NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2021

by | Mar 1, 2021 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s games feature Patrick Kane and Alain Vigneault reaching career milestones plus updates on Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Gabriel Landeskog and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Patrick Kane scored his 400th career goal as the Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Detroit Red Wings 7-2. He had a three-point performance while Alex DeBrincat collected four points and Kevin Lankinen made 44 saves for the Blackhawks. They’ve won six of their last eight games and sit third in the Discover Central Division.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane tallied career goal 400 in a 7-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers wondered how the Blackhawks would fill the leadership void when team captain Jonathan Toews was sidelined by a mysterious illness. Kane has certainly risen to the occasion. He’s also tied for second with Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (34 points) in the NHL scoring race.

Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault picked up career win 700 as his club blanked the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. Goalie Carter Hart made 28 saves for the shutout while James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vigneault is tied with Mike Babcock for eighth on the all-time list.

The Boston Bruins got two goals from Charlie Coyle and two assists from David Pastrnak as they defeated the New York Rangers 4-1. Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev played most of the game with a scratched left eye suffered in the first period. He went to the bench for repairs and returned to the game.

A 28-save performance by Juuse Saros helped the Nashville Predators down the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1, sweeping their two-game series and handing the Jackets their fifth straight loss. Columbus coach John Tortorella said he wasn’t concerned about his job security in a post-game press conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Changes could be coming to the Jackets if they don’t snap out of this tailspin soon. They’re now six points behind the fourth-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Central.

Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal as the Washington Capitals edged the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves in his first game since coming off the COVID-19 protocol list. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist for the Caps. Devils captain Nico Hischier missed the game and is listed as day-to-day after taking a puck to the face on Saturday.

New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves for his second straight shutout in a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were the goal scorers.


THE SCORE: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel claimed he didn’t get hurt during pregame warmup before Thursday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils, contradicting what coach Ralph Krueger told reporters that night. Eichel said he got hurt in New Jersey on Tuesday, which also forced him to miss Thursday’s game. Krueger said Sunday he wasn’t trying to mislead anyone with his statement on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This would be at best a minor issue for a normal team. For the floundering Sabres, however, it’s seen by their critics as yet another example of the dysfunction within the club.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs could face the Edmonton Oilers tonight without center Auston Matthews and goalies Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell. They’re nursing injuries and listed as day-to-day. Michael Hutchinson will get the call if Andersen and Campbell can’t play.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog tied Peter Forsberg for the third-most goals (202) in franchise history during Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

NBC SPORTS: Florida Panthers winger Brett Connolly and Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock were placed on waivers yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m interested to see if a team in need of goalie depth plucks Stalock off the waiver wire. He had decent numbers last season but has been relegated to third-stringer behind Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen this season.

STLTODAY.COM: Jacob de la Rose became the sixth player on the St. Louis Blues to be placed on injured reserve.

TSN: Four players – Arizona’s John Hayden, Detroit’s Patrik Nemeth, the New York Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl – remain on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were calls from some in the media in mid-February for the NHL to pause or reduce the schedule over the growing number of players on the protocol list and the postponement of games as a result. Those numbers have significantly dropped over the last two weeks, suggesting the league’s updated protocols are working.


  1. Like#83 s game yesterday.More effective player than 14.Used earlier in career as a top 6,which he is not.quicker than 14,with a little better skill set.#10 can t seem to get his game going.Reminds me of 43 Heinen when he was here.#74 continues to frustrate us all.#23 much better at center,though not much room for him when 46 returns.

  2. Unless it’s considered too early to pick a “dark horse” to go all the way, I’d like to toss out the name New York Islanders – they are quietly having a solid season and you just know that any team coached by Barry Trotz is going to be well-prepared when the playoffs roll around.

    Barzal, Lee, Pageau. Leddy, Eberle are all having solid seasons and their goaltending tandem of Varlamov and Sorokin is among the best in the league.

