NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2021
Game recaps, players and rookie of the month, the Islanders’ schedule resumes following a COVID outbreak, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Auston Matthews’ hat trick powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to an 8-2 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche. John Tavares had a goal and two assists while William Nylander and Mitch Marner each collected two points. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in his return after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. With 35 points, the Leafs have won five straight games and move into first place in the overall standings.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to power his club past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Zach Hyman scored twice and Mikko Koskinen made 32 saves for the win. McDavid has reached 40 points and sits one back of league-leader and teammate Leon Draisaitl in the NHL scoring race.
Quinn Hughes collected four assists as his Vancouver Canucks rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting dead last in the overall standings, it’s increasingly apparent the rebuild isn’t over for the Senators. The defense remains porous and the goaltending atrocious.
Shootout goals by Dylan Larkin and Adam Erne gave the Detroit Red Wings their fourth straight win by nipping the Seattle Kraken 4-3. Lucas Raymond scored his 10th goal for the Red Wings and leads all NHL rookies in goals and points with 22. Fellow Wings rookie Moritz Seider chipped in two assists. Ryan Donato tallied twice for the Kraken. The Wings played without Tyler Bertuzzi, who will miss five games after being placed in COVID protocol.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi was the only unvaccinated NHL player.
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves to backstop his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers as they picked up their eighth win in their last nine games. The Flyers, meanwhile, have dropped seven in a row. They also lost winger Joel Farabee in the first period to an upper-body injury.
Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano each collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks held off the Vegas Golden Knights 6-5. Jamie Drysdale had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who’ve won three of their last four games. Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights.
Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri are the NHL’s three stars for November 2021.
Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond was named rookie of the month for November 2021.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raymond’s teammate Moritz Seider was rookie of the month in October. The duo has quickly established themselves among the Wings’ core players and are playing key roles in the rebuilding club’s improvement this season.
The New York Islanders returned to practice yesterday after having two games postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. They’re scheduled to face the San Jose Sharks tonight. Five players who were in COVID protocol (Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Ross Johnston, Andy Greene and Adam Pelech) practiced with their teammates yesterday.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere appear to be leading candidates for the general manager role with the Montreal Canadiens. Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy has openly expressed interest in the job but it doesn’t appear he’s on the Canadiens’ shortlist.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to Roy, his mercurial temperament could clash with executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton. The last thing the Canadiens need is a media circus with Roy stirring the pot.
Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning will not stand in Darche’s way if he agrees to interview for the Habs job. He’s currently the Lightning’s assistant GM.
TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports Martin Brodeur isn’t looking to leave the New Jersey Devils even if his name is out there as a candidate for the GM job in Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Luc Robitaille were all mentioned as possible management material for the Canadiens. I don’t see any of them leaving their current roles with their respective teams for Montreal.
The WHL’s Vancouver Giants announced former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has joined their club as an interim volunteer assistant coach.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The death of Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks on July 4 has been ruled accidental and no criminal charges will be sought.
TSN: The Los Angeles Kings reclaimed defenseman Christian Wolanin off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres, who had claimed Wolanin from the Kings back in October.