NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 13, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 13, 2020

Recaps of yesterday’s playoff games, the Penguins fire their assistant coaches, the Leafs respond to the qualifying-round elimination and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron’s double-overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Bergeron’s linemates David Pastrnak (one goal) and Brad Marchand (two assists) picked up their first points of the postseason. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton returned to action after missing the qualifying round with an undisclosed injury, but winger Justin Williams and blueliner Sami Vatanen were ruled “unfit to play” for Game 1.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25K for his comments disputing the Bruins’ second goal when Anders Bjork appeared to swat the puck out of Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek’s glove on the ice to teammate Charlie Coyle. “This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” said Brind’Amour following the game. “That one is a crime scene.”

 

  SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, the officials got the call wrong, but Brind’Amour should know the league takes a dim view of coaches publicly airing their grievances about officiating.   The New York Islanders overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Washington Capitals 4-2 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, and Anthony Beauvillier tallied four unanswered goals for the Islanders while T.J. Oshie netted both Capitals goals. The Caps were unhappy with Lee over a late hit on Nicklas Backstrom that sidelined the center for the rest of the game. A further word on Backstrom’s condition could be provided later today.  

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle’s goal late in the second period gave the Isles a much-needed lift. They went on to dominate the Capitals in the final frame.

A three-goal outburst within a 1:23 span in the third period powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes in the first game of their opening-round series. Nazem Kadri, J.T. Compher, and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers while Philipp Grubauer made 14 saves for the shutout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colorado controlled this game from the opening faceoff. Only the play of Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper kept this scoreless until the Avs’ third-period flurry.

Carter Hart made 27 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers held off the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Joel Farabee tallied the game-winner 16 seconds after the Habs tied it on a second-period power-play goal by Shea Weber. Habs goalie Carey Price made a breathtaking stick save on a second-period Scott Laughton blast, preventing either a sure goal or perhaps serious injury to teammate Nick Suzuki as the youngster attempted to block the shot.

 

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a physical,closely-contested game that could set the tone for the remainder of the series. Both goaltenders were outstanding.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Horvat, Troy Stecher (with the game-winner), and J.T. Miller netted three unanswered third-period goals. Canucks netminder Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a close game until the Canucks blew it open with three goals on five shots. The Blues played better than they had in the round-robin but seemed to wilt in that final period.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins dismissed assistant coaches Sergei Gonchar, Jacques Martin, and Mark Recchi yesterday. A search for new assistants for head coach Mike Sullivan will begin at once.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford promised changes after his club’s qualifying-round exit. He’ll turn next to his roster, but don’t expect any big changes there other than perhaps trading goalie Matt Murray and letting Justin Schultz depart via free agency. If those moves fail to improve the Pens next season, Sullivan could lose his job while Rutherford looks at maybe a bigger roster move or two.

The Penguins also opted to retain their 2020 first-round pick (15th overall). They will instead send their 2021 first-round pick to the Minnesota Wild to complete February’s Jason Zucker trade.

NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist’s future with the New York Rangers appears hazy following a recent meeting with team president John Davidson. The long-time Rangers starting goalie lost his job to rookie Igor Shesterkin this season and the club doesn’t intend to carry three goalies next season. Lundqvist has a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $8.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could be trying to convince Lundqvist to retire, removing his full cap hit from their books. They could also buy him out, but that would only save $3 million next season and give them $1.5 million in dead cap space for 2021-22.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan reaffirmed his faith in general manager Kyle Dubas during yesterday’s online end-of-season press conference. Dubas, meanwhile, defended his players and resisted the notion that management misread the club’s potential. Leafs stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly acknowledged the disappointment and frustration over yet another early postseason exit but maintain their belief they have the core to develop into a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unhappy Leafs followers appear to be running out of patience with “The Shanaplan”, Dubas’ management, and the inconsistent performance of some of the club’s stars. It’ll be interesting to see what off-season moves they make to address their roster deficiencies, especially on the blueline. Another erratic season could cost Dubas his job and perhaps lead to a core player getting traded.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: An undisclosed injury appears to be affecting Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin. He failed to register a shot in the Stars’ Game 1 loss to the Calgary Flames, marking the second time in three games he’s done so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The low-scoring Stars need veterans scorers like Seguin at his best if they hope to stage a run for the Stanley Cup.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little is unsure if he’ll play again after suffering a punctured eardrum and concussion when he was struck in the head by a shot during a game last November. He’s been sidelined ever since as he recovered from surgery to repair his eardrum. His symptoms have reduced but brain scans revealed lingering damage that could put his future at risk if he continues playing hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Little intends to take time to heal as he undergoes further tests and seeks different medical opinions. Nevertheless, his playing career appears in jeopardy.

