NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2017

by | Mar 24, 2017 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie scores in a shootout against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Game recaps, latest suspensions, Olympic updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: T.J. Oshie’s shootout goal gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals (104) opened a three-point lead over the Jackets for top spot in both the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference standings. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs (85 points) opened a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division by doubling up the New Jersey Devils 4-2. William Nylander set a Leafs rookie record by stretching his consecutive points streak to 10 games while Mitch Marner tied a club record for most assists by a rookie (40). The Leafs played without defenseman Roman Polak, who received a two-game suspension for boarding Columbus forward Oliver Bjorkstrand. 

Nikita Kucherov tallied a hat trick to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. The Lightning (79 points) move to within three points of the slumping Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Shootout goals by Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sens (90 points) moved within one of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. It was a costly win for the Senators, as defenseman Marc Methot will miss weeks to a gruesome finger injury after being slashed on his right hand by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. The Pens (102 points) moved ahead of the Blue Jackets into second in the Metropolitan Division. 

Magnus Paajarvi netted two goals as the St. Louis Blues downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Blues (85 points) remain tied with the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division. The Canucks, meanwhile, lead the NHL in man-games lost to injury (357 games), costing them 12 points this season. 

Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and Colin Wilson collected two assists as the Predators defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1. The Predators hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Five third-period goals lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Eberle scored twice and set up another while defensman Andrej Sekera also had a three-point game for the Oilers (89 points), who moved into a tie for second place with the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division, two points back of the San Jose Sharks. 

Artemi Panarin’s shootout goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. With 102 points, the Hawks widened their lead over the Wild by eight points. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced the re-signing of forward Tanner Kero to a two-year contract extension. 

The Minnesota Wild missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth, falling 3-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wild (94 points) remains second in the Central Division and the Western Conference standings. 

Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty each tallied a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Kings (77 points) are eight back of the Predators for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

The Carolina Hurricanes (77 points) also kept their playoff hopes alive by upsetting the Canadiens 4-1. Lee Stempniak scored twice for the Hurricanes, who moved to within five points of the Bruins. 

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals to give the Florida Panthers a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome suffered a broken right wrist in his club’s win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday and could be done for the season. The Isles also recalled goaltender Jaroslav Halak. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen received a three-game suspension for for his hit on on Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel.

TSN: The International Ice Hockey Federation needs to know by the end of April if the NHL intends to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. NHL Players Association director Donald Fehr said we shouldn’t expect the players to give something up in collective bargaining in return for Olympic participation. Meanwhile, the league is expected to make a special announcement in China next week regarding the staging of some preseason and possibly some regular season games in that country. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Anton Lander, currently playing for their AHL affiliate, intends to play in the KHL next season. 


  1. Hard to figure out what was worse – the dirty slash by Crosby or his unmitigated gall at being pissed when some Sens went after him. I mean, he’s a star after all and you just don’t do that to stars.

    • I agree George, I had actually come around the last few years to liking Crosby, then the other nite I saw that replay of the high stick that he embellished to high heaven and now this on Methot.

      Sick of the special treatment for these guys and sorry to see the injuries you guys have gone through recently.

      Btw as a Leaf fan I am a little tired of watching Kadri over react as well.

      • The high stick he embellished where he lost 2 teeth? That’s a neat trick to be able to pop teeth out of your own mouth at will. Those stick check slashed happen 10 times a game and if Methots finger didn’t get blown out no one would be talking about it. On the other hand he gets the same abusive treatment every game and he has every right to not like it as I’m sure you would not like to be physically assaulted at your work place. There was no intent to do anything that doesn’t happen to him every game.

      • Slashes not slashed

      • Come on, even the MOST diehard Penguins fan has to know – and admit – Crosby has been a career whiner and complainer and cheap-shot artist when the mood suits him. Lafleur was just as much a target in his day as Crosby and yet never resorted to whining and dishing out cheap shots.

    • That slash and no call really irks me. The fact he is gone for weeks with a crushed finger furthers my irate state and makes more worry about the teams 0layoff chances

      • It’s a position that Dorion deliberately shored up and with Claesson playing very well when he got in there for Borowiecki in the past month, they do have some depth that will help off-set Methot’s loss. He’ll likely step in alongside Karlsson – or maybe Phaneuf will move up with Karlsson and Claeson slip in alongside Ceci who has been playing much better since mid-season.

    • Wow I didn’t see this much bitching when JOHNNY HOCKEY missed games over the same thing. No suspension. McDavid has this happen to him 5-6 times a game no penalty is ever called.
      Sid has this happen more then most as he always carries the puck. If Matthews did this most of you would be saying its all good. Or maybe you just don’t like sid cause he’s not a leaf. I don’t like the play but the NHL lets this happen all the time to the superstars carrying the puck, they cant react when a slow ass guy who touches the puck for 30 secs a game gets chopped for the second time the season.

