NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2023

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallies his 500th goal, Erik Karlsson leads the Sharks to an upset win over the Stars, the Canadiens hope to re-sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored his 500th career goal with a hat-trick performance in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (29-13-1, 59 points), who sit two points behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes each had two points for the Canucks as they slipped to 18-23-3 on the season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos also reached the 20-goal plateau for the 13th time in his 15-season NHL career. He’s the third active player to score 500 career goals, joining Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (810) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (538).

The San Jose Sharks overcame a 3-0 deficit to upset the Dallas Stars 5-3. Erik Karlsson led the way for the Sharks (14-23-9) with a goal and three assists while James Reimer made 33 saves. Jason Robertson scored his 30th goal of the season for the Stars (26-13-7) as they remain stuck in second place in the Central Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson also set a Stars record by becoming the fastest Dallas player to reach 30 goals in a season (46 games), breaking Mike Modano’s previous record of 30 in 48 games in 1993-94.

The league-leading Boston Bruins (35-5-4) picked up their third straight victory with a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark kicked out 25 shots for the Bruins. With 74 points, they hold a 12-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings. The Islanders dropped to 23-19-4 (50 points) to sit one point back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Ottawa Senators on an overtime goal by Brady Tkachuk, who finished the night with four points. Thomas Chabot collected three assists as the Senators improved to 20-21-3. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had three-point performances for the 22-15-7 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins recently moved defenseman Kris Letang to injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 28. Meanwhile, the Senators placed blueliner Artem Zub (lower body) on IR.

Colorado Avalanche forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen each scored twice to douse the Calgary Flames 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists for the fourth straight game while Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 34 shots as the Avalanche (23-17-3, 49 points) move to within two points of the Flames (21-16-9, 51 points) for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche played this game without defenseman Cale Makar, who is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Avs blueliners Erik Johnson skated in his 900th career NHL game.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said his club hopes to sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract during his midseason state-of-the-franchise press conference on Wednesday. The 22-year-old sophomore winger leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 45 games this season. He’s in the final season of his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield is going to get a significant pay raise. It’s just a question of how much his average annual value will be.

The Canadiens could prefer signing Caufield to between $7.5 million and $8 million annually to keep his salary within range of linemate Nick Suzuki’s $7.875 million AAV. Caufield’s agent, however, could seek between $9 million and $10 million annually, especially if the young winger reaches 50 goals this season.

TSN: The Canadiens also announced rookie winger Juraj Slavkovsky has been sidelined for three months with a lower-body injury that won’t require surgery. Forward Jake Evans (lower body) will miss eight to 10 weeks.

Forwards Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia are both out until the All-Star break with upper-body injuries. Meanwhile, goaltender Jake Allen (upper body) will be sidelined for at least a week.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres placed forward Vinnie Hinostroza on waivers. The Nashville Predators also placed forward Mike McCarron on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres had been trying to trade Hinostroza. McCarron recently received clearance to return to action after completing a stint in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings acquired center Jasper Weatherby from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Kyle Criscuolo. Weatherby, 24, played 50 games with the Sharks last season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2023

The Kraken hand the Bruins their first home regulation loss, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour collects his 200th win, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos edges closer to 500 career goals, the Canadiens honor P.K. Subban, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken blanked the Boston Bruins 3-0, handing the latter their first home regulation loss of the season. Martin Jones stopped 27 shots for his second straight shutout while Brandon Tanev, Eeli Tolvanen and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken (25-12-4), who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 54 points. Linus Ullmark made 28 saves for the 35-5-4 Bruins as they remain in first place in the overall standings with 68 points.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour collected his 200th career victory as his club thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2. Brett Pesce scored twice, Sebastian Aho and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each collected two assists and Frederik Anderson made 21 saves for the win in his first start since Nov. 6. The Hurricanes (26-9-7) sit in second place in the overall standings with 59 points. Sean Kuraly and Johnny Gaudreau replied for the 12-27-2 Blue Jackets as they sink into last place overall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. It was his fourth game of the season since returning for an off-season Achilles’ injury. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets activated defenseman Nick Blankenburg off injured reserve and placed forward Eric Robinson on IR.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

The Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-4. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos tallied his 499th career goal and collected an assist as they stretched their home win streak to nine games. The Lightning (26-13-1) sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points. Quinn Hughes had a goal and two assists as the Canucks fell to 17-21-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Hughes, he expressed his unhappiness over the treatment teammate Tanner Pearson received when he suffered a broken hand two months ago. Hughes felt it wasn’t handled properly, leading to Pearson undergoing two more procedures that ended his season. Vancouver also lost defenseman Travis Dermott in this game to an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield tallied two power-play goals in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Jonathan Drouin collected three assists while Sam Montembeault kicked out 39 shots as the Canadiens improved to 17-22-3 on the season. Nashville goalie Yaroslav Askarov stopped 31 shots in his NHL debut. The Predators (19-16-6) are three points out of the finals Western Conference wild-card berth with 44 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens honored recently-retired defenseman P.K. Subban in a pre-game ceremony. Subban played for both clubs during his 13 NHL seasons, spending seven of those in Montreal where he became a fan favorite. He thanked the club, his teammates and the Montreal fans and staged a final “low-five” celebration with sidelined Habs goalie Carey Price.

A third-period goal by Taylor Raddysh lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Petr Mrazek made 31 saves for Chicago (11-25-4) as they rose to second-last in the overall standings with 26 points. The Avalanche (20-17-3) got two assists from Nathan MacKinnon but sit four points out of a Western wild-card spot with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The defending Stanley Cup champions have been walloped by injuries this season but they’re also feeling the offseason departures of such notable players as Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. Having lost seven of their last eight games, they’re in danger of falling further behind in the playoff race.

The Detroit Red Wings upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 as Lucas Raymond led the way with a goal and two assists. Ville Husso made 32 saves as the Wings (18-15-7) sit within five points of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 43 points. Rasmus Sandin replied for the Leafs, who sit behind the Hurricanes for second place in the East with 59 points as the latter has a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs center Auston Matthews missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury that has nagged him this season. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Saturday.

An overtime goal by Adam Fox gave the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. K’Andre Miller tied the game with a second remaining in regulation to force the extra frame as the Rangers (24-12-7) sit one point back of the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points as the Devils hold two games in hand. Tyler Seguin scored for the 25-11-7 Stars as they slip to second place in the Western Conference with 57 points.

The Vegas Golden Knights got third-period goals from Jack Eichel, William Carrier and William Karlson to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Adin Hill stopped 38 shots for the Golden Knights as they improved to 28-13-2 and took over first place in the West with 58 points. Nick Cousins and Sam Reinhart replied for the Panthers as their record fell to 19-20-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas captain Mark Stone left his contest in the first period with an undisclosed injury. No other information was provided.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves in a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Connor scored the game-winner and also collected an assist as the 27-14-1 Jets sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 55 points. Victor Olofsson and Tyson Jost scored for the Sabres as they slipped to 20-18-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Jets activated forward Saku Maenalanen off injured reserve and moved forward David Gustafsson on IR.

The Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game losing skid to down the New York Islanders 3-1 on third-period goals by Frederick Gaudreau, Sam Steel and Kirill Kaprisov. The 23-14-4 Wild hold third place in the Central Division with 50 points. Scott Mayfield scored for the Islanders (22-18-3) and Ilya Sorokin made 33 saves as they sit one point out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 47 points.

Calgary Flames winger Dillon Dube netted two goals and Dan Vladar made 25 saves in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. At 20-14-9, the Flames hold the first wild-card spot in the West with 49 points. Jake Neighbours tallied for the Blues (21-19-3), who sit two points out of a Western wild-card spot with 45 points.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-3, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist for the Senators as they improved to 19-19-3 on the season. Goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 42 shots in a losing cause for the 13-23-5 Coyotes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2023

Kick off 2023 with recaps of the final games of 2022 – featuring hat tricks by Alex Ovechkin and Filip Forsberg – in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied a hat trick as his club crushed the Montreal Canadiens 9-2. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Erik Gustafsson each had three points as the Capitals (21-13-5) are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. Cole Caufield tallied twice to reach the 20- goal plateau as his Canadiens (15-19-3) have lost five in a row.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals (47) sit one behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division. Caufield, meanwhile, joined Guy Lafleur and Stephane Richer as the only Canadiens with consecutive 20-goal seasons before the age of 22. The Canadiens also announced that defenseman Kaiden Guhle (lower-body injury) will miss their upcoming game against the Nashville Predators.

