NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2017

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scores one of his two goals against the San Jose Sharks.

Game recaps, injury updates, Coyotes deny relocation rumors & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron had a four-point night (one goal, three assists), David Backes had three points and David Pastrnak scored twice to give the Boston Bruins a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. It was Bruce Cassidy’s first win behind the Bruins’ bench as interim head coach since replacing Claude Julien earlier in the week. 

Max Pacioretty also had a four-point performance (two goals, two assists) to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-4 overtime win over the Arizona Coyotes. Alex Galchenyuk netted the winner for the Habs, snapping their four-game losing streak. Earlier in the day, it was reported Habs defenseman Andrei Markov will be heading to Russia during the club’s break next week to bring his twin sons back to Montreal following the recent death of their mother.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Markov and his family. 

T.J. Oshie scored twice and Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists as the Washington Capitals picked up their 11th straight home win by downing the Detroit Red Wings 6-3. Andreas Anthanasiou scored twice for the Wings. It was a costly game for both clubs, as forward Andre Burakovsky could miss some time with a hand injury while Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is out 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist.  Earlier in the day, the Wings announced goalie Jimmy Howard, who is rehabbing with their AHL affiliate, is day-to-day following irritation of scar tissue in his knee. 

Jeff Carter scored twice (including his 29th of the season) and set up two others as the Los Angeles Kings thumped the Florida Panthers 6-3. Earlier in the day, Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle received a $2,000.00 fine for embellishment during the Panthers 6-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 31. 

Corey Perry scored two goals and set up another to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, ending the Ducks’ three-game losing streak. 

J.T. Miller scored twice, Kevin Hayes had three assists and Michael Grabner tallied his 26th goal of the season as the New York Rangers edged the Nashville Predators 4-3 to pick up their fourth straight win. 

Patric Hornqvist scored two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1. Pens captain Sidney Crosby was held off the score sheet and remains at 998 career points. 

Ryan Miller turned in a 33-save performance as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0. The Sedin twins each collected two points as the Canucks snapped a four-game losing skid. 

Vladimir Tarasenko scored in overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blues center Paul Stastny left the game early in the second period after suffering an apparent injury to his right leg. No word on how long he could be sidelined. 

After the Ottawa Senators squandered a 2-0 lead, Mark Stone scored the game-winning goal to give them a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. 

Thomas Greiss kicked out 34 shots backstopping the New York Islanders to a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles are 7-1-2 since Doug Weight took over as interim head coach and they’re now within two points of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec could miss up to a week with a lower-body injury. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Free-agent NHL forward Ryan Carter is attempting a comeback with the Minnesota Wild. He underwent shoulder surgery four months ago. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights either have talked or are preparing to talk with former New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano. They’ve also reportedly spoken with former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no lack of experienced bench bosses for the Knights to choose from. Former Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien and former St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock are also available. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said a recent report claiming the club was considering relocation to Seattle or Portland is “100 percent false.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until the Coyotes finally get their arena issues sorted out, the relocation speculation will continue. 












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2017



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2017

Edmonton Oilers celebrate one of their goals in their 7-3 win over the Calgary Flames.

Game recaps, Blackhawks & Kings swing a minor deal, an update on Jack Capuano & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Jordan Eberle scored twice and set up two others while goalie Laurent Brossoit made 38 saves for his first NHL win as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Calgary Flames 7-3, sweeping their season series with their Alberta rival for the first time in history. 

A three-goal third-period outburst in less than two minutes from Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker powered the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, who also lost starting goalie John Gibson in the first period to an upper-body injury. No word yet as to how serious Gibson’s injury could be. Suter, meanwhile, had a three-point performance on his 32nd birthday.

The red-hot Washington Capitals extended their points streak to 13 games as Jay Beagle’s overtime goal gave them a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. During the game, the Stars’ game operations crew poked fun at the Trump Administration by announcing on the Jumbotron that their attendance for this game was 1.5 million. 

