NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2019

A milestone game for Nicklas Backstrom, another big night for Jonathan Huberdeau and Noel Acciari, plus updates on Jack Eichel, Jason Zucker, Darcy Kuemper, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom reached 900 points with two goals and two assists in a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. He and Alex Ovechkin were playing in their 900th game together. Ovechkin scored and set up another. Devils defenseman Andy Greene played in his 900th career NHL contest.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom reached his 900th career point in a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

A five-goal second period powered the Florida Panthers over the Dallas Stars 7-4. For the second straight game, Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau collected four points (one goal, three assists) while teammate Noel Acciari tallied his second straight hat trick. Tyler Seguin scored twice for the Stars while teammate Joe Pavelski played his 1,000th career NHL game. Stars winger Alexander Radulov missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Mitch Marner and William Nylander each scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Rangers 6-3. Auston Matthews collected two assists for the Leafs.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 26 saves in a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Zach Aston-Reese and Marcus Pettersson each picked up two assists for the Penguins. Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held scoreless. Edmonton has won only three of their last 12 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers (42 points) have slipped to third place in the Pacific Division. They’re one point ahead of the Calgary Flames, who hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth.


WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel returned to practice yesterday but is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. It’s uncertain if he’ll be in the lineup for today’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Center Johan Larsson (upper body) is expected to miss the next two games.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker will miss the next four-to-six weeks following surgery to repair a fractured right fibula.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes will turn to Antti Raanta with Adin Hill as his backup.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson will miss at least the next two games with a lower-body injury. The club also placed defenseman Ryan Murray (lower body) on injured reserve.

The Ottawa Senators placed goaltender Anders Nilsson on injured reserve after he suffered a concussion. Veteran goalie Craig Anderson has returned from injury and is ready to go. The Senators also announced defenseman Ron Hainsey will miss a week to 10 days with a lower-body injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2019

Sportsnet parts ways with Don Cherry, Jesse Puljujarvi to remain in Finland this season, the Coyotes extend GM John Chayka’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes blew a three-goal lead but went on to edge the Washington Capitals 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice for the Capitals. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced general manager John Chayka signed a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only 26 when hired as GM in 2016, Chayka’s made significant changes to the Coyotes roster. He re-signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year extension, acquired Schmaltz, Phil Kessel, Darcy Kuemper, Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Jason Demers, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and drafted Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun. His moves appear to be paying off. The Coyotes look like a playoff contender this season.

Sebastian Aho scored twice and Joel Edmundson enjoyed a three-point performance as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Ottawa Senators 8-2. Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, and Martin Necas each collected two points.


SPORTSNET: announced yesterday Don Cherry was immediately stepping down from his role on Hockey Night in Canada. The move came after Cherry singled out new Canadian immigrants during Saturday’s Coach’s Corner segment for not wearing poppies to honor the country’s veterans and troops leading up to Remembrance Day. Cherry’s comments sparked considerable outrage in the press and social media, sparking apologies by Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean, the network, and the NHL.

After 38 years, Don Cherry is no longer on Hockey Night in Canada (Photo via NHL.com).

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Cherry refused to walk back his comments, insisting his remarks weren’t racial or bigoted but made out of respect for Canada’s troops. He also said he felt betrayed over the firing, adding he wasn’t going to be turned into a “tamed robot” to keep his job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what you think of Cherry, his departure from Hockey Night in Canada creates a void it could struggle to replace. He’d been on the show since 1981 and had his Coach’s Corner segment for over 35 years. Former NHL executive Brian Burke is rumored as a potential substitute.

Cherry’s dismissal drew considerable reaction among hockey fans and pundits. Some supported him while others are glad to see him go. He’s had a long history of making controversial statements on topics that had little or nothing to do with hockey. The latest proved to be a bridge too far, sparking an intense backlash the network and the league couldn’t ignore or gloss over with apologies.

TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi intends to spend the rest of this season playing in Finland. The 21-year-old restricted free agent opted to return to his home country to await a trade by the Oilers. The club still retains his NHL rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Puljujarvi in the Rumors section.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov.10, 2019.

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno received a three-game suspension by the league’s department of player safety for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss at least one game with an undisclosed ailment. He didn’t join the team on its five-day trip to the New York area.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is sidelined with an upper-body injury. The club called up Uhro Vaakanainen on Monday.

