NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 12, 2019

by | Mar 12, 2019 | News, NHL | 6 comments

Game recaps, stars of the week, NHLPA appeals Jakub Voracek’s suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette each scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2. With the win, the Lightning became the seventh team in NHL history to reach 110 points in 70 games or less. They lead the overall standings by 18 points. 

Tyler Johnson scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This matchup was lopsided from the start. While the Lightning benefited from a couple of flukey goals and a horrible power-play line change by the Leafs, they dominated this contest, out-shooting the Leafs 42-28.

This loss doesn’t bode well for the Leafs’ Stanley Cup hopes this spring. As per The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk, the Leafs are 7-14-1 against this season’s top-10 defensive teams. Those include the Lightning, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders, all of whom are potential playoff opponents for the Leafs this spring. 

Speaking of last night’s Lightning-Leafs game, Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas pledged his assistance as the league investigates allegations of a homophobic slur picked up on a microphone from one of the benches. 

New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss made 31 saves as his clubs blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. Ryan Pulock and Anders Lee were the goal scorers. The Islanders (87 points) moved within two points of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, while the Blue Jackets (79 points) cling to the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. 

The Philadelphia Flyers (76 points) moved within three points of the Blue Jackets by holding off the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Michael Raffl had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who’ve won six of their last eight games.  Meanwhile, the NHL Players Association is appealing Jakub Voracek’s two-game suspension for interfering with New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk during a recent game. 

Martin Jones kicked out 24 shots as the San Jose Sharks shut out the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Barclay Goodrow, Tomas Hertl, and Logan Couture tallied for the Sharks (92 points), who regained first place in the Western Conference standings. The Wild (74 points) hold the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Chicago Blackhawks winger Brendan Perlini tallied his first career NHL hat trick to lead his club to a 7-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes (73 points) remain one point behind the Wild while the Blackhawks (69 points) are five points back. 

Petr Mrazek had a 38-save shutout performance and Andrei Svechnikov scored twice to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Hurricanes (83 points) sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division while the Avalanche (72 points) are two points behind the Wild. 

Leon Draitsaitl’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. It’s the Oilers fifth victory in their last six contests, moving them within five points of the Wild. 

Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau, Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop, and Anaheim Ducks right wing Troy Terry are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 10. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres captain Jack Eichel and head coach Phil Housley disagree with Eichel’s two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg. 

CBS SPORTS: The Calgary Flames recalled defenseman Michael Stone from his AHL conditioning stint. 

NBC SPORTS: Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has returned to Boston for further evaluation on his injured right arm. X-rays revealed no broken bones but there’s concern he may have suffered some ligament damage. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have called up goaltender Charlie Lindgren from their AHL affiliate in Laval. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs coaching staff appear to have lost confidence in backup Antti Niemi, who’s made just six starts since the calendar flipped to 2019. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: With winger Zach Aston-Reese injured, the Pittsburgh Penguins called up Joseph Blandisi. 


  1. Argh! To paraphrase their coach’s comments about Mitch Marner, the Tampa Bay Lightning may be the best team the NHL has ever seen.

  2. The leafs are in a tough spot up against the cap and not good enough to beat the top teams in the league. The nylander signing was terrible how they didn’t trade him is mind boggling the guy just doesn’t care on the ice and now they won’t get a very good return if they do move him

  3. yelling out the f word and utteringva sexual orientation slur as can be heard at the six second mark of the video that I watched is unacceptable. I get it that this is an evolving society but if you’re going to be paid as a professional, if you walk around in a suit dressed up as a professional before and after games, then yelling a slur like that where the recipient who it’s directed toward, and people within earshot who either are or are related to people who are LGBTQ, is not professional conduct.

    What’s professional is for the player to own up to it before the investigation is complete, apologize and for everyone to accept the apology. Everyone makes mistakes.

  4. By the way, to make it clear how slurs affect people, I have a child on the spectrum. My family were shopping and my young son was having a difficult time and started screaming which annoyed a couple behind us in line. The man uttered the word “retarded” to his wife or girlfriend and my other two kids heard it clearly.

    I decided to educate him publicly. He was clearly embarrassed and apologized in the parking lot after he probably reflected on it.

    Everyone makes mistakes but you can’t ignore public comments that hurt other people. One in 63 children have autism and yet families still deal with ignorance like derogatory slurs against people with special needs.

    Society is evolving and that’s a good thing.

  5. Well, as it turns out, Reilly was found to not have said it. I guess we can put the boogey man card away for the time being.

    Until the next time….. Let’s keep our eyes peeled and our ears open waiting for the next thing we can be offended about. Even if it turns out there was nothing to be offended about.

    It shouldn’t take too long….

  6. NHL statement declaratively states it does not condone language or gestures that disparage others including sexual orientation. Leafs management made their policy clear on the subject.

    Stating “even though it turns out there was nothing to be offended about” is an opinion that suggests there’s nothing wrong with unprofessional conduct.

    If the NHL wants to do its job they can interview more people who were actually there within earshot. It could have been a fan but if it was t someone knows for sure.