NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

The Devils’ Lindy Ruff reaches a coaching milestone, the Leafs’ Mitch Marner and the Stars’ Jason Robertson maintain their points streaks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff picked up his 800th career NHL win as his club defeated the Washington Capitals 5-1. Jack Hughes tallied his first career hat trick and Vitek Vanecek made 37 saves as the Devils (18-4-3) move into a tie for first place in the overall standings with the Boston Bruins. John Carlson replied for the Capitals as they fall to 9-11-3.

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruff is the fifth NHL coach to reach the 800-win milestone. He’s also the leader in wins among active coaches. As for the overall standings, the Bruins hold a game in hand over the Devils. It will be interesting to see if these two clubs can maintain their strong performance through the first quarter over the remainder of the schedule.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his points streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists while William Nylander had a goal and an assist as the Leafs (13-5-5) are 6-0-2 in their last eight games. Rickard Rakell tallied for the 11-8-3 Penguins.

A 41-save performance by Alexandar Georgiev carried the Colorado Avalanche over the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-1. Josh Manson had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (12-6-1). Dallas winger Jason Robertson collected an assist on Joe Pavelski’s goal to extend his points streak to 15 games but his Stars fall to 12-6-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Avalanche announced winger Evan Rodrigues will be sidelined for two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser stretched his points streak to nine games with a goal in a 5-1 upset of the Vegas Golden Knights. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists while Spencer Martin stopped 26 shots as the Canucks improved to 8-10-3. Jonathan Marchessault replied for the 16-6-1 Golden Knights, who hold a five-point lead over the Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 33 points.

The Edmonton Oilers got four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored twice, Dylan Holloway scored his first career NHL goal and Leon Draisaitl tallied the winning goal as the Oilers rise to 11-10-0. Ryan Lindgren collected two assists for the 10-8-4 Rangers.

Speaking of comebacks, the St. Louis Blues also scored four unanswered goals in a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Jordan Kyrou tallied twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Blues improved to 11-10-0. Sam Reinhart had two assists for the Panthers (10-8-3), who were playing without captain Aleksander Barkov as he was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

The New York Islanders also staged a four-goal rally as they dumped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Zach Parise scored twice, Ryan Pulock collected four assists and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots for the 15-8-0 Islanders. Lukas Sedlak and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers (7-10-5) as their winless skid extends to 10 games.

A third-period goal by Brett Pesce lifted the Carolina Hurricanes (11-6-5) to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, ending their winless skid at five games. Dan Vladar made 30 saves for the 9-9-3 Flames but they’ve dropped three straight games. Flames defenseman Michael Stone returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a non-disclosed injury.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck wants a rule change for an immediate stoppage of play when a netminder’s mask is knocked off or comes off during play. Hellebuyck lost his mask during a collision in Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars and was lying prone and shaken up on the ice with no stoppage of play, enabling the Star to score an empty-net goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL situation rule allowed the Stars’ goal to stand. Hellebuyck was able to resume playing but he and teammate (and NHLPA representative) Adam Lowry would like clarity on this issue. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek suggest this could lead to a new directive from the league.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. No word as to the seriousness of his undisclosed injury but he will be sidelined for at least a week.

THE ATHLETIC’S Michael Russo tweeted the Wild have recalled goaltender Zane McIntyre as a precautionary measure after one of their goalies had an issue at practice on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Netminder Filip Gustavsson apparently left practice early.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Rudolfs Balcers is expected to miss the club’s upcoming three-game road trip with an upper-body injury.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 18, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 18, 2022

Why the time is now for the Coyotes to trade Jakob Chychrun, how a rising salary cap could make it easier for the Blackhawks to move Seth Jones and a look at which coaches are on the hot seat to start this season in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE TIME IS NOW TO MOVE CHYCHRUN

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes the Arizona Coyotes must move Jakob Chychrun now while his trade value remains high. He suggests the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild as three potential destinations for the 24-year-old blueliner given their early-season defensive struggles.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

The Senators can draw upon their young players and/or their stockpile of prospects and draft picks as trade bait. They also have almost enough cap space ($4.1 million) to take on Chychrun’s $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit. The Sens are holding firm to what they’re willing to part with but Proteau suggests that might change if the losses start piling up.

