NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2021

Recaps of Friday’s action, Dylan Larkin and Jakob Silfverberg are done for the season, P.K. Subban confirms COVID-19 diagnosis, Joe Thornton fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames kept their fading playoff hopes alive by doubling up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Sean Monahan scored the winning goal and collected two assists as the Flames (43 points) sit six points behind the fourth-place Canadiens in the Scotia North Division. Flames winger Josh Leivo missed the game after landing on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list while Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin was sidelined by an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Leivo has the coronavirus or if this was a false positive. The rest of the Flames and their staff tested negative. They must sweep the next two games against Montreal to have a realistic chance of staying in the postseason chase.

Buffalo Sabres winger Sam Reinhart (NHL Images).

Sam Reinhart tallied a hat trick and goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 36 saves in his NHL debut as the Buffalo Sabres upset the Boston Bruins 6-4. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron missed the game with a suspected lower-body injury. The Bruins hold fourth place in the MassMutual East Division with 60 points.

The New York Rangers gained some ground on Boston with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Pavel Buchnevich and Alexis Lafreniere each had a goal and an assist to give the Rangers 54 points, putting them six back of the Bruins.

A two-goal performance by rookie Kirill Kaprizov carried the Minnesota Wild to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Cam Talbot kicked out 40 shots for the win as the Wild (63 points) move within three points of the second-place Colorado Avalanche in the Honda West Division. The Kings (40 points) remain five points behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaprizov leads all NHL rookies with 21 goals and 40 points. He’s played a key role in the Wild’s solid performance and is the favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy this season.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made 29 saves backstopping his club over the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. The Predators sit in fourth place in the Discover Central Division with 54 points, sitting four up on the Dallas Stars and five ahead of the Blackhawks.

HEADLINES

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin will miss the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury. He’s currently their leading scorer with 23 points in 44 games.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg underwent season-ending hip surgery and is expected to be sidelined for four-to-six months. He could miss the start of training camp in September.

TSN: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban took to social media Friday to confirm he’s dealing with COVID-19. He said the coronavirus “hit me pretty hard” but expects to be “back in the mix soon.” He thanked his supporters for their well-wishes, telling them to take care of themselves.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He could miss today’s game against the New York Islanders.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Rick Bowness is hopeful Tyler Seguin will make a return to play next week after being sidelined since the fall by hip surgery. However, he maintained he won’t rush the center’s decision to return.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joe Thornton was fined $3,017.24 by the NHL department of player safety for interfering with Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault on Thursday.

TSN: Leafs defenseman Zach Bogosian is out for four weeks with an injured shoulder.

YAHOO! SPORTS: WWE executive Nick Khan said it’s his company’s belief that the partnership between NBC and the NHL could end following this season. The remarks came in response to a question over whether the shuttering of NBCSN might create scheduling conflicts between WWE and the NHL on USA Network.

The NHL’s contract with NBC expires at the end of this season. ESPN has a new deal in place with the league for most of its US broadcast coverage. There’s speculation Disney, ESPN’s parent company, is in the process of working out a deal for the entire NHL slate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk of the NHL making a deal with NBC or another media company like Fox Sports or Turner Sports to split its coverage with ESPN. That could no longer be the case if Khan’s remarks are anything to go by.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2021

Recaps from Friday’s action, the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to trade Pierre-Luc Dubois, the latest notable injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Anton Khudobin had a 34-shot shutout as the Dallas Stars crushed the Nashville Predators 7-0. The Stars tallied a franchise-record five power-play goals in their season-opener which had been delayed nearly two weeks due to a spread of COVID-19 among several players. Alexander Radulov and Joe Pavelski each scored twice for the Stars but captain Jamie Benn left the game with a lower-body injury following an awkward collision with Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson in the second period. The club provided no update on Benn’s status following the game.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn sidelined during season-opening win over the Nashville Predators (NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals edged the Buffalo Sabre 4-3 on a shootout goal by John Carlson. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist for the Capitals but they also lost rugged winger Tom Wilson to a lower-body injury. The Caps were playing without Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov as the four were recently placed on their COVID-19 absence list. Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens tallied his first career NHL goal.

