NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2021

Recaps of Wednesday’s games plus updates on Artemi Panarin, Tomas Hertl, Jason Zucker and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 25-save shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes. Alex Killorn collected two assists and rookie Ross Colton tallied his first NHL goal as the Lightning (25 points) move to within one point of the first-place Florida Panthers in the Discover Central Division.

Speaking of the Panthers, they fell 3-0 to the Dallas Stars. Anton Khudobin kicked out 43 shots for the shutout and Joe Pavelski picked up two assists as the Stars snapped a six-game winless skid.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images)

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux picked up three assists after coming off the COVID-19 protocol list as his club held off the New York Rangers 4-3. Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied a hat trick and Mika Zibanejad has two assists.

William Nylander scored the tying and winning goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Calgary Flames 2-1 in overtime. Flame goalie David Rittich made 37 saves as he was denied his second straight shutout of the Leafs.

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise tallied his 800th career point and teammate Mats Zuccarello got his 400th in a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Nico Sturm also scored twice as the Wild (20 points) have won four straight games to sit one point behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes in the Honda West Division.

Speaking of the Coyotes, they overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Anaheim Ducks for the second straight game. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for Arizona as they took the game on a shootout goal by Christian Dvorak. Coyotes backup Adin Hill made 14 saves in relief of Darcy Kuemper after the latter left the game with a lower-body injury.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their sixth straight victory by hanging on for a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Cal Petersen turned aside 35 shots for the win on second-period goals by Alex Iafallo and Andreas Athanasiou.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reports the Kontinental Hockey League said it had not been made aware of or received any complaint in relation to any incident involving Artemi Panarin back in December 2011.

Panarin’s former KHL coach Andrei Nazarov alleged the Rangers winger assaulted a young woman in a bar following a game in Riga, Latvia. The KHL said it would’ve investigated any such complaint as they take allegations of misconduct “incredibly seriously”.

To date, there’s been no corroborating evidence to support Nazarov’s allegation. No victim has come forward nor has there been any police record of the alleged incident. Kip Brennan and Jon Mirasty, two of Panarin’s former Vityaz teammates, both said they never knew or heard of the incident taking place.

Another former teammate, Mikhail Anisin, told Russian outlet Sport-Express the incident didn’t play out as Nazarov described, recalling Panarin “didn’t beat anyone, maybe pushed one girl a little bit, nothing more” in a karaoke bar. Anisin said police did come to the team hotel but left after determining the situation didn’t warrant charges. He also rejected the notion of the police being paid off as the players at the time didn’t have that type of money.

Panarin remains on a leave of absence from the Rangers as he deals with this situation. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is looking into the allegations. Kaplan said it would be uncharacteristic of the league to punish Panarin without corroborating evidence.

NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker also cited Anisin’s comments. She also spoke with Maxim Sitnikov, who briefly played with Panarin during that season. Sitnikov also denied the alleged incident took place, praising the winger’s character and rejecting what he called “villains” saying “all sorts of nonsense.” Walker cited two more former Vityaz players who requested to remain anonymous agreeing with Brennan’s and Mirasty’s version of events.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The allegation against Panarin is quickly falling apart. Unless Nazarov can produce evidence to corroborate his story he should withdraw his comments and issue an apology to the Rangers’ star.

SPORTSNET: The NHL postponed Thursday’s game between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights after a Sharks player tested positive for COVID-19. Sharks center Tomas Hertl was placed on the league’s COVID-19 list yesterday. New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was also added to the list, which is now down to eight players, four of them members of the Flyers.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jason Zucker has returned to Pittsburgh for further evaluation for what appeared to be an injured knee or ankle suffered during their recent game against the Washington Capitals.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon is sidelined at least a month with a fractured hand.

TSN: The Penguins yesterday claimed defenseman Mark Friedman off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

CBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks forward Antoine Roussel was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL for roughing Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Pulujarvi on Tuesday.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes will soon be allowed to admit some fans to their games following North Carolina governor Roy Cooper’s announcement yesterday that indoor arenas can open to 15 percent capacity.