Ondrej Pavelec made 34 saves, including a team record 25 in the second period, backstopping the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Blues’ recent struggles has one St. Louis pundit speculating they could become sellers at the March 1 trade deadline if they keep losing ground in the standings. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending and depth at center are their two significant roster weaknesses. I believe general manager Doug Armstrong might soon become a buyer to address those issues and keep his club in playoff contention

Anders Lee scored two power-play goals as the New York Islanders doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2, giving the Isles their third second straight win since replacing Jack Capuano as coach with Doug Weight. Speaking of Capuano, Newsday reports sources claim at least one team has asked the Isles’ permission to speak with him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on which club has interest in Capuano. Newsday notes only the Florida Panthers and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights are without permanent head coaches. Maybe it’s the Boston Bruins, as bench boss Claude Julien is rumored to be on the hot seat. 

Scott Hartnell scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Cody Franson scored the game-tying goal and Zach Bogosian tallied in overtime as the Buffalo Sabres rallied to beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2, handing Habs goalie Carey Price his fifth loss in his last six starts. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it’s any consolation for Canadiens fans, Price has played better in his last two or three games.

Bobby Ryan and Tom Pyatt scored in a shootout as the Ottawa Senators edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. 

David Schlemko’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks their fourth straight win as they nipped the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 3-2. 

Christian Fischer scored the game-winning goal in his NHL debut as the Arizona Coyotes snapped a four-game losing streak by holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Miles Wood scored twice and Keith Kinkaid turned aside 34 shots to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling. Both players are expected to remain in the minors. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2017



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2017

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reacts after scoring his OT goal against the Florida Panthers.

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. Panthers goalie James Riemer caught the shot but his glove was behind the goal line. McDavid also collected two assists in the game. He and teammate Leon Draisaitl both tallied their 100th career NHL points in this game. 

After giving up seven goals in his last outing, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray made 19 saves as his club downed the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. It was the Habs third loss in their last four games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s growing concern in Montreal over the play of starting goalie Carey Price. He has only three wins in his last 10 games. While his save percentage for this season is .920, he’s reached or exceeded that stat in only three of those 10 games. In six of them, his save percentage was below .900. 

The Detroit Red Wings overcame a 4-1 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 6-5 in a shootout. Goalie Petr Mrazek made 23 saves replacing Jared Coreau, who gave up three goals on eight shots. Tomas Tatar had a three-point game, while Thomas Vanek and Frans Nielsen tallied in the shootout. Patrice Bergeron netted three points in a losing cause for the Bruins. 

Martin Jones made 22 saves on route to his 23rd win of the season as the San Jose Sharks hung on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Sharks center Joe Thornton and Kings winger Dustin Brown each collected two assists. 

In his first NHL game of the season since being recalled from the minors, goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves backstopping the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little each collected two points. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile said sidelined defenseman P.K. Subban (upper-body injury) could return to action next week. 

THE DENVER POST: Oft-injured Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov is out until after the upcoming NHL All-Star break (Jan 26 – 30) with a groin injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk about the Avs searching for blueline depth, they should also start shopping for an upgrade between the pipes. 

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  No word on how long Rielly could be sidelined, but the fact he’s day-to-day suggests the injury isn’t too serious. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild blueliner Jonas Brodin is sidelined for at least a month with a broken finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild will feel Brodin’s absence. He’s enjoyed a strong bounce-back performance this season.  

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forward Chris Kreider was fined $5,000.00 for hitting Dallas Stars center Cody Eakins with his own helmet during a fight in their recent game. 

TSN: The insurance company of the New Jersey Devils believes the seizures former Devils player Mike Peluso has suffered is a result of partying and binge drinking. Peluso claims his condition is due to multiple brain injuries he suffered during his playing career. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2017



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2017

Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp scores one of his two goals against NY Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on Tuesday night.

Game recaps, Islanders to speak with Gerard Gallant & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM:  The Dallas Stars scored seven goals on New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and hung on for a 7-6 win. The Rangers rallied back from a 7-3 deficit, but Kari Lehtonen replaced Antti Niemi (who gave up six Rangers goals) in the third period to ensure the Stars’ victory. Lundqvist was pulled in favor of Magnus Hellberg to start the third.