Chychrun’s size and hockey smarts could improve the Oilers’ blueline depth and lessen the pressure on their other defensemen. Proteau also wondered if Wild general manager Bill Guerin might step up to meet the Coyotes’ asking price though they’re in the middle of a salary-cap crunch. He’s got Matt Dumba eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Proteau cautions that teams interested in Chychrun could turn to more affordable options later in the season if the Coyotes don’t lower their asking price. One of them could be the Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg as a playoff rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have been linked to Chychrun since July. Proteau cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting over the weekend that there currently isn’t a path for a deal but that could change once Chychrun returns from his wrist injury.

The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman also suggested the Oilers could use a defenseman like Chychrun after watching their defense get picked apart by the Calgary Flames over the weekend. He believes adding a top blueliner needs to be GM Ken Holland’s priority before the trade deadline.

As for the Wild, their defense hasn’t been good but the goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson has been brutal. Guerin might consider that to be a more pressing issue if things don’t improve soon.

As always, the two big stumbling blocks in a Chychrun trade are the Coyotes’ asking price and the rearguard’s injury history. Salary cap space is also an issue for some of the teams (like the Oilers and Wild) linked to him. Until one of those hurdles is overcome I don’t see Chychrun getting traded anytime soon.

COULD A RISING SALARY CAP MAKE SETH JONES’ CONTRACT EASIER TO MOVE?

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: With the NHL salary cap projected to rise to $92 million by 2025-26, Ben Pope suggests it could make Seth Jones’ contract easier for the rebuilding Blackhawks to build around or trade by 2025. The 28-year-old defenseman is in the first season of an eight-year deal with an average annual value of $9.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend on whether Jones is still playing at a level of performance that would entice other teams enough to take on his full cap hit. He would also have to be willing to waive his full no-movement clause. In the meantime, Jones isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT

THE ATHLETIC: Sean Gentille believes the New Jersey Devils’ Lindy Ruff and the Anaheim Ducks’ Dallas Eakins could find themselves on the hot seat if their clubs haven’t improved in the coming weeks.

The Ducks picked up Eakins’ option year for this season but nothing beyond that. They’ve added some decent veterans (Frank Vatrano, Ryan Strome, John Klingberg) and have some promising young talent in Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and Mason McTavish. However, this is a rebuilding club expected to be bad again this season and that could make it tough for Eakins to maintain his job.

Ruff was booed when he was introduced during the Devils’ home opener on Saturday, which they lost 5-2. Gentille cites bad goaltending and some questionable lineup decisions behind the Devils’ woes. He also noted former Florida Panthers bench boss Andrew Brunette was hired this summer as Ruff’s assistant.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No rumors yet suggesting Eakins or Ruff (or any other NHL head coach) could soon lose their jobs. Nevertheless, this is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Those two could certainly feel the heat if things don’t improve.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

The Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead over the Predators while the Panthers, Rangers and Stars even their respective series at a game apiece. Check out the details and other news in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Cale Makar lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Nashville Predators 2-1 to give them a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round series. Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring for the Avalanche while Yakov Trenin replied for Nashville. Predators goalie Connor Ingram made 49 saves.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for Ingram this could’ve been another blowout loss for the Predators. They must get their offense going as the series shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 or risk getting swept by the powerful Avalanche.

The Florida Panthers evened their first-round series with the Washington Capitals at a game apiece with a 5-1 victory. They got three unanswered second-period goals by Mason Marchment, Anton Lundell and Carter Verhaeghe while Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for the win. Capitals netminder Vitek Vanecek got the hook after giving up five goals on 19 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The suffocating defense that worked so well for the Capitals in Game 1 vanished in this contest. They also missed rugged winger Tom Wilson as he was sidelined by a lower-body injury. All five Panthers’ goals came at even strength. This series shifts to Washington for the next two games.

