa Senators 6-1. The Panthers blew the game open with four unanswered second-period goals.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau collected four assists in a 6-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

David Perron’s hat trick led the St. Louis Blues over the Colorado Avalanche 5-2, snapping the latter’s nine-game points streak. Blues forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Oskar Sundqvist each collected two assists.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their first win in five games by edging the Dallas Stars 2-1. Mikko Koskinen kicked out 34 shots while teammates Zack Kassian and Leon Draisaitl scored for the Oilers. 

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made 39 saves backstopping his club over the New York Rangers 5-2. Predators captain Roman Josi collected three points. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored to extend his points streak to five games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Washington Capitals 3-0. Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 30 shots for the shutout while Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied twice for the Jackets.

HEADLINES

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty, Ottawa Senators winger Anthony Duclair, and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending December 15.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings yesterday placed winger Ilya Kovalchuk on unconditional waivers to terminate his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The contract termination won’t provide the Kings any salary-cap relief because it’s a 35-plus contract. It just means they’re no longer paying Kovalchuk’s actual salary.

Kovalchuk will become an unrestricted free agent. He could sign with another NHL club or return to the KHL.

The 36-year-old winger is no longer an offensive force. If he wants to stay in the NHL, he won’t get a lucrative offer like the three-year, $6.25-million per season contract he had with the Kings.

I’ll have more on Kovalchuk in the Rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Joel Farabee received a three-game suspension for interference on Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault.

TORONTO SUN: Sidelined Maple Leafs Tyson Barrie and Trevor Moore could return to action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild sent goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to their AHL affiliate in Iowa and placed forward Joel Eriksson Ek (upper body) on injured reserve.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford issues an apology for his unacceptable language and actions toward several former players earlier in this coaching career. He will resume his normal coaching duties with the club on Jan. 2.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2019

The Devils fire head coach John Hynes, the Canadiens snap a lengthy losing skid, changes could be coming for NHL coaches, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Hours before their game against the Vegas Golden Knights, the New Jersey Devils fired head coach John Hynes, replacing him on an interim basis with Alain Nasreddine. The move, however, could prevent the Devils from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jonathan Marchessault tallied a natural hat trick in the third period for the win.

The New Jersey Devils yesterday fired head coach John Hynes (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Devils’ poor performance thus far, it’s not surprising Hynes was fired. He deserves his fair share of the blame, but can’t be faulted for the lousy goaltending, weak secondary scoring, and lack of defensive depth. Nevertheless, the club’s lack of effort in his final two games was indicative that he’d lost the players.

The Montreal Canadiens snapped their eight-game winless skid by doubling up the New York Islanders 4-2. Brendan Gallagher and Shea Weber each had a goal and an assist for the Habs, who commemorated their 110th anniversary by honoring 11 former captains in a pre-game ceremony. Among the notables were Hall-of-Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Bob Gainey, Chris Chelios, and Guy Carbonneau. Saku Koivu, the captain from 1999 to 2009, received the biggest cheer.

Four first-period goals powered the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Antoine Roussel scored on his first shift in his season debut after being sidelined eight months by a knee injury. Before the game, former Canucks winger Alex Burrows’ name was added to the club’s ring of honor.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak turned in a 24-save shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Charlie Coyle and David Krejci tallied both goals in the third period. The Bruins have won eight straight games.

Minnesota Wild goalie Kaapo Kahkonen kicked out 44 shots in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The Wild are unbeaten in their last 10 games (7-0-3).

Five third-period goals powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1. Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers collected three assists while Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere each had a goal and an assist. Before the game, the Leafs placed Nick Shore on waivers, recalled defenseman Martin Marincin, and announced Trevor Moore (shoulder injury) is weeks away from returning to the lineup.

A three-point performance by Carl Soderberg helped the Arizona Coyotes defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves for the win.

Nikita Kucherov scored in overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Nashville Predators 3-2. Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had two points on the night. Kyle Turris had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Nashville center Ryan Johansen was ejected from a game for elbowing Lightning center Brayden Point in the face.

The Winnipeg Jets picked up their seventh win in their last nine contests by downing the Dallas Stars 5-1. Jets winger Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists. Earlier in the day, the Jets announced defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will be sidelined for two months with an upper-body injury.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson collected three points while teammates Jakub Vrana and Garnet Hathaway each scored twice in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

HEADLINES

TSN: Former NHL player Akim Aliu believes big changes are coming to the NHL after meeting with commissioner Gary Bettman and other officials at the league’s office in Toronto yesterday. Aliu’s claims that Bill Peters made racist remarks to him a decade ago led to the latter’s stepping down last week as Calgary Flames head coach.

Frank Seravalli reports some of the topics discussed at the meeting include “comprehensive harassment and discrimination policy, whistleblower and retaliation protection for players, encouraging more diversity and inclusion and breaking the culture of silence.”

