NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 14, 2018

Game recaps, Connor McDavid reaches a milestone, injury updates, declining attendance, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Josh Morrissey scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists for the Jets. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two assists to become the eighth-youngest player in league history to reach 300 points. The Oilers also activated winger Tobias Rieder off injured reserve but placed defenseman Kris Russell (undisclosed) on IR.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 48 saves to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. (Photo via NHL Images)

The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning widened their lead atop the Eastern Conference to eight points by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 48 saves in his first game since suffering a broken foot a month ago.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 27 saves to pick up his fourth straight win as his club held off the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. Jeff Petry scored twice for the Canadiens, as did Andrei Svechnikov for the Hurricanes. Speaking of the Hurricanes, they will play “Brass Bonanza” as their goal song when they face the Boston Bruins at home on Dec. 23 for Whalers Night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense to the Bruins, but here’s hoping the Hurricanes score lots of goals in that game. “Brass Bonanza” is, in my humble opinion, the greatest goal song in NHL history. It was used in “NHL 94”, which is (also in my humble opinion) still the greatest NHL video game of all time.

Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart picked up an assist to extend his points streak to eight games in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, handing the latter their fourth straight loss.

Artemi Panarin scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Los Angeles Kings 4-1.  

The Nashville Predators blew a 3-1 lead but a Colton Sissons overtime goal gave them a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Nino Niederreiter scored twice and Ryan Suter collected three assists as the Minnesota Wild thumped the Florida Panthers 5-1.

Timo Meier’s two goals helped the San Jose Sharks nip the Dallas Stars 3-2. 

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo underwent surgery on his injured right hand and will be re-evaluated around Christmas. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should put a damper on the recent trade speculation swirling around Pietrangelo. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall left practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury. No word yet if he’ll be in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks placed defenseman Jan Rutta on waivers. 

CBS SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers recalled goaltender Alex Lyon. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sagging attendance in some big hockey markets, such as Montreal, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles, has contributed to the NHL’s projected decline in second-quarter revenue. The low Canadian dollar is also to blame. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is primarily a gate-driven league, which is why a decline in attendance in some big markets has a significant effect upon revenue. The reason those teams are suffering at the gate this season isn’t mysterious. Most of them missed the playoffs last season or are in danger of doing so this season. 


Latest on the Bruins – August 24, 2016

Latest on the Bruins – August 24, 2016


Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Why the Boston Bruins defense still needs improvement, plus the five best available free agents who could help them.

NBC SPORTS: Joey Alfieri reports the Boston Bruins defense still needs some work. The Bruins’ front office has acknowledged since the end of last season the need to land a transitional defenseman. So far, however, their efforts to address that issue have been unsuccessful.

St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk was reportedly available via trade, but the Blues have hung onto him. Unless the Bruins can swing a deal soon, Alfieri believes they’ll start the season with their current corps. Captain Zdeno Chara is aging and no longer a dominant force, while Torey Krug is their only significant puck-moving defenseman. Alfieri suggests the Bruins blueline could struggle against the rest of the Atlantic Division.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty lists forward Jiri Hudler, defenseman Kris Russell, Winnipeg Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba, forward Brandon Pirri and aging rearguard Marek Zidlicky as his five best free agents who could help the Bruins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were believed among the suitors for Shattenkirk, but the Blues apparently set a very high asking price for him.  Blues GM Doug Armstrong has indicated he’s willing to start the season with Shattenkirk, so the Bruins will have to look elsewhere.

One possibility could be Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks, as there’s speculation he could be shopped once the Ducks re-sign Hampus Lindholm. Fowler’s a left-handed shot, but I doubt the Bruins would pass over an opportunity to land him for a reasonable price. 

Of the two forwards listed by Haggerty, Hudler has a proven record and could be a decent short-term addition to provide depth on the wings. Pirri has size and some scoring potential, but he’s been plagued by inconsistency in his short NHL career.

As for the defensemen, Trouba is the best of the bunch, but he’s also a restricted free agent. The Bruins will have to pay big to pry him away from the Winnipeg Jets. They could go the offer sheet route, but Haggerty considers that unlikely. Russell is a fine shot-blocking defenseman with some puck-moving abilities, but he won’t address the Bruins need for a transitional d-man. Zidlicky is now past his prime and won’t help the Bruins.