New York Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and two assists to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2, squaring their opening-round series at one game apiece. Igor Shesterkin kicked out 39 shots for the win. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as this series heads to Pittsburgh for the next two contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins need more from their secondary scorers. Almost all their goals in this series have come from the Crosby line. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed Game 2 with a lower-body injury. Rangers winger Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Ryan Lindgren were also sidelined by injuries. Goodrow (lower body) is listed as week-to-week.

The Dallas Stars got a 29-save shutout from Jake Oettinger to blank the Calgary Flames 2-0, tying their first-round series 1-1. Joe Pavelski and Michael Raffl were the goal scorers. Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Stars thanks to young Oettinger’s goaltending. He’s tied with Markstrom for the best goals-against average (0.50) thus far among postseason netminders.

HEADLINES

TSN: Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Carolina Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov in Game 2 of the first-round series on Wednesday. Marchand’s teammate Derek Forbort also received a $5,000.00 fine for high-sticking Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Bruins, defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been ruled out of Game 3 on Friday. The club also confirmed Jeremy Swayman will get the start in that game.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, goaltender Antti Raanta skated with his teammates today but his status for Game 3 is uncertain. He left Game 2 after being shaken up in a collision with Bruins winger David Pastrnak.

THE SCORE: Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour believes the Bruins are deliberately targeting his goaltenders. “It can’t get any more obvious,” he told reporters following Game 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL headquarters could issue a warning to both clubs about running goalies. Brind’Amour could also get a call about his comments.

NHL.COM: Center Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs is the No. 1 prospect among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of this year’s top prospects. Left winger Jural Slafkovsky of TPS in Finland is the top European skater.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils confirmed Lindy Ruff will return next season as head coach. The announcement comes a day after they announced they were parting ways with assistant coaches Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine.

PHILLY.COM: The Flyers have added Sami Kapanen and Kyle Shero to their scouting department.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2022

Mason Marchment has a 6-point night in a big Panthers win, more changes to NHL COVID protocols, the 3 stars of the week revealed, the wild re-sign Jordan Greenway and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers winger Mason Marchment scored two goals and set up four others in a six-point performance as his club doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-4. Teammates Anton Lundell collected five assists while Sam Reinhart tallied a hat trick and chipped in an assist. Patrik Laine scored twice for the Jackets while Elvis Merzlikins was pulled after giving up seven goals on 25 shots. The Panthers regained first place in the overall standings with 69 points.

Florida Panthers winger Mason Marchment (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets received bad news yesterday as defenseman Jake Bean is expected to be sidelined for four weeks with a groin injury. Bean already tallied career highs with four goals and 15 points this season.

Auston Matthews netted a hat trick during the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4 comeback win over the New Jersey Devils. The Leafs overcame a 4-2 deficit with four unanswered third-period goals. Mitch Marner extended his goal streak to six games with a goal and two assists while Leafs goalie Jack Campbell was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots. They remain in third place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin missed this game with a concussion and is expected to remain sidelined for the remainder of this week. Devils coach Lindy Ruff missed this game and will miss the rematch tonight due to the recent passing of his father. My condolences to Ruff and his family.

An overtime goal by Tim Stutzle lifted the Ottawa Senators over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Goaltender Matt Murray picked up the win with a 37-save performance while Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot each had two points. The Oilers (47 points) sit one point behind the Calgary Flames in the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for his first win since Dec. 30 in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Brock Boeser tallied his 12th goal of the season as the Canucks (46 points) sit two points back of the Flames.

The Detroit Red Wings nipped the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Jordan Oesterle scored in overtime while Dylan Larkin netted his 23rd of the season. Rickard Rakell replied for the Ducks, who sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 55 points.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The league and the NHL Players Association yesterday announced an update on their COVID-19 protocols. Among the notable changes is the removal of “enhanced measures” as they revert back to start-of-season protocols, removal of daily testing for fully-vaccinated individuals, removal of the requirement to test close contacts, and updated recommendations for the type of masks and steps to reduce community exposure.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen, and Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 30.