The NHL Coaches’ Association released a statement yesterday affirming there is no room for abusive behavior by coaches at any level. They are working with the league and the NHL Players Association to ensure respectful working environments for everyone.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Sean Avery spoke out in support of Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford, who was placed on leave as the club investigates allegations of abuse against him. Avery recently said Crawford kicked him during a game but defended the coach’s actions. “He had every right in the world to kick me in the ass. He should have spanked my ass a little bit more. I deserved it. I loved Crow.” He went on to call Crawford his second-favorite NHL coach.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators players Dylan DeMelo and Mark Borowiecki claim they had a good relationship with Crawford during his tenure with the club. Former Senator and Canucks Alex Burrows praised Crawford for helping him become an NHL player.

Another former Canuck, Harold Druken, accused Crawford of physical and verbal abuse when he broke into the league. “I can’t believe he’s still coaching, I wouldn’t let him coach my dog,” said Druken.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings coach Todd McLellan believes players and coaches do their best not to cross the line between right and wrong. However, he acknowledged the changes in the game and society means that line has also changed. He believes it’s important to build trust and treat his players with respect, and expecting it in return.

“The line between pushing a player — I’m not talking physical — but getting the player to maximize his physical talents and to get a team to pull together and go further into their toolbox than they ever have, is delicate,” McLellan said. “Sometimes feelings are hurt. There’s never an intention behind it, but there are feelings that get hurt.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no place in the league, or anywhere else. for racism, which was what resulted in Peters’ downfall. There’s no place for physical abuse, which is what he was also accused of by two other former NHLers.

Crawford, Mike Babcock, and Darryl Sutter weren’t accused of racism, but emerging stories of alleged physical and verbal abuse toward their players have made headlines in recent days. Those tactics may have been effective but it appears they sometimes went too far. Some players shrugged it off or accepted it as part of the game, but others felt tormented by those actions.

Just because many former players tolerated unnecessary abuse by a few coaches doesn’t mean today’s players have to. A coach can motivate and improve their players without resorting to bullying, humiliation or threats.

CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith could miss at least two more games with a nagging groin injury.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will be sidelined “longer term” with an undisclosed injury.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Matt Stajan announced his retirement. Stajan played 14 seasons and 1,003 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. He spent last season playing in Germany for EHC Red Bull Munchen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s wishing Stajan and his family all the best in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2019

The Bruins down the slumping Maple Leafs, the Canadiens upset the Capitals, an update on TJ Brodie and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Two third-period goals by Brad Marchand lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins snapped a four-game winless streak while extending the Leafs’ to four games. Charlie Coyle picked up two points for the Bruins. Leafs forward Trevor Moore left the game in the first period with a shoulder injury. Earlier in the day, the Leafs revealed center Alexander Kerfoot is sidelined indefinitely following surgery to repair dental fractures suffered during a Nov. 5 game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images)

Tomas Tatar scored and set up three others as the Montreal Canadiens upset the league-leading Washington Capitals 5-2, snapping the latter’s 13-game points streak. Phillip Danault had a three-point performance for the Habs, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine contests (25 points). They sit three points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 38 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Travis Zajac and Blake Coleman tallied for the Devils. The Penguins are winless in two games without captain Sidney Crosby, who’s sidelined for six weeks recovering from sports-hernia surgery.

Zach Werenski scored in overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets edged the St. Louis Blues 3-2. It’s the Jackets second win in their last nine contests.

The Ottawa Senators picked up their fourth win in five games by nipping the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Tyler Ennis and Filip Chlapik tallied for the Senators as they ended the Flyers point streak at seven games.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving said tests to determine TJ Brodie’s collapse during practice on Thursday returned negative. The defenseman was treated and released from the hospital and is resting at home with his family. He’ll be meeting with a neurology team and will undergo examinations by specialists. The team doctor suspects Brodie’s collapse may have been caused by a syncopal (fainting) episode. There’s no timetable for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m relieved that Brodie appears to be okay. Hopefully, whatever caused him to collapse will be a minor, treatable issue.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Patrik Nemeth could be sidelined three weeks following an infection after blocking a shot in a recent game. Blueliner Filip Hronek is expected to miss today’s game against the San Jose Sharks following a bruise from a shot block during Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Kings.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes removed forward Jordan Martinook from injured reserve.

THE SCORE: Sportsnet is considering new formats to replace Coach’s Corner during the first intermissions of its Saturday night broadcasts. Don Cherry, the long-time star of that segment, was fired earlier this week over comments aimed at immigrants leading up to Remembrance Day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean was considering leaving Hockey Night in Canada. MacLean denied the rumor.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 27, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 27, 2019

Check out the latest on the Bruins and Oilers in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

BRUINS NEED A WINGER, COULD MOVE A DEFENSEMAN

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty examined several trade options for the Bruins to address their need for a top-six winger. New Jersey’s Taylor Hall would certainly help but he’s a left-winger and a long shot in terms of trade cost and salary cap. The Vegas Golden Knights’ limited cap space could make Alex Tuch someone to consider but he could cost someone like Jake DeBrusk in a trade package. Minnesota’s Jason Zucker would be an upgrade over what the Bruins currently have but they’d have to give up valuable draft picks and/or prospects plus a young roster player.