NHL.COM: Former NHL goaltender Gary Inness passed away on Feb. 23 from dementia at age 71. Inness played 162 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals from 1973-74 to 1980-81. He also coached the AHL’s Hershey Bears from 1981-82 to 1984-85. Following his hockey career, he became a teacher and guidance counselor at Barrie North Collegiate Institute until his retirement in 2010.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Inness’ family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Vancouver Canucks

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Vancouver Canucks

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2020

Ducks-Blues game postponed following Jay Bouwmeester’s cardiac incident, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Last night’s game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues was postponed after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident and collapsed on the Blues’ bench in the first period. Thanks to the quick response of the medical staff of both clubs, Bouwmeester was stabilized and reportedly conscious, alert, and moving his extremities as he was transported to a local hospital for further tests and observations. An update on his condition will be released later today.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester hospitalized following a cardiac incident (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A frightening moment for all concerned. Here’s hoping Bouwmeester makes a full recovery and returns to action soon.

Yanni Gourde’s overtime goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy extended his franchise-record points streak to 19 games. The Bolts (79 points) have won eight straight games and sit one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. It was a costly win for the Lightning, as Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli left the game with lower-body injuries.

Philipp Grubauer turned in a 34-save shutout as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Ottawa Senators 3-0. The Avs (72 points) have won eight of their last nine contests and sit one behind the Western Conference-leading Blues. Earlier in the day, the Avalanche learned center Nazem Kadri will miss multiple weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s injury has sparked speculation the Avs could seek a short-term replacement before the trade market. I’ll have more shortly in the Rumors section.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn’s hat trick powered his club to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Stars (69 points) have won four of their last six games and sit third in the Central Division, while the Hurricanes (67 points) are two points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists while Kailer Yamamoto scored twice in the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers (66 points) sit one back of the Vancouver Canucks for first in the Pacific Division, while the Blackhawks (58 points) are six points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Earlier in the day, the Oilers announced captain Connor McDavid will be sidelined two-to-three weeks with a quadriceps injury.

The New York Islanders blew a 3-0 lead but rallied on goals by Ryan Pulock and Leo Komarov to down the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Isles center Mathew Barzal collected three assists while teammate Casey Cizikas left the game in the first period with an apparent cut to his left leg. The Isles (72 points) sit third in the Metropolitan Division, while the Flyers (69 points) hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

An overtime goal by Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes had seemingly won the game earlier in the extra frame, but it was overturned due to goaltender interference. Zach Hyman scored both regulation goals for the Leafs (68 points), who hold third place in the Atlantic Division.

Mike Matheson, Mark Pysyk and Noel Acciari each had a goal and two assists to power the Florida Panthers over the New Jersey Devils 5-3. The Panthers sit two points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division.

Sam Reinhart’s early third-period goal held up as the game-winner as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Sabres sit 10 points behind the third-place Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Wings forward Anthony Mantha picked up two assists. Teammate Brendan Perlini suffered a bruised right orbital bone and received several stitches to his face after being struck by a skate in the first period.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock made 26 saves to shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0. Kevin Fiala scored and picked up two assists for the Wild (60 points), who sit four points behind the Golden Knights and Coyotes for one of the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference.

New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin kicked out 42 shots in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He briefly left the game early in the first period under the league’s concussion protocol but showed no ill-effects upon his return. Chris Kreider scored twice for the Rangers (60 points), who sit nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Jets (63) sit one point out of a wild-card spot in the West. Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba received a mixed reaction from Jets fans in his first game back in Winnipeg since getting traded to New York last summer. Before the game, Randy Carlyle and Tomas Steen were inducted into the Jets Hall of Fame.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will be sidelined for eight-to-ten weeks with an injured right ankle.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens remain mum on the status of captain Shea Weber. The Habs captain remains sidelined with a lower-body injury and there’s no timetable for his return.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks winger Antoine Roussel was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for slashing Nashville Predators defenseman Yannick Weber.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers re-signed forward Joakim Nygard to a one-year, $875K contract.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2019

Flames coach Bill Peters accused of making racial slurs to a former player, Henrik Lundqvist reaches another milestone victory, former Leafs coach Mike Babcock criticized for bullying tactics, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their points streak to five games with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Jake Guentzel netted the winning goal in overtime. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed ailment on Nov. 4.

