NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

The Sabres’ Tage Thompson has a six-point night, the Ducks’ Jamie Drysdale could be sidelined for the season, plus updates on Charlie McAvoy, T.J. Oshie, Jake Oettinger and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson tallied a hat trick and collected three assists to lead his club to an 8-3 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Jeff Skinner collected three points, including his 300th career NHL goal, as the Sabres improved their record to 6-3-0. Dylan Larkin, David Perron and Olli Maatta replied for the Wings, whose record drops to 4-3-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE After tallying just three points in his first seven games of the season, Thompson now has nine points in his last two contests.

Shootout goals by Brent Burns and Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Washington Capitals 3-2. Svechnikov also scored the tying goal that sent the game into overtime and the shootout frame as the Hurricanes move to a 6-2-1 record while the Capitals drop to 5-4-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 785th career NHL goal.

The Los Angeles Kings improved to 6-5-0 by dropping the St. Louis Blues 5-1. Carl Grundstrom scored twice, Kevin Fiala had three assists and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the win. The Blues have lost five straight and fall to 3-5-0.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt and Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the league’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 30, 2022.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Bad news for the Anaheim Ducks as they announced Jamie Drysdale will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The 20-year-old defenseman could miss the remainder of the season as his recovery period is four-to-six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break for Drysdale as he was hoping to build upon his 32-point rookie performance last season. It’s also a big loss to the blueline of the rebuilding Ducks, who’ve stumbled from the gate this season with a 2-6-1 record.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Some good news for Charlie McAvoy as he’s resumed practice with his Bruins teammates. The 24-year-old defenseman is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and wasn’t expected to return to action until December 1. He’s ahead of schedule but isn’t going to play during their upcoming three-game road trip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McAvoy could return by mid-November at the latest if he performs well in practice over the next week or two. He will provide a significant boost to their blueline, which has performed well in his absence. It will also force management to find a way to shed salary to make room within their salary cap payroll for his arrival.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is out indefinitely while defenseman John Carlson is day-to-day as both players are sidelined by lower-body injuries.

SPORTSNET: Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger will have his lower-body injury re-evaluated in a week’s time. The club cannot recall Anton Khudobin due to salary-cap issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars addressed this by signing Matt Murray to a one-year entry-level contract. Murray, 24, played 11 games with their AHL affiliate, five of those this season. He is not to be confused with sidelined Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars rookie center Wyatt Johnston will be staying with the club for the season. The 19-year-old played his ninth game of the season on Saturday, raising questions as to whether the Stars would return him to his junior club before his 10th game for contract reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the first season of Johnston’s entry-level contract goes into effect when he plays his 10th game. Had the Stars returned him to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, his ELC would’ve slid to next season.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins center Jeff Carter has been sidelined by a lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forwards Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman suffered upper-body injuries during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights netminder Laurent Brossoit has been sent to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. This is the next step in his return to the Golden Knights lineup as he recovers from offseason hip surgery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2022

The Canadiens rally to beat the Blues, the Oilers win the latest chapter of “The Battle of Alberta”, the Stars lose Jake Oettinger to injury, and Flyers center Sean Couturier is sidelined for months by back surgery. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the St. Louis Blues 7-4. Christian Dvorak had a hat trick while Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield each collected three points for the Canadiens (5-4-0). Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues, whose record falls to 3-4-0. Pavel Buchnevich returned to the Blues lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the most surprising outcome of the evening. A big comeback win against the Blues for the Canadiens, who would’ve folded like a cheap lawnchair at this point last season had they fallen behind 3-1 to the Blues or any other club. Habs rookie Juraj Slafkovsky tallied his first-ever NHL power-play goal in this contest while fellow rookie Jordan Harris collected two assists.

Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and Zach Hyman scored twice to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in the latest chapter of “The Battle of Alberta”. Stuart Skinner kicked out 40 shots to pick up the win for the Oilers, who improved to 6-3-0. Mikael Backlund and Brett Ritchie replied for the Flames (5-2-0).

The Florida Panthers got three-point performances from Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour as they dropped the Ottawa Senators 5-3. Verhaeghe tallied twice as the Panthers improved to 5-3-1. Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg made 53 saves as his club’s record fell to 4-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Senators, who would’ve lost by a more lopsided margin if not for Forsberg, who deserved better from his teammates as they wasted his performance in this one. He kept them in this game despite facing 47(!) shots through the first two periods. Yes, the Sens were playing without one of their top-four defensemen in Artem Zub, but they still should’ve put forth a better defensive effort.

