NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2020
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon injured against the Kings, the NHL limits locker-room access over coronavirus concerns, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon suffered a lower-body injury as his Colorado Avalanche dropped a 3-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings, who extended their winning streak to six games. Avs coach Jared Bednar had no update on MacKinnon’s condition. Colorado (90 points) sit two points behind the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche has persevered despite their injury-depleted roster throughout this season. A potentially lengthy absence of their leading scorer, however, will be a serious test.
Despite a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Washington Capitals regained sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division with 91 points. Sabres captain Jack Eichel netted his 36th of the season while teammate Dominik Kahun potted the winning. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 48th goal of the season, tying Boston’s David Pastrnak for first place among this season’s goal scorers. Washington has just four wins in their last 10 games.
The Florida Panthers upset the Blues 2-1. Mike Hoffman and Brett Connolly were the Panthers’ goal scorers while Chris Driedger made 26 saves for the win. The Panthers moved within a point of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot and the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with a 2-1 upset of the Blues.
Shea Theodore’s overtime goal lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. With 86 points, the Golden Knights hold a three-point lead over the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division. Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen made 45 saves in a losing cause. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid missed the game due to an illness.
Nikolaj Ehlers scored and set up two others as the Winnipeg Jets picked up their third straight victory by doubling up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. With 78 points, the Jets hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Coyotes, meanwhile, sit three points out of a playoff spot in the West.
The NHL is joining the NBA, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer by limiting access to locker rooms and clubhouses to players and essential personnel over concerns about the coronavirus. Media groups responded with a statement expressing their understanding of this situation, but hoping access won’t be unnecessarily limited in the short and long term.
NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks released a statement in response to Santa Clara county banning all mass gatherings exceeding 1,000 people for the rest of the month over coronavirus concerns. The team will be reviewing each upcoming event scheduled at SAP Center and will provide updates in the coming days. The Sharks have three homes games scheduled for March 19, 21, and 29.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those games could be postponed, though rescheduling them will be difficult with the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning on April 8. The Sharks could also end up playing those games in an empty arena.
NHL.COM: New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 8.
The department of player safety fined Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist $5,000.00 for roughing Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist on Sunday.
CBS SPORTS: The Sharks officially announced the re-signing of defensesman Radim Simek to a four-year, $9-million contract extension.
Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury and has returned to Las Vegas
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: With goaltender Petr Mrazek set to return to action, the Carolina Hurricanes sent Alex Nedeljkovic to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
NBC SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom joined his teammates for their annual team photo yesterday. Lindblom has been sidelined since December as he undergoes treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma.