NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2012.

Evgeni Malkin carries Penguins over Lightning…Stars’ Jamie Benn sidelined…David Perron regaining confidence…Jason Blake leads Ducks over Canucks…Capitals edge Hurricanes….Scolding two veteran superstars for skipping the All Star Game…The Devils debt woes continues…Wild need offense from the blueline…Red Wings could make history tonight….


Malkin's hat trick carries Penguins over Lightning.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Evgeni Malkin potted a hat trick as the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 6-3 win. It’s the Lightning’s seventh straight loss, dropping them into the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After dropping six straight, the Penguins have now won two in a row, and will need more games like that from Malkin until they get back injured stars like Jordan Staal and perhaps Sidney Crosby.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Jamie Benn will be sidelined 10-14 days following an appendectomy, joining center Mike Ribeiro (knee) on the sidelines until after the All-Star break.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward David Perron has had a strong return from a concussion injury, but is only now starting to feel more comfortable on the ice.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Jason Blake had two goals and an assist to lead the Anaheim Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks 4-2, for their fifth win in six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks have certainly showed recent improvement, but they remain 14 points out of the final playoff spot in the West.

WASHINGTON POST: Tomas Vokoun made 43 saves and Dmitry Orlov scored his first NHL goal as the Capitals edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have turned it around of late, winning seven of their last ten, and moved into first in the Southeast.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren scolds long-time NHL superstars Nicklas Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne for opting out of this year’s All-Star Game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Warren’s entitled to his opinion, even though he’s wrong. Lidstrom and Selanne owe the fans nothing at this stage of their career. They’ve attended every previous ASG when health permitted, and at this stage of their respective careers, they’ve earned the right to use the All-Star break to rest up for the demanding second half of this season, rather than waste that valuable time in a meaningless game. Besides, there’s plenty of other All-Stars who’ll be in attendance, so I doubt this year’s ASG will suffer without Lidstrom and Selanne.

NORTHJEREY.COM: More on the financial woes of the New Jersey Devils, including why the NHL won’t allow this franchise to fold or relocate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Location and history are the two main factors.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: With their forwards falling by the wayside to injury, the Minnesota Wild need more offensive production from the defensemen.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings could make history tonight, as a victory over the Buffalo Sabres would set a franchise-record 15th consecutive victory on home ice.


  1. Actually, I seem to remember Lidstrom opting out of an all star weekend in the past, only to be suspended for his decision, for a game, if memory serves.

  2. All star game, who is the benefactor of the game other than the host team? If it’s the league owners then I can understand why players would not feeling all that enthused in participating. If it’s the players association or related then they really should make an effort on behalf of their organization. When a player’s genuinely injured then no question they should sit out but if it’s just a ‘fatigue’ issue they’ll have plenty of time to rest up once they’re retired. Not saying your wrong Lyle, the game really is meaningless and just a glorified shinny match but those people who shelled out their hard earned $ for tickets more than likely have the expectation of seeing a show featuring the leagues top players (including a few home town favourites). It’s this kind of devotion by fan’s that have made these players financially secure.
    ‘Lidstrom and Selanne owe the fan’s nothing at this stage of their careers’, sorry but as a long time fan of the game I think they along with a lot of others owe us fan’s everything….

  3. I picture Jersey turning more into a Colorado type team… cheaper and building out of the draft and leaving free agency alone (except for their own players). It might actually be good for them.

    If NHL teams wanted to rest their players so much, they’d save them from practicing.

    The scrutiny of the All Star game is pretty ridiculous, most of it perpetuated by people giving it flak. Now it’s such a dogmatic opinion that if you say that you like the All Star game, you’re not a real hockey fan.

    In any given NHL night, yes all the games are worth points in the standings, but I only really want to watch one or two of them because they don’t have that much meaning either. The Islanders and Devils game drew in huge tv ratings thanks to the fact that this game determined whether Toronto made the playoffs or not (if you remember four or five years ago). So you’re picking teams that you think will be an even match (but still have skilled players) against each other.

    Yeah, it sucks that they’re playing an exhibition game, but two points in the standings don’t mean anything to me for like 24 teams out of the 30 in the NHL.

    Want it to mean something? Follow this plan:
    1. Hack out the voting. That’s garbage.
    2. Have one player from each team play in the game, still all star fantasy type. Each team represented at least once, leaving 15 man rosters on either side. They will still be drafted by captains (make them captains of rival teams like Toronto Montreal or Detroit Chicago or New Jersey New York Rangers or Boston Montreal or so on).
    3. Fill out the rest of the rosters with players from those teams on there… for example… in a year where Crosby isn’t injured, he goes to the all star game… he’s one one of the teams (Team Crosby) and they council with one another and come up with a surprise roster using the players from one of the teams represented. He calls up Malkin, Malkin joins him. Toews calls up Kane. Etc, so no you won’t have players on the same team playing against each other (who cares if they do, it’s not competitive anyway).
    4. Have all players on that winning team get the teams they avatar 2 points in the standings.

    There, now you not only have a game that means something to the players, it means something to the fans and gives them a side to cheer for.

  4. I commend Selanne and Lidstrom. They’ve earned the right to refuse and quite frankly, whilte they’ve played well, others are more deserving this year.

  5. Lidstrom and Selanne asked to be excluded prior to the polls opening. In 2009, he declined the invite after he was elected. He was suspended along with Datsyuk because the previous year several stars declined their ASG invite.

  6. Th All Star Game is big popularity contest in every sport. I agree with MJR the voting is crap because a lot of players made it that shouldn’t have, and a lot of players that should have didn’t. The all star game is a big load of poop that I don’t even care to watch. I’d rather watch a defense game that ends 2-1 or 1-0 with guys actually giving it their all then a bunch of guys playing a worthless pick up game.

  7. Selanne and Lidstrom earned the right to opt out of the All-Star game, which in my opinion is nothing more than a pickup hockey game. Seriously, I really wonder why we even have an All-Star game if it doesn’t have any meaning to the game other than “tradition” or to showcase the game’s stars, if the stars themselves are just not taking it seriously.

  8. The only part of last years all star weekend worth watching was when the captains selected their teams

  9. ‘Lidstrom and Selanne owe the fan’s nothing at this stage of their careers’ ton of respect for u spec but gotta say that u couldn’t be more wrong, every player on any pro sports team owe the fans everything until they retire, if fans didn’t fill seats, buy merchandise ect you wouldn’t kno who nick lidstrom is or teemu selanne if the fans weren’t there. And finally how much does the asg really take out of someone? No hitting no jam a player could go out on the ice and coast all game long if your elected just go, you do owe it to the fans!

  10. Ken Warren should be looking at his hometown Sens and placing blame. Is there really any other reason for Alfie to be in this game other than it is in Ottawa and it is a nice feel good story? He scolds the veteran stars for opting out who I believe earned the right to (the rest should help them show their skill the rest of the season as opposed to one game anyway) opt out, yet says nothing abotu other players in the league who would deserve a nod more than some on the team currently like Alfie (nothing against him but this isn’t 2006 anymore if you know what I mean). Why aren’t guys like James Neal on that team? So like I said, if Ken Warren wants to play the blame game, he should start in his own front yard here in Ottawa.