NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2012.

Henrik Lundqvist stands tall for Rangers in Winter Classic…Jaromir Jagr explains why he took himself out of Winter Classic….The growth of Steven Stamkos…Jeff Skinner returns to practice…Devin Setoguchi returning soon to Wild lineup…Steve Yzerman in uncharted waters…Lindy Ruff shoulders blame for Sabres slide….Dan Carcillo costs his team…Coyotes Raffi Torres suspended.


Lundqvist the star of the 2012 Winter Classic.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the star of this year’s Winter Classic, backstopping his team to a 3-2 comeback win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr blamed a nagging calf injury, suffering in a game last week against Pittsburgh, for why he was forced to sit out most of yesterday’s game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This year’s Winter Classic was arguably the most exciting since the Classic first began in 2008. The game got better as it went on and the players adjusted to conditions.

TBO.COM: At only 21, Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has become one of the NHL’s top stars.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons on the difficulty facing Lightning GM Steve Yzerman this season as his team struggles to recapture the form which carried them to the Eastern Conference Final last year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Lightning currently outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, they’ll need Stamkos to be at the top of his game for the rest of the season if they’re to have a chance at securing a playoff berth. The Lightning’s biggest needs are a quality starting goalie and more defensive depth, and Yzerman will have his hands full as he tries to address those needs between now and the February 27th trade deadline.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner returned to practice for the first time since suffering a concussion on December 7th. He’s not cleared for contact yet, and can give no timetable as to when he’ll be ready to return to action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully Skinner will be able to make a full recovery and return to action before this season ends.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Devin Setoguchi is due to return soon from a knee injury, which should provide a boost for the struggling Wild, who’ve gone 3-6-3 since Setoguchi was sidelined.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is shouldering the blame for his club’s poor performance and lack of leadership in recent weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres still have enough time to reverse their decline and get back into playoff contention, but they’ll need a strong overall effort to get it done.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo’s illegal hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert proved costly, as Carcillo suffered a knee injury and was also penalized and ejected from the game, while the Oilers scored twice on the ensuing power-play en route to a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Instant karma’s gonna get you, “Car Bomb”. And a suspension seems likely for that hit.

AZCENTRAL.COM:  Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres received a two-game suspension for his hit on Nate Prosser of the Minnesota Wild.


  1. Winter Classic was a great game, although it was almost ruined by the refs towards the end, in a classic case of refereeing the scoreboard and not the game on the ice, for which NHL refs are infamous.

    First, they called a cheap penalty against the Rags, then ignored a balant hook by the Flyers near their goal.

    The embellishment call against Callahan wasn’t bad, but the penalty shot call was completely bogus.

  2. It was a good game dabroons. Better than I thought it was going to be. What did you think of that BS penalty shot for Philly in the last minute. That was just a great D play, he didnt close his hand on the puck, in my opinion.

  3. I didn’t see any conclusive footage of that penalty either, but you guys are aware that it’s possible the ref had an angle of view that the cameras didn’t, right? That being said, I’ve also been of the opinion that it seems like “refereeing the scoreboard” does happen from time to time. Like the rest of us though, I don’t have any proof to substantiate that claim. I’ll agree that the officiating wasn’t “great”, there were a lot of missed calls or questionable non-calls. Now, the salute that Rupp gave on his first goal was very disrespectful, and Avery-like. I know these teams really hate each other, but disrespecting a future HOF’er like Jagr is really uncalled for.

  4. I also thought that the calls in the last few minutes were made to give Philly a chance to tie the game – seeing at it was in Philly. Luckily – Lundquist stood tall. I don’t think Rupp’s slaute was disrespectful – I think it was done as a sign of respect and I’m sure Jagr would have given the salute if he had decided to stay in the game and scored. In fact – didn’t he give the salute when he scored against the Pens? Weren’t the Rangers in the running for Jagr before he signed with Philly?

  5. I don’t think the rangers D put his hand over the puck. Did he guard it between his leg and forearm? Yes. And, c’mon… The refs can’t even spot a high stick when it happens 6′ away from them with the two players in a isolated puck battle, let alone conclude that he put his hand over the puck in the crease. These are the worst officials in the last 20 years, they deserve NO benefit of the doubt with how they have made the game look. Also, I don’t think the salute was meant to be endearing to Jagr, but I don’t think it was uncalled for. Professional rivalries are great for the game and if some 4th liner wants to give it to Jagr a little but then I say go for it. I know if I was on the Flyer bench I would be finishing every check until the final buzzer and send my own message. That’s passion! Lol.