NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

by | Mar 28, 2019 | News, NHL | 6 comments

Game recaps plus the latest on Ben Bishop, Mats Zuccarello, Paul Byron and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: David Pastrnak scored a hat trick and set up two other goals to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins (103 points) sit five up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins roster depth was also bolstered by the return of defenseman Torey Krug and Marcus Johansson from injuries. 

David Pastrnak’s three-goal, five-point performance powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers kept their wild-card hopes alive by edging the Leafs 5-4 on a shootout goal by Sean Couturier. Carter Hart made 38 saves for the Flyers while Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. The Flyers (82 points) sit eight points behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the second wild-card spot. Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin made his season debut after being sidelined by a knee injury

Speaking of the Flyers, forward Jori Lehtera was reportedly sentenced to four months of conditional imprisonment in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine. The Flyers placed Lehtera on waivers in early-February and he last played for their AHL affiliate on March 1. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Lehtera’s play already narrowed his chances of landing with another NHL team after this season. This news likely slams that door. Here’s hoping he can get his life back on track.

The Dallas Stars (86 points) maintained their three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by nipping the Calgary Flames 2-1. It was a costly win for the Stars, as starting goalie Ben Bishop was once again sidelined with a lower-body injury. Bishop is listed as day-to-day and the club intends to call up a goaltender for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

Stars winger Mats Zuccarello required a couple of stitches over his right eye following a collision with teammate Joel L’Esperance during morning practice yesterday. Zuccarello was otherwise unharmed as he continues his recovery from a broken arm. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon collected two points and Tyson Barrie set a franchise record for most goals (73) by a defenseman. The Avs (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot. 

THE SCORE: Agent JP Barry, who represents Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, is questioning the unwritten rules about players settling scores by fighting. Byron suffered a concussion during a fight with Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday. Weegar missed two weeks with a concussion in January following a hit by Byron, who received a three-game suspension. Barry pointed out Byron gave up five inches and 50 pounds to Weegar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  If Byron had a history of dirty play, was unrepentant over that hit on Weegar and received no supplemental discipline by the league, one could argue he got what he deserved. But that’s not the case. Hockey’s a rough game but that fight served no purpose at all.

CBS SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers winger Brad Malone was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of demoting him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $850K.



  1. David Quinn loses me more with every game played. Some brutal penalties, 2-too many men on the ice…. and playing Shattenkirk on a 5-3pk? Smh.

    I don’t expect NY to win games against Boston, but I also don’t expect them to kill themselves either

    I get that in a lost year they’re experimenting with different things, but experiment with young players that you don’t know their potential just yet. Kevin Shattenkirk is certainly not a guy I want on the ice , down in a game on a 5-3pk…

    When NY signed Quinn I said he’d be a development guy that probably wouldn’t see the end of his contract…. Now I’m praying he doesn’t!

    Yet another college hockey coach failed nhl experiment!

    I think it’s time for NHL franchises to move on from the idea…

  2. To clarify the lehterä thing:

    He was accused of had bought 8g of cocaine once and tried to purchace 1 g. He acquired those drugs from his friend who happens to be a drug dealer. He might have not used those drugs himself.

    He has denied ever having cocaine in the first place, and his lawyer has told the media that they are appealing the sentence. I think his life hasn’t been that much of track(like being an addict), his life has probably been more of track ’cause of the accusations. We haven’t yet seen the end of this.

    Anyway his nhl career would have ended after this season due to age and performance, with or without legal trouble.

    • Good point regarding his conviction. Regardless, it will cast a pall over his playing career and perhaps his life.

  3. Craig Button aka Captain Obvious says that Boston will “destroy” Toronto in the first round unless they resolve issues with Frederick Andersen and defensive shortcomings.
    Wow, Craig, way to go out on a limb, buddy. Tell us something we don’t know.
    Maybe an NHL team will hire this failed GM and get his face off the screen. Anyone? Anyone?

    • And take Doug Maclean with him!

    • Button is a smart guy who makes good observations. But perhaps it is easier to run him down than acknowledge weakness about the Leafs – weaknesses that have been apparent for a number of games now.