NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2021

by | Mar 10, 2021 | News, NHL | 47 comments

Recaps of Tuesday’s action, the NHL is reportedly returning to ESPN, plus updates on Jack Eichel, Roman Josi, Nathan MacKinnon, Elias Pettersson and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and Tristan Jarry made 33 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Before the game, the Penguins announced forward Jared McCann was listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. With 31 points, the Pens move one point ahead of the Boston Bruins into third place in the MassMutual East Division.

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz picked up a win in his 1,700th career NHL game as his club edged the Bruins 2-1 on a shootout goal by Anthony Beauvillier. Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves and Brock Nelson scored in regulation as the Isles (36 points) got their sixth straight victory to maintain a two-point lead over the second-place Washington Capitals in the East Division. Bruins winger David Pastrnak tallied his 11th goal of the season while struggling teammate Jake DeBrusk was a healthy scratch.

Shootout goals by Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick lifted the Philadelphia Flyers over the Buffalo Sabres 5-4, extending the latter’s winless skid to eight straight games. The Flyers overcame a 4-2 deficit on third-period goals by Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere. Their comeback began after they pulled starter Carter Hart in favor of backup Brian Elliott. They’re one point behind the fourth-place Bruins. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced captain Jack Eichel is out at least a week with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart gave up three goals on eight shots in the first period. It was the third time this season they’ve pulled the struggling 22-year-old goalie from a game. He is 6-5-3 in 15 starts this season with a bloated 3.61 goals-against average.

Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal (NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals blew a 4-1 lead over the New Jersey Devils but emerged with a 5-4 victory following an overtime goal by Jakub Vrana, who finished the game with two goals. Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov each collected two assists while Devils center Travis Zajac picked up three helpers.

Jordan Staal scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Nashville Predators 3-2. Sebastian Aho scored and collected an assist for the Hurricanes (37 points), who sit one back of the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Discover Central Division. Predators captain Roman Josi missed the game as he’s listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators were already missing blueliner Ryan Ellis, who’s also week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Losing their two best defensemen within a week of each other could be the death blow to the Preds’ fading playoff hopes.

Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 38 shots as his club doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, handing the latter their seventh loss in their last nine contests. With 36 points, the Panthers sit one point behind the second-place Hurricanes in the Central Division while the Jackets (25 points) are six points behind the fourth-place Chicago Blackhawks.

Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves as the Winnipeg Jets held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3, handing the Leafs their third straight defeat. Jets defenseman Neal Pionk picked up three assists. Leafs center Auston Matthews snapped a five-game scoreless drought by tallying twice to become the first player to reach 20 goals this season. Jets defenseman Nathan Beaulieu left the game with an upper-body injury. With 33 points, the Jets are five points behind the first-place Leafs in the Scotia North Division.

An overtime goal by Blake Coleman gave the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Coleman and Tyler Johnson each had a goal and an assist as the Lightning (38 points) maintain a one-point lead for first place in the Central Division.

The Dallas Stars spoiled Blackhawks’ winger Patrick Kane’s 1000th career NHL game with a lopsided 6-1 victory. Stars winger Jason Robertson collected a career-high four assists while captain Jamie Benn picked up his 700th career point. The Stars, however, are 10 points behind the fourth-place Blackhawks.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports sources claimed the NHL and ESPN have reached an agreement on a seven-year to become one of the league’s media partners starting next season. It’s expected ESPN would split the package with another media company, getting exclusive rights to broadcast four Stanley Cup Finals between 2022 and 2028 plus streaming rights for Disney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN hasn’t aired live NHL games since 2004 so this is a big deal for the league. The current contract with NBC pays $200 million per year so we can expect the new US broadcasting deal will be worth considerably more. This is also an indication of how much the NHL product has grown and improved in the American sports market over the past decade.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is expected to return to action tonight against the Arizona Coyotes after missing the Avs’ last three games with a head injury.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson is expected to miss at least another week with an upper-body injury. His last game was March 2 against the Jets.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes placed goaltender Darcy Kuemper on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. He’s returning to Arizona for further evaluation after getting hurt during Monday’s game against the Avalanche.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy faced no supplemental discipline for his hit to the head of Lightning blueliner Erik Cernak, who returned to action last night against Detroit.

TSN: Only three players – Edmonton’s Kyle Turris, Nashville’s Erik Haula and San Jose’s Marcus Sorensen – are on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.


  1. Pens… certainly glad for the win

    Fantastic job Jarry

    Geno/Kappy clicking

    Nice shorty

    JJ a seeing eye goal… WTF…. then he redeemed himself (back to his JJ self on the Guentzel goal and for most of the rest of the game 👍👍)

    Still a long way to go…. to “keep up with the Jone’s” they must get at least 25 (of 32) points v Sabres/Devils

    Big couple of tilts coming v Bruins

    Hextall… please pick up phone and at least find out asking price on Staal (pssssst , tell Burkie that Staal is just a smidge over 6’ 4” so he gives you permission to make the call)

  2. Leafs…

    Hellebuyck put on a helluva (love the alliteration) show

    He is one hell-of-a (had to do it again) goalie

    Anderson let one in that he shouldn’t have

    There in a nutshell is the big difference in the outcome

    As a Leaf fan , my biggest fears are that they can dominate a series offensively with chances but get out-duelled in net ; or that they come into a series heavily favoured offensively but out-matched defensively

    CH stole the show last night and has the ability to steal series… the Vezina shines on his trophy stand for a reason

    Wake up Leafs… Jets are serious

    Leafs need to win at least one of the next 2 games

    • Calm down Pengy. The Leafs are fine. Mark my words, they will be at the conference finals this year. All they need to do is replace Nylander, Kerfoot, and Dermott. Free up 11.5 mill, and sign somebody with hockey iq for Tavares or Mathews depending on where Marner is slotted. Kerfoot can be replaced with Robertson while Dermott can be replaced by Sandin. This give Dubas some cap space to work with. He need to resign Hyman likely at $4 mill to $4.5 mill. That leaves roughly 7 mill to find that difference maker at top six.

  3. Has golf season arrived for the Leafs? It certainly has for golfers – yippee!

    • Snowed last night in EDM, but I’m happy for you BCLeafFan.

    • Get ready for a parade down Yonge Street in Toronto, Robinson Street in Vancouver, Mcleod Trail in Calgary… The Leafs will end 54 year Stanley drought come June.

      • While hundreds of thousands cheer … creating a new spike in Covid-19 cases followed by another lock-down. And if you think the majority will have been vaccinated by then … boy ….

      • I can sign up for my first shot next week. Don’t know when I will get it, but I can book it.

      • Ray are you doing that vaccine that’s only for 60-64 year olds?

        I just turned 60 and therefore eligible but I have heard that the efficacy rate is much lower than others; I might wait until late May for the next waive where I qualify

      • Age 50-64 can sign up starting today with age 64 folks.
        I am 55 so next week.
        It is the Astra Zeneca that I can get right away. Will be May ish if you want to wait for a mRNA one (Pfizer/Moderna).
        I want to get vaccinated ASAP and the efficacy rate depends on the time between shots. Wait 12 weeks and goes up to 85-90.

        But it is 100% effective in large scale testing against severe disease – hospitalization and death.
        Good enough for me.

  4. Every nhl fan should say a big thank you to me bettman!

    I said it over the summer and I’ll say it again. Philly hasn’t been able to solve their goalie problem long term in my lifetime and I doubt they ever will.

    • Thank you me

      • 😒

      • No… I was dang funny with that one Chrisms… 🤣😂

  5. Boston Bruins presently are a one line team and in a dog fight to make the playoffs.

    The second line of David Krecji and Jake Debrusk have one goal between them 36 games and that one goal by Debrusk was on the PP.

    Boston as per usual will have to rely on special teams and strong defense and goaltending.

    If Rask injury is long term the Bruins are in a tough position.

    Great to see the NHL and ESPN come to terms. No dollar amount published but will it affect next season cap?

    • Hi Caper

      I don’t think it affects 21/22 Cap but I would expect an increase of some sort in 22/23

    • The Bruins should look hard at being a seller ,not a buyer.They are not a real Stanley Cup contender.Get ahead of the deadline then start trading now.Players to move 74 with one of their young 55,67,58 defensemen.46,40,41 all unrestricted free agents.Don t be afraid to try to get a young goaltender like 90 from columbus.How far is Rask going to take them?

