NHL Injury Outlook Week 2
Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba collected three points (a goal and two assists) against his former team as the Rangers downed the Winnipeg Jets 6-4. Teammate Mika Zibanejad had a four-point performance for the Rangers. Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists and Blake Wheeler potted two goals for the Jets.
The Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled the Florida Panthers debut of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and coach Joel Quenneville with a 5-2 victory. The Bolts tallied three unanswered third-period goals. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov – the reigning league scoring leader and MVP – tallied a goal and an assist.
Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 5-3. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had two points each for the Flames. Earlier in the day, the Flames announced general manager Brad Treliving signed a contract extension.
The Nashville Predators netted four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Minnesota Wild 5-2. Matt Duchene collected three assists in his Predators debut while teammates Ryan Ellis and Filip Forsberg each had two points.
A 28-save performance by Tuukka Rask carried the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Brett Ritchie and Danton Heinen scored for the Bruins. Boston center David Krejci missed the game due to a lower-body injury. Stars forwards Blake Comeau and Jason Dickinson and defenseman Roman Polak left the game with various injuries. Comeau (lower body) is expected to be sidelined for weeks and Dickinson (upper body) for a week. Polak was stretchered from the game and a further update on his condition is expected today.
Connor Sheary scored twice against his former club to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Sabres’ first regulation win against the Penguins in over six years.
Dougie Hamilton’s shootout goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens placed defenseman Gustav Olofsson on waivers.
John Gibson kicked out 28 shots as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Winger Phil Kessel had an assist in his Coyotes’ debut.
IN OTHER NEWS…
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson suffered a broken bone in his foot or ankle during the club’s season-opener against Vancouver on Wednesday. He’s been placed on long-term injury reserve. The club called up Evan Bouchard from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larsson’s absence creates a big hole in the Oilers’ defense corps. However, it also provides an opportunity for young Bouchard to prove himself at the NHL level.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt suffered the injury following a knee-on-knee collision with San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture on Wednesday.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Good news for the Red Wings as first-line center Dylan Larkin expects to be good to go for his club’s season-opener on Saturday against Nashville. Larkin was shaken up earlier in the week when he crashed into the boards during practice.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson missed his club’s season-opener on Wednesday as his wife was giving birth to a daughter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Karlssons lost a child to miscarriage last year. My congratulations on the birth of their healthy baby girl.
Updates on Brayden Point, Carey Price, David Krejci, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning center Brayden Point will join his teammates this week but last spring’s hip surgery could keep him out of the lineup until late October. Point signed a three-year contract yesterday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That might explain why Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois wasn’t panicking over getting Point under contract before the start of the season.
NHL.COM: Elias Pettersson has a four-point night (one goal, three assists) and Brock Boeser collected three assists as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-4 in preseason play at Abbotsford, B.C.
TSN.CA: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price sat out last night’s preseason contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs nursing a bruised left hand. He’s expected to return to the ice before the end of the week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No sense risking further injury in a meaningless preseason contest.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center David Krejci suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of last night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “I don’t think it’s serious,” Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
REVIEW-JOURNAL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt is working to reform the NHL’s PED testing as part of the current NHL CBA negotiations. Last fall, he received a 20-game suspension after testing positive for a trace amount of a performance-enhancing drug.
Schmidt cited environmental contamination and an expert testifying on his behalf at his appeal hearing claimed the amount found in his system was “the equivalent of a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.” The Golden Knights supported Schmidt, saying in a statement they believed the presence of a banned substance in the defenseman was accidental and unintentional.
NBC SPORTS: Work has begun on a new arena for the New York Islanders at Belmont Park. The venue is expected to be ready for the 2021-22 season.
Game recaps, Seattle officially awarded an expansion franchise, injury updates, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo returned to action and made 33 saves backstopping his club to a 5-0 shutout of the Boston Bruins. Luongo had been sidelined since Nov. 23 by a knee injury. Teammate Mike Hoffman scored twice while Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists for his sixth straight multi-point game.
The Calgary Flames scored five goals in the second period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-6. Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each scored twice and collected two assists. It was the highest-scoring game in Blue Jackets’ history. Cam Atkinson tallied a hat trick for the Jackets.
Two late goals by Nate Schmidt gave the Vegas Golden Knights a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Vegas forward Ryan Reaves was ejected from the game for a blindside hit on Capitals winger Tom Wilson, who left the game and didn’t return.
Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winner in the dying seconds of overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Buffalo Sabres 4-3, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat since coming off a 10-game winning streak. Jack Eichel scored twice for the Sabres.
Goaltender Edward Pasquale made 19 saves in his NHL debut to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 6-5 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings. Frans Nielsen netted a hat trick for the Red Wings, who learned winger Anthony Mantha (hand injury) will be sidelined four-to-six weeks while defenseman Danny DeKeyser (injured left hand) could miss “multiple weeks“.
Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin each had three points to give the Montreal Canadiens a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Carey Price made 28 saves for the win.
