NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2018

by | Mar 2, 2018 | News, NHL | 6 comments

Game recaps, stars of the month, a wildly successful ticket drive in Seattle and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov reached the 60-point plateau for the first time. (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall extended his points streak to 16 games in a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers. This game saw Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov reach a career-high single-season total of 61 points with a two-goal performance. Florida moved to within three points of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

David Krejci tallied a hat trick as the Boston Bruins thumped the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4. The two clubs combined for eight goals in the first period. David Pastrnak scored twice and Rick Nash collected two points for the Bruins, while Olli Maatta tallied two goals for the Penguins.

The Nashville Predators moved into first overall in the Western Conference by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Viktor Arvdsson scored twice for the Predators. With the win, David Poile became the all-time league leader among general managers with 1,320 victories. 

The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a six-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Justin Williams led the way for the Hurricanes with two goals and an assist.

An overtime goal by Cory Conacher lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars, who overcame a two-goal deficit to force the extra frame. Tyler Seguin scored twice for the Stars, while J.T. Miller collected two assists for the Lightning.

Max Domi collected three assists as the Arizona Coyotes upset the Minnesota Wild 5-3. snapping the Wild’s five-game winning streak. The Coyotes, meanwhile, have won seven of their last 10 contests. 

The San Jose Sharks netted seven straight goals to crush the Chicago Blackhawks 7-2. Joe Pavelski scored twice and Dylan DeMelo had three helpers. 

Alex Iafallo tallied twice and Christian Folin added three assists as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. 

Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith are the NHL’s three stars for February 2018. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde was named rookie of the month. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Loui Eriksson is out for the remainder of the season with a rib fracture.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knight defenseman Luca Sbisa will be sidelined for an extended period with an undisclosed injury. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sent out an open letter to the club’s fans expressing his disappointment over the team’s performance this season and vowing they’ll become Stanley Cup contenders again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Melnyk is part of the reason why Senators fans have grown disgruntled in recent years. It’ll take more than a letter to win them back. Management also has a lot of work to do to turn this club back into a Cup contender. 

SEATTLE TIMES: A season-ticket drive by the group hoping to bring an NHL expansion team to Seattle was a great success. Oak View Group said it acquired 10,000 season-ticket deposits within 12 minutes yesterday and surpassed 25,000 in just over an hour.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nah, there’s no interest in NHL hockey in Seattle at all. This is a significant step toward landing an expansion franchise. 

NEWSDAY: Stan Fischler, known for decades as “The Hockey Maven”, will retire at the end of this season from covering NHL games on television. While he’ll continue to cover hockey in print, the 86-year-old intends to spend more time with his family. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Fischler in his future endeavors. His many books on hockey kindled my love of the game and its history during my childhood.



  1. The NHL faces some risk if it doesn’t clear up the goalie interference rule (no, not Hull & Hasek though that proves it’s not a new problem.) How about a tape for GMs , coaches, refs, and fans showing the definition Toronto is trying to adhere too, before some wag makes a youtube that shows the calls are really random. To my eye, the rule and the calls made don’t live in the same universe. This is also an area to me where slo-motion is a damn liar….the only way to judge a goalies reset capability is at game speed. (end rant)

  2. Riley Nash did a terrific job filling in for Bergeron last night, much better than I expected. Great job by Krejci’s line stepping up as well.

    Do the Penguins miss Matt Murray much?

    • During the Devils/Pens game the other night, Devils analyst Bryce Salvador made a great point that the Pens are really going to miss Ian Cole. I think the Pens will miss him more than Murray being out. Cole was really the only physical d-men the Pens had on defense. Sure he started off slow for the Pens and got benched, but he is a much better dman than Matt Hunwick. If Rutherford didn’t overpay Hunwick last offseason they wouldn’t have had to deal Cole

      • I don’t think anyone would argue that extending Hunwick at the cost of Ian Cole was a good move. Jamie Oleksiak, in the little I have seen him play, seems to play a physical game. He got physical with Chara last night, pushing him around in the corner, and paid a price for it though….

        There were definitely some soft goals allowed by PIT goal-tending last night though.

  3. True dat on the Stan Fischler comment, Lyle. His books are a good chunk of the reason I’m a fan in adulthood.

  4. regarding the way the Yotes have played since Jan 1, Raanta has some of the best numbers in the league since Jan, 1. Does that indicate enough of a sample size to call him a decent #1 option moving forward? Is it a product of that Defense that finally is healthy and playing as the entire unit rather than pieces of it? Compared to the beginning of the season, they look like a very different club.