NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2011.

Bruins win again…Maple Leafs snap Rangers five-game win streak…Capitals fall to Panthers…Blackhawks comeback against Coyotes falls short…Injuries to Valtteri Filppula and Paul Stastny not serious…Bruce Boudreau to meet with Jonas Hiller over critical comments…Results from study of late Derek Boogaard’s brain…Lightning lose Kubina to injury…Jordin Tootoo awaits fate for running Ryan Miller…Ron Hextall unable to play in Flyers-Rangers alumni game…ESPN fires Matthew Barnaby.

BOSTON HERALD: The Boston Bruins held Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scoreless while stretching their unbeaten streak to 14-0-1 with a 3-1 victory over the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were shaken up by hits in this game (Crosby from running into teammate Chris Kunitz), but both stayed in the game. The Bruins have been nothing short of impressive during this unbeaten run.

Phaneuf hit on Sauer highlight of Leafs win over Rangers.

NEW YORK POST: The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped the NY Rangers winning streak at five, downing the Blueshirts 4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The highlight of this game was a bone-crunching hit leveled by Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf upon Rangers blueliner Michael Sauer (L), which was a textbook example of a hard, clean hockey hit.

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals attempt to rally back from a 5-1 deficit against the Florida Panthers fell short, as the Panthers hung on for a 5-4 victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those keeping track, the Caps currently have only one win under new head coach Dale Hunter.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-0 deficit against the Phoenix Coyotes but ultimately fell 4-3 in a shootout.

DETROIT NEWS/DENVER POST: Detroit’s Valtteri Filppula and Colorado’s Paul Stastny aren’t expected to miss any games from injuries suffered in this weekend’s Red Wings-Avalanche game.

TAMPABAY.COM: A lower body injury to Pavel Kubina puts further stress on a Lightning defense which is missing veteran Mattias Ohlund to knee surgeries.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau will meet with goalie Jonas Hiller to discuss the goalie’s critical comments following Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Minnesota.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: A study of the brain of the late Derek Boogaard revealed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should continue the debate over hits to the head, as well as the NHLPA’s role in protecting its members.

BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres and Nashville Predators will await the decision today of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan regarding Predators Jordin Tootoo running Sabres goalie Ryan Miller during a recent game between the two clubs. Tootoo had a meeting with Shanahan on Monday.

PHILLY.COM: Former Flyers goalie and current LA Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall won’t be able to attend the Flyers-Rangers Winter Classic alumni game.

PHILLY.COM: ESPN fired hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby after DUI incident over the weekend in which he was found behind the wheel of an SUV which was missing a front tire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barnaby’s DUI incident will make him the butt of jokes, especially in the hockey blogosphere, but  there’s nothing funny about drunk driving. This isn’t Barnaby’s only brush with the law this year, and his behavior suggests he may need professional help regarding his drinking. Here’s hoping he gets the help he needs and gets his life back on track.


  1. I watched the Bruins/Pens tilt last night and must admit that the B’s look like THE powerhouse of the east right now. Im giving the early nod to Chara for the Hart trophy. The man is amazing.

  2. I have to ask though just how much alcohol would have to be consumed for one to either not notice or ignore the fact that they are only driving on 3 tires and a rim? Barnaby deserves all coming his way

  3. Two things.

    1)Phaneufs hit was not as clean as most people are making it out to be. He clearly jumps just before making contact. Also the Rangers player should be fined because his helmet was not on properly. That it one easy way to protect players that has not been used.

    2)If there was a direct link between hits to the head and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, then why doesn’t every single boxer or MMA fighter have serious brain damage. As Shanahan has said recently, but has not applied evenly, players should be responsible for their position on the ice and not place themselves in a vulnerable position unnecessarily.

  4. If he jumped, then why are BOTH his skates on the ice in the picture. Yes he has already made contact with Sauer, but that is does no provide enough time for him to then return to the ice. If he jumped and exploded off the ice into Sauer then in this picture he would BE OFF THE ICE!!!

    I hate the Leafs, but just admit that Phaneuf is one of the few players in the league who has demonstrated how to lay crushing hits all within the rules of the NHL

  5. You know it’s really sad about Barnaby. I am a Sabre fan and while I found him whinny and an instigator – he did his job. Its very evident that Barnaby needs help and ESPN should have suspended him on condition that he get the help he needs. Hopefully his friends and the NHL will step in and help him get himeself together otherwise I can see us reading about him as a statistic one of these days.

  6. How are the Bruins considered unbeaten… in regulation sure, but a loss is a loss and they lost to Detroit, just lucky the league still hands out the thanks for coming out point to the losers (“worst decision ever”)

  7. First, it would be nice to know that no one was injured and that it was only property damage when Barnaby lost a tire and wrecked the front of his rig. A vehicle without a tire is gonna drastically pull to that side, no way you can’t notice that unless you’re seriously, seriously impaired.
    Phaneuf did not leave his feet as much us lift his torso when making the hit. Boy do I miss a well-placed, cleanly executed hip check. Loose, barely protective helmets and armor plated shoulder pads are another area the league is dragging their feet in making safety a priority.
    What’s taking Shanny so long on Tootoo? The play happened Sat., the phone call yesterday and still no word 24 hours later. Is he now checking with GMs and other higher-ups to see what he should do?

  8. Hey Dman:
    Wasn’t it just awesome to watch a team tie 20 times a year?
    It was so great cause it created a tonne of separation in the standings.
    That way, we knew by February who was in and out.
    Man that was classic.
    Not that you sound like a parrot by being the millionth guy to pick up this bash the loser point stance.

  9. MMA fighters protect their heads more with their movement, defense and hands better than a helmet ever could.
    Just cause you got a bucket on your head doesn’t mean it’s impervious to harm

  10. @ Coof: Boogard was only diagnosed because his brain was dissected. In other words, MMA fighters could be suffering from this but if they do not have their brains donated to science, we may never know. The syptoms really show up after repeated blows to the head and get worse with time. So, as fighter may already have the early signs but still be able to compete. When it really starts to kick in, the fighters career is likey over and they are now well out of the spot light. Furthermore by virtue of genetics, some people are more likely to get it than others.

  11. Hey tuxedoTshirt… losen the bowtie, who said anything about going back to ties… I have a problem with a “professional sports league” awarding points to “losers”

    solution, you win earn 2 points, you lose… 0… crazy concept I know, but I think the NHL players are big enough boys to handle it.

    Read before you respond thanks