NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2020

by | Mar 3, 2020 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Leon Draisaitl tallies four goals against the Predators, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl tallied four goals and Connor McDavid had four assists as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Nashville Predators 8-3. The Oilers broke a 3-3 tie with five unanswered third-period goals. With 78 points, the Oilers moved within two points of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division. The Predators (72 points) cling to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Draisaitl (107 points) holds a big lead in the NHL scoring race. He also moved into fourth place (43 goals) in the goal-scoring race.

Leon Draisaitl had a five-point game in the Edmonton Oilers’ 8-3 win over the Nashville Predators (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring injury or a significant scoring drought, Draisaitl has the Art Ross Trophy locked up for this season. He’s also put himself into the running for the Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer, and should be a serious contender for the Hart Trophy as MVP. 

The Colorado Avalanche (87 points) edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to move within one point of the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues. Michael Hutchinson made 17 saves in his debut with the Avs. Colorado rookie defenseman Cale Makar missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Wings, meanwhile, played without winger Adam Erne, who could miss the remainder of the season with a broken hand.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 1.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson underwent shoulder surgery on Monday and will need four-to-six months to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was considerable interest in Anderson leading up to last Monday’s NHL trade deadline, but uncertainty over the status of his injury likely scared off potential suitors. His status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent status could make him a fixture in this summer’s rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks indicated defenseman Jacob Middleton is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. They’re also believed to have agreed to a four-year, $8-million contract extension with blueline Radim Simek, though this hasn’t been confirmed by general manager Doug Wilson.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Brian Dumoulin and John Marino are close to returning to the lineup. Both are game-day decision’s for tonight’s contest against the Ottawa Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And not a moment too soon for the struggling Penguins, who’ve dropped six straight games.

TORONTO SUN: Sidelined Maple Leafs blueliners Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci have returned to practice and could rejoin the lineup sometime next week.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey is expected to return to action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres after being sidelined for four games with an upper-body injuy. Winger Patrik Laine (left foot injury) could also return tonight.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators goalie Marcus Hogberg is returning to Sweden for family reasons. The club hopes to provide a further update shortly.

SPORTSNET: The NHL has no plans to make any changes to its emergency backup goalie rule.


  1. Well Ray , Draisaitl must have been on the site the other day. Good for him and good for Edmonton

    • The big fella pretty much does as he pleases out there.

    • Vinnie, I don’t need to build a case for Leon; but, in 66 games played he has not gone more then 2 consecutive games without scoring a point that happen 3 times only. He has not register a point in a total of 12 games. Impressive.

      His last 12 games he has scored 14 goals and 10 assist with a +7.

      Hard to argue against him and he may very well end up on the right side of the +/- or be the first player to win the Hart with a minus.

    • Ya Vinnie, that line is rolling right now. Good to see RNH get to play with some skill. 4th in the league in scoring in 2020.
      Not sure if you guys saw the 8th goal on the PP. How Draisaitl turned his back to McDavid to receive the pass on his back hand and then calmly and quickly just deposits it in the net on his forehand with almost no movement of his feet.
      It seems obvious that they have worked on this play, and how simple they made it look. I have never seen that preset play before. Simple play but a thing of beauty.

  2. The Hart Trophy the other day I build my case for Pastrnakas as a hart candidate, surprisingly I had to do that.

    Fact no player with a negative +/- has ever won the Hart.

    Other names as previously mentioned and depending on how you want to define the definition of the award; Draisaitl, McDavid, McKinnon, Eichel, Panarin and Matthews. The last three is based on the importance to their team making into the playoffs. Using that parameter I have one other team that should be given serious thought.

    Roman Josi D Nashville Predators 16g 45a 61pts in 65 games played with a +20. He leads his team in pts by 18 more then Filip Forsberg. He logs 25.50 toi per games; 1:23 more then the next player.

    One could argue that Josi is more valuable to his team then any other player on any other team. Nashville presently hold the 2nd wildcard spot and need to be a playoff team imo to have a chance, but no one talking.

    Josi could win the Hart but not the Norris and it would make sense.

    • Yes, Josi is fantastic. Is he a better D man than Carlson? I would say so.
      D sure don’t win the Hart much. Pronger like 20 years ago and before that is was Orr twice, when he was winning scoring titles.
      Only D man to ever do it, and might be the last. He did it twice. Was plus 100 one year.