  3. Listen i like a physical game and i like a good scrap.

    At the end of Boston game yesterday, whistle is blowing with 4 seconds left Rangers put Lemieux on the ice Boston put Ritchie (who fell on the Rangers goalie head early in the game) on the ice, the puck is dropped the two combatants drop their gloves immediately and have at it.

    Basically a staged fight at the end of the game, absolute no purpose.

    I like to see both players suspended one game and both coaches fined $5g

    If the fight is in the heat of battle i’m ok with but this was horse manure.

  4. 0 cups in 54 years for the leafs is embarrassing.

    1 cup in 50 years for the Bruins.

    Leafs are too soft for the playoffs.

    1 cup in 50 years for the Bruins.

    Leafs D is a joke.

    1 cup in 50 years for the Bruins.

    4 forwards taking up half the leafs salary cap.

    1 cup in 50 years for the Bruins.

    Leafs play in the weakest division.

    1 cup in 50 years for the Bruins

    Leafs can’t get out of the first round of the playoffs.

    1 cup in 50 years for the bruins

    • Hmm…sounds like someone is working through some jealousy issues.

      If, in the year 2065 (54 years since last Boston SC victory) the Bruins have not won another championship or even won a playoff round since 2048 I will return to Spector’s site and agree that the Bruins are as poorly managed as the Leafs.

      Lyle, don’t plan on retiring anytime soon!

      • I’ll be 102 years old if I’m still on this side of the dirt by then. Sorry but I ain’t hanging around that long! 😉

      • Dm…0 cups in 54 years

        1 cup in 50 years

      • Why not compare apples to apples?

        0 Cups in 54 years for Leafs.

        3 Cups in 54 years for Bruins (Boston won in ’70 and ’72)

      • Why dont we Doubleminor? You selected a time frame skewed to cast Bruins in the best light.

        Here are the apples to apples numbers

        TML 13
        Boston 6

        No qualifiers or skewing needed.


    • That was weird.
      Bad start to your day DF?
      Leafs are a really good team, cheer up!

      • They are that Ray. Anyone who visits this site with any regularity knows I am not a fan of the Leafs, and while in my more rabid younger days whenever they lost – especially a playoff series – it was as good as the team I followed closely (first the Habs – then the Senators when they came along) winning.

        But with age you mellow, and while I will comment in here as and when they are part of the topic of the day (even if some take objection) seeing them go all the way after 54 years wouldn’t bother me as I have a grandson in his 20s and a daughter-in-law who are both devoted fans.

        As I have repeatedly said in here I won’t mind seeing the kids and old-timers like Thornton and Spezza raise the cup – the killer will be listening to the Toronto-centric media types who pass themselves off as “national” go on and on and on about it, while the more fawning types in these pages resort to school-yard jargon.

        But hey, I’ve survived far worse 🙂 – so far anyway.

      • It would be nice to see Thornton and Spezza hoist the cup George.
        I think the Leafs would fair better this time around if they played the B’s, but that seems unlikely this year unless the B’s play better come playoff time and get out of the East.
        When they play each other I bet with a guy at work. A small amount of $$, but the loser has to where the other guys Jersey all day at the office and listen to it.
        That is the tough part.

    • FD i think the point your missing is it’s one cup in 10yrs for Boston.

      Which makes it much more recent, something I can actually remember and truly experience the joy it brought.

      There is alot of teams who have more cups then Boston and no one has more then Montreal.

      If you ask a penguin fan or Blackhawks, TB, Blues the joy of the recent memory and the pleasure it brought.

      When Boston won game 7 I sat on my couch and was still clapping 10 minutes after the game was over.

      Sure I was alive in the 70’s when they won but I didn’t have the emotional investment i do now or when the finally won.

      Yes it’s just one cup in 10yrs but the overwhelming joy and pleasure it brought to me, I still sit here in this moment and appreciate that sense of pride and release of enjoyment. What a moment.

      At this moment you can’t understand that feeling. But maybe this is the year.

      • I am just stating facts, what seems to be the issue.

        Have I said anything negative about the Bruins? Odd is right

      • Yes FD Boston has one cup in 10 years.