Speaking of the Predators, they got a hat trick performance from Filip Forsberg but fell 5-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights on an overtime goal by Nicolas Hague. Mark Stone collected three assists and Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights (25-12-2), who are tied with the Dallas Stars with 52 points but sit second in the Western Conference. The Predators (15-14-6) played without winger Cole Smith, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, got a three-point performance from Joe Pavelski in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jason Robertson collected two points to move into sole possession of third place in the NHL scoring race with 54 points while his Stars (23-9-2) hold first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand. Erik Karlsson collected an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games but his Sharks drop to 11-20-7 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Radim Simek left this game with an undisclosed injury. There was no postgame update regarding his status.

Buffalo Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a four-point performance to upset the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 37 shots for the win as the Sabres improved to 18-14-2 with their sixth straight win. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had two points as the league-leading Bruins (28-4-4) extended their home points streak to 21 games.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got two goals from Michael Bunting in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (19-13-3). Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares each had two points for the Maple Leafs (23-8-6), who sit two points behind the second-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference with 52 points. Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless in his return to the Avalanche roster after missing the last 11 games with an upper-body injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied his 498th career NHL goal as his club downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Stamkos and Brayden Point each had two points while Victor Hedman collected three assists as the Lightning improved to 23-11-1. The Coyotes (13-17-5) played without forward Nick Schmaltz, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Winnipeg Jets nipped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on a third-period goal by Kyle Connor to finish the night with two points. Teammate Neal Pionk also had a goal and an assist as the Jets improved to 23-13-1. Klim Kostin replied for the Oilers (20-16-2) while teammate Connor McDavid had his point streak end at 17 games.

Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman tallied twice in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Marc-Andre Fleury got the win with a 29-save effort for the Wild (21-13-2). Jordan Kyrou collected two assists for the Blues (17-17-3), who also lost winger Vladimir Tarasenko to an injured hand suffered in the first period after blocking a shot by Matt Dumba. An update was not provided on his status following the game.

Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames (18-13-7) in his 700th career NHL game. Sheldon Dries and Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks, who fell to 16-17-3.

The Detroit Red Wings got three unanswered third-period goals from Lucas Raymond, Elmer Soderblom and Michael Rasmussen to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Raymond finished with two points as the Red Wings move to 16-12-7 while the Senators dropped to 16-17-3.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Noah Cates and Travis Konecny lifted the Philadelphia Flyers (13-17-7) to a 4-2 upset of the Los Angeles Kings. Cates, Owen Tippett and Scott Laughton each had two points for the Flyers. Adrian Kempe and Phillip Danault replied for the 21-13-6 Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings defenseman Alex Edler skated in his 1,000th career NHL game.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a seven-game losing skid by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Gustav Nyquist scored twice for the Blue Jackets (11-22-2) while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists. Andreas Athanasiou replied for the Blackhawks, who sit at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 8-23-4.










The 2022-23 NHL Season Could Be The Highest Scoring Since The Early ’90s

The 2022-23 NHL Season Could Be The Highest Scoring Since The Early ’90s

NHL scoring has steadily increased in recent years.

In 2015-16, the 2.71 goals average was the lowest since 2003-04 (2.57), which was the final season of the “Dead Puck Era”. It has since risen by each season, reaching 3.14 in 2021-22. The last time it was that high was 1995-96.

That season saw eight players, including Hall-of-Famers Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Paul Kariya, reach or exceed the 50-goal plateau. Two of them (Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr) scored over 60 goals.

Twelve players, including Lemieux, Jagr, Sakic, Kariya and Hall-of-Fame stars like Peter Forsberg, Eric Lindros, Ron Francis, Teemu Selanne, Sergei Fedorov and Wayne Gretzky, reached or exceeded 100 points.