THE SCORE: Top prospect Alexis Lafreniere won’t be returning to Rimouski Oceanic training camp and he won’t be playing in Europe as he prepares for his NHL career. He intends to train at home and report to his NHL team whenever their training camp opens this fall. It’s expected the New York Rangers will select him with the first-overall pick in this year’s draft in October.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 12, 2020

The Lightning down the Blue Jackets in a five-overtime marathon. Check out the details in the recaps of the opening round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning needed five overtime periods to edge the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series. Brayden Point tallied the winner at 10:27 of the fifth-overtime period, marking the fourth-longest game in NHL history, lasting over six hours and 13 minutes. The goal was Point’s second of the game. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist for the Jackets.

 

 

     

Tampa Bay Lightning center Braydon Point (NHL Images).

The two teams combined for a record 151 shots, with the Lightning firing a record 88. Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo set a record with 85 saves while Bolts netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 61. Jackets defenseman Seth Jones also set a record for minutes-played by a skater, logging 65 minutes and six seconds of ice time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was the most entertaining multiple overtime game I’ve seen since the Buffalo Sabres edged the New Jersey Devils 1-0 in Game 6 of their 1994 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. These types of games usually turn into long, dull defensive slogs with few quality scoring chances. Not this game. Every period was fast-paced and exciting, with the Lightning having the bulk of the offensive opportunities. A tough loss for the Jackets, who’ll have little time to recover before Game 2 tomorrow.

Because of the length of the Lighting-Blue Jackets game, the NHL rescheduled Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes to 11 am ET today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the right call by the league. It reportedly would’ve taken nearly two hours following the end of the Bolts-Jackets game to clean the dressing rooms and players benches and to prepare the ice surface for the Bruins and Hurricanes.

Rasmus Andersson’s second-period goal proved to be the game-winner as the Calgary Flames held off the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series. Dillon Dube scored twice as the Flames jumped to a 2-0 lead but the Stars tied it on goals by Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn nine seconds apart. Stars defenseman Stephen Johns left the game in the second period and is listed as “unfit to play.” Stars center Tyler Seguin was held without a shot.    

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dube had a heck of a game for the Flames, especially with his second goal that looked like a Pavel Bure special. Teammate Milan Lucic is also playing well, picking up his fifth point (1-4-5) in as many games.

Reilly Smith scored twice and collected an assist to lead the Vegas Golden Knights over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mark Scheifele said he doesn’t believe Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk deliberately intended to injure him in Game 1 of their qualifying-round series. Scheifele suffered an injury to the back of his leg following a collision with Tkachuk, who reached out to the Jets center explaining he was skating too fast and lost control as he approached Scheifele along the boards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets coach Paul Maurice had thought otherwise, accusing Tkachuk of a dirty hit and doubling down a day later. It was obvious, however, that the collision was accidental. I think Tkachuk got a bad rap here because of his well-earned reputation for questionable tactics. If it had been Tkachuk’s teammate Johnny Gaudreau colliding with Scheifele, nobody would’ve thought it was dirty.

