NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2011.

Sidney Crosby out indefinitely again, Claude Giroux to miss at least one more game, Zdeno Chara injury not serious, Brad Richards returns to Dallas, the value of David Backes, Erik Johnson must produce more, Erik Gudbranson learning NHL highs and lows, Martin St. Louis on the mend from eye injury, Devils edge Lightning, Desjardins and Marchand fined.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been sidelined indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms, though he’s passed an ImPACT neurocognitive test, and claimed he feels better than he did following his previous concussion injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has given rise to “beginning of the end” musings about Crosby’s career. This setback, while troubling, doesn’t mean his career is coming to an end. He and the Penguins are doing the right thing by ensuring he takes the time he needs to fully recover, which probably won’t take nearly as long as his previous one. Still, how Crosby deals with this, and how well he recovers, will be a hot topic of conversation and debate.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Claude Giroux is recovering well from his head injury, but won’t play tonight against Washington and is questionable on Thursday against Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux and the Flyers aren’t going to rush his recovery. Hopefully, he’ll be back by the weekend.

Chara's knee injury not serious.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said his knee injury isn’t as serious as feared, as it’s only a minor sprain. He’s expected back in the lineup by next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, Bruins fans can collectively exhale a sigh of relief.

ESPN.COM: New York Rangers center Brad Richards will face the Dallas Stars tonight, his first game facing his former team since signing with the Rangers as a UFA.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues captain David Backes a major factor in the Blues turnaround this season.

DENVER POST: Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has to provide more production, as he’s yet to score a goal this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson is the Avs best puck-moving defenseman, but with only nine points (all assists) in 25 games, he’s not providing the offense his team needs.

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Erik Gudbranson adjusting to the NHL learning curve.

TBO.COM: Lightning winger Martin St. Louis is on the mend following a recent eye injury suffered during practice. Once he returns, he expects to wear a visor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: St. Louis was lucky he didn’t suffer permanent, potentially career-ending damage. Wearing a visor doesn’t make you weak, and with today’s technology, fogging isn’t much of an issue anymore. The best players in the game wear them without a problem. This should be common sense by now. 

NJ.COM: Zach Parise and Adam Henrique lead the Devils to a 5-4 win over the Lightning.

KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has fined San Jose Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins (boarding) and Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (slew-footing) $2,500.00 each.


  1. Visors should be mandatory.

  2. Ranzeir,
    Agreed 100%. Just grandfather them in at this point. Every player wears them their entire career now before entering the NHL/KHL.

  3. Watching the NJ game last night I find it presumptuous (I’ll leave it at that) that there continues to be heavy traffic on the blogosphere claiming “Parise wants out”, usually followed by some half-baked trade scenario where he ends up on the writer’s team for a couple cast-offs and a back-up goalie. For the record I am not a Devils fan, but there is just way too much fight and desire in that dog to say he’s unhappy in NJ, not to mention every comment he’s ever made on the subject speaks to the opponent. Plus that top line seems to have found some real chemistry. Not saying he can’t be traded but players like Parise don’t come around often and it would take a huge offer to even be considered, not the ridiculous salary dump scenarios I’ve seen batted around.

  4. With regards to slew-footing, why hasn’t the NHL taken it more seriously? Though fewer injuries arise because of it, the maneuver is as dirty as they get.

  5. Good to see the Penguins are taking their time and making sure that Crosby comes back when good and ready. We all know that the Penguins are excellent team with 87 in the line-up, and still a very good one when out. Hope GMs thru out the league are taking notes, that good depth at all positions is the key to successful season and playoffs. Don’t wait around to see if disaster is going besiege your team before reacting. A coach with good bench skills along with a good gm supporting him, makes all the difference in the world.

    Hope your taking good note of this Mr. Molson and Gauthier.

  6. Marchand: “NOW that’s a penalty? I wouldn’t have a cup if it was called in the spring.”
    Calling all media outlets: Time to flood the world with news that Niskanen is a diver.

  7. @tuxedoTshirt – lol.

    Which raises an interesting topic I’ve thought about for a while. Is there another sport out there where the way referees call the game in the regular season vs the playoffs so wildly different?

  8. Time to start talking about Adam henrique, he is a rookie who has been playing pk, pp and first line centre between praise and kovalchuck, he has 3 game winners and 3 short handed points

  9. Erik Johnson is not the Avs best puck moving defensemen. He gets that claim only because of his status as a first overall pick. Stefan Elliott is the best pucking moving defensemen on the Avs followed by Kyle Quincy and then it is a toss-up between Johnson and Ryan Wilson (who is out due to a cheap shot by Max Lapierre). However, this does not deminish the fact that Johnson has to pick up his offensive game, and his defensive game for that matter.