NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2020
The Bruins become the first team to reach 100 points this season, Mika Zibanejad and Filip Forsberg set franchise records with their respective clubs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask kicked out 36 shots to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0, snapping the latter’s nine-game winning streak. Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron were the goal scorers as the league-leading Bruins became the first team to reach 100 points this season. The Flyers played without defenseman Philippe Myers, who’s sidelined at least four weeks with a fractured patella in his right knee.
Mika Zibanejad became the fastest player to reach 40 goals in New York Rangers history in a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice for the Rangers (78 points), who sit three points out of an Eastern wild-card berth. The slumping Stars (82 points) sit third in the Central Division, but they’re winless in their last six contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how many great scorers the Rangers have had in their long history, that’s quite an achievement by Zibanejad.
The Nashville Predators (78 points) moved into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by doubling up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Filip Forsberg scored twice, becoming the first player in Predators’ history to register six 20-goal seasons. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced leading scorer Tomas Tatar is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.
Auston Matthews’ 47th goal of the season was also the game-winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Teammate Mitch Marner collected two assists as the Leafs (81 points) opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division. Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly returned to action for the first time after suffering a broken foot nearly two months ago. The Lightning are eight points behind the Bruins.
Evgeni Malkin scored twice and picked up an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New Jersey Devils 5-2. With 86 points, the Penguins sit third in the Metropolitan Division. Earlier in the day, the Penguins announced center Nick Bjugstad is considered week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.
Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian tallied twice and added an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek made 23 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a concussion in late February. With 81 points, the Canes move into the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Wings, meanwhile, have the dubious honor of clinching last place in the overall standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The silver lining for the Wings is they have the best odds of winning the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.
The struggling New York Islanders winless skid reached seven games as they fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks. Brock Nelson scored twice for the Isles while Thatcher Demko made 45 saves for the Canucks (78 points), who moved back into the second Western wild-card berth, The Isles (80 points) sit one point out of an Eastern wild-card spot.
A natural hat trick by Nicolas Deslauriers carried the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
IN OTHER NEWS…
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon’s status remains uncertain after suffering a lower-body injury during Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar is expected to provide an update later today. Meanwhile, the Avs announced former Colorado Rockies stars and MLB Hall-of-Famer Larry Walker will be their honorary emergency backup goalie during Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues placing Troy Brouwer on waivers has raised speculation sidelined winger Vladimir Tarasenko could be nearing a return from shoulder surgery.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic could return to action against the Islanders on Thursday.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets assigned Mark Letestu to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. A diagnosis of myocarditis sidelined him for all but seven games this season.
THE SCORE: The Columbus Blue Jackets will continue to allow fans at their home games despite the Ohio governor’s recommendation that indoor sports events be held without spectators over coronavirus concerns. The team has recommended those fans at higher risk, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, should avoid these events.
After watching the Boston-Philadelphia game last night, and dipping into my bottle of 15 y/o Glenfiddich, I couldn’t get to sleep and so sat through the entire Ottawa-Anaheim game, one of the weirdest I have seen in a long time. With Hogberg in goal for Ottawa, his first after returning from Sweden to attend personal matters, he gave up 4 goals in the first period – two 43 seconds apart before the 3 minute mark and two 42 seconds apart around the mid-way point. In total he faced 15 shots during the entire game. At the other end Miller faced 42 shots.
Complete dominance by Ottawa and yet they managed to get the loss almost every Ottawa fan was clamoring for to solidify their draft position. As I say, weird.
I think Mika Zibanejad was drafted in the first round 6th overall by the Senators in 2011
Not bad 56 games 74 points plus 7 with 40 goals and 26 years old.
Zibanejad and a second for Brassard. The evaluator of talent chose right I guess.
Who needs a big young scoring center.
Yeah, that was a bad one.
Zbad is fantastic.
This one time, the Leafs traded Rask for Raycroft.
Another time, the Bruins traded Thornton for Marco friggin Strum and Wayne Primeau.
Hindsight is 20/20, Vinnie.
Russ Courtnall was a hell of a player.
Do you guys remember talking Barbie commercials?
You would push a button and it would say one of 4 phrases.
Not sure why I thought of that?
Lmao. I love the movie Groundhog Day!
Deja poo. Or the inescapable feeling that I’ve heard that crap before
didn’t Brad Stuart go to Boston in on the Thorton deal?
Yes, but that actually makes it worse.
Omitted on purpose.
Bruins played without Carlo & Krug ….
Grz is the next power play quarterback for our B’s!
I like Krug, but not for over $6mil.
I think I know someone else who said exact same thing a couple days ago. Philly was better team for most of game but Rask was stellar all night long. Boston really missed Carlo he does so much for them. Charlie Coyle was best Bruin in my opinion that trade almost makes up for the Thornton screw up. Cam Neely was also not a bad pick up. Do you Bruin fans know Boston drafted Ken Dryden wouldn’t have been a bad goalie to maybe keep.