NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2023
Recaps of Wednesday’s games include comeback wins by the Canucks and Oilers, plus the latest on the Sabres’ Tage Thompson, the Kings’ Pierre-Luc Dubois and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
RECAPS OF WEDNESDAY’S NHL GAMES
NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Quinn Hughes lifted the Vancouver Canucks over the New York Islanders 4-3. Hughes, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller each had a goal and two assists as the Canucks overcome a 3-1 deficit to move into first overall in the Western Conference with 25 points (12-3-1) to sit one point back of the first overall Boston Bruins. Mathew Barzal collected two assists for the slumping Islanders (5-6-4) as they’ve won just three of their last 10 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vegas Golden Knights have an identical record but the Canucks hold first place in the West with 11 regulation wins.
The Canucks are off to an impressive start to this season. A big reason is they’re getting strong performances thus far from Hughes, Boeser, Miller, Elias Pettersson and Thatcher Demko.
Hughes, Pettersson and Miller are tied for the league lead in points with 26, Boeser is tied with Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor for the goal-scoring lead (13), Hughes is the overall assists leader (20) and Demko is among the goaltending leaders with a 2.04 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Canucks got some bad news earlier in the day as they announced defenseman Carson Soucy will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a leg injury.
The Edmonton Oilers got a natural hat trick from Evander Kane as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on an overtime goal by Kane. Evan Bouchard collected three assists for the 5-9-1 Oilers, who’ve won three straight games. Jared McCann tallied his seventh goal of the season for the Kraken as they slipped to 5-8-4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken winger Jordan Eberle returned to action in this game after being sidelined for a week by a deep cut to one of his legs from a skate blade during practice.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar collected three assists while Valeri Nichushkin scored twice in an 8-2 rout of the Anaheim Ducks. Joel Kiviranta had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche as they improved to 10-5-0 on the season. Sam Carrick and Max Jones replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 9-7-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson missed this game against his former club as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Philadelphia Flyers got a 31-save performance from Carter Hart to upset the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny and Ryan Poehling scored for the Flyers (8-7-1) while Stefan Noesen replied for the 9-7-0 Hurricanes.
TSN: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson is expected to miss at least a month with an injured left wrist.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres will look to Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Cozens to step up and fill the void during Thompson’s absence.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Pierre-Luc Dubois is drawing criticism for his “uninvolved, hesitant” play this season. He was acquired from the Kings during an offseason trade with the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article points out that when Dubois is playing his best within the Kings’ well-defined system he’s difficult to stop. However, they haven’t seen enough of that version of the 25-year-old center thus far. He has four goals and eight points in 14 games.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes are shedding their losing reputation this season. They’re playing as a team, believe in themselves and play hard to the very end of every game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I said at the start of this season not to sleep on the Coyotes. They’ve got a rising star in Clayton Keller, a reliable offensive presence in a healthy Nick Schmaltz, a promising rookie in Logan Cooley, a confident goal scorer in Lawson Crouse, a solid playmaker in Matias Maccelli and a defense bolstered by the offseason addition of Sean Durzi. They could be in the playoff hunt throughout 2023-24.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Rasmus Kupari will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an injured shoulder.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed forward Emil Bemstrom on waivers.