NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2024

The Canucks and Bruins extend their leads in their respective conference, the Oilers announced the signing of Corey Perry, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The league-leading Vancouver Canucks picked up their eighth win in their last nine games with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Thatcher Demko made 31 saves for his fifth shutout of the season while Pius Suter and Quinn Hughes were the goal scorers for the Canucks (32-11-4) as they sit atop the Western Conference with 68 points. Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots for the 14-31-2 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks forward Nick Foligno returned to action after being sidelined since Jan. 5 by a fractured finger. Chicago head coach Luke Richardson told reporters that there hasn’t been a change in the 6-8 week recovery period for rookie Connor Bedard (fractured jaw), who’s been sidelined since undergoing surgery on Jan. 8. Meanwhile, the Canucks announced defenseman Carson Soucy will be sidelined for five to six weeks with an injured hand.

Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman turned aside 20 shots to down the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. The Bruins extended their win streak to five games and are 6-0-3 in their last nine contests. With a record of 29-8-9, they’re first in the Eastern Conference and one point back of the Canucks in the overall standings. Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Jets (30-11-4) as they sit second in the Western Conference with 64 points.

New Jersey Devils winger Tyler Toffoli (NHL Images).

New Jersey Devils forward Tyler Toffoli completed a hat trick in overtime to lift his club to a 6-5 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Curtis Lazar tallied twice for the 24-18-3 Devils (51 points), who moved within two points of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and collected an assist for the Golden Knights (27-14-6) as they overcame a 3-1 deficit and at one point led 5-3. With 60 points, they’re second in the Pacific Division.

The Florida Panthers snapped a four-game losing skid by defeating the Nashville Predators 4-1. Sam Reinhart tallied his 34th goal of the season while Sam Bennett collected three assists for the Panthers (28-14-4) as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 60 points. Juuse Saros stopped 34 shots for the 25-21-1 Predators, who hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 51 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury while defenseman Gustav Forsling missed this match for family reasons.

Arizona Coyotes winger Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Connor Ingram made 25 saves for the 23-19-3 Coyotes (49 points) as they moved to within two points of the Predators. Lars Eller and Sidney Crosby replied for the 21-17-6 Penguins (48 points) as they remain five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Down 3-2 in the third period, the Penguins pulled their goalie for an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Kris Letang dropped a pass to teammate Evgeni Malkin but the latter inadvertently redirected the puck into his own net. As for the Coyotes, defenseman Matt Dumba left the game with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, they announced that blueliner Troy Stecher will be out for four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

A shootout goal by Fabian Zetterlund lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Zetterlund also scored in regulation while Kaapo Kahkonen kicked out 44 shots for the 12-31-4 Sharks. Quinton Byfield and Kevin Fiala each had two points for the 22-13-9 Kings (53 points), who hold the first Western wild-card spot but have just two wins in their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro left this game in the second period after taking a spill into the boards. There was no update regarding his status following this match.


TSN: The Edmonton Oilers yesterday officially announced they signed Corey Perry to a one-year, prorated contract. The deal carries a base salary of $775K with performance bonuses totaling $325K. To make room for Perry, the Oilers placed forward Adam Erne on waivers to send him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry practiced with the Oilers for the first time yesterday. He’s expected to make his debut in their lineup on Saturday against the Predators.

During his introductory press conference, Perry said he took full responsibility for the incident that led to his contract termination by the Chicago Blackhawks in November. He also said that he received help from counselors regarding mental health and other issues, thanking them along with his family and friends for their support.

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 21.

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck and Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor have been added to the 2024 NHL All-Star roster. They replace Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard and Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel, who are sidelined by injuries.

NEW YORK POST: Sidelined Rangers forward Filip Chytil is returning to New York after spending the last three weeks in his native Czechia recovering from a suspected concussion. There is no timetable for when he’ll return to the lineup or resume practicing with his teammates.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Islanders removed goaltender Semyon Varlamov from injured reserve. He has been sidelined for nearly three weeks with a lower-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Conor Timmins was fined $2,864.58 for cross-checking Seattle Kraken forward Brandon Tanev on Sunday.

THE MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens recalled defenseman Arber Xhekaj from their AHL affiliate in Laval, loaned blueliner Justin Barron to Laval and placed center Mitchell Stephens on waivers.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have sent rookie forward Bobby Brink to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley. He’d been a healthy scratch in four of the Flyers’ last six games and saw his ice time reduced in his last five contests.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron shot down another rumor suggesting he was training for a possible comeback in February. “No, it’s not happening,”, he said. “I’m not making a comeback, not trying to make a comeback.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This rumor started because Bergeron has been skating in the Boston area in a weekly gathering of friends and former NHL players. As he said back in August, he’s at peace with his decision to retire and is getting on with his life.

Perhaps one day Bergeron will return to the NHL in management, coaching or scouting. His playing days, however, are over. He’s 38 and has nothing left to prove or gain following a 19-year career as one of the greatest players in Bruins history, retiring while still at the top of his game.