Kris Letang netted the game-winner in a shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the New York Rangers 4-3. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry made 31 saves for his first win of the season. Former Charlottetown Islanders defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph collected an assist in his NHL debut with the Penguins.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares broke a 2-2 tie with a third-period power-play goal in a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl scored for the Oilers. The Leafs were playing without Auston Matthews and Joe Thornton. Matthews (upper-body) isn’t expected to be sidelined for long but Thornton (fractured rib) will be out for at least a month.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their first victory of the season by downing the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen kicked out 30 shots for his first career NHL win while Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk lost his first game against his former club as the Minnesota Wild picked up a 4-1 win. Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway each had a goal and an assist for the Wild while Kaapo Kakhonen got the win after replacing sidelined starter Cam Talbot, who left the game with a lower-body injury. It’s uncertain how long Talbot could be sidelined but he’s expected to miss Sunday’s rematch.

The Arizona Coyotes spoiled the Vegas Golden Knights’ home-opener with a 5-2 victory to snap the latter’s four-game season-opening win streak. Conor Garland led the way for the Coyotes with a goal and two assists. Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta (undisclosed) missed the game but will rejoin his teammates for Tuesday’s match against the Anaheim Ducks.

HEADLINES

**UPDATE**

 

TSN: Darren Dreger last night reported the Columbus Blue Jackets are closing in on a trade involving Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 22-year-old center requested a trade earlier this month and was benched for most of Thursday’s games against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Dreger reports the Winnipeg Jets are the front-runners, although nothing is done yet. He speculates Patrik Laine or Jack Roslovic could be part of this deal as both players requested trades from the Jets. Dreger feels a trade could be done before the end of this weekend, perhaps as early as Saturday.

Pierre LeBrun points out Roslovic, a Columbus native, would be a natural fit with the Blue Jackets. He also reports the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens appear to be among the other interested clubs.

The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline tweeted Dubois was informed he’ll be a healthy scratch for Saturday’s rematch against the Lightning, assuming he’s still on the team by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen preferred to retain Dubois for the remainder of this season and attempt to trade the center in the offseason. Dubois’ benching on Thursday, however, appears to have created an untenable situation that cannot be allowed to fester any longer. I’ll have more about this in the Rumors section.

Speaking of Laine, he’s nursing an upper-body injury and was placed on injured reserve yesterday by the Jets. Nate Thompson (lower body) was also placed on IR.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators rookie Tim Stuetzle could return to the lineup today against the Jets after missing the last two games with an undisclosed ailment.

USA TODAY: NBC Universal will reportedly shut down its main sports channel (NBCSN) at the end of 2021. NBC owns the NHL’s national broadcast rights in the United States, with most of the league’s game televised on NBCSN. The league’s deal with the network expires at the end of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL intended to shop around for a new broadcasting deal this summer. If they stay with NBC, their games would be shown on USA Network, which goes into more homes than NBCSN currently does.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2018

Full preseason schedule unveiled, NHL on NBC 2018-19 schedule released, the latest on Brandon Saad and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The 2018 preseason schedule kicks off on Sept. 15 as the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames meet at Shenzhen, China. There will be 110 games during the 19-game period, which also includes the New Jersey Devils facing off against SC Bern in Switzerland on Oct. 1 and the Edmonton Oilers squaring off against Kolner Haie in Germany on Oct. 3. 

NBC SPORTS: Unveiled their complete NHL schedule for 2018-19. It includes “Wednesday Night Hockey” to showcase its “most exclusive schedule to date and NHL’s rising stars.” Seventeen of those 25 showcases will be doubleheaders. 

Their schedule also includes the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana and the 2019 NHL All-Star Game (in prime time) in San Jose. 

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad is working to improve his offensive play. (Photo via NHL Images)

  THE ATHLETIC: After struggling to score last season, Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad is working with Prodigy Hockey development coach Brian Keane to improve his offensive skills. 