      • What’s with the player #’s Steve?
        Other than Bruin fans, nobody knows who you are talking about or will spend the time to look up who you mean.

      • I don’t think Boston need to do anything for goaltending. They have a good young prospect.

        Sweeney has a very narrow window with his core and need to do something now.

      • I think he will Caper, but I would wait to see how the next couple weeks go before pulling the trigger. If they continue to lose and fall 4-5-6 points back?
        I don’t think adding a player, IE 2nd line scoring winger, is enough to push them to contender status. Add in a quality 2nd pair LD as well, getting closer. At what cost?
        I would be more than happy for them to prove me wrong.
        My guess is Sweeney does something to give Bergy etc another shot.
        Rumor has it it is a buyers market.

  6. Well that game should prompt some deep thinking by Dubas. They are far superior in talent to Jets with a far inferior goalie.

    Dubas should and will be fired if he wastes another playoffs with that Danish pastry we have in net.

    • It don’t matter what the leafs do in the regular season, when the real hockey starts those overrated overpaid 3 disappear and the leafs lose yet again in the first round! Rinse wash repeat

      • Bogosian and Brodie can be hidden for just so long and dips happen to all/most teams.

        TML losses are exposing the weaknesses of this team that most fans out of the centre of the universe have seen for a while.

        same holes as before plugged with the over the hill gang and cast offs.

        That Tavares contract was the harbinger of the best of times and the worst of times.

        It’s why they play the games on the ice and not on paper/internet.

        With all that being said, Mitch Marner is an amazing player and the one Leaf worth his weight in gold.

      • George, never underestimate the lack of due diligence on a teams part. Slugs are traded every day. People on this site think he isnt the problem (he is) Andersen is a passable goalie in regular season so for teams first just trying to get in he may be attractive. He only has a 10 team no trade list. I would trade him to Edm if they are not on it. We can take back cap ad needed or funnel it to another team. Leafs have their next 2 firsts as well as two excellent prospects in Robertson and Sandin. Also have lesser good prospect in Lilligren. Any and all should be on the table. Ana could take back his hit to end of year as salary left is only about 650k. Ariz if they fall out for Kuemper if healthy or niemi. Clb can only protect 1 or their 2 goalies for expansion draft so andersen plus can go there. Aside from rielly 1 more year and Hyman ufa ,who will be resigned, this is their window next 3 years so the move is:

        ANA: GIBSON for whatever it takes from list below:

        2021 1st
        2022 1st
        Last years first rounder Russian
        ANA pick of leaf prospect goalies Will and Scott

        With Andersen and if possible Kerfoot.

        The trade capital is there and Gibson will be in his 30s when ANA is ready to compete again.

      • Wow, that is bold Wendel. And actually not totally crazy either.

      • Moving kerfoot as well clears the space to resign Hyman to a 2.1M raise and still stay inside cap next year with all other key pieces under contract already.

      • Bigbear, those three disappear because they are surrounded with buncha a ballerinas. If Dubas surround those three with WARRIORS, those three will light it up. It’s probably very difficult to play your game when you constantly have to look over your shoulder to avoid getting plastered to the boards. Not one player in their entire roster can provide that protection for those three. They had one few years back when Lou was running the show. Matt Martin. Lou took him with him.

      • That is an intriguing proposal Wendel. The only caveat I’d toss in there is that, according to The Hockey Writers Ass’n, Anaheim currently ranks 9th in the NHL with respect to the strength of their prospect pool, while the Leafs rank 15th.

        I know … prospects are just that until they prove otherwise … but Murray has to feel good about his clutch of top prospects such as Jamie Drysdale, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Isaac Lundestrom, Jacob Perreault and Trevor Zegras.

        I would think he would balk at giving up a top goalie costing $6.4 mil off the cap to 2026-27 to bring back one he already deemed expendable and who is a UFA at season’s end and surely seeking a raise over his current $5 mil cap hit. Simply to get more prospects, including what would be very low 1st rounders.

        But, I suppose, nothing ventured – nothing gained.

      • George those prospect rankings mean nothing. To me the only thing that matters are potential high end players. They base those prospect listing on players they think will just make the NHL. Most of those 3rd and 4th line players can be found anywhere at very little cost. It’s the top guys that matter. So even if a team only has a cpl of top end potential players they can fall below teams without any real potential top end players.

