NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2017
Game recaps, another milestone for Jaromir Jagr, Senators to host Canadiens in outdoor game & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Aleksander Barkov’s shootout goal lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr collected two assists to surpass Gordie Howe for the most points (269) by an NHL player after turning 40. He now has 39 points in 70 games this season. Mats Zuccarello scored twice for the Rangers.
The win keeps the Panthers’ fading playoff hopes alive, as their 73 points are now five behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Sidney Crosby scored twice to tie Boston’s Brad Marchand for the NHL goal-scoring lead (37) as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the New Jersey Devils 6-4. With 97 points, the Pens are one point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals into second place, one point up on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kyle Palmieri scored twice for the Devils.
Mark Giordano scored a goal and set up two others and goalie Brian Elliott picked up his 10th straight victory to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. With 84 points, the Flames moved into third place in the Pacific Division, one point up on the Edmonton Oilers.
Zemgus Girgensons scored in the 10th round of a shootout as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. With 85 points, the Ducks remain one point ahead of the Flames for second place in the Pacific Division.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday formally announced the Ottawa Senators will host the Montreal Canadiens in an outdoor game at TD Place next season on December 16. 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A pity that attempts to stage that game on Parliament Hill fell through.
CALGARY SUN: Speaking of Bettman, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said a majority of Calgarians don’t want to invest public funds in a new arena and prefer the league commissioner not get involved. Bettman and Nenshi recently discussed Calgary’s aging Saddledome and the need for the Flames to have a new arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Calgarians still remember when the Flames were once threatened with relocation around the turn of this century. Couple that with the recent collapse of the Alberta economy, and the last thing they want is Bettman to start leaning on the city to use public money to build a new venue.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he won’t allow team captain Erik Karlsson to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics if the NHL decides not to participate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL doesn’t participate in those games, some team owners will allow their players to go and some won’t. It’ll be interesting to see if any players, such as Karlsson, defy the owners of their NHL teams and go anyway.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky returns to the lineup tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing 15 games to a right hand injury.
SPORTNET: After being among the bottom-three NHL clubs in attendance every season since 2007-08, the Arizona Coyotes intend to tarp off four upper-level sections of their 17,125-seat arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That wouldn’t be necessary if the Coyotes had iced a reliably competitive product over the past dozen years. The poor attendance isn’t because the Coyotes play in a lousy market, but because they’ve been a lousy team for far too long. With few exceptions (hello there, long-suffering Toronto), fans won’t turn out to watch a constant loser.