      • I don’t like the little s*^t because he’s always whining to the officials – which to me tarnishes his very legitimate star status. C’est la vie – get over it – and I’m no Leafs fan by the way. They have one who likes to embellish and whine in Kadri – but he’s no Crosby in talent.

      • Lol. If it was Crosby’s finger mangled he would of been rolling around on the ice in unbearable pain and the refs never seeing it would of called a 5 min major.

  2. Can you imagine if the slash was the other way around – Methot slashing Crosby with the same effect? Crosby deserves a suspension and the officials do too.

    • What is hard to believe is to think some in the league officiating department actually sat down one day and decided – with all logic – that a slash that breaks a stick is an automatic 2-minute penalty, but one that goes higher up and breaks a hand or fingers is to go unpunished. I mean, they had to consider all possibilities when looking at that, didn’t they? Can they possible be THAT dense?

    • George come on now , you should know better than that. The NHL only looks at one thing $$$$ signs, suspend a star player and they might lose a dollar. Whereas a guy like Methot can easily be replaced, no harm done there. No lost jersey sales, fans still buying the tickets, no reason to get excited at all. If you watched what Sid and Ovie get away with each and every game, brutal. Sid loves to poke and jab, but, Ovie loves the head shots from behind. Money money money makes the NHL go around

    • You guys are kidding me right? This slash happens a thousand times every NHL season. It’s unfortunate that it effed up methods finger but get real; I was expecting some vicious slash from the comments on here not that harmless looking slash.

      • You have completely missed the point – if the slash had been lower on the stick and knocked it out his hands or broken it, it’s a penalty – but it’s OK to go higher up the shaft and break a hand or finger without a penalty?

      • Sure, he should have gotten 2 mins, and that’s it

  3. Ya complain guys lol but this Leaf team is really something else, I truly can’t believe I get to see this in my lifetime, I’m 47 and all I had really were those couple years with Leeman, Courtnal and Osborne and of course the Gilmour years.

    “Consider that the Leafs have led in games for just shy of 1,800 minutes this season – the third-highest total in the NHL behind only Washington and Columbus.”

    “They’ve trailed for less time than all but five teams, each of which has legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations: The Capitals, Blue Jackets, Wild, Sharks and Blackhawks.”

    “They’ve lost 15 games in overtime or a shootout.”

    These quotes are from a Sportsnet article today but I have seen most of the games and noticed some of this as it was happening.

    You put a Chara or Pronger in his prime on this defence and I would have no issue plunking down a couple 100 on them winning it all.

    Especially in light of this last little run which seems to have really shown them how good they can be and now they know it as well.

    • One thing I’ve learned Gary, from many many years of following the NHL, is that one should never get too high on a team at any given stage of a season because it’s been proven time and again that things can go south just as fast as they were looking up over a stretch.

      • Absolutely George, I guess its just so exciting that I lose some of my normal, remain calm, thoughts lol.

        The way things are shaping up now it looks like our Ottawa rivalry is going to be revisited though I really would dearly love to knock Montreal out and my by extension my cousin lol.

      • If the Sens can knock off the Habs Saturday they’d be in 1st by a point and still with a game in hand, so a Tor-Mtl playoff in Round 1 becomes a real possibility. I see the Bruins fading out and TB getting into that last wild card spot – although the Islanders may have something to say about that before it’s all over as they have 2 games in hand on Boston and are just 2 back. It’s going to be an exiting last couple of weeks in the East. Not so much in the West where it’s all but decided who gets in – if not exactly where. LA is done like dinner.

  4. And I assure you, the feeling in Ottawa is decidedly mixed when it comes to a possible Ottawa-Toronto playoff round with the more Nervous Nellies out there dredging up the ghosts of 15 years ago – as if ancient history has anything to say about the outcome – while others feel it’s time to “slay the dragon.” Me? I see a hard-fought series where Ottawa’s chances of success would come from goaltending and putting constant fore-checking pressure on the Leafs D. Babcock, on the other hand, would prefer to see a wide open north-south game with a last goal wins approach.

    • I have leaf fan friends who to this day bring up those playoff series. It isnt like they had anythinv else to be proud of till recently, so i can forgive em.

      Yet due to this I dearly want the Sens to knock out the leafs. Evem though i know those friends of mi e will simpky say 1 in 5. I surely dont want them to lose so i can be shoced into the nervous nellie catagory.

      Yet i saw what to see that series happen again, regardless the outcome.