NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Recaps of the Penguins-Islanders and Red Wings-Ducks games, plus the latest on Rick Nash, Eric & Jordan Staal, Devin Setoguchi, P.A. Parenteau and more.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW/NEWSDAY: The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a slow start to win their 11th straight by downing the NY Islanders 4-2. Thomas Vokoun made 33 saves and Sidney Crosby collected two assists for the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As impressive as the Penguins win streak is, what’s more noteworthy to me is how the Islanders keep finding ways to lose games in the third period. As noted by Newsday, this was the 25th game this season they’ve entered the third period tied or in the lead, and have dropped 11 of them. If they miss the playoffs, those games will be the reason.

Justin Abdelkader celebrates his hat trick as the Red Wings beat the Ducks 5-1.

Justin Abdelkader celebrates his hat trick as the Red Wings beat the Ducks 5-1.

DETROIT NEWS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Justin Abdelkader’s hat trick lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. It was the Ducks first regulation loss at home since February 25.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHL has decided against supplemental discipline against NY Rangers forward Rick Nash for his blindside elbow to the head of Florida’s Tomas Kopecky in Thursday’s Rangers-Panthers game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Did league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan get it wrong? Yes, I believe he did, as do a number of pundits, bloggers and fans. Is this some sort of conspiracy on Shanahan’s part, showing favoritism to the Rangers, one of his former teams? Put away the tin foil hat and smarten up, especially if you’re a pundit espousing this nonsense. It was a bad call, nothing more. 

Toronto Maple Leafs forward  Joffrey Lupul has every right to be upset for getting a two-game suspension for a similar call, and Kopecky was fortunate to escape serious injury, but again, I don’t believe this was favoritism toward Nash or the Rangers. I suspect Shanahan will be following Nash’s play more closely over the rest of the season.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: With NY Rangers defenseman Marc Staal recovering from an eye injury, brothers Eric and Jordan have decided to wear visors from now on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wonder how much influence Staal’s injury could have upon other NHLPA members when the issue of mandatory visors is put to a vote this summer?

STARTRIBUNE.COM: After a slow start to this season, Minnesota Wild winger Devin Setoguchi has rediscovered his scoring touch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In his first fifteen games this season,  Setoguchi only had five points, was toiling on the fourth line and dogged by trade rumors. In his last fourteen games, however, Setoguchi has fifteen points, and now has 20 points in 29 games. His improvement is one reason the Wild are first in the Northwest Division

DENVER POST: Not everything has gone badly for the Colorado Avalanche this season. Last summer’s free agent signings P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell have played very well.

PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers need to find a scoring center.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers have placed veteran forward Jeff Halpern on waivers.


  1. Of course Shanny was bias. If Lupul was on the NYR….He would be playing now instead of sitting. American teams get better treatment over Canadian teams…PERIOD….FACT! I notice games between Canadian and american teams…..first penalty of almost EVERY game goes to the Canadian side. I don’t know why, it just happens. Boston/Ottawa game thursday night….not one Ottawa power play. Can anyone tell me with the way the Bruins play (crosschecking the letters ALL night) they can go 60 mins without an infraction? Neil gets highsticked in the face….bleeding pretty good. NO CALL. If you take notice as I do, its really quite disgusting whats going on. The stanley cup finals with CAL/TB and ED/CAR is when I really noticed the favouritism. Made me sick to my stomach seeing what this game is becoming.

    • I agree BS is biased, however I don’t agree with it being US vs Canada. There are teams in the US that are experiencing the same treatment.

      • Buffalo is always getting penalties – maybe because they are at the Canadian Border?

  2. Brendan Shanahan is a joke. I’m not saying he favors one team over another, but I am saying he favors one style/type of players over another. Countless times over the past year and a half he has let players that have “no prior offenses” and has talent get away with murder while players that have had history of suspension has been victims of Brendan’s so called style of justice.

    Example: Countless times Ovy has commited offenses against players with his knee on knee hits and not until he does it about the half dozenth time is he finally suspended and I wonder if it’s only because he finally hurt himself and he was gonna sit out anyhow. Mean while at least three times last season Cooke was dealt head shots and not even a review is give by Branden. Just because of Matt Cooke having a history and Ovy being a “superstar”, Brendan Shanahan does what he wants and hand out his so called justice.

    These are only a couple of examples and first that come to mind and other cases have built up over the that time frame as well. Yes there are hard case evidence that suspensions have been handed out and should have just the same, but you have to fit Brendan Shanahan’s profile of the ideal player to get any kind of justice.

  3. As much as I think Shannahan got the nash call wrong, I have to agree with Spector. In last years playoffs Weber clearly threw Zetterbergs head into the glass and there was no suspension. Shanahan does it it wrong and I believe it is more the higher ups running the show.

  4. Nash’s hit certainly looked as bad as Lupul’s and Edler’s. The Leafs and the Canucks lose two top guys for two games. The Rangers skate. If New York makes the playoffs, this could be the TSN turning point.
    Brutal decision.

    • Nash hit him from behind.. left his feet and hit him with his elbow on the back of the neck/head.

      If he hits the neck of Kopecky in the wrong spot… he could have broken his neck.

      It’s a dangerous, reckless & irresponsible hit.

      He didn’t even get a penalty? And now no fine or suspension… Just ridiculous and suspicious.

  5. The Refs on the ice missed the call. Interference and he could of gotten an extra two for a hit from behind. Since there was no call from the officials, that is why it got Shanahan’s attention. His job is not to make calls the officials missed, it’s more to determine if extra punishment is needed. This is a case where the officials and their supervisors have to sit and see if we can improve on how everyone is doing their job.

    it’s time to make better use of the linesmen. They should be given the power to signal an infraction the refs, that may have been missed. You have four guys on the ice having to supervise 12 guys playing the game.

    The refs blew the call and not Shanahan.

  6. By the way, the Habs claimed Jeff Halpern off waivers.