NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2020

Corey Perry receives a five-game suspension, the Canadiens sign Ilya Kovalchuk, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist while Esa Lindell collected three assists to give the Dallas Stars a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Stars have won four straight games. Before the game, the Stars honored Pavelski for playing his 1,000th career NHL game.

Ilya Samsonov made 38 saves as the Washington Capitals held off the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Capitals forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (50 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Corey Perry received a five-game suspension for elbowing Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis during the 2020 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Ellis suffered a possible concussion and was placed on injured reserve.

Dallas Stars winger Corey Perry suspended five games for elbowing Nashville’s Ryan Ellis (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry’s two previous suspensions on his NHL resume and the severity of Ellis’ injury were contributing factors in the league’s decision.

Speaking of the Stars, former head coach Jim Montgomery is checking into a rehab program for alcohol abuse. Montgomery released a statement indicating his recent firing was the appropriate call by the club. He took responsibility for his actions, saying the loss of his job served as a wake-up call to get treatment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Montgomery. Here’s hoping he lands another NHL coaching job soon. He did a good job with the Stars and should get another shot elsewhere.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday signed free-agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A spate of injuries and a recent slide in the standings prompted Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin to make this move. Kovalchuk is no longer a dominant scorer and probably won’t improve the Habs’ performance, but it’s a low-cost, low-risk move. If it doesn’t work out, Bergevin has sufficient salary-cap space to make a more impactful move.

WGR550: Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson will miss the next five-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres needed forward depth before their recent acquisition of winger Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames. Olofsson’s injury could push them back into the trade market.

TSN: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will pass on playing in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. He will be replaced by Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Fleury felt it better to use the All-Star break to rest and prepare for the remainder of the season and playoffs. He’ll be suspended by the league for one regular-season game. A small price to pay for the Golden Knights to rest their top netminder.

Speaking of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, Washington’s Todd Reirden, Boston’s Bruce Cassidy, St. Louis’ Craig Berube, and Vegas’ Gerard Gallant will serve as coaches for the event.

SPORTSNET: New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech is out for the remainder of the season with an injury to his Achilles tendon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a big loss to the Isles’ blueline. Pelech is considered their most dependable rearguard and won’t be easily replaced.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan is sidelined indefinitely with a medial meniscus tear and articular cartilage injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid received a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2020

Three stars and top rookie of the month for December, Canadiens, Sabres, and Flames get busy in the trade market, milestones reached by Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COMNathan MacKinnon’s four-point performance (one goal, three assists) led the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-3 thumping of the St. Louis Blues. Nazem Kadri scored twice and Samuel Girard collected four assists. Robert Thomas scored twice for the Blues.

Nathan MacKinnon’s four-point effort carried the Colorado Avalanche over the St. Louis Blues 7-3 (Photo via NHL Images).

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their sixth straight win by holding off the Chicago Blackhawks 7-5. J.T. Miller had a four-point effort while teammates Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and Tanner Pearson each collected three points. Patrick Kane scored two goals for the Blackhawks while teammate Adam DeBrincat had three helpers.

The San Jose Sharks defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on an overtime tally by Brent Burns. Joe Thornton picked up his 1,080th career NHL assist to move into seventh on the all-time assists leader list. Patric Hornqvist scored both Penguins goals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are unbeaten in their last nine games (8-0-1) after downing the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. William Nylander scored two goals and set up another while teammate Frederik Andersen kicked out 45 shots. Earlier in the day, the Jets announced defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will miss at least a month with a lower-body injury.

Sean Monahan’s third-period goal gave the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Flames while Rangers defenseman Adam Fox collected three assists.

The Vegas Golden Knights scored four first-period goals and hung on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Max Pacioretty scored twice for the Golden Knights, who killed off a 6-on-3 Flyers power-play in the final 90 seconds of the third period. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault missed the game with a lower-body injury.

A four-goal second period carried the Florida Panthers to a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Evgenii Dadonov tallied twice and added an assist for the Panthers.

The Columbus Blue Jackets edged the Boston Bruins 2-1 on an overtime goal by Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Jackets’ point streak has reached 12 games (8-0-4). Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his league-leading 30th goal of the season.

Jack Eichel’s penalty-shot goal in overtime completed a 3-2 comeback by the Buffalo Sabres over the Edmonton Oilers. The Sabres overcame a 2-0 deficit on regulation goals by Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart. Sabres rookie winger Victor Olofsson left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 38-save performance carried his club over the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. The Habs played without winger Brendan Gallagher, who’s out indefinitely with a concussion.

Nico Hischier tallied the game-winner as the New Jersey Devils nipped the New York Islanders 2-1. The Devils are 4-0-1 in their last five games. New Jersey center Jack Hughes missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (lower-body injury) also missed this contest.

The Arizona Coyotes doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 following a three-goal third period. Goaltender Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the win.

