NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

The three stars and the rookie of the month for April are announced, the Red Wings fire head coach Jeff Blashill, plus the latest on Carey Price, Ryan Ellis, Patrik Laine, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are the NHL’s three stars for April 2022. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was named the rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings yesterday fired head coach Jeff Blashill. They also announced assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko were relieved of their duties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill spent seven seasons as the Wings’ bench boss. He wasn’t to blame for the club’s struggles as management tore down and rebuilt the roster during those years. However, the Wings’ failure to meet heightened expectations this season led to his downfall.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could seek a head coach who will demand more from his players and develop the club’s young talent. He listed former NHL coaches like John Tortorella, Paul Maurice, Claude Julien, and Jim Montgomery among the possible candidates Yzerman could consider as Blashill’s replacement. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings GM hires one of those veterans or opts for someone else.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he didn’t believe the current state of his surgically repaired knee would be sustainable to play an entire season. He indicated he’ll be seeking a second opinion regarding ongoing swelling of the knee after games and didn’t rule out a second procedure.

Price, 34, admitted he approached Friday’s season-closing game against the Florida Panthers as if it could be his last. Nevertheless, he remains determined to resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will have a longer offseason recovery period this time around compared to last year. Still, the uncertainty over his future could affect the Canadien’s offseason plans. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, general manager Kent Hughes said he’d like to sign interim head coach Martin St. Louis to a three-year contract. On Friday, St. Louis indicated he would be shedding the interim tag and returning next season behind the Canadiens’ bench.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens showed noticeable improvement once St. Louis took over in February. It bodes well for what he might be able to achieve with a better, healthier roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis dismissed recent speculation suggesting he was unhappy with the team. He also indicated he and the club have determined the root cause of the pelvic injury that limited him to just four games this season. Ellis indicated they now have a clear rehab plan in place and he’s hoping to be healthy for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was expected to be the core piece of the Flyers’ defense corps and an important part of what management hoped would be a bounce-back season for the club. His absence played a big part in their downfall. Getting him back healthy for 2022-23 could help the Flyers get back on track.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the subject of Flyers defensemen, Keith Yandle played the final game of his NHL career on Saturday as confirmed by teammate Nick Seeler. The 35-year-old reigning NHL Ironman (989 consecutive games) didn’t speak to the media yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle’s performance has been in decline over the past three seasons. In 1,109 games with the Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, he has 103 goals and 516 assists for 619 career regular-season points.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine doesn’t see any issues that would prevent him from signing a new contract this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He also thanked the club for their support as he coped with injuries and the death of his father in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine had 56 points in as many games to finish third among Jackets scorers. He’s completing a one-year, $7.5 million contract and could seek a lucrative long-term deal.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins admitted he found it difficult at times this season to maintain his focus while dealing with the grief of the sudden death last summer of his close friend Matiss Kivlenieks. He said he and goalie coach Manny Legace relied on each other to cope with the emotional trauma. Kivlenieks died during a fireworks accident at Legace’s home last July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins admitted he was rattled at times earlier this season by the celebratory cannon fired at Blue Jackets home games and from fireworks displays during last New Year’s Eve celebrations. He managed to overcome those issues thanks in part to Legace’s support.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal indicated his willingness to sign a contract extension. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win,” said Barzal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would probably love to ink Barzal to a new deal this summer. His reputation as a tough negotiator, however, could make it a slow process. I’m not saying it won’t get done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag on through the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets chairman Mark Chipman confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue in his role into the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That douses the recent rumors floating around about Cheveldayoff’s future. He has a busy offseason coming up as he must find a new head coach, improve the Jets’ porous defense, and sign restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new contract.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was fined $2,187.50 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno on Friday. Avs forward Logan O’Connor was fined $1,812.50 for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the same game.

ARIZONA HOCKEY NOW: The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena while awaiting word on a proposed new NHL arena in Tempe.

THE ATHLETIC: Malcolm Subban earned praise from his Buffalo Sabres teammates after singing the National Anthem during the club’s final game of the season on Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban sounded pretty good. Maybe there’s a future for him as a singer following his playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2022

The Panthers stage a four-goal third-period comeback, Kirill Kaprizov sets a Wild franchise record, Keith Yandle’s Ironman streak comes to an end and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Down 6-2 to the New Jersey Devils entering the third period, the Florida Panthers scored four unanswered goals and emerged with a 7-6 victory on Gustav Forsling’s overtime goal. Forsling and Aleksander Barkov each scored twice. Spencer Knight got the win as he replaced goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in the third period. Yegor Sharangovich tallied a hat trick for the Devils. The Panthers became the second team to reach 100 points this season and hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist in his club’s 3-1 win over the Hurricanes to set a new franchise single-season record of 85 points (and counting). Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 37 shots as the Wild have a three-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for second place in the Central Division with 89 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild rookie Matt Boldy missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He has 27 points in 35 games this season.