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators yesterday officially announced the signing of forward Brady Tkachuk to a three-year entry-level contract. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders announced prospect defenseman Noah Dobson signed a three-year entry-level contract. Dobson, a native of Summerside, PEI) was selected 12th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning “has entered into a three-year agreement to make the Orlando Solar Bears its primary ECHL affiliate starting this season.”

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2017

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler spoke out Saturday against US President Donald Trump’s comments against NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

Latest on Blake Wheeler, Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler, an American citizen, took to Twitter on Saturday voicing his disappointment at U.S. President Donald Trump saying NFL players who kneel during the American national anthem should be fired. 

“It’s the First Amendment to our Constitution. The First one!!'” tweeted Wheeler. “Regardless of how it makes you feel individually, these are literally the principles the US was founded on. Come on, Mr. President.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler is the first NHL player to publicly speak out on this issue, which was a hot topic on social media following’s Trump’s comments on Friday and Saturday. Some folks believe athletes should keep their personal views on politics and social issues to themselves and stick to sports. However, they have the same right to freedom of speech as the American President and can use the same medium as Trump to voice those opinions. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson skated Saturday with his teammates during practice for the first time since undergoing foot surgery in June. There’s no timetable for Karlsson’s return but this could be seen as a positive sign he could rejoin the roster for their Oct. 5 season opener. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson left Saturday’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks with a lower-body injury. He’s to be reevaluated today. Meanwhile, Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway said the club will retire Shane Doan’s No. 19 “at a time that’s right for him.” He said Doan thinks it’s too early to retire his number this season. The two sides will discuss the topic at the end of next summer. 

SUNSENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad made some lifestyle and diet changes during the offseason in hopes of bouncing back from his injury-shortened 2016-17 campaign. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended from two preseason games for interference on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas. 

NBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat is expected to be sidelined for a week with an upper-body injury. 

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi will miss three-four weeks with a wrist injury. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL will go dark on all NBC platforms during the network’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea from Feb. 7-26. According to Brooks, this is “nothing less than the league’s U.S. national television rights-holder giving a symbolic middle finger to Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors for withholding its players from one of NBC’s most important properties.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One wonders if this could become an issue between the league and the network when it’s time to discuss a possible extension of their current contract, which expires at the end of 2020-21. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2017

Montreal Canadiens winger Alexander Radulov scores in overtime against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their opening-round series.

Game recaps, injury updates, regular-season TV rating down in the U.S. & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Alexander Radulov’s overtime goal lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers, tying their best-of-seven opening-round series at a game apiece. The Canadiens were down 3-2 when Tomas Plekanec tied the game with 18 seconds left in the game. Radulov also collected two assists for the Habs, while Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made a career-high 54 saves in a losing cause. 

Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to take a 2-0 lead in their series. Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 39 shots. Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert could face supplemental discipline for his high cross-check on Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl, breaking his stick in the process. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Very chippy move by Calvert late in a game in which the outcome was long decided. It’ll be interesting to see what the league decides. 

Shorthanded goals by Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks to even their series at a game apiece. Cam Talbot made 16 saves for the shutout. Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom left the game in the third after blocking a Patrick Marleau shot. No word as to his status for Game 3. 

Jaden Schwartz tallied the game winner late in the third period to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Blues take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven matchup. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN:  Senators captain Erik Karlsson remains hobbled by a nagging foot injury. The Sens face the Boston Bruins tonight in Game 2 of their opening-round series. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins center David Krejci and defenseman Colin Miller aren’t expected to play in today’s game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs have banged-up bluelines but Karlsson’s injury could become a factor in the outcome of this series. He was the Sens’ leading scorer this season. His injury could become a factor in the outcome of this series. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS:  Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader hopes to avoid arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, as he intends to play for Team USA in next month’s World Championships. 

SPORTS MEDIA WATCH: The 2016-17 NHL regular season hit a low on NBC and NBCSN. The broadcasts “averaged 467,000 viewers across NBC and NBCSN, down 7% from last year (503K) and down 5% from 2015 (503K). That does not include streaming, which boosted the average to 475,000 — down 6% from last year (505K).”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Peter Friesen, the Carolina Hurricanes longtime head athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach, won’t be back with the team. After 21 seasons, the club has not renewed his contract.