2021-22 saw four players reach 50 goals, with Auston Matthews becoming the first player in 10 years to score 60 goals. Eight players, including Matthews, Edmonton Oilers’ superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, netted 100-plus points.

Those stats may pale somewhat to the output of the class of 1995-96. Nevertheless, they were a part of a trend that began in 2018-19 when two players reached 50 goals and six netted 100 points. That was a big jump over 2017-18 when there were no 50 goal scorers and just three players got to 100 points.

The increase in scoring is continuing this season with the goals average at 3.19, which would be the highest since 1993-94’s average of 3.24.

That season saw nine players tally 50-or-more goals, including Hall-of-Famers such as Pavel Bure (60), Brett Hull (57), Fedorov (56), Dave Andreychuk (53), Brendan Shanahan (52), Mike Modano and Cam Neely (50 each).

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Eight others exceeded 100 points, including Gretzky winning the last scoring title (130 points) in his storied career, followed by fellow Hall-of-Fame players like Fedorov (120), Adam Oates (112), Doug Gilmour (111), Bure and Mark Recchi (107 each) and Shanahan with 102.

As of Dec. 10, 2022, this season’s top-nine goal scorers include the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid with 25, the Dallas Stars’ Jason Robertson (23), Buffalo Sabres’ Tage Thompson (21), Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat (20), Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak and the Oiler’s Leon Draisaitl (19 each), with the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, the Toronto Maple Leafs William Nylander and the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby all sitting with 17 goals.

By my rough estimate, at their current rate of production, they could all reach or exceed 50 goals by season’s end, with McDavid and Robertson potentially reaching 70 goals apiece and Thompson and Horvat netting 60 each.

Fifteen players had 35 or more points. Fourteen of them could hit 100-plus points by the end of this campaign. I’ve excluded the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon, who has 34 points in 23 games but is sidelined for four weeks with an upper-body injury, which will likely keep him out of range for 100 points.

McDavid is the league leader with 54 points, putting him on pace to exceed 155 points. Draisaitl (46 points), Robertson (42 points) and Thompson (41 points) could reach 120 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov has 39 points, Crosby has 38, Pastrnak, the Florida Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk and the San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson each have 37.

The Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner has 35 points. Kaprizov, along with the Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, and the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin each have 34.

Again, by my rough estimates, they could reach or exceed 100 points.

Bear in mind that scoring tends to decline over the course of the season as games become more meaningful for playoff contenders and defenses tend to tighten up. Still, these numbers suggest we could see at least five players reach the 50-goal plateau and perhaps 10 topping 100 points.

What’s behind this rise in scoring? As I recently observed in my NHL Puck Drops column in The Guardian (PEI), a combination of factors appears to be at play here.

A growing number of players are faster, younger and more highly skilled. There are more puck-moving defensemen compared to recent years. Because of the growing number of younger stars, as Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella recently observed, there are also more defensive mistakes being made.

Teams have improved their play with the man advantage to generate more scoring chances. Players are also driving more to the net and getting more goals with deflections and tip-ins. The quality of goaltending also seems to be on the decline as today’s scorers appear to have figured out how to beat the butterfly style favored by goalies since the early-1990s.

The growing rise in scoring could concern those fans who fear a return to the wide-open style of the 1980s when the quality of defensive play was rather poor. I don’t think that’s going to happen because there remains an emphasis on two-way skills in today’s league.

What we could be seeing is a more entertaining style of game with more offensive chances. At the same time, we should still see skillful defensive play that doesn’t rely on uncalled obstruction that dominated the Dead Puck Era of the league 1990s and early 2000s.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

The Lightning’s Steve Stamkos reaches a scoring milestone, the Stars’ Jason Robertson extends his points streak, the three stars and the rookie of the month for November are revealed, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos became the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Stamkos assisted on the second of Nick Paul’s two goals to reach the milestone while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves as the Lightning improved their record to 14-8-1. Travis Konecny replied for the Flyers as they fall to 8-11-5.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ teammates poured off the bench to congratulate their captain on his achievement. The 32-year-old forward shows no signs of slowing down, leading his club with 13 goals and sitting second in points with 28.