The Colorado Avalanche are on the verge of becoming the first team to clinch a playoff berth after downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Devon Toews snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Avalanche hold a four-point lead over the Panthers for first overall in the league standings with 104 points. Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each had two points while Darcy Kuemper stopped 38 shots. Jake Guentzel had two assists for the Penguins (92 points), who sit one point back of the second-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri missed this game with an upper-body injury and could be sidelined for some time. He’s expected to be back for the playoffs which begin on May 2.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said the club is optimistic over the status of winger Jason Zucker as they await further updates on his condition. Zucker’s been sidelined since Thursday after suffering an apparent leg injury against the Wild.

Tyler Seguin collected three assists and Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist as the Dallas Stars held off the San Jose Sharks 5-4 to regain the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 81 points. Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson also each had two-point performances for the Stars. Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro returned to the lineup after being sidelined for five weeks by a broken leg.

Los Angeles Kings forwards Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe each had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. With the win, the Kings (86 points) moved within three points of the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for the Jets (76 points), who slip five points behind the Stars in the race for the final Western wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Flames, they dropped a 6-4 decision to the St. Louis Blues. Justin Faulk had a goal and two assists while teammates Brayden Schenn, Robert Thomas and Brandon Saad each had two points for the Blues (86 points), who sit three points back of the second-place Wild in the Central Division. Johnny Gaudreau scored his 32nd goal of the season for the Flames, who announced before the game that center Sean Monahan will undergo season-ending surgery on his left hip. Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington also missed this game as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the same procedure Monahan had done on his right hip last year. His performance seemed to suffer in the aftermath of that first surgery, making him the topic of trade speculation. He has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.375 million.

Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 51st goal of the season, Morgan Rielly a goal and two assists while Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each collected two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell made 29 saves as he returned to action after missing 10 games with a rib injury. The Leafs are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 93 points but hold second place in the Atlantic Division with 44 wins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle was a healthy scratch, bringing his NHL-record consecutive game streak to an end at 989. Flyers coach Mike Yeo faced criticism for benching Yandle given the club is eliminated from the playoffs and the blueliner only needed 11 more games to extend his record to 1,000 games.

Yeo explained it was part of the club’s decision to evaluate younger players for next season. Yandle took the decision in stride, saying management had spoken to him about the club’s plans over the final weeks of the regular season.

The Lightning, meanwhile, fell to the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on a shootout goal by Nick Suzuki. Jake Allen made 37 saves for the Canadiens as they got the win in Martin St. Louis’ first game as head coach against his former club in Tampa Bay. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists for the Lightning.

Boston Bruins center Erik Haula scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists for the Bruins (91 points) as they opened a seven-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

In other news, the NHL department of player safety suspended Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Ritchie for one game for slashing Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2022

The Oilers match their longest home win streak, the Sabres honor long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, the three stars and top rookie for March are announced and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers tied their franchise-record home win streak at nine games with a 6-5 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues, who overcame 4-1 and 5-3 deficits to force the extra period. Connor McDavid scored twice, including the game-winner. Zach Hyman also had two goals and Evander Kane had a three-point night for the Oilers (83 points) as they sit one point back of the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Pavel Buchnevich tallied twice for the Blues, who are in third place in the Central Division with 84 points.

Buffalo Sabres honor broadcaster Rick Jeanneret (NHL.com).

The Buffalo Sabres honored long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret with a pre-game banner ceremony before going on to defeat the Nashville Predators 4-3. Jeanneret, the voice of the Sabres since 1971, is retiring at the end of this season. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres while Ryan Johansen had two assists for the Predators, who remain in the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 82 points.

Jack Eichel scored two goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. Evgenii Dadonov collected two assists as the Golden Knights regained the second Western wild-card spot with 80 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got two goals from Ross Colton to down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Colton and Nick Paul each finished the night with three points as the Lightning picked up their fourth straight victory to move into second place in the Atlantic Division with 92 points. During a break in the action, the Lightning honored Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson with a video tribute. Johnson was a member of the Bolts for nine seasons before being traded last summer to the Blackhawks.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to shut out the New York Rangers 3-0. Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Mathew Barzal were the goal scorers. The Rangers (93 points) remain one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Anaheim Ducks got a 22-save shutout from Anthony Stolarz to blank the Arizona Coyotes 5-0. Trevor Zegras netted his second lacrosse-style goal of the season while Isac Lundestrom tallied twice and picked up an assist as the Ducks snapped their 11-game winless skid.

Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph scored his first NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Mads Sogaard made 27 saves for his first NHL victory. Lucas Raymond netted both Red Wings goals.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, and Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are the NHL’s three stars for March 2022. Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield was named rookie of the month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi had 28 points in 14 games through March to overtake the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar as the leading scorer among defensemen with 81 points. The Predators captain is making a strong case for his second Norris Trophy. Caufield, meanwhile, continues to blossom since Martin St. Louis took over as Canadiens coach in February, picking up 15 points in as many games last month.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov could break the franchise single-season points record in tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. With 83 points, Kaprizov is tied with Marian Gaborik.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: An illness could bring Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle’s 989-game Ironman streak to an end if he’s unable to suit up tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yandle broke the original Ironman record of 964 earlier this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 3, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 3, 2022

Check out the latest on the Canadiens, Flyers, Capitals, Leafs and Blue Jackets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Responding to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun’s recent report claiming the Canadiens could be aggressive in this summer’s free-agent market, Marco D’Amico listed Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, San Jose’s Tomas Hertl and Nashville’s Filip Forsberg as potential UFA targets, with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Colorado’s Nazem Kadri and Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury as honorable mentions.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

D’Amico’s colleague Jimmy Murphy pointed out rumors have linked Letang to the Canadiens for some time. The 34-year-old Penguins defenseman’s former agent is Kent Hughes, who’s now the Habs general manager. Letang, meanwhile, laughed off the speculation though it’s possible the blueliner could be playing his final season with the Penguins.

Meanwhile, D’Amico observed reports of the Edmonton Oilers scouting Tuesday’s Canadiens – Winnipeg Jets game. He wondered if they may have been checking out Canadiens defenseman (and pending UFA) Ben Chiarot.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Jeff Petry could be changing his mind about wanting a trade out of Montreal since Martin St. Louis took over as head coach from Dominique Ducharme. The 34-year-old defenseman struggled under Ducharme this season and openly criticized him. He’s since regained his form under St. Louis. He also acknowledged the Habs’ new bench boss is the type of coach that might make him want to stay in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Canadiens management will aggressively pursue free agents but Habs fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $79 million invested in just nine active roster players for 2022-23. They’ll be allowed to go over next season’s $82.5 million with the all-but-retired Shea Weber ($7.857 million) going on long-term injury reserve again, and they could get $10.5 million more if the same thing happens to goaltender Carey Price.

However, the Canadiens have long had difficulty attracting top free agents to Montreal. Part of that’s because of the high provincial taxes and Quebec being a francophone province. Part of it is because Montreal is among the NHL’s most demanding markets. Another is they haven’t been very good for a long time.

Letang and Bergeron could be loyal to Hughes, but I doubt that will sway them to sign with the Canadiens. Letang prefers to stay in Pittsburgh but if that’s not possible I see him trying to join a Cup contender. Bergeron will finish his career with the Bruins.

As for Petry, he might be willing to stay in Montreal now but management could have other plans if they need to free up cap space. If there’s a market for Petry, they could explore it.

FLYERS

SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston listed the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild as potential trade destinations for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: With the trade deadline approaching, could Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle agree to waive his no-movement clause. Moving on to another club could put his Ironman streak in jeopardy, whereas he’d have a good chance of running it to 1,000 games if he remains a Flyer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche, Blue and Wild are said to be Giroux’s preferences though recent reports indicate he hasn’t yet approached Flyers management about waiving his no-movement clause. Of the three, the Wild could stand the best chance of landing him given their salary-cap space.

The Panthers are believed more interested in adding a top-four left-shot defenseman. The Lightning has no cap space so it’ll require considerable wizardry on the part of GM Julien BriseBois to bring Giroux to Tampa Bay.

No offense to Yandle, whose Ironman streak is a significant achievement, but I don’t think there’s much of a market for him now. I can see him finishing this season in Philadelphia.

CAPITALS

THE SCORE: Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said his club might not be as aggressive in the market leading up to the trade deadline compared to previous years. He acknowledged his roster needs help to return to where they were at the start of 2022 when they were among the top teams.

