NHL Playoffs: Milbury Another Dinosaur Living In NHL Broadcast Booth
The Canucks retire the numbers of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, David Pastrnak regains the lead in the NHL goal-scoring race, an update on Jay Bouwmeester, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks retired the numbers of future Hall-of-Famers Daniel and Henrik Sedin in a pre-game ceremony before going on to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. Jacob Markstrom turned in a 49-save shutout while Brandon Sutter had a goal and two assists. With the win, the Canucks (69 points) widened their lead over the Edmonton Oilers atop the Pacific Division by three points. The Blackhawks (58 points) remain six points away from the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cermony was a fitting tribute to the two greatest players in Canucks history.
David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick as the Boston Bruins rolled to a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. With 41 goals, Pastrnak regained the lead in the league goal-scoring race. The Bruins (82 points) opened a three-point lead atop the overall standings over the surging Tampa Bay Lightning, while the fading Canadiens remain seven points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division. Earlier in the day, the Habs also learned defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lengthy absence of their captain and top defenseman could be the final nail in the coffin for the Canadiens’ playoff hopes.
The Los Angeles Kings snapped a five-game losing skid by upsetting the Calgary Flames 5-3. Cal Petersen kicked out 35 shots while Anze Kopitar collected two assists. The Flames (64 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
THE SCORE: St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is doing well after suffering a cardiac incident during Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. He’s undergoing a battery of tests, but Armstrong said things are looking “very positive.” Medical staff used a defibrillator to revive Bouwmeester after he collapsed on the bench during the first period. The game was subsequently postponed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bouwmeester for a speedy recovery.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets agreed to a multi-year contract extension with head coach Paul Maurice. Contract terms weren’t disclosed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maurice’s future with the Jets was in doubt after the club’s early exit from the 2019 playoffs and their slow start to this season. However, his efforts to keep the club competitive with a depleted defense corps convinced ownership he remains the right man for the job.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are unsure of the timeline for goaltender Darcy Kuemper’s return. He was scheduled to return to action from a lower-body injury on Monday but reaggravated it during the morning skate.
SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers placed winger James Neal on injured reserve and recalled Tyler Benson from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
NEW YORK POST: Islanders forward Casey Cizikas will miss three-to-four weeks with a leg laceration.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Vegas Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves on Tuesday.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed forward Pierre Engvall to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.25 million.
SPORTING NEWS: NBC Sports confirmed Jeremy Roenick will not return as their hockey analyst. Roenick was suspended in December for making inappropriate remarks about his co-workers.
Patrick Marleau reaches a notable milestone, bad blood between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian, the “Last Men In” for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau scored the winning goal in his 1,700th career NHL game as his club defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2. Marleau is just the fifth player in NHL history to reach that milestone. Gordie Howe is the all-time leader with 1,767 games. Before the game, Stars center and former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski received a lengthy standing ovation from the San Jose fans in his first game against his old club. Pavelski spent 13 seasons with the Sharks before signing with the Stars last summer as a free agent.
The Calgary Flames rolled to their fifth straight win by nipping the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Elias Lindholm scored twice, including the game-winner in the third period. Oilers captain Connor McDavid’s first-period highlight-reel goal was overshadowed by teammate Zack Kassian raining punches on Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk in the second period after Tkachuk nailed Kassian with a big hit behind the Flames’ net. The two had choice words for each other during their post-game interviews.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another shot fired in the ongoing Battle of Alberta. The two clubs face off in back-to-back games on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. Circle your calendars, folks, this series should be a dandy.
The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their 10th straight win by blanking the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0. Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 23-save shutout while Pat Maroon tallied the only goal. Maroon subsequently left the game with an apparent right-shoulder injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The red-hot Lightning (58 points) have surged past the Toronto Maple Leafs into second place in the Atlantic Division.
The St. Louis Blues picked up their eighth straight home victory by downing the New York Rangers 5-2. David Perron extended his goal streak to four games while Alex Pietrangelo, Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, and Ivan Barbashev each collected two points.
Four third-period goals by J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen, and Loui Eriksson lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Boeser tallied two goals on the afternoon, while Sabres captain Jack Eichel collected two assists to extend his points streak to six games.
Patrice Bergeron scored in overtime as the Boston Bruins edged the New York Islanders 3-2. Isles center Mathew Barzal had two points in a losing cause. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Caroina Hurricanes goalie James Reimer kicked out 42 shots to blank the Los Angeles Kings 2-0. Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen were the goal scorers. The Hurricanes have won three straight.
Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins made 27 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Emil Bemstrom, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg were the goal scorers. The Jackets have won 15 of their last 17 games.
Nico Hischier scored twice as the New Jersey Devils upset the Washington Capitals 5-1. Louis Domingue picked up the win with 33 saves as Mackenzie Blackwood missed the game with an upper-body injury.