During the game, former NHL player Akim Aliu took to Twitter insinuating Flames coach Bill Peters uttered racial slurs at him when the two were in the minors a decade ago. Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the club will make a complete investigation before commenting on Aliu’s comments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Aliu didn’t directly name Peters but referred to the Calgary airport code. He played for Peters on the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10. That’s when the former defenseman claims the remarks were made.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career victory by downing the Minnesota Wild 3-2 (Photo via NHL Images).

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist picked up his 455th career win as his club edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. He moved into fifth place on the all-time wins list. Tony DeAngelo scored the winner in overtime. During the game, Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello was given a video tribute and a nice ovation by Rangers fans. Zuccarello spent nearly nine seasons with the Blueshirts.

The Dallas Stars tied a franchise record with their seventh straight win as they doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Alexander Radulov scored twice and set up another as the Stars extended their points streak to 12 games. Stars defenseman John Klingberg collected three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After dropping eight of their first name games, the Stars have roared back in November. They now sit third overall in the Western Conference.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 26 saves to blank the New York Islanders 3-0, snapping the latter’s franchise-record 17-game points streak. It’s the Isles’ first regulation loss since Oct. 11. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.

Shorthanded third-period goals by Cedric Paquette and Ondrej Palat carried the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Palat also collected two assists. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak will have a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for elbowing Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who left the game with a concussion.

Jakub Voracek scored the tie-breaking goal as the Philadelphia Flyers nipped the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Sean Couturier also tallied for the Flyers, while J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks, who’ve won just three of their last 11 contests. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced winger Antoine Roussel (knee injury) was heading to their AHL affiliate in Utica for a conditioning stint.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo turned in a 25-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Oliver Bjorkstrand netted the game’s only goal.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but went on to down the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Daniel Carr. Blues goaltender Jake Allen made 37 saves. Winger Troy Brouwer finally made his season debut with the Blues following a wait for his work visa to be approved.

After blowing a 3-0 lead, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on an unassisted overtime tally by Patrick Marleau. Timo Meier also scored twice for the Sharks.

HEADLINES

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 24, 2019.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is under criticism for his treatment of winger Mitch Marner during the latter’s rookie season. Babcock asked Marner to rank his teammates based on their work output, then shared the results with his teammates. The players were reportedly more upset with Babcock than they were with Marner. Babcock confirmed the story to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, claiming he was trying to focus on work ethic and role models with Marner and apologized at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock also came under fire from former NHL players Mike Commodore and Mark Fraser. They claim most of the players who skated for the long-time NHL coach hated him, as he used his power to turn teammates against each other. The emerging stories have dimmed some of the luster from Babcock’s otherwise stellar NHL record.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, center Alexander Kerfoot received a two-game suspension for boarding Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrick Bergeron will be sidelined for two games with a lingering lower-body injury.

YARDBARKER: The Florida Panthers demoted goaltender Sam Montembeault to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

NJ.COM: Tom Fitzgerald has stepped away from his assistant coach duties with the New Jersey Devils and returned to his position as their assistant general manager.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2019

Game recaps, Steven Stamkos ties a franchise record, Chris Kreider fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tied Vincent Lecavalier’s franchise record for most goals (383) in a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. League scoring leader Nikita Kucherov reached 115 points with a four-point performance as the Bolts overcame a 3-0 deficit, including four goals in the third period.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tied the franchise record for most goals (383) in a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images)

Arizona Coyotes forward Vinnie Hinostroza tallied his first career NHL hat trick as his club thumped the Anaheim Ducks 6-1. The Coyotes (77 points) widened their lead over the Wild for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Darcy Kuemper made 36 saves for the Coyotes, who’ve won eight of their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Despite being wracked with injuries, the Coyotes have surged up the standings over the last two months. Exceeding expectations to clinch a playoff spot this season could provide this rebuilding club with a much-needed boost going forward. At the very least, it’s a feel-good story. 

The Dallas Stars’ 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild was overshadowed by Stars goalie Ben Bishop exiting the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. Bishop had set the franchise record for the longest shutout streak and was going for his fourth consecutive shutout prior to the injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and will be re-evaluated on Friday. With the win, the Stars (79 points) moved into third place in the Central Division while the Wild (74 points) slipped three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop was playing his way into the Vezina Trophy conversation. Hopefully, his injury isn’t too serious. 