MacLellan cited his inexperienced goaltending duo of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek as needing improvement. He admitted calling around the league earlier in this season but couldn’t find anyone that would get them over the hump.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber also reported on MacLellan’s comments about the Capitals goaltending. In addition, she noted MacLellan acknowledging a need for an upgrade among the club’s middle-six forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have over $3.8 million in projected trade deadline cap space. Finding suitable trade options that fit within that space to address those needs could be difficult.

MacLellan could be seeking more of a hockey trade similar to the deal he swung at last year’s deadline with Detroit that brought him forward Anthony Mantha, who’s been sidelined since November but is expected to return to the lineup soon.

Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury is the best rental option but he doesn’t seem keen to waive his no-trade clause. After that, the depth drops sharply in the quality of available goaltenders.

MAPLE LEAFS

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien reports there are few decent options to address the concerns over the Toronto Maple Leafs shaky goaltending. While Marc-Andre Fleury is the best of the bunch that could be available, he also has a history of giving up bad goals, something that could be magnified playing in the intense Toronto market.

Others options are either backups (Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev, Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo, Vancouver’s Jaroslav Halak, Ottawa’s Anton Forsberg and San Jose’s James Reimer) or past-their-prime starters like Dallas’ Braden Holtby and Philadelphia’s Martin Jones. The New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov carries a $5 million cap hit through next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Leafs could end up sticking with the current tandem of Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek for the remainder of the season. They could end up trying to shore up their defense.

BLUE JACKETS

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has no patience for the trade rumors swirling around winger Patrik Laine. “Yeah, it bothers me because people make shit up, that’s what bothers me,” he said.

Laine’s status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a one-year, $7.5 million contract has sparked media speculation about his future in Columbus. Kekalainen said when the time is right he’ll sit down with Laine’s representatives to examine their options in order to keep him with the Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gotta love it when general managers let their guard down a little and get salty. Laine has said he enjoys living and playing in Columbus. Nevertheless, it could prove very expensive for the Jackets to sign him. It could make for an interesting summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2022

Keith Yandle sets Ironman record but Flyers woes continue, the Panthers regain first place in the overall standings, injury updates for Erik Karlsson and Jason Zucker, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle set the NHL Ironman record by appearing in his 965th consecutive game but his club endured a franchise-record 13th straight loss by falling 4-3 to the New York Islanders. Zach Parise snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period for the Islanders.

Philadelphia Flyers defeneman Keith Yandle (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Yandle on his record-setting achievement. It’s among the few bright spots in a miserable season for the Flyers. Their ongoing tumble in the standings won’t result in another coaching change. They’re sticking with interim bench boss Mike Yeo and hired John Torchetti as an assistant coach. The club is expected to evaluate its coaching staff at season’s end. Tochetti could be Yeo’s successor as he replaced him as Wild head coach in 2016.

The Florida Panthers opened a two-point lead (63 points) over the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning atop the overall standings with a 5-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mason Marchment scored twice and chipped in an assist for the Panthers. The Jets (41 points) are five points out of the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

A four-point performance by Joe Pavelski (two goals, two assists) powered the Dallas Stars over the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Roope Hintz scored for the fourth straight game while Braden Holtby picked up the win with a 38-save performance. They played without defenseman John Klingberg, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. With 46 points, the Stars vault into the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Pittsburgh Penguins tallied four straight third-period goals in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each had a goal and two assists while Kris Letang tallied twice. Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz scored twice and collected an assist. With 59 points, the Penguins sit one point behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins played without winger Jason Zucker as he underwent core-muscle surgery and will be sidelined indefinitely. He’s earning an annual average value of $5.5 million. The Penguins could use that as cap relief if he ends up on long-term injury reserve for the rest of the season, potentially allowing them space to become buyers at the March 21 trade deadline.

Sebastian Aho scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nolan Patrick had a goal and an assist for Vegas as they overcame a 3-1 deficit to force the extra frame. The Hurricanes sit one point back of the Penguins while the Golden Knights remain in first place in the Pacific Division with 53 points.

The Nashville Predators regained second place in the Central Division (57 points) by doubling up the Seattle Kraken 4-2. Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist, Matt Duchene tallied his 20th goal of the season and Juuse Saros kicked out 33 shots for the Predators.

An overtime goal by Connor McDavid lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers (42 points) move to within four points of the final Western wild-card spot. Spencer Martin made 47 saves in a losing cause for the Canucks, who sit one point behind the Oilers.

