NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2012.

Dan Carcillo, Rene Bourque receive lengthy suspensions…Lars Eller powers Canadiens to big win over Jets…Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly emerging as defensive star…Rangers coach fined for derogatory comments against Winter Classic officials….Blues hoping to avoid January meltdown…Sabres not generating enough noise at home….Blackhawks star Patrick Kane hoping to snap scoring slump in Philadelphia…Red Wings Jiri Hudler finding his scoring touch…Panthers officially sign John Madden…Kings hire Bernie Nichols as offensive adviser….Dwayne Roloson hoping to bounce back in second half.

KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has suspended Chicago Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo seven games for an illegal hit on Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert, while Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque was suspended five games for elbowing Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom in the head.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Lars Eller had a four-goal night as the Habs exploded for four goals in the third period, downing the Winnipeg Jets 7-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller and linemate Andrei Kostitsyn had tremendous chemistry in that game. If they played like that more often, the Canadiens wouldn’t be sitting outside the playoff picture.

O'Reilly emerging as Selke candidate.

DENVER POST: Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly, 21, is playing his way into all-star and Selke Trophy contention with his strong play at both ends of the rink.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly’s performance hasn’t garnered much attention this season because of the Avs inconsistent performance this season, but if they should make the playoffs, folks will be paying more attention to this guy.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach John Tortorella was fined $30K and issued an apology for ripping on-ice officials following the Winter Classic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Color me unsurprised.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues enter January hoping to avoid last January’s meltdown which scuttled their playoff hopes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two reasons why I believe they will: better goaltending, and they have a different head coach this season, who won’t allow them to lose their discipline.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres home arena has been fairly quiet this season despite the large crowds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because the Sabres haven’t given their fans anything worth cheering for this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks star Patrick Kane hopes a return to Philadelphia, the first for he and his teammates since winning the Stanley Cup there in June 2010, will help him overcome his recent scoring slump.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Streaky Red Wings winger Jiri Hudler appears to have regained his scoring touch, netting nine of his 11 goals this season over the past month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he keeps this up, the Red Wings won’t have any reason to shop him near the trade deadline, though I have my doubts it’ll improve the possibility of his re-signing with the Wings this summer.

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday officially announced the signing of center John Madden to a one-year contract.

LOS ANGELES TIME: The Kings have hired former Kings scoring star Bernie Nichols in an informal role as an offensive adviser.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson is hoping to bounce back over the second half of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sadly, Roloson might not be capable of that. At 42, age has finally caught up to him.


  1. Great game by Eller last night. That kid deserves a game like that. He works hard, has a lot of pressure from the halak trade, and is only 22. He has made some brain cramp plays this year but he since he came to the habs he has reminded me of Pleks when he was a rookie. Probably a great game for team morale after everything going on the last two weeks. Great to watch Eller stay out on thr ice for the first star and get the crowd going. Loved it. Needed something to cheer about and the wife and I were very pleased last night. The line combos were good, but I didn’t like Diaz being paired with emelin. Diaz had a rough game. Campoli was weak too. Gill is playing better in a limited role. Not sure where Gionta fits in now. I mean, Blunden will be off the Pleks line but then it’s Pleks with Cammy and Gio. Not exactly powerful, but made used as a 2a/b will produce. Anyways, nice win, good for Eller, now let’s play with the same intensity saturday.

  2. About freakin’ time.

  3. Although I doubt there was a conspiracy between NBC and the refs, the refs were clearly trying to give the Flyers every break to tie the game, twice refusing to put the Rangers on the PP late in the game after obvious stick fouls and calling a totally bogus penalty shot.

  4. Tortorella shouldn’t have gone after NBC but he was entirely right regarding the terrible officiating in the last 10 of that game. There were missed calls on both sides, and most of them were pretty blatant stick infractions. His observations were right, but his method of expression was wrong.

  5. The Habs have some obvious line combos that are worth keeping that have shown some great chemistry this year. Eller with Ak and Moen have been great at several points. DD with Cole and Patches have been great at several points. But then they all get shifted around to accommodate for injuries, and worse, for high paid veterans who are struggling. Pleks with Cammy and Gio is not the toughest line, but it would not be problematic if one of the smaller guys was traded.

    I think one of the issues in Montreal is that the current leadership is not freeing up the youth leadership to emerge. We have signed Gorges for the long term. We need to make him captain, and trade Gio to Calgary for Bourque. Both players could use the change, and we would be gaining about 6 or 7 inches. Suddenly, a line of Pleks, Cammy and Bourque is not so bad.

    I was hoping Cunneyworth would allow the lines to develop chemistry together, but so far he looks a little like JM in that category.

  6. Carcillo demonstrates what happens if you are a multiple repeat offender, 2 games turned into 7 games.

    $30,000 fine is WAY too much IMO. Players who injure people and make MORE don’t get that kind of fine.

    Eller is a great spark plug, glad to see the Habs fans have some sort of bright side to a terrible season.

    Happy to see Madden suiting up, will only help the Panthers and at his age not having to endure a full season can only be good.

  7. @JJB Carcillo’s fine is in the $200,000 range. A suspension necessarily results in a fine. Without a suspension the current CBA limits fines to $2,500.

    re: the conspiracy Pretty much, doesn’t every fan base have a gripe about the officiating in any loss? So this time it means there was a conspiracy. C’mon, gimme a break. Much like expansion diluted the overall players’ talent level, expansion led to a drop in the officials’ competence level. There are missed calls and invented calls in every game, so there was in this one, so will there be in today’s games, and tomorrow’s, and the day after. To this day I can still read about Daddy Campbell. Ask Laviolette about the “typical Montreal” calls. You conspiracists need to get a firmer grip on reality.

  8. Carcillo should of gotten 10 or more.. He will prolly miss 7 just due to Injuring himself. Sutton got 5 and 8 for two plays which didn’t even result in a loss of a a shift for the opposing players. Carcillo has been suspended what 5 more times then sutton in his much shorter career… Shanaban is still biased.