Dominik Kubalik scored twice and Robin Lehner made 35 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. The Ducks have lost six of their last seven contests.
Ilya Kovalchuk’s first goal as a Montreal Canadien was the game-winner in a 2-1 overtime squeaker over the Ottawa Senators. It was the Habs first win in nine games while the Senators have dropped seven in a row. Canadiens goalie Carey Price made 41 saves.
IN OTHER NEWS…
St. Louis Blues winger David Perron, Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes were voted by NHL fans as the Last Men In for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25.
TORONTO SUN: Toronto Marlies assistant coach Rob Davison was released from the hospital yesterday following a grand mal seizure before Friday’s AHL game against the Texas Stars. He’s returning to Toronto and will be away from the club indefinitely.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Davison in his recovery. I have a family member who suffered similar seizures, so I know how scary it must have been for the Marlies players and staff to witness what he went through.
NEW YORK POST: Former NBC NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick apologized for joking about wanting to have a sexual threesome with colleague Kathryn Tappen on a podcast in late December.
OTTAWA SUN: On Friday, the Senators named Jim Little as their new CEO. He’s a former executive with Shaw Communications.
On Monday, Nov. 13, former NHL stars Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. So it’s appropriate to look ahead toward next year’s potential inductees.
It goes without saying Martin Brodeur will be a first-ballot inductee. He backstopped the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, won four Vezina Trophies in five years between 2002-03 and 2007-08, shares the single-season wins record (48) with Washington’s Braden Holtby and the all-time records for games-played (1,266), wins (691) and shutouts (125).
Winger Martin St. Louis could also be inducted in his first year of eligibility. He’s a two-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy (2004, 2013) and Lady Byng Trophy (2010, 2011). He also won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Pearson in 2004 and played a significant role in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup run. He finished his career with 1,033 points and is the Lightning’s all-time leader in assists (588) and points (953).
2018 will be forward Daniel Alfredsson‘s second year of eligibility. Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1996, Alfredsson is the Ottawa Senators’ all-time leader in goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108). It’ll be surprising if he’s passed over again.
Several notable players eligible for induction in recent years could be among those who get the nod in 2018.
Center Pierre Turgeon amassed 515 goals and 1,327 points in a career that stretched from 1987-88 to 2006-07 with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche. Winner of the 1993 Lady Byng Trophy, only two active players (Jaromir Jagr and Joe Thornton) have more points than Turgeon.
Right wing Alexander Mogilny is one of the greatest Russian players in NHL history. He and Teemu Selanne are the last players to exceed 70 goals in a season (1992-93). He also won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2003. Mogilny sits third among Russian-born NHLers in goals (473) and points (1,039) playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils (winning a Stanley Cup with them in 2000) and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Goaltender Curtis Joseph sits fifth on the NHL all-time list for wins (454) and sixth for games played (943) backstopping the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames. “CuJo” was also a three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
Right wing Theoren Fleury tallied 455 goals and 1,088 points in 1,084 career NHL games, of which 791 were spent with the Calgary Flames. He won a Stanley Cup with them during his rookie season in 1988-89. He’s second among the Flames all-time leaders in goals (364) and points (830).
Forwards Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk are two of the highest-scoring American-born players in NHL history. Roenick is fourth among US players in goals (513) and points (1,216) while Tkachuk sits third in goals (538) and fifth in points (1,065).
Updates on Ryan Suter, Cody Ceci and more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
SIRIUS XM NHL (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau aims to reduce the ice time of defenseman Ryan Suter. Noting the depth of his defense corps, Boudreau said he doesn’t believe it’s necessary for the 31-year-old Suter to skate nearly 29 minutes per game. He prefers reducing Suter’s ice time to between 23-25 minutes per game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boudreau’s predecessors certainly over-relied on Suter. It makes sense to shift some of the burden off him over the course of a long season. That will ensure he’s not burned out when the playoffs begin.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion remains confident of getting restricted free agent defenseman Cody Ceci under contract by the time the season opens in October. Dorion said he’s been in constant contact with Ceci’s agent and expects to get a deal done in the near future. It’s believed the two sides are discussing a short-term deal as the Senators want to evaluate Ceci’s development.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ceci is also coming off an entry-level contract and has no leverage other than to stage a holdout. That doesn’t appear likely in this case. I won’t be surprised if Ceci agrees to a new two-year deal worth around $3.2 million annually before training camp opens in September.
MIAMI HERALD: Former Florida Panthers defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson have gotten over their surprise at being traded earlier in the offseason and look forward to skating with their new clubs. Kulikov was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres during the 2016 NHL Draft weekend in June, while Gudbranson was shipped to the Vancouver Canucks in late-May.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Sven Baertschi and his girlfriend were “locked up” by the B.C. SPCA on Friday as part of a charity event to raise funds for animals in need.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick is offering to help pop star Justin Bieber improve his hockey skills.