NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2011.

In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist and Tomas Vokoun come up big for their respective teams…Bruins early season frustration boils over against Hurricanes…No word on Martin Brodeur’s shoulder injury…Penguins lose Kris Letang to suspension…Erik Johnson silences his critics in Colorado…Enforcers soldier on despite risks and bad press…Architect of Jets roster moves on.

BUFFALO NEWS: Ryan Miller saved his teammates with a 40-save performance as the Sabres downed the Montreal Canadiens 3-1.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 40 shots in backstopping his team to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun helped his team to a franchise-best (5-0) start to the season with a twenty-save shutout of his former team, the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly a big night for three of the NHL’s top goaltenders.

CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins frustration over their slow start to this season boiled over in last night’s 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, racking up 72 minutes in penalties, including 4 misconducts, plus a misconduct and an ejection for head coach Claude Julien.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having won the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are now finding it difficult to get back into the regular season mindset. This, however, won’t last much longer, they’re simply too good a team to flounder as they have for much longer. This blowup against the Hurricanes might be just what they need to get back on track.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Devils veteran netminder Martin Brodeur is having his injured shoulder re-examined as he continues to experience pain. Brodeur had been hopeful of returning to action soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for the Devils, they have a terrific backup in Johan Hedberg, so there’s no need for Brodeur to rush back before he’s completely healed.

Suspended for two games.

PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: The Penguins have no issue with the league suspending defenseman Kris Letang for two games for hitting Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov from behind during their 2-1 loss to the Jets on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No doubt about this one, and it’s good to see that not only was Burmistrov okay, but league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan won’t spare punishment for top players like Letang, who is among the league’s best defensemen.

DENVER POST: Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson’s performance thus far this season has silenced critics who believed the Avs got the worst of last year’s trade which brought Johnson to Colorado for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson is healthy, more mature and certainly more motivated this season. The trade could turn out to be a winner for the Avalanche in the long run.

TORONTO STAR: NHL enforcers like Tanner Glass, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, and Dale Weise continue to soldier on despite health risks and the growing criticism over their role in the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The role of enforcer isn’t likely to disappear from the league, but it will be forced to evolve, as I believe they’ll have to be able to contribute in other areas besides fighting, resulting in a more well-rounded player who also happens to fight when needed.

TORONTO SUN (VIA CALGARY SUN): Former Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley, who is now the Toronto Maple Leafs director of player personnel, won’t be watching his old team (now the Winnipeg Jets) when they play the Leafs tonight. Dudley was responsible for acquiring Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, and Nik Antropov, as well as drafting Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov, but was fired after the club was bought by True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A new owner usually brings in their own people, but I have to agree with Steve Simmons, the author of this piece, who wrote that firing Dudley was “the first dumb move the Jets made”.  Dudley was only in Thrashers management two years, one as GM, yet in that short time he did much to commence the rebuilding of the team, and in my opinion should’ve been given the opportunity by the Jets to continue.



  1. Regarding the Boston-Carolina game, referee Wes McCauley ruined that game last night with phantom penalties and misconducts. He is incompetent. The Bruins lost their composure. Tim Gleason is a coward and not an ounce of a man. He cheapshotted Bruins all night (no calls from McCauley or Devorski) and then either turtled or got his team mates to do his fighting for him. They kept him on the bench towards the end of the game.

    The Bruins are off to a rough start. Lucic and Horton are awful. Marchand and Bergeron not much better. The third line of Caron, Kelly, and Pouliot is not contributing much at all. Seguin and Peverley are the only offensive threats so far. They need to trade for a top-six forward or redo their forward lines when Krecji is back.

  2. Could not agree more with your comments about Rick Dudley. Always has done a great job no matter where he’s been. Hopefully, he’ll get another GM gig before long. Great hire by Burke.

  3. Boston is just a cheap shot team that got what they deserved last night. I watched the game too and all I saw was a bunch of frustrated poor losers.

  4. Gleason solidified himself in the ranks among scumbag players like Avery, Cooke and Steve Ott. His conduct in that game was embarassing. And the referees embarassed themselves by surrendering control of the game like that. It’s too bad, the first period was incredibly entertaining.

  5. Watching the Sabres last night was like old times with Hasek. Sometimes the team would take 30 minutes off and let the goalie keep them in it by himself. Then they show up and win.

    Sometimes it’s the horrible wins that give you real confidence in the rest of the season.

  6. GoWINGSGo. Losers? Stanley Cup Champions.

  7. I also watched the Sabres game and Montreal was everywhere – they really deserved the win while Miller stole it from them. I also think there were a few of bogus penalties called on the Sabres and as much as it seemed the Refs tried to help Monteral – Miller did look like the Miller of old. Even when he skated behind the net and lost the puck. Altogether it was riviting to watch.

  8. Dabroons: Ya last year! Who cares! New year now and they will only gain my respect if they can make it to the finals again like real champions such as the Wings and Penguins. They Wings are still the ultimate champions in the last 20 years! GO WINGS GO!

  9. The both of you are acting like babies. If you two are gonna bring history into this, you might want to take a look at the team that’s stomped on everyone over the course of the NHL’s existence. Pro tip: you’re both looking in the wrong country.

    Now I suggest we end this with a proper donnybrook. Which one of you wants to play the part of Tim Gleason and not participate?