Four straight third-period goals (two within 17 seconds by Scott Mayfield and Anthony Beauvillier) lifted the New York Islanders from a 3-1 deficit to hold off the Colorado Avalanche 5-4. The Isles were down 3-0 at one point in the second period until Noah Dobson got them on the scoreboard. Their record now sits at 5-4-0. Evan Rodrigues scored twice for the Avalanche as the defending champions fall to 4-4-1.

Three goals in a 2:07 span in the third period lifted the New York Rangers over the Dallas Stars 6-3 to snap a four-game winless skid. Vincent Trocheck scored twice and collected an assist while Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists for the Rangers (4-3-2). The Stars dropped to 5-3-1 but also lost starting goalie Jake Oettinger to a lower-body injury midway through the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oettinger will be reevaluated today. The Stars will be hoping his injury isn’t serious. He’s the league leader in goals-against average (1.40) while his .952 save percentage is second overall.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist and Anze Kopitar picked up two helpers as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. John Tavares and Pierre Engvall scored for the slumping Leafs (4-4-1), who have lost three straight games. The Kings improved their record to 5-5-0.

A late goal by Nikita Kucherov carried the Tampa Bay Lightning over the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel each had two assists while Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (5-4-0). Erik Karlsson tallied twice for the Sharks but their record now stands at 3-8-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s been among the few bright spots in an otherwise horrible start for the Sharks. He leads all NHL defensemen with six goals and 11 points.

An overtime goal by Brent Burns gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist in his 1,100th career game as his club improves to 5-2-1. Wade Allison and Nicolas Deslauriers each had a goal and an assist for the 5-2-1 Flyers. Hurricanes center Derek Stepan left this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers also announced Sean Couturier will be sidelined for three-four months due to back surgery while winger James van Riemsdyk will miss six weeks recovering from surgery to repair a broken finger. Couturier has now undergone two procedures on his back since February, raising concerns that his condition could prematurely end his career.

Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots to shut out the Nashville Predators 3-0. Alex Ovechkin tallied the Capitals’ third goal. It was a costly win for the Capitals (5-4-0) as T.J. Oshie and John Carlson left the game with lower-body injuries in the first period. The Predators dropped to 3-5-1.

Three unanswered goals by Jordan Eberle, Morgan Geekie and Jaden Schwartz gave the Seattle Kraken a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, extending the latter’s losing streak to four games. Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker returned to the lineup with Guentzel tallying the only goal for the Penguins, who fall to 4-4-1 while the Kraken improve to 4-4-2.

The Buffalo Sabres got two goals each from Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime. Olofsson opened and closed the scoring for the Sabres, who improve to 5-3-0. Blackhawks goalie Arvid Soderblom made 41 saves for the Blackhawks as their record sits at 4-3-1.

Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond scored his first two goals of the season and Ville Husso made 30 saves in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. Kirill Kaprizov tallied for the Wild (3-4-1) while the Wings improve to 4-2-2.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed winger Ondrej Palat on injured reserve with a lower-body injury retroactive to Oct. 24.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks are awaiting test results on Jamie Drysdale, who suffered an upper-body injury in Friday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Drysdale was hurt following a hit by Golden Knights’ forward William Carrier.

TSN: Devan Dubnyk yesterday officially announced his NHL retirement after 12 seasons and 542 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. He won 253 games with a career 2.61 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and 33 shutouts. In 2014-15, he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy and was named to the Second All-Star Team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubnyk spent nearly six seasons with the Wild, where he played his best hockey. He’s now working as an analyst for NHL Network. Best wishes to him in his post-playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2022

Recaps of Thursday’s preseason action, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighs in on Hockey Canada scandal as more sponsors withdraw support for the organization, and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s third-period goal stood as the game-winner as the Ottawa Senators held off the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in the Kraft Hockeyville game in Gander, NL. Tim Stutzle led the way with a goal and two assists for the Senators.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and Noah Dobson each had a goal and an assist while Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves.

A third-period power-play goal by Brandon Montour lifted the Florida Panthers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 38 saves in a losing cause while defenseman Mikhail Sergachev left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets thumped the St. Louis Blues 7-0. Andrew Peeke collected four assists while Daniil Tarasov turned in a 24-save shutout.

Mats Zuccarello, Marco Rossi and Sam Steel each had a goal and an assist to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith scored twice and collected an assist in a 6-4 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Eichel and Mark Stone each collected two assists. Kings defenseman Sean Durzi had a goal and two assists.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on Hockey Canada’s ongoing scandal over its handling of sexual assault allegations involving players of Canada’s 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams and its refusal to implement a change in its leadership.