    • Wendel, just to play the Devil’s Advocate, assuming Dubas did try to move Andersen and bring in another goalie, who do you see taking him since it then becomes obvious to all that the reason he’s moving him is his penchant for allowing the soft goal at the wrong time?

      In fact, maybe that’s why Anaheim dealt him in the first place before it became generally obvious.

      But, let’s assume he finds a taker and Andersen waives his NMC clause – who do you see who might be available that would be in instant improvement?

      It could be that Dubas has been trying to upgrade in net but that that action is precluded by a combination of the cap factor, his inconsistency and the simple fact no one is trying to move a top goalie at this time.

      • The only way I can see it is if a team is looking to save actual cash like an Arizona. Anderson was only owed 1 million in actual salary at the beginning of the season. Anderson is a great goalie and there’s no need to trade him. Just look at the stats over the last few years from our backup goalies. The leafs had a really poor defence and Anderson kept them in most nights. Most young teams need years of growth to win the cup. See Tampa Bay, Washington and St Louis just for starters. How many years were they favorites to win and never did. Colorado has been trying for a cpl more years then the current leafs and still nothing. Like the last few years they are still favorites though. That’s the entire point of having Thornton, Spezza, Simmonds ect… They all have something to prove and would give up there first born to win the cup. That’s what it takes to win and hopefully they’ll be able to rub off on the stars. Pretty hard to blame Anderson if the leafs only score 1 or 2 goals. If it’s not the leafs nobody would even be talking about it this much. They’re a great team with a great goalie they just need to grow up and do what it takes to win it all. It takes time but because it’s the leafs apparently it has to be done immediately. It’s ok for Colorado though. No big deal that it took Washington 10 years. Heck the Oilers should be further ahead then the leafs. They don’t need to get bigger, they don’t need to get tougher players. There current core just needs to understand you need to give more than everything you have every night to even have a chance to win the cup. They are well on there way even if it takes a few more years.

      • That pretty much sums up the way I see it with Andersen, Roger. As I say in the other thread, Hellebuyck was unbelievable last night with the the Leafs dominating all aspects. He can’t do that over and over.

        I know Wendel has been advocating a move for months now but even if Dubas was so inclined there are just too many roadblocks to pull it off at this stage. Hell, they’re sitting in first overall for a reason.

        I know there are some who see the North division as the weakest of the 4 – but in reality only Ottawa has proven to be an easy 2 points on most nights. The Canucks had a shaky stretch but they’ve since shown signs of returning to last year’s form.

        The Central, meanwhile, has 4 teams under .500 with Columbus, Nashville and Detroit proving to be easy pickings ( I don’t include Dallas in that assessment since they’ve had a wonky schedule and currently have multiple games in hand on all the others). The East has 3 teams under .500 with Buffalo and NJ losing way more often than winning, while the West has 2 that can be seen as easy 2 points on most nights – the Ducks and Sharks.

        So, belittling the Leafs accomplishments so far just doesn’t cut it. As much as I hate to admit it, they’d be a top team regardless of the Division.

      • See above George posted in wrong spot

    • The Leafs have the best record in their division. They have given up the fewest goals/game in their division. Scored the most goals/game in the division.
      They have the 2nd best goal differential (the most important team stat) in the NHL after the defending champs TB. An no, the North isn’t the worst division in the NHL. In fact nobody actually knows because they don’t play each other, so give it a rest.

      Roger is right it takes a while, it takes a few breaks during the playoffs as well.
      The Leafs are fine. Could they lose to the Jets or another team in the North or NHL, of course they could and likely will. I would take the field against any NHL team with even odds.
      Leafs have a great chance to win it all.

    • Far Superior. OK then

      • I wouldn’t say far superior Caper (I assume you mean Jets) but so far they have been a lot better, last nights game aside.

        If that changes, so will my guess.

        Right now I would guess Leafs because they have played really well.

  7. WHY did that go in twice??? Your site is driving me nuts Lyle!!! 🙂

    Can you delete the second one?

    • Done.

