NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2017

by | Apr 7, 2017 | News, NHL | 7 comments

Ottawa Senators center Kyle Turris scores the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins.

 Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators clinched a playoff spot by downing the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Kyle Turris’ shootout goal. With the win, the Sens (96 points) moved ahead of the Bruins by one point into second place in the Atlantic Division. They were also playing without captain Erik Karlsson, who sat out with a foot injury.  

The Bruins were playing without left wing Brad Marchand, who received a two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin. Bruins blueliner Torey Krug left the game with a suspected knee injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand will be able to return to the Bruins for their playoff opener next week. Now that he’s among the league’s top players, the department of player safety seems reluctant to levy stiffer punishment against him. Last January, he received a $10,000 fine for a slew-foot trip on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. If Marchand were a lesser player, he probably would’ve received 10 games for his latest infraction. All this does is reinforce the notion that there’s a different level of punishment for the league’s stars compared to everyone else. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to secure a postseason berth, falling 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brayden Point scored twice and Nikita Kucherov potted the winning goal for the Lightning (90 points), who move within three of the Leafs for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bolts will play their final two games of the regular season without captain Steven Stamkos, who’s still not ready to return to action from a knee injury that’s sidelined him since November. 

The New York Islanders also moved within three points of the Leafs with a 3-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes. Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves for the win. The game also marked the return of Hurricanes winger Bryan Bickell since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last November. 

Nick Bonino scored a goal and collected two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins thumped the New Jersey Devils 7-4. The Pens (111 points) secured second place in the Metropolitan Division and home-ice advantage over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening round of the 2017 playoffs. 

Jacob Trouba scored twice, Bryan Little netted four points and Eric Comrie had a 35-save victory in his NHL debut to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the Jets’ sixth straight win. 

The Minnesota Wild matched their franchise record for wins (48) and points (104) by downing the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. The Wild have secured second spot in the Central Division. 

John Gibson turned in a 37-save shutout effort as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0, putting them on the verge of securing their fifth straight Pacific Division title. Earlier in the day, however, the Ducks learned defenseman Cam Fowler (knee injury) is sidelined two to six weeks

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler’s absence will be keenly felt. He’s been their best defenseman this season and leaves a significant void on their blueline. 

Milan Lucic had a hat trick to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers (99 points) move ahead of the Sharks by two points for second in the Pacific Division. 

Jaden Schwartz netted three points as the St.Louis Blues doubled up the Florida Panthers 6-3. The Blues (95 points) remain one point ahead of the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division. The Blues also announced forward Vladimir Sobotka will return after spending three seasons in the KHL as he signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract extension

Viktor Arvidsson and Craig Smith each scored twice as the Predators crushed the Dallas Stars 7-3. Arvidsson also reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career. 

John Gillies made 27 saves in his NHL debut as the Calgary Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 to maintain their hold on the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Radim Vrbata scored twice as the Arizona Coyotes edged the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. 


  1. If Marchand were a lesser player, he probably would’ve received 10 games for his latest infraction. All this does is reinforce the notion that there’s a different level of punishment for the league’s stars compared to everyone else.


    This is exactly why Crosby never gets a “meeting” with the NHL for his penalties, many of which are spears. In fact, he rarely gets called for any penalties. Hmm…wonder why?

  2. Looks like the Leafs have caught the approaching Easter spirit by laying a few eggs for themselves.

    If they lay 2 more eggs, they can spend all next week fighting over which one of them deserves the biggest egg in the basket.

    • It’s like they’re running out of steam and getting less than stellar goaltending isn’t helping either

  3. I think that the league has considerations other than fair and equal player treatment in mind when it exacts punishment for game infractions. It probably takes into account the severity of the consequences a player’s punishment would have on his team. If the player is a star, the consequences are, naturally, more dire. In the case of Marchand, a long suspension would cripple the Bruins at a critical time, whereas losing someone like a Raffi Torres would cause a team little pain. Marchand’s unfitting penalty is as much a kindness to his team and its fans as it is preferential treatment to a star. That may not be proper, but it may be just.

    • You either work for Gary or you’re a Bruins fan, making that statement

    • And you don’t think Crosby’s slash taking the tip off Methot’s finger wasn’t detrimental to the Sens chances down the stretch? Methot may not be in the same fawning “put them on a pedestal” category as Crosby, but his loss could have been critical on their chances of making the playoffs.

      The league has always kissed the royal butts of the stars and have done so ever since Campbell suspended Rocket Richard for the rest of the season AND the playoffs in 1955 once the consequences for the fans became brutally apparent.

      The league is a joke in that regard. Marchand should have been gone for the last 2 games AND at least the first 3 of the playoffs. You can bet your ass that that would have been the decision had it been, say, Chris Neil – and he’s NEVER been suspended. Just easier to show their “concern” for player safety.

      • If Crosby had said after the slash, “There was Methot in my madness,” he should have been suspended for 10 bloody games.