Konecny and Tony DeAngelo returned to the Flyers’ lineup after being briefly sidelined by injuries. Earlier in the day, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Ryan Ellis will not play this season. He’s been sidelined since last November by what could be a career-threatening back injury.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 17 games by tallying a hat trick as his club blanked the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Jake Oettinger made 31 saves for the shutout while Miro Heiskanen collected three assists. The Stars (14-6-4) have 32 points and hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division. The Ducks (6-16-2) sit dead last in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson is the first player to score 20 goals this season.

Colorado Avalanche center scored two goals and set up three others in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. J.T. Compher scored twice and collected two assists as the Avalanche improved to 13-7-1. Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each had a goal and two assists for the 10-13-1 Sabres.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but rallied to down the league-leading New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Ryan Johansen tallied twice, including the game-winner as the Predators improved to 11-9-2. Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each collected two assists for the Devils (19-4-1) as their 39 points put them one up on the Boston Bruins in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by Jake Guentzel and Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Guentzel, Kapanen and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (12-8-4). Logan Thompson made 43 saves and Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the 17-7-1 Golden Knights as they sit atop the Western Conference with 35 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby credited sidelined teammate Kris Letang as inspiration for his club’s win. Letang is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a minor stroke on Monday. Letang went for a brief skate on his own yesterday morning but it was more for his mental health than anything else. His condition is not considered career-threatening but there’s no timetable for his return.

The Seattle Kraken improved to 15-5-3 and moved to within two points of the Golden Knights with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Matty Beniers scored the winner as the Kraken overcame a 2-0 deficit while Andre Burakovsky and Vince Dunn each picked up two assists. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals fell to 10-11-4.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook tallied a hat trick in a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns picked up two assists for the 13-6-5 Hurricanes while Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich each had two points for the Blues, who drop to 11-12-0.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Kaprizov set a franchise record for consecutive games with assists (nine) while extending his points streak to 10 games while the Wild improve to 11-9-2. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the 13-11-0 Oilers. McDavid leads all NHL scorers with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled defenseman Andrej Sustr to replace Jonas Brodin, who’s out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan collected two assists while Jake Allen kicked out 45 shots in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens (12-10-1) while Elias Lindholm replied for the 10-10-3 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Monahan’s first game in Calgary against the Flames since he was traded to the Canadiens in the offseason. He received a video tribute from his former club and a standing ovation from Flames fans. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced that winger Brendan Gallagher would miss the game with a lower-body injury while winger Mike Hoffman (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

The Florida Panthers got two goals from Sam Bennett and three points from Matthew Tkachuk to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 and improve their record to 11-9-4. Dakota Joshua replied for the Canucks (9-12-3), who also lost goaltender Thatcher Demko in the first period with an apparent injury to his right leg. No word as to the severity of Demko’s injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored twice, including the winning goal in the third period, to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Kings (13-9-4). Rookies Dylan Guenther and Matias Macelli each collected two assists for the Coyotes, who fell to 7-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings goaltender Cal Petersen cleared waivers yesterday and was sent to the Kings’ AHL affiliate.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Stars winger Jason Robertson, Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are the NHL’s three stars for November 2022. Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson is the rookie of the month for November.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Tyler Bertuzzi on injured reserve with a hand injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for the Senators to reach an agreement on a new contract with restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton passed yesterday without a deal. Formenton, 23, is now ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season but his rights are still held by the Senators.

TSN: Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok is expected to miss some time after leaving Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks with a groin injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Jarred Tinordi (hip) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 27 and recalled blueliner Ian Mitchell from their AHL affiliate in Rockford.

Former Buffalo Sabres center Riley Sheahan has signed with EHC Biel in Switzerland. Sheahan and the Sabres mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this week after he decline demotion to their AHL affiliate.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2022

Alex Ovechkin sets a goal-scoring record, the Kraken and Kings play the highest-scoring game thus far this season, the Stars re-sign Roope Hintz to a lucrative new contract, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored twice to surpass Wayne Gretzky for the most career road goals (403) in a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for the Capitals and Anthony Mantha collected two points for the Capitals (10-11-3). Nil Hoglander replied for the Canucks as they fall to 9-11-3.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gretzky scored 402 road goals during his career. Ovechkin now has 793 total career goals and needs just nine more to move past Gordie Howe (801) in second place on the all-time list. He currently has 13 goals in 24 games this season.

