NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2011.

In this morning’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Tyler Myers could get a call from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan…Chris Stewart suspended for 3 games…Has the rest of the league figured out Alexander Ovechkin? …Pavel Datsyuk’s slow start…Victor Hedman still carries stigma from Crosby hit…Ilya Kovalchuk returns to Devils…Ilya Bryzgalov to face off against former team…Rangers Marc Staal to start light workouts…Blackhawks crush Canucks 5-1.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers might get a call from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for this hit on New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It looks bad, but Zubrus wasn’t injured on the play, and in a way, it’s  similar to Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone leveling Montreal’s Chris Campoli during preseason as Campoli was reaching for the puck with his stick . Myers might not be suspended, at worse, could get a $2,500.00 fine.

NHL.COM: The league has suspended St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart for three games for checking Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall from behind.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I confess I’m surprised Stewart was suspended, not because it wasn’t worthy of a suspension, but because Stewart has no history of this sort of thing.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Stephen Whyno with an excellent piece on the decline of Alexander Ovechkin’s offensive production, suggesting rival teams have figured out his offensive moves, as well as the possibility Ovechkin may be turning into more of an all-round player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be offering up my two cents on Ovechkin’s drop in scoring later today in my Soapbox. I believe Whyno’s identified part of the problem, but there’s also other issues at play here.

Datsyuk unhappy with his performance this season.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk acknowledged he’s off to a poor start to this season, calling his performance “awful”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the past six seasons, Datysuk has been the league’s best two-way forward, earning the Selke trophy as the league’s top defensive forward three straight years, but playing at that high level at both ends of the ice is very demanding physically, and while only 33, it’s possible those physical demands might be starting to take its toll on Datsyuk. I certainly hope he proves me wrong as this season progresses, but that’s the way it’s looked so far to me. 

TAMPABAY.COM: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is still wearing the stigma of being the player whose hit sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby with a concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe that’s unfair, as Crosby had suffered the initial concussion several days prior in the Winter Classic after he was walloped by a blindside hit. Had that not happened, I doubt Hedman’s hit would’ve done much, if any, damage to Crosby. Yes, Hedman hit Crosby from behind and Crosby’s head did strike the glass, but not with the kind of force one would expect to result in a serious injury. I don’t believe it was Hedman’s intent to injure the Penguins captain, nor do I  believe the Lightning defenseman targeted Crosby’s head. 

NEW YORK POST: Ilya Kovalchuk made a triumphant return to the Devils, potting a goal as New Jersey defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is looking forward to facing his former team, the Phoenix Coyotes, tonight in Philadelphia.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers concussed defenseman Marc Staal received some good news, as he’s been cleared to begin light workouts. He’s been sidelined since training camp with post-concussion symptoms, believed the result of a late-season hit received from his brother, Eric Staal, in a Rangers-Hurricanes game.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks got power-play goals from Patrick Kane and Andrew Brunette en route to a 5-1 thrashing of the Vancouver Canucks.


  1. Kovalchuk plays net for the flyers … wow 😉

  2. I wonder if Stewart would have been suspended if Kronwell was playing for a small market team?

  3. Interesting about Myers as all the announcers agreed it was a “clean hit” and to be honest – the announcers are not a “pro” Sabre group. Also makes me wonder about all the hits and high sticks Carter was dishing out – didn’t he run into Enroth a couple of times? Wonder if Shanahan is going to review that.

  4. I think the Stewart hit is exactly what the league has been looking at, hit to the numbers in a dangerous area, resulting in the standard suspension, 2-3 games. If you don’t suspend a player because he’s not been suspended before wouldn’t that create a static suspension list. Then players with no disciplinary history would have no incentive to consider their opponent’s safety. I am becoming a bigger proponent of raising the cap on fines in the next CBA. Then I could understand the logic of first issuing a fine rather than suspending a first time offender, with subsequent offenses then drawing a suspension.

  5. tampa bay should trade for flyers back up goalie the bob tampa needs to inprove there goaltending flyers have there starter for the next 9 years

  6. Teams that put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to the goaltender position are kind of in trouble. The Toronto’s and Columbuses of the league, who have one “decent starter” and a bunch of “crappy backups” for lack of want to use better adjectives, are basically in trouble. Dallas has Kari Lehtonen and they’ve basically put everything in on him with backup Andrew Raycroft, who has been pretty terrible since his Calder year. What happens to them if Lehtonen gets hurt? See you in 2012-2013.

    Then there’s the other school of thought, have two pretty decent goalies. Los Angeles, Boston and Minnesota are great examples of that. Quick and Bernier, Thomas and Rask, Harding and Backstrom. There are other decent tandems too. I like my Rangers pair, even though Lundqvist gets about 75 starts a year. I guess if you still consider Luongo good, count Vancouver.

    I don’t care who I missed. The point is, GM’s who have two decent goalies won’t be moving one just to save another team that has bad goalies unless they get a king’s ransom for it. Best case scenario is you overpay for someone like Nabokov when it comes time, because he’s going to be one of about three goalies available this season who’ve seen pucks in game scenarios (The others including Clemmenson, possibly Nittymaki). The other is take a gamble on guys who haven’t played at all, like Turco.

    At any rate, if your team doesn’t have a good goalie tandem right now, as a Rangers fan I laugh maniacally until the day the Rangers suffer bad goaltending and injuries again.

  7. I am willing to bet right now that Myers will bet suspended at least 3 games. After all, he doesn’t play for a team that has ties to Shanahan.