NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2018
Sedins to retire, game recaps, Coyotes offer contract to Raanta, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: After 17 seasons, Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin yesterday announced they intend to retire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The twins, both 37, were selected second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. They went on to become the best players in Canucks history.
Henrik leads the clubs in games played (1,327), assists (828) and points (1,068), while Daniel is their leader in goals (391), even-strength goals (253), power-play goals (137), game-winning goals (85) and shots (3,457). Henrik sits second in playoff points (78) while Daniel (71) is third.
Since 2006-07, the Sedins have been the twin faces of the Canucks. In their prime, they were among the league’s top players, with Henrik winning the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2010 and Daniel winning the Art Ross and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2011.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daniel and Henrik also led the Canucks to their best years in franchise history. During a five-season stretch from 2008-09 to 2012-13, Vancouver won five division titles, consecutive Presidents’ Trophy seasons (2011, 2012), one Campbell Bowl (2011) and a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The twins are also retiring while they’re still effective players. Daniel is second among Canucks scorers this season with 52 points, Henrik is third with 48.
Devan Dubnyk’s 22-save shutout performance backstopped the Minnesota Wild to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Wild also clinched a playoff spot for the sixth straight year, sitting third in the Central Division with 98 points. Earlier in the day, they learned defenseman Ryan Suter’s season is over after suffering a fractured right ankle during a loss on Saturday against Dallas.
The Washington Capitals dealt a blow to the St. Louis Blues’ playoff hopes with a 4-2 victory. Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 46th goal of the season while goaltender Braden Holtby made 34 saves. With 92 points, the Blues remain one back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Earlier in the day, the Blues learned forward Scottie Upshall’s season is over after he suffered a lacerated kidney during Saturday’s loss to Arizona.
The Avalanche, meanwhile, maintain their slim one-point lead over the Blues after falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, who moved up into third in the Pacific Division with 96 points. With the Kings win and the Blues loss, the idle San Jose Sharks (98 points) have clinched a playoff spot.
The Florida Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Aleksander Barkov had two assists for the Panthers (88 points), who sit five points behind the New Jersey Devils for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Blake Wheeler scored twice and Mark Scheifele collected two assists as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Ottawa Senators 6-5. Following the game, Senators captain Erik Karlsson picked up the puck and tucked it into his hockey pants, prompting speculation this may be his final home contest in Ottawa. Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Mike Hoffman and Thomas Chabot each had three-point performances.
Two-goal performances by Auston Matthews and William Nylander powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have matched a franchise high in points with 103.
Vegas Golden Knights forward Wiliam Karlsson, Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel are the NHL’s stars for the week ending April 1, 2018.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Speaking of Raanta, the Coyotes have offered the pending unrestricted free agent a multiyear contract extension. “The deal could be for up to four years and would be between $4 to $4.5 million in average annual value.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta probably won’t get a better offer via this summer’s UFA market. Despite being hampered by injuries, he put in a solid effort in his first season as a full-time starting goalie, winning 20 games while posting a 2.27 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and three shutouts. Still, his overall inexperience as a starter combined with his recent history of injuries could hurt his chances of scoring a lengthier, more expensive contract.
NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
BOSTON HERALD: The NHL department of player safety slapped a $5,000.00 fine on Bruins winger Brad Marchand for cross-checking Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald during a game on Sunday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that’ll really send a message to a recidivist like Marchand.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks enter the final week of the season with goaltender John Gibson and defenseman Cam Fowler questionable due to injuries.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast has suffered a groin injury that will likely sideline him for the club’s final three games. Teammate Mats Zuccarello could also miss some time after undergoing an MRI.