I think the response from Hockey Canada certainly needs work”, said Bettman, who was in Gander for the game between the Senators and Canadiens. “I’m not sure I fully understand why they’re responding the way they are.”

Bettman said he was very disappointed at the current state of affairs with Hockey Canada. The league is conducting its own investigation into the situation. The commissioner wouldn’t speculate on what might happen to those junior players who could have been involved in the alleged sexual assaults who are now playing in the NHL. He indicated that will be determined once he’s received and read the final report.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Hockey Canada continues to lose support from corporate sponsors. Esso, Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Chevrolet Canada joined Tim Hortons, Scotiabank and Telus in withdrawing support for men’s hockey for 2022-23, with Canadian Tire permanently taking away its support.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hockey Nova Scotia joined Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation in formally suspending fees it pays to Hockey Canada. “Until our values at Hockey Nova Scotia are reflected by Hockey Canada’s senior leadership, we simply cannot support hockey’s national governing body,” the organization said in a statement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hockey Manitoba has called for the resignation of Hockey Canada’s senior leadership but Hockey Canada still stubbornly refuses to heed those calls. It’s growing more costly for the organization and could lead to its total downfall and potential replacement with a new national governing body.

NHL.COM’s Dave McCarthy reports Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said that Trevor Zegras is expected to join his teammates in a full practice on Friday. The 21-year-old center has been sidelined since suffering an injury during a preseason game on Monday.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov and winger T.J. Oshie are listed as day-to-day with injuries.

THE ATHLETIC: Montreal Canadiens winger Paul Byron could end up on long-term injury reserve due to an ongoing hip injury. The 33-year-old is in the final season of his contract with an average annual value of $3.4 million.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers released winger Jake Virtanen from his professional tryout offer.

They also announced former Oilers defenseman Steve Staios has been hired as a special advisor with a focus on prospect development. Staios was president and general manager of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, who won the OHL championship in 2022.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames released forwards Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin from their professional tryout offers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday’s preseason games, Hockey Canada faces growing criticism as sponsors distance themselves from the organization, the Stars sign Jason Robertson to a four-year contract, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I underwent surgery on Oct. 5 to repair damaged tendons in my left hand. It was similar to the procedure I had in February. As a result, it could take a little longer to post my daily updates over the next few days. Please bear with me. As always, I appreciate your support.

RECAPS OF PRESEASON GAMES

NHL.COM: A third-period goal by Mike Reilly broke a 4-4 tie as the Boston Bruins nipped the New York Rangers 5-4. Bruins forwards David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha each had a goal and two assists. Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko both scored twice for the Rangers.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on third-period goals by Connor Brown and Alex Ovechkin. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could hear an update on Oshie’s status later today after he’s been reevaluated by the Capitals’ medical staff.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender David Rittich made 37 saves to backstop his club to a 5-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames. Kyle Connor scored twice and Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and two assists.

Third-period goals by Logan O’Connor and Mikko Rantanen lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Dallas Stars 2-1. Alexandar Georgiev got the win with a 32-save performance.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored two third-period goals (including the game-winner) in a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Canucks captain Bo Horvat collected three assists. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist.

SPONSORS AND TWO PROVINCES WITHDRAW SUPPORT FROM HOCKEY CANADA.

CBC.CA: Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said it “boggles the mind” that Hockey Canada continues to defend its leadership amid ongoing accusations of its mishandling of sexual assault allegations against a number of junior hockey players.

Parents across the country are losing faith or have lost faith in Hockey Canada,” said Trudeau. “Certainly, politicians here in Ottawa have lost in Hockey Canada.”

Canada’s sports minister Pascale St-Onge believed mass resignations by Hockey Canada’s leadership are necessary to restore trust in the organization. If they continue to dig in its heels, she called upon Hockey Canada’s voting members to clean house.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation are pulling their support from Hockey Canada and moving to withhold registration fees from the national federation. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons, Telus and Scotiabank announced Wednesday that they will be suspending their sponsorship of men’s hockey for the 2022-23 season.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports a group of Hockey Canada’s sponsors is discussing the possibility of permanently suspending their business relationships with the national sports organization, using the “reputational damage” clauses in their contracts.

