NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2014

Maple Leafs defeat Red Wings at the 2014 Winter Classic, post-game analysis, Team USA roster unveiled, plus the latest on Keith Yandle, Erik Johnson, Patrik Elias, Corey Crawford, Nathan Horton, Tomas Hertl and more.

Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Winter Classic.

Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Winter Classic.

TORONTO SUN: Tyler Bozak’s shootout goal lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium before over 105, 000 fans.  Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier’s 41 saves set a Winter Classic record.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons called this year’s Winter Classic a memorable experience for the Leafs, Wings and the fans in attendance.

DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa considered Michigan Stadium the true start of the Winter Classic.

NATIONAL POST: Bruce Arthur believes it’s the spectacle’s beautiful, messy imperfections which help make the Winter Classic great.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun considers this year’s Winter Classic the best yet.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox cited Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s description of the game (“A home run for hockey”) to describe the Winter Classic.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston cites fan passion makes the Winter Classic more than just a game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Media and fan consensus is the 2014 Winter Classic was a huge success. It also helped the game featured two Original Six franchises, was located near Ontario (the heart of “Leafs Nation”) and wasn’t a lopsided affair.

USAHOCKEY: The roster for the 2014 US Olympic Men’s Hockey Team was unveiled following the Winter Classic.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle was among the notable omissions for Team USA.

DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny made the cut but Erik Johnson did not.

NJ.COM: Patrik Elias avoided serious injury during Tuesday’s Devils-Penguins game but isn’t sure he’ll be ready for the Devils back-to-back games against the Blackhawks and Sabres.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford returns to action tonight against the New York Islanders. Crawford was sidelined for ten games with a groin injury.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Nathan Horton could make his long-awaited debut with the Blue Jackets tonight when they face the Phoenix Coyotes. Horton signed with the Jackets last summer as an unrestricted free agent.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl could be sidelined six to nine months with a knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so that effectively finishes his season.

MIAMI HERALD: Last season’s last place finish and lack of free agent activity has resulted in attendance problems for the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll give rise to the chorus calling for the Panthers relocation. With the club recently taken over by new ownership committed to keeping the Panthers in Florida they won’t be moving anytime soon.


  1. Did they cite any reasons to leave Bobby Ryan and Kyle Okposo off? Hardly see JVR better than either of them.

    • Typical.

    • JVR and Kessel tone of chemistry JVR by himself still way better than Okposo amd by wsy better I mean its not even close, and its a toss up between him and Ryan but I would say JVR better around the net. Much less high upkeep than Ryan aswell by the looks of things.

      • What is your evidence for any of that?

  2. I have to assume that Bobby Ryan & Keith Yandle said no. If they didn’t then the people up top are bleeding idiots, REALLY on the Yandle front.

  3. When USA are down a goal late in a game that is when NOT having Yandle is going to hurt this team. As for Bobby Ryan, that was a tough call no doubt but the the classless Burke illustrates once again why he gets fired out of every job he has ever holds in hockey. And it is not because he doesn’t know the game!! Just stop and consider how many players just added Calgary to their list of ten NMC teams after those comments?? Ken King has got to be just loving this example of Brian driving the bus over the cliff.

    • Burke is pretty unbelievable. He knew his comments would make their way to the players. I just don’t see the need for them. Ryan and Yandle both have deficiencies in their game compared to other American players, but he totally blew them out of proportion in order to influence the others. Poile caved and listened Burke instead of considering the more reasonable, nuanced conclusions of Dean Lombardi, who made a strong case for Yandle (only to be ridiculed repeatedly by Burke in their meetings). I’m not even convinced Burke is that great of a hockey guy after his analyses of Ryan and Yandle.