NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2018
Game recaps, injury updates plus the latest on Taylor Hall, Henrik Lundqvist and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist celebrated his 36th birthday with his record-setting second-straight 50-save effort to backstop his club to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Taylor Hall extended his personal points streak to 17 games as his New Jersey Devils fell 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams led the way with third-period goals for the Hurricanes (69 points), who moved into a tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot in the East.
Nathan MacKinnon’s five-point performance (two goals and three assists) powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-1 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Miko Rantanen collected four points (one goal, three assists) for the Avs (75 points), who moved within a point of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Mike Fisher scored in his season debut while Calle Jarnkrok tallied the winner in overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. It was the the seventh straight win for the Predators (91 points) as they maintained a six-point lead over Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division. Canucks forward Sven Baertschi left the game in the second period with a shoulder injury.
The Montreal Canadiens swept a home-and-home series with the New York Islanders with a 6-3 victory. Winger Alex Galchenyuk tallied a hat trick for the Habs, who handed the Isles their fifth straight defeat. Islanders winger Jordan Eberle missed the game with soreness suffered during Wednesday’s contest in Montreal.
The Florida Panthers picked up their fifth straight win by downing the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Nick Bjugstad and Evgenii Dadonov each collected two points for the Panthers, who moved to within one point of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
The Ottawa Senators beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4, handing the latter their third straight loss. Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan each had three points for the Senators. Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt and winger James Neal missed the game with undisclosed injuries.
A two-goal performance by Patrik Laine helped the Winnipeg Jets edge the Detroit Red Wings 4-3.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson returned to action with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.
SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman claims the Calgary Flames’ financial situation “continues to deteriorate” operating out of the aging Scotiabank Saddledome. He doesn’t see their situation changing anytime soon. He also said the Flames are now drawing upon the league’s revenue-sharing program after years of contributing into it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman has made no secret of his desire for the Flames to have a new arena. The club’s ownership is currently involved in a standoff with Calgary city council over funding for a new venue.
The Flames aren’t having trouble drawing fans. They’re eighth in league attendance this season, averaging 18,855 fans per game and operating at 97.8 percent capacity. However, they began the season sitting 21st in median ticket prices ($99.00). As per Forbes.com, they’re 19th in operating income ($5.4 million) and 21st in revenue ($129 million).
While the Flames could use a new arena, it’s unlikely to be the cure-all for their financial situation.Their fan cost index (revenue from tickets, merchandise, parking, etc) is based on what their market can bear. The decline of the Alberta oil industry and the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar since 2014 have contributed to the Flames’ financial woes.
Speaking of the Flames, the Calgary Sun reports a judge has ruled that the dispute “between NHL linesman Don Henderson and former Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman” should be sent to the league for arbitration.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo wants the NHL to do more to increase concussion awareness.