DAILY FACEOFF: The skills competition for the upcoming 2022 NHL All-Star weekend in Las Vegas will feature events on the Las Vegas Strip and in the Belaggio Fountains.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed winger Jordan Greenway to a three-year, $9 million contract extension. The 24-year-old winger was slated to become a restricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a nice little pay bump for Greenway from the $2.1 million annual average value of his current deal. This also fits comfortably within the Wild’s salary-cap payroll for 2022-23. Cap Friendly indicates the Wild have $69.4 million invested in 13 players next season with Kevin Fiala, Alex Goligoski, and Kaapo Kahkonen among their notable free agents.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Danton Heinen is listed as day-to-day with an unspecified injury.

GOPHNX.COM: Arizona Coyotes center Johan Larsson could be facing surgery for a nagging groin injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Former Blackhawks Marian Hossa, Ed Olcyzk and Patrick Sharp will be part of the advisory committee that will select the club’s next general manager.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs head coach Mike Nykoluk passed away at age 87. He spent 17 seasons as a player in the AHL but briefly played for the Leafs in 1956-57. He was their head coach from 1980 to 1984. As an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, he was part of their Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He was also an assistant coach with the New York Rangers before joining the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Nykoluk’s family, friends and to the Leafs, Flyers and Rangers organizations.










Laviolette Latest To Find A Ride On NHL Coaching Carousel

Laviolette Latest To Find A Ride On NHL Coaching Carousel










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2020

Updates on the Return-to-Play plan and CBA extension, the Devils officially announced Lindy Ruff as their new head coach and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

RETURN-TO-PLAY PLAN & CBA EXTENSION UPDATES

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the return-to-play plan and CBA extension could be ratified by Friday night. The results of the NHLPA membership vote will be completed by 6 pm ET while the NHL Board of Governors will hold a conference call at 4 PM ET.

The NHL & NHLPA could ratify the return-to-play plan and CBA extension later today (Image via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The BoG call is expected to be a rubber stamp. Despite several recent reports of player unhappiness leading up to this week, media consensus is the PA membership is expected to vote its approval.

McKenzie wonders if there will be a big spike in positive COVID-19 tests as Phase 3 commences Monday with mandatory training camps at NHL facilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve repeatedly said Phase 3 will determine if Phase 4 (the playoff tournament) takes place. McKenzie points out the league has a fighting chance to pull this off once the teams are quarantined in Edmonton and Toronto. Getting to that point, however, could be a challenge.

During Phase 4, the Eastern Conference clubs will be housed at Hotel X on the CNE grounds and the Royal York in downtown Toronto. In Edmonton, the Western Conference teams will be housed at the JW Marriott alongside the arena and the Sutton Place hotel downtown.

The playoff games are slated for 12, 4, and 8 pm local time daily, but McKenzie indicates the Edmonton schedule could be tweaked more depending on the needs of broadcasters.

Some teams are leaning toward bringing three goalies to the tournament but more are considering bringing four. They’re also mulling whether to bring 31 players or reduced those numbers to allow for an extra staff member or two.

DEVILS HIRE RUFF AS HEAD COACH, MAKE FITZGERALD THEIR FULL-TIME GM

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils made it official yesterday, announcing Lindy Ruff will become their new head coach starting next season and removed the interim tag from general manager Tom Fitzgerald’s title.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruff is known for his defensive systems, but those expecting a boring trapping style could be in for a surprise. “We played a super-fast possession type of game, which is the same type of game I’d like to bring to this Devils team with a lot of puck pressure using the skills we have to own the puck,” he told NJ.com. “And I want a team that can dominate with speed and possession, but at the same time knowing that defending is a passion that we’re going to have.”