CBS SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers forward Tyler Ennis suffered a fractured leg and ligament damage near his ankle during an Aug. 5 game against the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s expected to be recovered in time for the 2020-21 season, but it might not be with the Oilers. Ennis is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Ivan Barbashev is expected to rejoin his teammates in Edmonton on Friday after traveling to St. Louis to be with his wife during the birth of his son.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2020

Recaps of the final day of exhibition games, including updates on Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, John Carlson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: First-period goals by Boone Jenner, Zach Werenski, and Gustav Nyquist powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Nyquist finished with two points while teammate Oliver Bjorkstrand collected two assists.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask gave up three goals on 20 shots before being replaced by Jaroslav Halak. Teammate Brad Marchand left the game in the third period with an apparent lower-body injury following a hit on Werenski. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy will provide an update today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins appeared rusty in this contest, but they’ll have plenty of time to sharpen their play during the seeding round-robin before the opening round of the playoffs. The Jackets, meanwhile, showed how much better they can be when they have a mostly healthy roster, something they didn’t have for long stretches in the regular season.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

Reilly Smith scored two goals and Marc-Andre Fleury went the distance with a 22-save performance to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Alex Tuch’s highlight-reel goal put the game out of reach. Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz left the game in the second period following a heavy check from Vegas winger Ryan Reaves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reaves’ arm made contact with Schmaltz’s head during that hit. No word yet if the league’s department of player discipline will be looking at this. It’s interesting that Robin Lehner didn’t split the goalie duties with Fleury. Perhaps he’ll get the start in the Golden Knights’ first game in the round-robin on Monday. 

Viktor Arvidsson scored twice while Juuse Saros and Pekka Rinne combined for a 26-save shutout as the Nashville Predators blanked the Dallas Stars 2-0. Stars center Tyler Seguin was scratched from the lineup (unfit to play), while forward Andrew Cogliano left the game in the second period favoring his left leg following a collision with Predators defenseman Yannick Weber.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin is expected to be ready for the round-robin starting Aug. 3 against the Golden Knights. No update was provided on Cogliano’s status.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals defenseman John Carlson didn’t practice yesterday after missing the final half of the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Carlson crashed awkwardly into the boards and was removed from the game as a precautionary measure. Head coach Todd Reirden expects the blueliner will return to practice on Saturday.

CBS SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson took part in special teams’ practice yesterday. He’s still recovering from a knee injury suffered during the regular season. Johnsson isn’t expected in the lineup when the Leafs face off against the Blues Jackets on Sunday in Game 1 of their qualifying-round series.

THE AHL.COM: American Hockey League president and CEO Scott Howson announced a revised start date of Dec. 4 for their 2020-21 season. Details of their full schedule have yet to be determined.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2019

​Connor McDavid reaches 400 career points, Mitch Marner sidelined for a month, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.com: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick, including his 400th career point, as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Leon Drasaitl had four assists, Zach Kassian picked up three points and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reached 400 career points in a 6-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid and Draisaitl continue to tear up the league offensively in the early going. They’re key factors in the Oilers’ surprisingly strong start to this season.

Robin Lehner kicked out 53 shots backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had three-point performances for the Blackhawks, who erupted for four goals in the opening period. William Nylander tallied twice for the Leafs, who learned Mitch Marner will be sidelined for a month with a high-ankle sprained suffered during Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant blow to the Leafs offense. Marner had 18 points in as many games before his injury. His absence likely means the Leafs won’t have to demote or trade anyone, for now, to make room for Zach Hyman’s return this week.

Mark Scheifele scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Dallas Stars 3-2. Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were held goalless for the 14th time in 18 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin has just three goals in 18 games, Benn only one. Despite their struggles, the Stars overcame their woeful 1-7-1 start to reach a .500 record after 18 games. Seguin and Benn also went through a lengthy offensive drought in the first half of last season, culminating in team president Jim Lites publicly tearing into them for their poor play. The Stars need those two to regain their scoring form.