Patrick Sharp scored twice while Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves each had a goal and two assists for the Stars. Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello each had three points for the Rangers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s growing concern among Rangers’ followers over Lundqvist’s declining play this season.  The usually reliable “King Henrik” has given up 16 goals on 76 shots over his last seven periods of play. His 2.89 goals-against average and .902 save percentage this season are well off his career totals (2.31, .920). Age (34) and his heavy workload over the last 11 seasons could be catching up with him. 

Ryan Miller made 30 saves and Henrik Sedin scored the only goal as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Nashville Predators 1-0. The goal was Sedin’s 999th career NHL point. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. It was a costly win for the Leafs, as defenseman Morgan Rielly left the game in the first period with an injury to his right leg. Rielly will be reevaluated later today. 

Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman each scored twice to give the Ottawa Senators a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Earlier in the day, the Blues learned defenseman Brad Hunt was claimed off waivers by the Nashville Predators. 

Chicago Blackhawks rookies Vinnie Hinostroza and Tanner Kero each scored two goals to give their club a 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Matt Duchene scored twice for the Avs. 

Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano had three-point performances to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. 

After missing the last three games to illness, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves to backstop his club to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Brandon Dubinsky scored twice for the Jackets. 

Rickard Rakell’s overtime goal gave the Anaheim Ducks a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Beau Bennett’s late third-period goal lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, extending the Devils win streak to three games. 

YAHOO SPORTS: Various reports claim the New York Islanders have permission to speak with former Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant. The Islanders yesterday fired coach Jack Capuano and replaced him on an interim basis with assistant general manager Doug Weight. There’s no indication if they’re close to hiring a permanent replacement. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gallant is interested in taking over as the Islanders bench boss, GM Garth Snow shouldn’t waste any time hiring him. The former Panthers coach was a finalist last season for the Jack Adams Award. He’s bound to attract interest from other NHL clubs in the offseason. 

WINNIPEG SUN: With the goalie tandem of Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson struggling, the Winnipeg Jets recalled former starter Ondrej Pavelec from the minors. 

MLIVE.COM:  Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Tatar’s been managing a nagging shoulder ailment since last season. He will probably require offseason surgery to fix the problem. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tatar claims it’s not affecting his shooting, but this would explain the decline in his scoring since his career-best 29-goal, 56-point performance in 2014-15. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen could miss three-to-four weeks with a foot injury. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks placed forward Joonas Donskoi (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. 

IIHF.COM:  Former NHL stars Joe Sakic, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu are among those to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame this year.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2016



NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2016

Did the NY Islanders have interest in Colorado Avalanche star Matt Duchene?

Latest on Matt Duchene, Ondrej Pavelec and Mark Fayne plus an update on the Buffalo Sabres in your NHL rumor mill. 

EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson reports the New York Islanders looked into acquiring Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene earlier this season, but the asking price was too high. He presumes the Avs were looking at “Matt Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier and Travis Hamonic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Avs decide to move Duchene, they will set a high asking price. Trading a player of his caliber usually doesn’t happen in-season. 

 If the Oilers aren’t comfortable with backups Jonas Gustavsson or Laurent Brossoit before the March 1 trade deadline, Matheson suggests they inquire about former Winnipeg Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec, who’s currently toiling for the Jets’ AHL affiliate, as a rental backup. Pavelec is an unrestricted free agent in July. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a bad suggestion, but if the Jets remain in playoff contention, they could hang onto Pavelec as insurance down the stretch. 

With the New Jersey Devils scrambling on defense, Matheson wonders if they might take back Oilers blueliner Mark Fayne. With a year remaining on Fayne’s contract worth $3.625 million, he doubts that’s possible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doubt it. While the Devils have over $8.8 million in cap space for this season and over $20 million for 2017-18, Fayne’s declining play and cap hit makes it unlikely they’ll want him back. 