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith kicked out 26 shots to shut out the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, and Nick Bjugstad each had two points as the Penguins (87 points) opened a four-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Anders Lee scored the game-winner late in the third period as the New York Islanders (89 points) edged the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. It was the Islanders’ fourth win in their last five games, putting them two points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan. The Canadiens (81 points) remained tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who hold the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a must-win game for the Canadiens, who are struggling at the worst possible time, dropping six of their last 10 contests. With 11 games remaining in the schedule, the Habs have little room for error here. If the Blue Jackets get hot over the next three weeks, the Canadiens can forget about the playoffs.  

Speaking of the Capitals, they picked up their eighth victory in their last nine games by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Brett Connolly led the way for the Capitals with two goals and an assist. The Flyers (76 points) remain five points behind the Blue Jackets and Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have been hot of late, picking up points in seven of their last 10 games. However, this loss prevented them from narrowing the gap between them and the Blue Jackets for that final wild-card spot. 

Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, handing the latter their third straight defeat. The Jets (86 points) maintained their hold on top spot in the Central Division.

The Nashville Predators remains one point behind the Jets. Colton Sissons had a goal and an assist to give the Predators a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Ottawa Senators goalie Anders Nilsson had a 35-save shutout performance backstopping his club to a 2-0 blanking of the St. Louis Blues. Christian Wolanin and Chris Tierney were the goal scorers and Senators prospects Erik Brannstrom and Max Veronneau looked good in their NHL debuts. The Blues (79 points) dropped down into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist as the Florida Panthers doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. Earlier in the day, Sharks winger Evander Kane revealed his wife lost their child during pregnancy. He’s been out of the lineup since Feb. 26. Meanwhile, the Sharks announced defenseman Radim Simek requires surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Kane and his wife for their loss. Truly heartbreaking news. 

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2019

Game recaps, McDavid reaches 100 points for a third straight year, injury updates, 2019 NHL Draft Lottery date revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks tallied four first-period goals then hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brendan Perlini had a goal and two assists, Alex DeBrincat scored his 38th goal of the season, and Patrick Kane collected an assist to reach 99 points on the season. John Tavares netted his 39th of the season and Morgan Rielly scored his 19th for the Leafs, who also revealed winger Kasperi Kapanen is day-to-day with a concussion. The Blackhawks (71 points) sit four points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reached 100 points for the third straight season during a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images)

The New Jersey Devils stopped a seven-game losing skid by beating the Edmonton Oilers 6-3. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two assists to reach 100 points for the third consecutive season. The loss leaves the Oilers (69 points) six points out of a playoff spot in the West.

Tyler Motte scored twice within 11 seconds in the second period to give the Vancouver Canucks a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Rangers forwards Chris Kreider and Brendan Lemieux were ejected, the latter for a hit to the head of Canucks winger Antoine Roussel, who suffered a season-ending knee injury while falling from the impact of that hit.  The Canucks also made veteran winger Loui Eriksson a healthy scratch and revealed recently-signed defenseman Quinn Hughes (bone bruise) is at least a week away from making his NHL debut. 

The NHL announced the 2019 Draft Lottery will be held on Tuesday, April 9, in Toronto. 

NBC SPORTS: The league has upheld the two-game suspension of Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek for interference on New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler skipped practice yesterday but is cleared to play tonight against Boston. Wheeler appeared to suffer a head injury following a collision with Logan Couture during Tuesday’s game against San Jose. 

NEW YORK POST: Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner vows to protect himself from opponents who attempt to run him after missing a week with a suspected concussion after a collision with Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk. 

NBC BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is ruled out from tonight’s game against Winnipeg with an upper-body injury. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot is week-to-week with a broken toe. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres blueliner Zach Bogosian is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

AFTONBLADET: Former NHL player Kristian Huselius is recovering from burns to his face and upper body following a mishap from attempting to re-start his fireplace. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Be advised that there’s a rather gruesome photo of Huselius from his hospital bed accompanying this piece. Here’s hoping he makes a speedy recovery.