The Florida Panthers edged the New York Rangers 6-5 on a shootout goal by Vincent Trocheck. Evgenii Dadonov scored a goal and collected two assists. Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar left the game after being struck in the head by a puck. Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome and Chris Kreider each had two points for the Rangers.

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their fourth straight victory by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2. The Flyers blew a 2-0 but got the win on a shootout goal by Joel Farabee. Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny each had two points. Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 30 saves to give his club a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. It’s the 11th straight time the Devils have defeated the Canucks.

Anthony Mantha’s goal with 31 seconds remaining gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno faces a hearing today with the NHL’s department of player discipline for his elbow to the head of Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday. Foligno has no previous suspensions.

KUKLA’S KORNER: Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry is under fire for comments on Saturday’s Coach’s Corner in which he appeared to single out new Canadian immigrants for not wearing poppies leading up to Remembrance Day. “You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Sportsnet and the NHL issued apologies and condemning Cherry’s comments. His sidekick Ron MacLean also apologized for the remarks and for not taking Cherry to task over them during the segment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m a veteran. I served 25 years in the Canadian Forces, including service in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a peacekeeping tour in the former Yugoslavia in 1994. While I believe everyone should wear a poppy and honor our fallen comrades I don’t believe in forcing or shaming anyone into doing so. It’s called freedom of choice. The minute we start forcing people to wear poppies, we’re heading down a dangerous road.

I also disagree with Cherry’s remarks. Canada is a nation of immigrants and refugees of all races, creeds, colors, and religions. They all built this nation and continue doing so. Many of them served this country. I served alongside them. Some paid the ultimate price. They are Canadians, period.

While I disagree with Cherry, he has the right to say what he wants and his critics the right to disagree and condemn him. That’s freedom of speech

It’s those freedoms veterans like myself and serving military members uphold and defend. Once you start taking those away from someone because you don’t like their choices or comments, it’s only a matter of time before someone takes them away from you.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2019

Games recaps, three stars of the week, Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk battling cancer, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko scored a goal and set up two others as the St. Louis Blues downed the Colorado Avalanche 3-1, snapping the latter’s eight-game points streak. It was a costly defeat for the Avalanche as winger Mikko Rantanen left the game in the second period with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.  Coach Jared Bednar said Rantanen will be re-evaluated today.

St. Louis Blues’ winger Vladimir Tarasenko led his club to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

Gustav Nyquist’s overtime goal on a penalty shot lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jackets blew a 2-0 first-period lead and forced the extra frame on Alexander Wennberg’s game-tying goal in the third period. Austin Matthews tallied a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson returned to the lineup after missing six games to an upper-body injury,

The Dallas Stars nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1, handing the Senators their fourth straight defeat. Earlier in the day, Stars forward Tyler Seguin and goaltender Ben Bishop revealed their respective houses suffered damage as a result of a tornado that ripped through North Dallas on Sunday night. Seguin’s house is the one he has up for sale as he’s already moved into a new one.

A five-goal outburst by the Philadelphia Flyers powered them to a 6-2 drubbing of the Vegas Golden Knights. Michael Raffl led the way for the Flyers with two goals and an assist.

HEADLINES

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton are the league’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 20, 2019.

TSN: Hockey Hall of Fame Dale Hawerchuk revealed he’s receiving treatment for stomach cancer. He took a leave of absence in early-September from his job as head coach of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Hawerchuk makes a full recovery. 

NJ.COM:  Devils center Nico Hischier (upper-body injury) and defenseman Will Butcher (upper body) could return to the lineup on Friday against the Arizona Coyotes.

CBS SPORTS:  Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello is ready to return to action after missing the last four games with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenseman Brian Dumoulin (lower body) on injured reserve dating back to Oct. 18.

 










What Exactly Is Going On With The Dallas Stars?

What Exactly Is Going On With The Dallas Stars?