THE ATHLETIC: Ken Volden, a senior executive at TSN, acknowledged that the network’s business operations have been affected by its coverage of the Hockey Canada scandal. However, the network will continue to pursue the story.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The ongoing damage to Hockey Canada worsens the longer it continues to keep its head in the sand. Suppose the outcry by politicians and the public won’t force the organization to implement change in its leadership. In that case, the withdrawal of funding by the provinces and major corporate sponsors should do it.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed winger Jason Robertson to a four-year, $31 million contract. The average annual value is $7.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson gets a hefty raise over his entry-level AAV of $894K. He earned it by becoming one of the Stars’ top players. He was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2020-21 with 45 points in 51 games and tallied 41 goals and 79 points as a sophomore last season.

This deal also sets up the 23-year-old for a more lucrative payday on a longer-term contract. He’ll earn $9.3 million in actual salary in the final year of this deal, meaning it’ll cost the Stars that much to qualify his rights.

Speaking of the Stars, goaltender Anton Khudobin has a clean bill of health after recovering from off-season hip surgery. He could be showcased for a trade or placed on waivers and demoted to their AHL affiliate Texas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scott Wedgewood has nailed down the backup role behind young starter Jake Oettinger.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki and teammates Joel Armia and Emil Heineman are listed as day-to-day with upper-body injuries. The Canadiens also announced the signing of 2021 first-round pick Logan Mailloux to an entry-level contract. He will spend the coming season with his junior team in London, Ontario.

The Columbus Blue Jackets released center Victor Rask from his professional tryout offer.

THE SCORE: Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis isn’t ruling out Shane Wright playing the full season in the NHL. The 18-year-old center was considered the top prospect heading into the 2022 draft but was selected fourth overall by the Kraken.

DAILY FACEOFF: The NHL department of player safety fined Arizona Coyotes forward Michael Carone $2,027.23 for roughing Vegas Golden Knights forward Gage Quinney in a preseason game on Tuesday.










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 – March 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

Claude Giroux plays his 1,000th (and possibly final) game with the Flyers, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Golden Knights lose Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner denies he’s seriously injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s 1,000th and possibly final game with the Philadelphia Flyers ended in a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators thanks to Joel Farabee’s game-winner late in the third period. Farabee, Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers while Giroux was held scoreless. Predators defenseman Roman Josi collected three assists to set a single-season franchise record with 55 assists while teammate Filip Forsberg scored his 210th career goal to tie the franchise record. The Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 74 points.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux is not traveling with the Flyers to Ottawa to face the Senators tonight. He’s expected to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a five-game losing skid by beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 but lost Jack Eichel as he left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with one of his arms. There was no immediate update on his condition. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice as the Golden Knight (70 points) remain one point up on the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Panthers, meanwhile, remain one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 88 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Golden Knights starting goaltender Robin Lehner denied a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claiming he could miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Nevertheless, his frequent absences to injury this season and the Golden Knights’ struggles while he’s out of the lineup fuels speculation that management is shopping for a goalie.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs as rookie goalie Erik Kallgren made 34 saves for his second straight win in his second NHL start. Ondrej Kase tallied the winning goal for the Leafs (83 points), who are 4-1-1 in their last six and move within one point of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

The Stars, meanwhile, got the game-tying and winning goals by John Klingberg to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime to snap a three-game losing skid. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 31 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Jan. 13.

Leon Draisaitl scored his 40th goal of the season as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 6-1 dubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Connor McDavid was among five Oilers to finish the night with two points while Mike Smith made 27 saves for the win. With 72 points, the Oilers have won four straight and sit in third place in the Pacific Division.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 38th goal of the season, Anthony Mantha scored twice and Vitek Vanecek stopped 39 shots as the Washington Capitals thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game with a lower-body injury. The Capitals (78 points) move within a point of the Boston Bruins for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Detroit Red Wing netminder Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 43 shots and Pius Suter scored the only goal to blank the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Canucks center J.T. Miller’s point streak ended at 13 games. The loss leaves the Canucks (67 points) three points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Speaking of shutouts, Cal Petersen made 29 saves for his third of the season in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe were the goal scorers as the Kings (76 points) hold a four-point lead over the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division.

A shootout goal by Bryan Rust lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s point streak ended at 10 games. Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 43 saves in a losing cause. The Penguins (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division while the Blues (77 points) sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild in second place in the Central Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves for the win as Kyle Palmieri broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 40th goal of the season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot’s season is over after suffering a broken right hand during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Andrew Copp was shaken up but avoided another concussion following a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist on Sunday. He passed a return-to-play test on Tuesday. Copp has suffered four concussions in his playing career.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made to shore up Vegas’ injury-depleted blue line.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was placed on the NHL COVID protocol list.