NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

Sidney Crosby tallies his 499th career goal, Brad Marchand could face another suspension, Tuukka Rask’s comeback could be over, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby tallied his 499th career NHL goal and Danton Heinen scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 43 saves for the win but was also on the receiving end of a punch and a stick to the head from Bruins winger Brad Marchand late in the game. Marchand received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline for attempting to injure Jarry. David Pastrnak scored both Bruins goals.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

The Penguins are tied with the New York Rangers with 64 points but the latter holds second place in the Metropolitan Division with 30 wins while the Pens have 28. With 54 points, the Bruins remain four points behind the Washington Capitals, who hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins also lost captain Patrice Bergeron in the third period when he fell awkwardly into the boards following a collision with Crosby. He was assisted off and the Penguins captain received a minor penalty for roughing though the contact was minor and didn’t appear intentional on Crosby’s part. **CORRECTION: Crosby received the roughing penalty a minute later for a different incident.**

Speaking of the Capitals, they suffered their fourth loss in their last six games by falling 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner snapped a 4-4 tie late in the third period while teammate Patrik Laine scored twice and collected an assist. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist after emerging from COVID protocol yesterday.

Alex Pietrangelo scored to collect his 500th career NHL point while Laurent Brossoit kicked out 28 shots as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each had a goal and an assist. Oilers goalie Mike Smith made 24 saves in his first start since Jan. 5. The Golden Knights sit on top of the Pacific Division with 59 points while the Oilers (49 points) remain three points behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 28-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Mark Scheifele and Nate Schmidt were the goalscorers as the Jets (49 points) sit seven points behind the Flames. The Wild remain in third place in the Central Division with 59 points. Wild forward Marcus Foligno received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for kneeing Jets forward Andrew Copp in the head during their third-period scrap.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had three assists and winger Conor Garland scored against their former club in a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. With 48 points, the Canucks are four back of the Flames.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk scored two goals as his club held on to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. The Hurricanes were down 4-0 but made it interesting with three goals in the third period. Anton Forsberg stopped 42 shots as the Senators have gone 5-2-2 in their last nine contests. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.

The New Jersey Devils snapped a seven-game losing skid by humiliating the lowly Montreal Canadiens 7-1. Michael McLeod scored twice for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits are wondering how many more embarrassing lopsided losses the Canadiens front office is willing to endure before they start making changes. Apparently, they’re willing to endure many more over the remainder of this season.

Trades seem unlikely at the moment because they probably prefer waiting until the March 21 deadline when they hope the value of their trade candidates is at their highest. A coaching change would have a more immediate effect but they committed to head coach Dominique Ducharme for the rest of the season and seem reluctant to change their minds.

The Canadiens have been walloped by injuries and illnesses to key players throughout the season. Ducharme hasn’t been placed in the best position as a coach to deal with these unique situations he’s faced since becoming their head coach. Nevertheless, they’re now mired in a toxic atmosphere. Many veterans appear to have tuned out Ducharme knowing he’s a goner at season’s end while their younger players are growing discouraged with the constant losing. That’s not going to help improve the club’s culture going forward.

Bottom line is the Canadiens are a laughingstock and an easy two points for most clubs, including those fading in the playoff race like the Devils. That’s not going to change over the remainder of this season. It might help improve the Canadiens’ chances of winning the draft lottery, but it’s not a healthy mood for a franchise facing what could be years of rebuilding.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Sources tell Fluto Shinzawa that the Boston Bruins don’t expect Tuukka Rask to continue his comeback. He felt discomfort in his surgically repaired hip following his last game on Jan. 24 and has been on injured reserve. He could finalize his retirement in the next several days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rask is calling it a career he’ll be retiring as one of the top goaltenders in Bruins history. He backstopped them to two Stanley Cup Finals (2013 and 2019), won the Vezina in 2014 and was a finalist in 2020, and is their franchise leader in games-played for goalies with 564 and win with 308.

CBS SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (finger) was placed on injured reserve yesterday.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Patrick Maroon to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1 million.

The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $1.9 million contract extension.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman remains sidelined with headaches and migraines and continues to meet with doctors.

CBS SPORTS: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich was placed on IR with an upper-body injury.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken claimed forward Austin Czarnik off waivers from the New York Islanders.

ESPN.COM: The Anaheim Ducks named Hall-of-Famer and former captain Scott Niedermayer as a special advisor to their hockey operations department.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday named Daniel Briere as special assistant to general manager Chuck Fletcher.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2021

Alex Ovechkin moves up again on the all-time goal-scoring list, Jack Eichel undergoes surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin tallied his 742nd career NHL goal while Conor Sheary scored the game-winner late in the third period as the Washington Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Ovechkin overtook Brett Hull to move into fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list. Garnet Hathaway netted two goals for the Capitals while Sean Kuraly replied for the Jackets with two goals.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin now sits 24 goals behind Jaromir Jagr for third place. At his current rate of production (12 goals in 14 games), the Capitals captain could surpass Jagr by mid-January.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 thanks to two goals by Dylan Cozens and a 33-save performance by Dustin Tokarski. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl tallied twice to lead the league with 14 goals and 28 points while teammate Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games. The Sabres improve their record to 6-5-2.

An overtime goal by Auston Matthews lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. William Nylander set up both goals by the Leafs, who’ve won seven of their last eight contests. The Flames are winless (0-2-1) in their last three games.

Carter Hart turned aside 39 shots to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Joel Farabee and Zack MacEwen netted third-period goals to give the Flyers the win.

The Chicago Blackhawks have three straight wins under interim head coach Derek King as they nipped the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Dylan Strome’s game-winner in the third period. Patrick Kane collected two assists as the Blackhawks improve their record to 4-9-2. The Coyotes, meanwhile, have just one victory (1-12-1) thus far.

