NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2020
Game recaps, Avalanche coach accuses Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle, All-Star Game updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Zack Smith scored twice and Patrick Kane picked up his 998th career point as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. The Blackhawks (50 points) kept their playoff hopes alive by moving within four points of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Canadiens, meanwhile, are nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek scored in overtime as his club edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3, snapping the latter’s nine-game home winning streak. The Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force the extra period. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart missed last night’s game against the Blues with an abdominal strain. He’s expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar accused the Dallas Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle. Singling out Stars centers Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin, Bednar claimed they do a better job cheating on faceoffs than the Avs do. “We don’t feel like the linesmen were doing a good enough job (Tuesday), sort of holding (the respective teams) accountable to make it a level playing field on the faceoffs.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams cheating in the faceoff circle is an ongoing issue. The league has attempted to address this in the past and could revisit the problem.
CALGARY SUN: Flames goaltender David Rittich will replace sidelined Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of the Flames, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian will have to fight Milan Lucic when the two clubs face each other on Jan. 29. This stems from Kassian’s recent on-ice altercation with Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the fallout from that incident (including Kassian receiving a two-game suspension) and the anticipation for the next game between the two clubs, the league could attempt to diffuse this situation before the home-and-home series at month’s end.
The Oilers, meanwhile, re-signed defenseman Caleb Jones to a two-year, $1.7-million contract.
THE SCORE: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte revealed he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. “It’s not necessarily about telling my story,” Motte said. “It’s about to help that one person or those handful of people that need to know they’re not alone in it.”
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman suited up in goalie gear and took shots from Alex Ovechkin during a recent Washington Capitals practice.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed Brett Ritchie on waivers.