HEADLINES

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau, Pittsburgh Penguins goatender Tristan Jarry, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the NHL’s three stars for December 2019. Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson is rookie of the month for December.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and San Jose Sharks forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are the 12th, 13th, and 14th players in NHL history to play at least one game in four or more different decades.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday traded defenseman Mike Reilly to the Ottawa Senators for a fifth-round pick in 2021 and minor-leaguer Andrew Sturtz. They also acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With these moves, the Canadiens add some much-needed veteran experience to their blueline in Scandella while shedding a $1.5-million salary-cap hit for 2020-21 by moving out the frequently-scratched Reilly. Eligible for UFA status this summer, Scandella can be considered a rental to keep the Habs’ flickering playoff hopes alive. The Senators, meanwhile, needed defensive depth with Dylan DeMelo, Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey sidelined by injuries.

The Sabres, meanwhile, flipped that draft pick they received from the Canadiens to the Calgary Flames for winger Michael Frolik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres needed help up front. That they only had to part with a fourth-rounder speaks to the decline in Frolik’s stock. The Flames were reportedly close to moving Frolik at last year’s trade deadline to the Minnesota Wild in a deal for winger Jason Zucker but it fell through at the last minutes. Frolik might not be the only move the Sabres have in store, while the Flames could also be active in the trade market leading up to this year’s deadline. I’ll have more later this morning in my daily Rumors update.

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown returned to practice yesterday following a stint in hospital recovering from pneumonia.

USA TODAY: Carolina Hurricanes center Erik Haula and his wife, Kristen, released a statement yesterday mourning the passing of their unborn daughter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to the Haulas.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2019

The Islanders win their ninth straight game, the Canucks are rising in the standings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov turned in a 27-save shutout and Derick Brassard scored the only goal in 1-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. It was the Islanders’ ninth consecutive win. The Sabres are now winless in their last three contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders’ impressive hot streak seems to be largely overlooked by the media. Thanks to solid goaltending and disciplined play, they’re one of four teams with 10 victories on the season. They’re just three points behind the league-leading Washington Capitals.

Elias Pettersson scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 (Photo via NHL Images).

 Elias Pettersson scored two goals to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. The Canucks extended their points streak to seven games. They also learned sidelined blueliner Quinn Hughes is listed as day-to-day after suffering a bruised knee against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are one point behind the Oilers and Blues for first place in the Western Conference. The Sharks, meanwhile, sank to the bottom of the Conference standings. They continue to be hampered by poor goaltending and a sputtering offense. 

The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to nine games by beating the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Bruins forwards David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combined for seven points. Their victory was overshadowed as Senators winger Scott Sabourin was stretchered from the game following a collision with Bruins winger David Backes. Sabourin was taken to local hospital and a follow-up report indicated he was doing ok. Backes also left the game with a suspected concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping both players make speedy recoveries. 

Mike Smith made 51 saves and Leon Draisaitl tallied in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Colby Cave also scored for the Oilers while Brian Dumoulin replied for the Penguins.

The Calgary Flames shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on a 43-save performance by David Rittich. Flames center Sean Monahan scored to snap his 14-game goalless drought. The Jackets are winless in their last four contests. Flames winger Milan Lucic faces a disciplinary hearing for roughing Jackets forward Kole Sherwood.

Andreas Johnsson’s goal in the 11th round of the shootout gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen turned aside 37 shots. Kasperi Kapanen and Jason Spezza each had a goal and an assist. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Ivan Provorov each had two points for the Flyers. Philadelphia center Sean Couturier has been nursing an apparent injury to his left hand.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their fourth straight win by edging the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on an overtime goal by Ryan O’Reilly. The game was marred by several questionable calls against the Wild.

Nathan MacKinnon’s point streak ended at 13 games as the Colorado Avalanche fell 3-0 to the Arizona Coyotes. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist while Darcy Kuemper made 33 stops for the shutout. The Avs are winless in four straight.

New York Rangers rookie Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 32 shots backstopping his club to a 2-1 upset over the Nashville Predators. Filip Chytil and Ryan Strome were the Rangers’ goalscorers. Earlier in the day, the Predators revealed their jerseys for the 2020 Winter Classic against the Dallas Stars at the Cotton Bowl. 

The Dallas Stars picked up their third straight win by downing the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Denis Gurianov scored twice, including a penalty-shot goal, while Ben Bishop made 35 saves. Canadiens goalie Carey Price stop 36 shots.

Sergei Bobrovsky picked up his first shutout with the Florida Panthers in a 4-0 blanking of the Detroit Red Wings. Bobrovsky made 22 saves while Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and collected an assist.

The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Kyle Connor scored in overtime and collected two assists while.Mathieu Perreault scored twice for the Jets. The flu sidelined Golden Knights starter Marc-Andre Fleury from this game.

P.K. Subban tallied the go-ahead goal as the New Jersey Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. It was the Devils first win in four games.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a four-game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Drew Doughty potted the winner in overtime. Blackhawks blueliner Erik Gustafsson was a healthy scratch.










Early NHL Rookie Stock Watch for 2019-20

Early NHL Rookie Stock Watch for 2019-20

 










Red-Hot NHL Scorers Most Likely To Cool Down

Red-Hot NHL Scorers Most Likely To Cool Down

 










Has The Buffalo Sabres Long-Awaited Breakout Season Finally Arrived?

Has The Buffalo Sabres Long-Awaited Breakout Season Finally Arrived?