Patric Hornqvist’s third-period hat trick gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche, snapping the latter’s 11-game points streak.
Third-period goals by Jacob Trouba, Adam Lowry, and Nikolaj Ehlers powered the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders. The Jets skated without defenseman Josh Morrissey, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner is nursing an undisclosed injury and didn’t dress for this game.
Named the NHL’s second star of the week (ending Dec. 2), Arizona Coyotes goalie Adin Hill made 25 saves in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Earlier in the day, the Kings revealed Trevor Lewis had surgery to stabilize a fractured foot that plagued him since Nov.16, sidelining him an additional four-five weeks.
Three power-play goals gave the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, who’ve dropped 12 of their last 13 contests. Wild forward Mikael Granlund collected two assists.
TSN: The NHL board of governors officially approved Seattle as the home of the league’s 32nd franchise. Their first season will be 2021-22. The ownership group will be wiring their initial payment of its $650 expansion fee to the league later this week. The expansion draft will be held at Seattle’s KeyArena in June 2021 and will follow the same rules as the 2017 expansion draft.
ARIZONA SPORTS: To accommodate the Seattle franchise in the Pacific Division, the Coyotes will be moved to the Central Division in 2021-22.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (facial injuries) could return to the lineup next month, while winger Patrick Eaves (broken rib, back spasms) is sidelined indefinitely.
NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers officially hired Rick Wilson as an assistant coach.
Game recaps, Golden Knights re-sign Nate Schmidt, Brian Boyle cancer-free, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs took a 3-0 lead into the third period against the Winnipeg Jets and held on for a 4-2 victory. Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele narrowed the score to 3-2 but John Tavares put it out of reach with his first goal in five games. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 38 saves for the win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 22-save shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Nikita Kucherov tallied the game’s only goal in the third period.
Third-period goals by Frank Vatrano and Evgenii Dadonov set the stage for Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner as the Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the New York Islanders 3-2.
Bo Horvat scored twice, Jacob Markstrom kicked out 33 shots and Markus Granlund scored the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Alex Tuch, who’d been sidelined by a lower-body injury since preseason, rejoined the Golden Knights lineup.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, they reached an agreement with defenseman Nate Schmidt on a six-year, $35.7-million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.95 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt, who’s currently serving a 20-game suspension for violation of the league’s PED policy, is in the second year of a two-year, $4.45-million contract and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s getting a significant raise based on a limited body of work.
After several seasons as a speedy depth defenseman with the Washington Capitals, Schmidt was selected by the Golden Knights in last year’s expansion draft, quickly establishing himself as a top-four blueliner. He tallied a career-high 36 points in 2017-18 along with seven points in 20 playoff games. The Golden Knights are betting the 27-year-old has the potential to maintain that level of play over the long term.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle said his cancer is now in remission. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia 13 months ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance last season. Happy to hear that his treatments were successful.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will play his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings at XCel Energy Center.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed defenseman Dan Hamhuis on injured reserve.
SPORTSNET: Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki received a one-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for elbowing Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen in the head on Tuesday night.
CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri has been sent to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio on a conditioning stint. Fabbri has been sidelined by a groin injury.
NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers sent goaltender Michal Neuvirth to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms for conditioning.
THE SCORE: The New York Rangers placed winger Matt Beleskey on waivers.
Updates on Matt Murray, Sebastian Aho, Nate Schmidt and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins goaltending coach Mike Buckley wants Matt Murray not to put too much pressure on himself. “The next step for him is to take it all in and enjoy it. ‘Hey, I’m the guy now. I can accept that. I don’t have to be Marc-Andre Fleury, but I can be tighter with my teammates and really open up to them.’ “
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After backstopping the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in his first two seasons, Murray struggled through an injury-hampered 2017-18 culminating in the Washington Capitals bouncing them from the second round of the 2018 playoffs. They’ll need a healthier, relaxed Murray at his best if they’re to contend for their third Cup in four years.
CBS SPORTS: The Carolina Hurricanes and forward Sebastian Aho hope to reach agreement on a contract extension before the start of the upcoming season. Aho is in the final season of his three-year entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Entering this third NHL campaign, Aho is the Hurricanes’ best forward. He was their leading scorer last season and finished second the year prior. With over $44 million invested in 11 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they can easily afford to pay him a significant raise.
NBC SPORTS: Current and former teammates of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt were shocked by his 20-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. Schmidt insisted he didn’t intentionally taken a banned substance and the trace amount found in his system wouldn’t have affected his performance.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens prospect Jake Evans was released from hospital yesterday and is following the club’s concussion protocol after being stretchered from the ice during Friday’s rookie showdown between the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. Evans received a high hit from Senators defenseman Jonathan Aspirot and crashed hard to the ice.
THE ATHLETIC: Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their Senior Hockey Analyst.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Vollman in his new job. Over the past several years, his Hockey Abstract became the bible for hockey analytics.