NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 13, 2021

by | Mar 13, 2021 | News, NHL | 45 comments

Recaps of Friday’s action plus updates on Nikita Kucherov, Artemi Panarin, Henrik Lundqvist and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid became the first player to reach the 50-point plateau this season in a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. McDavid scored a goal and collected two assists while teammates Leon Draisaitl and Tyler Ennis each had a goal and an assist. With 36 points, the Oilers move four behind the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Scotia North Division and two ahead of the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 51 points in 29 games, McDavid is seven points ahead of Draisaitl as the league’s leading scorer. He remains on pace to reach 100 points in 56 games.

Minnesota Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov tallied his first career NHL hat trick in a 4-0 blanking of the Arizona Coyotes. Cam Talbot picked up the shutout with 25 saves while Mats Zuccarello collected three assists. Kaprizov leads the Wild and all NHL rookies with 10 goals and 23 points. 

An overtime goal by Reilly Smith lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the St. Louis Blues 5-4. Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the lineup after being taken off the league’s COVID-19 protocol list for a false positive test. The Golden Knights (35 points) sit two points ahead of the Blues and Wild in first place in the Honda West Division.

The Colorado Avalanche got a goal and an assist from Mikko Rantanen in a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for the shutout while Kings netminder Cal Petersen made 44 stops. With the win, the Avs (32 points) opened a four-point lead over the Kings for fourth place in the West Division, sitting one behind the Blues and Wild.

San Jose Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk kicked out 34 shots to shut out the Anaheim Ducks 6-0. Kevin Lebanc had a goal and two assists while Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane and Timo Meier each had a goal and an assist.


NEW YORK POST: Good news for the Rangers as Artemi Panarin is expected to return to the lineup for today’s matinee against the Boston Bruins. Panarin was absent for nine games as he dealt with an unsubstantiated accusation by a former KHL coach claiming he assaulted a young Latvian woman in 2011.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov has begun skating and remains on track to rejoin the club in time for the playoffs. He will miss the entire regular season due to offseason hip surgery.

SPORTSNET: Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan isn’t ruling out a possible return of Henrik Lundqvist later this season. The 39-year-old goaltender is recovering from heart surgery and recently posted a video of himself on the ice taking shots less than two months following the procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan acknowledged it’s “probably unlikely” but he seems to be leaving the door open if Lundqvist receives medical clearance to return to action.

The New York Islanders yesterday announced team captain Anders Lee is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could put the Isles into the market for a forward leading up to the trade deadline depending on the severity of Lee’s injury.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will be reevaluated today.

Speaking of the Leafs, they traded defenseman Mikko Lehtonen to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Veini Vehvilainen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehtonen was considered the best defenseman in Europe when the Leafs signed him. Maybe the “Finnish Bobby Orr” will have better luck in Columbus than he did in Toronto.


  1. Just finished watching the Blues/Knights tilt 5 minutes ago

    I deplore low scoring games… 5-4 in OT….👍👍👍👍👍

    This was not sloppy goaltending either; some excellent scoring chances

    There was also the very rare 7 on 5 power play (missed extra man) with an eventual goal (after 7th man left the ice)

    Nice hits

    Great passes

    Nice dangles

    Excellent goals

    Fantastic saves


  2. Re

    “ Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov has begun skating and remains on track to rejoin the club in time for the playoffs. He will miss the entire regular season due to offseason hip surgery.”….

    the rest of the League just went uh-oh…Bolts 8-1-1 in last 10; first in League in winning percentage … .760

    Odd thing is top three teams in the League (winning percentage) are in the Central…Bolts, Canes, Panthers

    To Mike/WH-17

    I am not as broken up about the Leafs losing the Finnish Bobby Orr; but I do hope you will be OK today


    • A fresh Kucherov..
      and Pointe has been quiet

      I dont want to play Bolts or Canes first round

      • Darnell Nurse scored his 8th goal of the season last night.

        Yes 5 of them came against Ottawa who has given up the NHL worst at 121 goals next is Vancouver at 99.

        Save to say the North Division has some padded stats .

        I have to put Patrick Kane as the early favorite for the Hart Trophy

      • Agree fully Caper

        The trouble with the Hart voting is that the PHWA don’t all vote under the same interpretation

        Officially the trophy is “ given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team”

        There is the key…. to HIS team

        No ifs ands or buts…. Blackhawks are riding the wave of Kane… he is more valuable to HIS team than any other player in the league, is to theirs. Full stop. Period.

        However there is a chunk of PHWA voting members that continuously vote on Hart as “the most outstanding NHL player” or “MVP of the entire League”

        Those knuckleheads (to me anyway as they are voting improperly by definition) are going to have McD as number 1. Is McD the best player … most outstanding player… in the league… yes…. but he isn’t carrying the Oil as Kane is carrying Blackhawks

        If voted for properly and production stays relatively the same for the rest of the year; and no serious injuries… Kane should get Hart

        MAF should also get some votes

    • Don’t worry pengy most around the league knew the Finnish Bobby Orr was a bottom pair/7th dman! Lol could he become more? Maybe but doubtful

      • Hi BBB

        I was never under any belief that he was going to be a premier DMan in the NHL

        I think his ceiling … and that is all things falling into place; is 2nd pairing on a lower tiered team

        Let’s see how he fairs when he gets benched …. by the benching King

  3. The Finnish Bobby Orr touted as the amazing Dubas signing that will turn around TML defense woes has turned into a Dutch Gretzky…this guy was supposed to be the second coming yet unable to crack a porous defense

    Stars in the KHL and AHL don’t necessarily succeed in the NHL and we all know that yet frequently ignore that when setting expectations.

