NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

The Penguins beat the Senators but lose Jake Guentzel to injury, the 2020 All-Star Game rosters revealed, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored two goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Nick Paul scored both Senators’ goals. Malkin has 24 points in his last 13 games. Teammate Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists before leaving the game after crashing headfirst into the boards when he was knocked down by Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot. Guentzel left the ice under his own power but seemed to favor his right side. There was no immediate update as to his condition.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel was injured during a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel’s on pace for a career year, tallying his 20th goal of the season and being selected for the 2020 All-Star Game.

The NHL revealed its rosters for the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25. Ryan O’Reilly, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jordan Binnington of the host Blues were named to the Central Division roster.

Atlantic Division (All-Star appearance)

F Tyler Bertuzzi, DET (1st)

F Anthony Duclair, OTT (1st)

F Jack Eichel, BUF (3rd)

F Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (1st)

F Auston Matthews, TOR (4th)

F David Pastrnak, BOS (2nd)*

D Victor Hedman, TBL (3rd)

D Shea Weber, MTL (7th)

G Frederik Andersen, TOR (1st)

G Tuukka Rask, BOS (2nd)

Metropolitan Division (All-Star appearance)

F Mathew Barzal, NYI (2nd)

F Jake Guentzel, PIT (1st)

F Kyle Palmieri, NJD (2nd)

F Artemi Panarin, NYR (1st)

F Travis Konecny, PHI (1st)

D John Carlson, WSH (2nd)

D Dougie Hamilton, CAR (1st)

D Seth Jones, CBJ (3rd)

G Braden Holtby, WSH (5th)

G Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ (1st)

Central Division (All-Star appearance)

F Patrick Kane, CHI (9th)

F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (4th)*

F Ryan O’Reilly, STL (3rd)

F Mark Scheifele, WPG (2nd)

F Tyler Seguin, DAL (6th)

F Eric Staal, MIN (6th)

D Roman Josi, NSH (3rd)

D Alex Pietrangelo, STL (2nd)

G Jordan Binnington, STL (1st)

G Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (2nd)

Pacific Division (All-Star appearance)

F Logan Couture, SJS (2nd)

F Leon Draisaitl, EDM (2nd)

F Anze Kopitar, LAK (5th)

F Connor McDavid, EDM (4th)*

F Elias Pettersson, VAN (2nd)

F Jakob Silfverberg, ANA (1st)

F Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (1st)

D Marc Giordano, CGY (3rd)

G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (5th)

G Darcy Kuemper, ARI (1st)

* Fan-elected captain

The league also released its All-Star Game “Last Men In” ballot, allowing fans to select up to four players to (one per division) to be added to the rosters.

SPORTSNET: Malkin, Boston’s Brad Marchand, Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Colorado’s Cale Makar, and Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes are among the most egregious all-star “snubs”.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think you can also apply that to the other so-called “snubs”.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, St Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 29.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said his club would welcome back defenseman Dustin Byfuglien if the fit was right. Byfuglien’s been suspended since September for failing to report to training camp and is currently recovering from recent ankle surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The right fit being a healthy Byfuglien keen to return to the Jets’ lineup. 

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was blunt when talking about his current slump. “I can’t speak for them (teammates), I can only talk for myself, and obviously I know I’ve been pretty shit lately,” he told reporters on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair assessment of the Oilers as a whole of late.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Charlie McAvoy (lower body) on injured reserve.

THE SCORE: Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is listed as week-to-week with a knee injury suffered during their shootout loss to Chicago on Sunday.