WASHINGTON POST: Winger Richard Panik has returned to the Capitals after missing 10 games on long-term injury reserve.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader is sidelined for three weeks with a mid-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed Trevor Lewis on injured reserve.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers and called up netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed free agent forwards Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn to professional tryout offers.

NHL Most Important Players: Ottawa Senators

NHL Most Important Players: Ottawa Senators


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2019

The Blues even the Stanley Cup Final at a game apiece. Check out the game recap and other notable news in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Carl Gunnarsson’s overtime goal on a delayed penalty gave the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. It’s the first win in the Cup Final for the Blues in franchise history and ties this series at a game apiece. 

St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was the overtime hero in Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images)

Gunnarsson had an opportunity to win the game in the third period but his shot clanged off the goalpost. Running into head coach Craig Berube in the bathroom before overtime, he told his bench boss he needed just one more chance to score.

The Bruins played most of this game without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. He left the game in the first period after being boarded by Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Game 2 saw a better effort from the Blues. They out-played and out-hit their opponent in this contest. Grzelcyk’s absence left the Bruins short a defenseman for most of Game 2 and that took on a toll on their blueline as the game went on.

The Bruins’ top line struggled in Game 2, prompting speculation Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand could be nursing injuries. Game 3 of this series goes Saturday night in St. Louis.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators re-signed backup goaltender Anders Nilsson to a two-year contract extension worth $2.6-million per season.

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks are welcoming back Bob Boughner as an assistant coach. Boughner was previously on their coaching staff from 2015 to 2017 before becoming head coach of the Florida Panthers for two seasons. In April, the Panthers relieved him of his duties.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks are looking at three potential candidates for their vacant head-coaching position. “Dallas Stars assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Todd Nelson and New York Islanders assistant Lane Lambert are set to be interviewed for the job.”

NHL.COM: John Madden is stepping down as head coach of the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have inked a three-year broadcasting contract extension with 560 WQAM Sports Radio.

SPORTSNET: has the complete list of the 108 players attending the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, NY this week.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2019

Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their eighth straight win over the Buffalo Sabres in a 6-5 overtime victory. Teuvo Teravainen scored twice including the game-winner. It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Sabres, who had overcome a 5-3 deficit to force the extra frame. Jeff Skinner also scored two goals while Sam Reinhart called out his goaltenders. “We need more from our goalies and we need it from the start of hockey games. It’s frustrating.”

Mike Matheson’s overtime goal lifted the Florida Panthers over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tied Mario Lemieux for the most games played (915) in franchise history. 

Josh Bailey scored the only goal in the shootout as the New York Islanders edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1. The Isles (68 points) hold a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the OT winner in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Capitals, they blew a 3-1 lead but Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal enabled them to squeak past the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. It was Kuznetsov’s second goal of the game. The Avs (53 points) have dropped 15 of their last 18 contests and sit two points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference

Tyler Toffoli’s shootout goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak. Veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf was a healthy scratch

Jonathan Drouin and Phillip Danault each had four-point performances as the Montreal Canadiens dominated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. It was the Canadiens’ eighth win in their last 10 games and moved them within one point of the Toronto Maple Leafs (69 points) for second in the Atlantic Division. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 48 saves in a losing cause while coach Paul Maurice called his club’s performance “horseshit.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gotta love Maurice’s blunt assessment. Not to take anything away from the Canadiens’ well-deserved victory but the Jets certainly weren’t at their best in this contest. 

Anders Nilsson 45-save shutout carried the Ottawa Senators to a 4-0 victory over the floundering Anaheim Ducks, who’ve dropped six straight games and 18 of their last 20. Ducks goaltender John Gibson was pulled from the game following the second period as a precautionary measure following a collision with teammate Jaycob Megna.

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 36 shots to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. 

The St. Louis Blues continued their climb in the Western Conference standings by blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0. Brayden Schenn scored the only goal and Jordan Binnington made 32 stops for the Blues (55 points), who vaulted into the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, the Blues were wallowing near the bottom of the conference and most observers expected them to be sellers by the trade deadline. There’s no more talk of selling now. 