  8. Bigbear and Habsfan, I dont get you guys… Bigbear, since you know what overrated is, please enlighten us how the Leafs have 3 overrated, etc… losers, etc. Real hockey starts…You both obviously know, how to help a team like the leafs beat a team whose goalie is playing like Hellebuyck when he’s on? Come on you should know, tell us how did teams beat Price when he was on top of his game? Those teams must of been as bad as the Leafs, no? How is toughness and character going to score against Price or another goalie that is stealing a game?

    And George is right again regarding the divisions as equal. I believe the nonsense of the north being crap is because: if the Leafs are on top, it must be crap… or your team isn’t leading it, you pick.

    As for the ESPN contract, well congrats to the NHL for being a big boy again. Being on ESPN is (like really) being on TV in the US, sad but true. I’m hoping this deal and the spinoffs from it, really boost the financials of all teams to maintain the healthy and soon, albeit forced parity – see 3pt games, pretty competitive league with great teams playing sick hockey!

    • Ron Moore,
      Improving a team means recognizing and filling holes.

      If Andersson is your problem there were a few solid goalies available.

      If team D is a problem you sign some good available D not castaways.

      Do you seriously believe TML filled the holes adequately?

      Rangers solved Price by having Kreider run him. Flyers solved Price by having Hayes and Voracek run him.

      You solve a zoned in goalie with disruption and taking his eyes away not perimeter play.

      I don’t watch TML with any regularity but it seems to me that Andersson gets blamed for a porous defense.

      More importantly the games are played on the ice by humans not machines and we fans tend to dissect “our” teams too much

      • So I guess your solution is to run a goalie but do it so there’s no call. Run to injure or run to scare?

        I dont want other players run my goalie, I prefer anyone who does get a taste of the glass or ice or my bloody fists for their efforts. Don’t you feel the same?

        Not watching other teams but still commenting on them is pretty disingenuous… highlights or other people in the same boat don’t count either.

        Please I’m not trying to be a d1ck here, tho its easy, with so many bad opinions out there I just want people to back up their opinions with fact or at least be sincere with criticism and stop retreading the same old crap that just sounds dumb to repeat it now, with this team. It’s a team that is far from perfect, they seem to not be able to beat a hot goalie and that’s not really good in a short series like the playoffs.

        When you talk about holes, the Habs have them up and down the lineup… the line up that came out strong and favored to come out on top in the North….ah but the Leafs holes, well they still need a top six forward to play when the old guys can’t and no its not a bad move to bring in vets on a young team where you core is still well under 25. That’s a key thing right there and some people are blind to that. They core is quite good, for once, well maybe since the 30’s or 50s. Ya!. On defense they got brodie who is a pleasant surprise and a big up from any other D they had in the top four the past few years and on the bottom pairing ZB has been a big up from again anyone they had.

        Is it perfect? No, but please tell me what a perfect team is to you, one without weakness or holes. I’ll save you the trouble you won’t find one and in a game where the skill levels are crazy, the other thing a team needs is luck. As dumb as it sounds, its unfortunately true.

        PS my work computer is dead so I got all the time today to post replies.

      • Ron Moore,

        I didn’t say that I don’t watch the TML, I said I don’t watch them with regularity, you have a knack for twisting words to what you want them to mean.

        It’s a clear pattern in every post you direct at me so let’s try this.

        I have zero interest in correcting your misrepresentation of my opinions or arguing.

        Ignore any post I make about the TML, enjoy your team, at the end of the day that’s the goal.

    • Ron the North is the weakest link and it has nothing to do with Toronto being in it.

      Toronto is a strong team and would do well in any division.

  9. I’m a Crosby fan but if the NHL is going to pump his goal, shouldn’t it have said:
    NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had an empty net goal and an assist and Tristan Jarry made 33 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2.

    • Hi Nasdaq40

      I’ll go one further

      It should have read:

      Jarry very solid in making 33 saves; Malkin and Kapinen hook up for a beauty ; and Blueger provides a timely shorty as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2.

      • Nasdaq and Pengy.
        i’ll go one further.

        It could have read, Keith Kinkaid makes his first start in almost two years in a losing effort.

        A really nice guy who was a total failure in the Habs organization. Wish him well and a resurgence to his career.

    • You mean like the Winnipeg – Toronto game “Matthews scores 2 in a loss to Winnipeg” OK then