FANRAG.COM: Chris Nichols cited a recent appearance by NHL insider Pierre LeBrun on Montreal’s TSN 690 where he discussed the plight of the Buffalo Sabres. While LeBrun still believes Sabres winger Evander Kane could be had for the right price, the club won’t just give him away. He believes the Sabres would like to acquire help on the blueline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sabres are still willing to trade Kane, I suspect that move will have to wait until the offseason. Interested clubs will want to see how well he performs over the remainder of this season. Even then, the Sabres could find it difficult acquiring a defenseman to help their blueline. 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 30, 2016



Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 30, 2016

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak could be on the trade block.

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak could be on the trade block.

Latest on the Islanders, Canadiens, Bruins and Jets in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen reports Allan Walsh, agent for New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak, recently published a series of comments on Twitter questioning the club’s decision to carry three goalies to start this season. While the Isles made no public response yet to Wash’s comments. Elliotte Friedman subsequently reports GM Garth Snow has let the other 29 teams know Halak is available. Boylen points out Halak is the most expensive of the Isles trio ($4.25 million annual cap hit), while the club is carrying J-F Berube rather than risk losing him to another club via waivers.

Boylen also notes the Los Angeles Kings have been in the goalie market since starter Jonathan Quick (groin injury) was sidelined up to three months, but they only have around $1 million in cap space. The Dallas Stars were thought to be seeking an upgrade in goal this summer, but with only $2 million in cap room, they’d have to move either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi. Boylen also lists the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets as possible trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Halak’s strong performance for Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey, his annual cap hit through 2017-18 and middling numbers in October (3.04 GAA, .901 SP) won’t be easy to trade. The Kings can’t afford him, while the Stars probably won’t find any takers for Lehtonen or Niemi, who both carry no-trade clauses and might be unwilling to waive them. The Sharks could use an experienced back for Martin Jones, but not an oft-injured one with an expensive contract. Craig Anderson recently returned to the Senators. If they need a replacement for the sidelined Andrew Hammond, they’ll got a cheaper route. The Jets can simply recall Ondrej Pavelec.

That leaves the Hurricanes, who have the cap space and are in need of an upgrade with the current tandem of Cam Ward and Eddie Lack performing poorly in the early going. However, GM Ron Francis could be unwilling to pursue Halak because of his salary and injury history. 

Boylen cites Nick Kypreos saying the Montreal Canadiens could send rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev back to his junior club in Windsor for more development. If so, Kypreos expects the Habs will be in the market for a top-four defenseman to help ease the burden on Shea Weber and Andrei Markov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before anyone suggests the Jets’ Jacob Trouba, the Habs already have Shea Weber and Jeff Petry skating on the right side in their top-four blueline pairings, so there’s not a fit there. The Canadiens also lack cap space to re-sign Trouba, who reportedly prefers being dealt to an American NHL club.

Friedman reports Boston Bruins winger Ryan Spooner could be available. Though he’s struggled early this season, the 24-year-old netted 49 points last season and has a reasonable salary ($1 million). Friedman believes the Bruins could listen to offers, especially if they can get a top young defenseman in return. Kypreos wonders if the Bruins could use Spooner to pursue a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for Jacob Trouba, but the asking price could be expensive, such as Spooner, promising blueliner Brandon Carlo and a first-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins would love to land Trouba, and they’d probably happily part with Spooner to get him. Heck, they might even package him with that first-round pick. Adding Carlo to the mix, however, is a non-starter. Perhaps as other blueliners potentially become available later in the season (Anaheim’s Cam Fowler? St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk?), the Bruins could use Spooner as part of a package to land one of them. 

TSN: Gary Lawless reports the recent spate of goaltender injuries around the league is generating multiple inquiries for Winnipeg Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec, who’s currently toiling for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Whether they move Pavelec depends upon how comfortable the Jets are with their young tandem of Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:With Pavelec carrying a $3.9 million cap hit, the Jets will either have to pick up half of it or take back an equivalent salary in return.