Could the Boston Bruins target New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider as a playoff rental? (Photo via NHL Images)

New York Rangers winger (and local boy) Chris Kreider could be a playoff rental near the trade deadline. So could Florida’s Mike Hoffman or the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli. A draft pick and a prospect should get it done for either guy.

An affordable gamble could be New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang, who recently cleared waivers. Another would be Edmonton Oilers right winger Jesse Puljujarvi. who’s in Finland awaiting a trade.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy believes the Bruins will likely need to move a defenseman when Kevan Miller and John Moore come off injured reserve. He cites sources claiming general manager Don Sweeney is working the phones.

Shopping either blueliner could be difficult. Miller has an injury history while Moore is a third-pairing rearguard carrying a $2.7-million annual average value through 2022-23. The Bruins could also demote Steven Kampfer or Connor Clifton, though the latter will have to clear waivers if he plays seven more games this season.

If Sweeney can’t move Miller or Moore, he could be forced to trade a player he doesn’t necessarily want to move. Murphy suggests Torey Krug could surface in trade speculation. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and would fetch that elusive top-six winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug would attract plenty of interest in the trade market but I doubt Sweeney will move him. Despite Krug’s pending UFA status, the Bruins regard him as a necessary piece for another run at the Stanley Cup next spring.

Moving Miller or Moore won’t be easy but Sweeney could find a club with sufficient cap space desperate for blueline help. He could also include a draft pick or prospect to sweeten the deal.

Sweeney could wait until the trade deadline approaches to bring in a suitable rental winger. He’s under no pressure to make a move with the Bruins playing well through the early going.

UPDATE ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins wonders how long it’ll take for Oilers GM Ken Holland to bring in a real third-line center. He suggests Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Colorado’s Tyson Jost as trade targets.

Pageau is due to become a UFA next summer and could prove too costly for the Senators to re-sign. Jost will be among six restricted free agents for the Avalanche next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pageau might be easier to acquire than Jost. With over $57 million invested in 12 players for 2020-21, they can afford to re-sign Jost.

Leavins colleague Jim Matheson recently suggested the Oilers offer up Jesse Puljujarvi to the Arizona Coyotes for center Christian Dvorak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorry, Jim, that’s not gonna happen.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2019

An update on CBA negotiations plus the latest on Patrice Bergeron, Max Domi, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: The quiet nature of recent labor negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players Association is breeding cautious optimism another work stoppage can be avoided. The NHLPA has until Sept. 15 to opt out of the current agreement effective next September.

The two sides met twice in the past five days and discussions are expected to continue this week. Several players, including Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly, are hopeful those discussions could lead to a positive outcome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a sense the league and the PA are trying to reach some sort of agreement before Sept. 15. Publicly, both sides claim talks remain cordial and productive. We’ll find out soon enough if anything comes out of these ongoing negotiations. Should the PA pass on the early opt-out, the current CBA will expire on Sept. 2022.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is still nursing a nagging groin injury (Photo via NHL Images).

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron still feels the effects of a nagging groin injury but expects to be ready when training camp opens this week. He’s not concerned about his readiness for the start of the season. Defenseman John Moore, meanwhile, is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and will miss the start of camp.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he’s had discussions with Max Domi’s representatives regarding a contract extension. The 24-year-old forward will be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.

In other Canadiens news, they won’t be inviting unrestricted free agent winger Jason Pominville to training camp. Management wants their young players to have a fair chance to crack the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pominville was open to joining the Habs and he’s also hopeful of returning to the Buffalo Sabres. If they’re not interested, he’ll have to consider other options, provided any remain available to him.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Reports indicate New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha signed a one-year contract with KHL team Avangard Omsk but neither club confirmed the signing. The KHL doesn’t include an opt-out clause in their contracts, meaning Zacha would have to play the entire season in Russia.

Devils GM Ray Shero said he didn’t care where Zacha signs as his club still holds the center’s NHL rights. Shero said playing in the KHL isn’t the path he advocates for the restricted free agent, adding it’s a long road back to the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero apparently wasn’t happy with that news, reportedly peppering his response with expletives. Zacha’s representatives could believe signing a KHL contract will pressure Shero into meeting their NHL contract demands. Judging by Shero’s remarks, that tactic may have backfired. He could be losing patience with the 22-year-old Zacha, who has averaged 25 points a year during his three seasons with the Devils.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was named to the club’s player development department.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Long-time Lightning play-by-play broadcaster Rick Peckham will retire at the end of this season.