HEADLINES

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights center Jack Eichel underwent successful artificial disk replacement surgery in Denver on Friday. He’s expected to spend three weeks in Denver recovering before returning to Las Vegas for the remainder of his expected three-month rehab.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Kanata and the Calgary Flames on Sunday despite their COVID-depleted roster. Nine Senators are currently on the COVID protocol list.

The league instructed the club to cancel practice for the third time this week on Friday to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Senators had hoped to convince the NHL to postpone several games until some of the players are well enough to return to action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to the report, the league sympathizes with the Senators’ plight but hopes to avoid rescheduling games until the club has almost no more players left to recall from their AHL affiliate.

While I understand the league’s reluctance to face rescheduling games as they did last season, they’re not doing the Senators any favors here by forcing them to ice a significantly depleted lineup. There’s also the risk of spreading the virus among themselves or their opponents. The good news (so far) is no other players have tested positive since Thursday.

Speaking of the Senators, defenseman Erik Brannstrom will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a broken hand suffered during Thursday’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

SPORTSNET: Seven San Jose Sharks players (Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Lebanc, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto and Radim Simek) and head coach Bob Boughner have returned to the active roster since being placed in COVID protocol on Oct. 30.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Karlsson, Middleton and Boughner described how their contracting COVID-19 affected their families. They were among the first of five others on the club to recently test positive for the coronavirus.

Karlsson said his wife and two-year-old daughter also tested positive. While his daughter is doing well, his wife is still dealing with symptoms. Middleton, meanwhile, had to put his girlfriend and their dog into a hotel during the 10 days he was in COVID protocol. Boughner’s parents were visiting when he got his positive test. He immediately quarantined himself into a hotel while his parents returned to Canada safe and sound.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicated the Sharks organization is fully vaccinated. Neither Karlsson, Middleton or Boughner know where or when they were exposed to COVID.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman for two games for high-sticking Colorado Avalanche forward Kiefer Sherwood on Thursday.

TSN: Braydon Coburn announced his retirement yesterday after 16 NHL seasons. The 37-year-old defenseman tallied 234 points in 983 games with the Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders. He won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Coburn and his family in their future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

Leon Draisaitl powers the Oilers to a comeback win, the Kings and Ducks extend their winning streaks, the Blue Jackets set to honor Rick Nash and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the third period as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-3. Draisaitl leads all NHL scorers with 12 goals and also collected an assist. Teammate Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his points streak to 12 games. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for the Bruins.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 26 points, Draisaitl sits two points ahead of McDavid atop the NHL scoring race.

A 34-save shutout performance by Jonathan Quick carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Anze Kopitar and Andreas Athanasiou were the goal scorers as the Kings (8-5-1) extended their win streak to seven games. The Senators have nine players on the COVID protocol list, including Matt Murray, Alex Formenton and Nikita Zaitsev going on the list yesterday. Sens defenseman Artem Zub left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be the last game the Senators play for a while if more of their players end up on the COVID list over the next couple of days. The league is monitoring their situation closely and could postpone several upcoming games.

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games in a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists as the Ducks (8-4-3) have won six in a row. Jared McCann tallied twice for the slumping Kraken (4-9-1), who’ve dropped three straight games.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists while defensemen Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard each had two points as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the Vancouver Canucks 7-1. The Avs scored three times in the first period and another three in the second to put the game out of reach. Colorado blueliner Bowen Byram left the game in the first period after taking an elbow to the face from Canucks center Bo Horvat. Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman was ejected in the third period for swinging his stick at the head of Avs forward Kiefer Sherwood.

The New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Islanders 4-0 with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicking out 42 shots for the shutout. Dougie Hamilton led the way with a goal and an assist.

Zach Fucale made 21 saves to become the first goalie in Washington Capitals history to notch a shutout in his first NHL game in a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller were the goal scorers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist but remains tied with Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list with 741.

Shootout goals by Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tristan Jarry got the win by stopping 36 shots. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored to extend his points streak to eight games. After getting off to a 10-0-1 start, the Panthers are 0-2-1 in their last three contests.

Matt Duchene tallied two goals, including the game-winner to lead the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Mikhail Granlund collected four assists for the Predators while Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues.

The Winnipeg Jets tallied four straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 26 shots for the win.

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit made 24 saves as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. Golden Knights forwards Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg each scored their first-ever NHL goals.

Nick Suzuki snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2 to end the latter’s five-game road winning streak. Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist.

HEADLINES

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Rick Nash will become the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his number retired in an on-ice ceremony before their March 5, 2022 game against the Boston Bruins. The first-overall pick by the Blue Jackets in 2002, Nash is their franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash deserves that honor. He was a true franchise player but the Jackets management wasted most of his nine-season tenure in Columbus by failing to build a solid supporting cast around him.

SPORTSNET: Lawyers representing the Chicago Blackhawks sent a letter to Kyle Beach’s attorney requesting mediation in their lawsuit settlement negotiations. In the letter, the club’s lawyers called Beach’s initial demand “extraordinary”. Beach’s lawyer replied the Blackhawks did not make a counteroffer. The former player is suing the team over its handling of his allegations of sexual assault against former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury suffered 23 days ago. He’s unlikely to rejoin the club for the remainder of their current road trip.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo $2,000.00 for diving and embellishment in a recent game against the Florida Panthers.

The Arizona Coyotes announced assistant coach Phil Housley has been placed on the COVID protocol list.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski cites a source saying the NHL is in talks with Las Vegas officials about staging two new skills competition events outdoors on the Las Vegas Strip during the 2022 All-Star weekend (Feb. 4-5, 2022).