The Ottawa Senators got a hat trick from Tyler Ennis and a 32-save shutout from Matt Murray to blank the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. It was a costly win for the Senators as leading scorer Drake Batherson (34 points) left the game with an ankle injury after a questionable hit by Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell sent him crashing awkwardly into the boards. Dylan Gambrell also left the game in the first with an upper-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has surgery to repair a small muscle tear in his left forearm. He’s expected to be sidelined until at least mid-March.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are battling for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Losing Karlsson will be a big blow to their blueline. He has 26 points in 33 games this season.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly close to naming Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Patrik Allvin as their new GM. Allvin’s spent 16 seasons with the Penguins and worked for Canucks president Jim Rutherford during the latter’s tenure as Penguins GM.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk isn’t pleased with the Ontario government’s COVID limitations on arena capacity. “They’re misinformed and they’re miscalculated. They should be challenged and they will be challenged.” The club was allowed to have 500 fans in attendance starting Monday, but they will play 11 games at home before restrictions are lifted to 50 percent capacity by Feb. 21.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2022

Keith Yandle ties the league’s Ironman record, Chris Kreider takes the lead in the goal-scoring race, the Avalanche takes over first overall in the standings, the Canucks hire their first female assistant GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle tied the NHL’s Ironman record of 964 consecutive games but his club also tied a franchise record with its 12th straight defeat in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves as the Stars won their third straight game to sit tied with the Calgary Flames with 44 points.

Philadelphia Flyers defeneman Keith Yandle (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Yandle, who can break the record tonight against the New York Islanders. It’s the sole bright spot for the Flyers of late, who hold the fourth-worst record (13-21-8, 34 points) in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Flames, they’ve taken over the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference by thumping the St. Louis Blues 7-1. Matthew Tkachuk collected a career-high five assists while Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three helpers for Calgary, who hold two games in hand over the Stars and five games over the San Jose Sharks, who also have 44 points.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored his league-leading 30th goal of the season as his club beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Adam Fox tallied the winning goal in a shootout while teammate Artemi Panarin picked up two assists for the Rangers, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 60 points and are just one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Kings, meanwhile, slip to third in the Pacific Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers played without Kaapo Kakko as the 20-year-old winger is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Filip Chytil also missed this game as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Colorado Avalanche extended its home winning streak to 16 games and its points streak to 13 by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Pavel Francouz turned in a 23-save shutout while Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers. With 61 points, the Avalanche sits atop the Western Conference and has taken over first place in the overall standings.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist and Hampus Lindholm collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Boston Bruins 5-3. With the win, the Ducks slipped ahead of the Kings into second place in the Pacific with 49 points. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 50 points. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is considered day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask did not look sharp in this game as he struggles to shake off the rust from his lengthy absence recovering from offseason hip surgery. He’s won two of his four starts but gave up five goals in each of his losses and has a 4.29 goals-against average and .844 save percentage after four games.

Robin Lehner made 34 saves and Michael Amadio scored the only goal as the Vegas Golden Knights shut out the Washington Capitals 1-0. It was the seventh straight road victory for Vegas, who remains atop the Pacific Division with 52 points. The Capitals hold the first wild-card berth in the East with 55 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner had a frightening moment in the second period when a slapshot by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin broke the cage of his mask, forcing him to use the mask he wore last season as a backup. “It was probably the hardest shot I have ever taken to the head,” said Lehner. It was a little scary, as I felt the cage bend…”

The Minnesota Wild extended their points streak to seven games by crushing the Montreal Canadiens 8-2. Nico Sturm had a goal and two assists while Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon and Kevin Fiala were among eight Wild to finish the night with two points. Canadiens center Christian Dvorak left the game after a high hit by Spurgeon in the first period and didn’t pass the concussion protocol.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks made franchise history as Emilie Castonguay become the club’s first female assistant general manager. Castonguay had previously made history by becoming the first female NHLPA-certified player agent in 2016. She played NCAA Division 1 hockey in her youth and holds degrees in law and finance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Castonguay, who was also under consideration for the role of general manager of the Montreal Canadiens before they hired player agent Kent Hughes last week.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso and San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan 23, 2022.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair a fractured jaw.

DAILY FACEOFF: The International Ice Hockey Federation accidentally leaked Canada’s roster for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics before Hockey Canada’s official reveal today. Former NHLers include Eric Staal, Jason Demers, David Desharnais and Mark Barbeiro. 2021 NHL first-overall pick Owen Power and third-overall pick Mason McTavish are also on the roster.