NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2017
Updates on Patrice Bergeron, Henrik Lundqvist and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
CSNNE.COM: After battling an ankle injury and a sports hernia throughout last season, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is happy to have those ailments behind him.
Bergeron overcame an uncharacteristic slow start to 2016-17 to win a record-tying fourth Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward. He underwent sports hernia surgery in the spring.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron’s resurgence in the second half of last season helped the Bruins clinch a playoff spot. They’ll need him healthy through 2017-18 in order to repeat as postseason contenders.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers long-time starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist hopes to put last season’s career-worst numbers (2.74 goals-against average, .910 save percentage) behind him as he approaches his 13th NHL campaign.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist regained his form in the playoffs, out-dueling Montreal’s Carey Price to upset the Canadiens in the opening round before falling in six games to Ottawa in the second round. Despite being dogged by a knee sprain, he went on to backstop Sweden to gold at the 2017 World Championships. Now 35, Lundqvist’s best seasons are probably behind him. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if he stages a bounce-back performance in 2017-18.
SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon explains why forward Jonathan Drouin should quickly adjust to high expectations with the Montreal Canadiens. The 22-year-old Drouin was acquired by the Habs in a June trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning and is poised to become the club’s only Quebec-born star.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin enters this season with no illusions over what awaits him in hockey-mad Montreal. That could serve him well as his adjusts to the pressure of playing in that market and adjusting to his new teammates.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Former Blackhawks defenseman Pierre Pilote passed away yesterday at age 85. In 890 career NHL games between 1955-56 to 1968-69, Pilote tallied 80 goals and 498 points. He won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top blueliner in three straight seasons from 1962-63 to 1964-65, was an eight-time all-star and helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. Pilote spent 13 seasons with the Hawks and finished his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1975, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Pilote’s family, friends and former teammates. He was one of the greatest players in Blackhawks history and among the all-time great defensemen.