An overtime goal by Andre Burakovsky lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Los Angeles Kings 9-8 in the highest-scoring game of the season thus far. Burakovsky, Jared McCann and Matty Beniers each scored twice while Jordan Eberle collected four assists for the Kraken (14-5-3) as they picked up their sixth straight win. Kevin Fiala had four assists, Drew Doughty collected three helpers and Gabriel Vilardi tallied twice as the Kings drop to 12-9-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a record-setting game for the Kraken, winning their franchise-best sixth consecutive game, scoring the most goals in one game and the most combined goals.

Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler collected a hat trick and picked up an assist as his club blanked the Colorado Avalanche 5-0. Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 40-save shutout while Mark Scheifele and Cole Perfetti collected three points each as the Jets improved their record to 14-6-1. Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev gave up five goals on 23 shots as his club fell to 12-7-1.

The Boston Bruins regained first place in the overall standings with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, extending their league-record season-opening home wins streak to 13 games. Taylor Hall scored two goals while Jeremy Swayman kicked out 27 shots for the win. Steven Stamkos scored to pick up his 999th career point as his Lightning dropped to 13-8-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins (19-3-0) are tied with the New Jersey Devils (38 points) but have a game in hand and have lost one fewer game. Before the game, they activated defenseman Derek Forbort and demoted Anton Swayman to their AHL affiliate.

Calgary Flames winger Dillon Dube had a goal and two assists while goalie Dan Vladar stopped 31 shots to defeat the Florida Panthers 6-2 and improve their record to 10-9-3. Sam Reinhart and Nick Cousins replied for the 10-9-4 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was Matthew Tkachuk’s first game in Calgary since forcing a trade to the Florida Panthers during the offseason. He was honored by the Flames with a video tribute and a standing ovation by most Calgary fans but was booed every time he touched the puck in this contest.

An overtime goal by Brett Pesce gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for the Hurricanes (12-6-5) while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel replied for the 11-8-4 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were furious following the game as an uncalled boarding penalty by Carolina winger Seth Jarvis on Bryan Rust led to Pesce’s goal.

The Philadelphia Flyers snapped their 10-game winless skid by downing the New York Islanders 3-1. Kevin Hayes tallied two goals and Carter Hart turned in a 23-save effort for the 8-10-5 Flyers. Noah Dobson replied for the Islanders as they drop to 15-9-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Scott Laughton returned to the lineup following a four-game absence with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi’s scored in overtime as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 2-1. Colton Sissons also tallied for the Predators as they improved to 10-9-2. John Gibson made 39 saves and Troy Terry scored for the Ducks, who hold the league’s worst record at 6-15-2.

The San Jose Sharks blanked the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Tomas Hertl scored twice and Kaapo Kahkonen made 28 saves for the shutout as the Sharks improve to 8-13-4. The Canadiens went 0-6 on the powerplay and drop to 11-10-1 on the season.

NOTABLE NEWS

DALLAS HOCKEY NOW: The Stars signed center Roope Hintz to an eight-year, $67.6 million contract extension. The average annual value is $8.45 million and goes into effect for the 2023-24 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a big increase for Hintz over the $3.15 million AAV of his current contract. The 26-year-old was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in July and would’ve also been a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Hintz earned that big payday centering the Stars’ top line with wingers Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski since 2020-21. He had 43 points in 41 games despite being hampered by injury during that COVID-shortened season. The Finnish center enjoyed a career-best 72-point performance last season and has 24 points in 22 games thus far in this campaign.

The Stars now have young core players like Hintz, Robertson, defenseman Miro Heiskanen and goaltender Jake Oettinger signed for at least the next two seasons.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Tempe City Council voted 7-0 in favor of the Arizona Coyotes’ proposed 16,000 arena proposal. The next (and potentially final) step will be a referendum by Tempe citizens to be held on May 16, 2023.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the Coyotes are willing to sign a 30-year non-relocation agreement if the arena proposal goes forward. The league will also bring an NHL draft or an all-star game to the new arena.