    • Hi Caper

      I posted the other day re Hart

      My Bugaboo is the inconsistency in Writers association members voting on this… their interpretation of who deserves the award

      Per the definition of the award it is supposed to go to the player who is most valuable to HIS team

      Some writers admit they vote on “best” on team ; or “most valuable to league”…. and those often are completely different players

      If done by definition…. 31 teams will have a single player that is most valuable to them and the hockey writers would vote from those 31 to see which of those players is MOST most valuable to THEIR team

      It can be looked at like …. which player removed from your team for a year would have the most detriment to success of team; or which player has impacted their own team most positively

      There are many excellent choices ; and there are a few teams that have a credible argument between two players

      That said; to me MOST most valuable to his team is Eichel

      Let me note here … I don’t like his Egomania ; but his play on both ends of the rink is just absolutely far superior (waaaay better) than any other Sabre….

      13 goals and 27 points better than the next Sabre (Reinhart) and one if the very few Plus (in +/-) players on the team.

      If Sabres were w/o Eichel this year…. IMHO; they are already eliminated (like Wings)

      Eichel on the team has (and is) made/making the Sabres tremendously better than w/o him

      He carries the team

      My vote …. Eichel

  3. Orr, was unbelievable won 2 scoring championships as well. All on one leg.
    To me he was the best offensively and defensively and had 47 career fights.
    To bad his career was so short

    • The fight stat is a good one to stump your buds Vinnie.
      Orr had more Gordie Howe hat tricks than Gordie.
      Might have had more fights too??
      Although no one in their right mind wanted to fight Howe because he kicked tough guys asses early in his career.
      There is a picture out there of him fishing that kind of shows why that was.
      Good ole Sask boy!

      • Love spontaneity when it comes to fights , in the heat of the moment .
        Hated the goons who just sat on the bench and the staged fights at the faceoff.
        Watching Probert was something special, he was tough.

    • Hi Vinnie,

      To me …. Orr best player to ever lace them up

      Played with brutal knees; only played 36 games after he was only 27!

      Orr as a D had 6 straight seasons over 100 points and 2 different seasons over 135.

      Averaged almost a plus one per game …. career +582 in only 657 games!!!

      As a kid I watched him go through all 6 players (including the goalie) to score …. twice!!!!

      • Man, that’s twice I agree with you today, Pengy. What is going on?
        Quick Bobby Orr story. A friend was his PE teacher when the Oshawa Generals went to the Memorial Cup finals. All through the playoffs, Orr had a doctor’s note excusing him from class and his thigh was badly discoloured during that time. Orr didn’t miss a game.
        IMO that’s when his knee problems began.

      • Hi BCLeafFan


        Well he was my idol as a kid …. and I played centre !!!…. I was mesmerized watching him play

        Reflecting back on his absence from the Summit Series ; and to a lesser extent (but still important) the exclusion of the other Bobby….

        If those two were on the team…. that series is not as “Classic /Historical” as it is ; because with those two playing I don’t see us squeaking a series win with 34 seconds left in the tournie; it definitely would not have come down to the final game…

        IMHO …. Bobby and Bobby in …. the series is won in 6 ; making final two games technically moot

        BTW …. had the front page pic of Courn’s hug on Henderson ; pasted to my wall for years; didn’t take it down until replaced by Farah Fawcett poster!!!

  4. Re Pens with potentially both Dumo and Marino back tonight

    ….. I hope everybody in Pitt heard my cheer (from my office in T.O.) as I read it… I freaked out my staff …. LOL

    Now only thing needed is Sully making sure Riikola plays instead of JJ

    BTW … many Riikola minutiae stats for Feb …. not only best for a Pens D man ; but best in whole Pens team

  5. Holy Shite-Shooter Batman

    Leon ….4G 1A
    McD …. 1G 4 A

    Leon 82 game pace …. 53-80-133

    McD 82 game pace….

    Had McD not got injured … Ed was on pace to have 2 players with more points than Kuch got last year!!!

    Kudos Leon

  6. No Hart love for Zac Werenski?
    Where would Columbus be without him and his 20 goals.
    That team has been decimated by injuries, yet they keep winning games.
    Torts should get coach of the year as well.

  7. Holy Smokes Batman

    Leon ….4G 1A
    McD …. 1G 4 A

    Leon 82 game pace …. 53-80-133

    McD 82 game pace….

    Had McD not got injured … Ed was on pace to have 2 players with more points than Kuch got last year!!!

    Kudos Leon

  8. Leon is a beast. First german hockey superstar.
    And his $8.500.000 contract is definitively one of Chiarellis better signings 😁