Speaking of teams rising from the dead in the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks picked up their sixth consecutive victory and moved to within two points of a wild-card spot by nipping the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Jonathan Toews. The Canucks (55 points) sit just behind the Blues in the wild-card race. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed goalie Thatcher Demko would miss seven-to-10 days with a slight sprain. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt we’ll hear any more talk about the Blackhawks approaching Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook about waiving their no-movement clauses. 

The Nashville Predators ended the Dallas Stars’ five-game win streak with a 3-2 overtime victory. Ryan Johansen tallied the winner for the Predators, who activated center Kyle Turris off injured reserve. 

The Edmonton Oilers kept their playoffs hopes alive by downing the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to snap a seven-game winless skid. The Oilers (53 points) sit two points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Following the game, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau lamented his slumping club’s poor performance. “There’s some guys there that just are a shell of the players that I’ve known for two-and-a-half years,” he said. 

San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones made 36 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl each scored twice and picked up an assist. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2019

Game recaps, three stars and the top rookie for December revealed, All-Star Game rosters released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks rookie center Elias Pettersson scored in overtime to complete his first NHL hat-trick performance in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Canucks defenseman Alex Edler collected three assists.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson’s first career hat trick carried his club to a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Earlier in the day, Pettersson was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2018. He previously received that honor for October 2018. The Canucks also shipped goaltender Anders Nilsson and forward Darren Archibald to the Senators in exchange for goalie Mike McKenna, forward Tom Pyatt, and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win also pushed the Canucks to within one point of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Thanks in part to Pettersson’s efforts, they’ve overcome a lousy November performance that threatened to scuttle their playoff hopes. As for the trade between the two clubs, the Senators need an experienced NHL netminder after starter Craig Anderson was recently sidelined by a concussion. 

A four-point effort (one goal, three assists) by Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau powered his club to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, who’ve dropped six straight games. Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists for the Flames. 

The surging Pittsburgh Penguins won their seventh straight contest by crushing the New York Rangers 7-2, chasing Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist from the game after he gave up six goals on 18 shots. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist. He also honored his hometown of Magnitogorsk, Russia, with messages of support written on his skates following an apartment explosion that killed 33 people on Dec. 31.  

Two-goal efforts by Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen helped the Dallas Stars edge the New Jersey Devils 5-4. It was a costly win for the Stars as captain Jamie Benn left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period following a late hit by Devils wingers Miles Wood. 

Center Joe Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns each had a goal and three assists to give the San Jose Sharks a 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Tyson Jost scored twice for the Avs, who’ve now lost six games in a row. Sharks defenseman Justin Braun left the game with an injured right leg

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs are now clinging to a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they don’t reverse this slide soon they’ll tumble out of playoff contention. 

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and set up another in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, snapping his club’s six-game losing skid. 

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are the NHL’s three stars for the month of December 2018

Kucherov, Gaudreau, and McDavid are also among the players selected to participate in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose on Jan. 26, 2019. San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture and defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson were also selected for the game. 

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said he will skip the game to take advantage of the extra time off for rest. As a result, the league will suspend him for one regular-season game. 

“First of all, thanks for all the fans who voted for me,” Ovechkin said Wednesday. “I know it’s a tough decision, obviously. I like to be part of all the events, but right now I think that time of the year and my age we decide to take a one-week break. It’s hard, but it’s better for me.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some fans and pundits have no problem with Ovechkin’s decision while others feel he’s shirking his obligation to attend after being selected by the fans. After attending 10 of these meaningless pond hockey-style contests that tend to be swiftly forgotten by NHL fans, he’s more than fulfilled his duty to the league and his contract. Coming off a year in which Ovechkin led his club to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship, and facing another potentially long grind attempting to repeat as champions, he’s earned the right to take a little extra time off. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed he’s been nursing a lower-body injury for several weeks. After missing the late three games, Price is expected to play in tonight’s tilt with the Vancouver Canucks. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames have recalled goaltender Jon Gillies after David Rittich was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

TSN.CA: The Chicago Blackhawks placed recently-acquired defenseman Jason Garrison on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract after he didn’t report to the AHL affiliate in Rockford. Garrison was traded to the Blackhawks by the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The Blackhawks also placed blueliner Brandon Davidson on regular waivers.