    I recall posts here by some or a multi moniker fellow singing Dubas and Lehtonen praises of the smartest GM signing the best D-man etc etc

    It just goes to show that its always a crap shoot with untested players from different leagues and its a cautionary tale to lower expectations on untested talent.

    • You, my friend, are a linear thinker.

      Clearly, this was Saint Dubas’ plan from the beginning and Vehvilainen will be known as “The Finnish Dominik Haden”.

      If nothing else, he could probably have some fun with an endorsement from Valvoline….

      • Hasek…auto correct.

    • Hey I recall “I recall posts here by some or a multi moniker fellow singing Dubas and Lehtonen praises of the smartest GM signing the best D-man etc etc” Ya that was you and others like you (BBB, bigbear, ed and Ron, you know…that were claiming that… I don’t think there was any Leafs fans making that claim, even dummies like Wendel didn’t make that claim… you guys should stick to defending how OT losses are not a loss because you get, what has been coined “the loser point” when you dont win but also dont lose??? Ok buds…

      So back to reality, its a found wallet, it works out great if not too bad… if it doesn’t and you can snag something else, yeah thats dumb. Good call.

      Any one know anything about this goalie? CB has some real good unearthed gems. In my opinion, they have a decent drafting record of finding serviceable NHL players… and goalies, holy voodoo!

    • Habfan30

      You’re mistaken…he couldn’t crack the line-up of a first place team.

      It’s not unusual either for Europeans to come to North America and struggle with playing on the smaller ice surface. Also didn’t help that there was no training camp.

      The Leafs traded a guy they weren’t using and got for free to add depth to the Goalie position. Seems like a smart move to me?

    • For the record, Habsfan30, your recollection is correct. Ron’s is not any more accurate than his mocking Bergevin for trading Cammalleri in between periods when it was Gauthier.

      • Yes I was incorrect in thinking it was just MB as the sole reason for where the Habs are now. Management seems to be up to par since doing questionable moves at an unusual and a dumbfounding time is something else the current GM has in common with his terrible predecessor. Sorry for making that error.

        Who was these, “I recall posts here by some or a multi moniker fellow singing Dubas and Lehtonen praises of the smartest GM signing the best D-man etc etc”? I’m talking about the best D-man?
        You know what, why am I even bothering? I mean if you believe an OT loss is a win then ya anything is possible and happens.

      • Ron, you are either mis-remembering again or misquoting me.

        I don’t know why you keep going back to a topic that you think unworthy of debate but what I said was that the way the NHL calculates a team’s standing is no longer by wins versus losses (except as a tie breaker).

        Go to the NHL statistics page and it is total points and winning percentage that determine standings. In the past any loss = zero points. Now it is different, so under today’s calculation a team can have more losses than wins and still have more points than by wins alone.

        I will say this about this topic. It is a fine distinction, and it was in response to a specific comment by Roger. I agree it is not worth much more discussion – though you may have the last word if you would like it.

  4. I was thinking the the Leafs had fleeced Columbus into giving up 1 of their starting goalies !
    Wishful thinking on my part !

    Keep dreaming for another goalkeeper to arrive !

    Nobody out there wants to desk for the Soft Goal King in Stesdy Freddy

  5. I’m sure the “Finish Bobby Orr” will thrive under the patient guidance of John Tortorella …

    • I must say I am enjoying today’s comments, lol.

  6. Too bad McDavid is being wasted out in Edmonton. He should demand a trade out to Toronto. All the dash and dangle he displays night in night out will only mount to scoring titles and highlight reels NOT the Lord STANLEY. Such a waste for arguably all around the greatest talent of all time. He deserve to win the real PRIZE, I believe joining forces with Auston Mathews will enable them to win multiple Cups (5, 6 maybe 7 consecutive cups). What Toronto need to give up for McDavid? I’ll say anybody Ken Holland wants other the M&M’s. Tavares, Nylander, Reilly, Anderson, and TO’s next 7 first rounders. If that is not enough add $100 million dollars cash with that package, if that is not enough, add another $50 million dollars for each STANLEY Toronto wins with McDavid in the lineup. I think the Edmonton brain trust will find this offer too good to refuse. Don’t let McDavid rot in Edmonton any longer. Let his Legacy be more than just scoring titles, allow him to fulfill his true desire he always dreamed of that is winning the cup for TORONTO. This will be good for the NHL as well. Having a DYNASTY in TO with Auston, McDavid and Marner. They are the faces of NHL the kids all around the world would want to emulate. This will stimulate the next generation of superstars in their driveways and hone their skills dreaming of one day dawning a LEAFS jersey, the holy grail of all holy grails. Triple M line wow wow. Mathews/McDavid/Marner
    Simply wow wow wow 🤣🤣🤣
    Edmonton still have Draisitle, Tavares, Nylander, Nurse, Reilly as their core 5. Plus rink full of money 💲💲💲💲💲💲💲💲💲
    It’s a WIN WIN for the both franchise. I hope Holland and Dubas can work this out. Go Leafs Go!

    • Maybe, tone it down a smidgen Mike.

      • WH17

        Be nice to yourself

    • Mike…get help.

      It is now obvious what you are doing.

    • Mike/WH17

      Re “ Such a waste for arguably all around the greatest talent of all time. ” …. referring to McD 🧐🧐

      He is the greatest of his generation…. but certainly not of all time

      He is not near what Gretzky was

      He might be argued to be near Mario

      He is not in the realm of the greatest hockey player of all time…. even this diehard Leaf fan (and since a boy instructed to be anti-Habs antiBruins) knows that the greatest hockey player ever to lace them up will be 73 next Saturday, and was born in Parry Sound.

      You are too young to have seen his dominance….

      8 straight Norris

      3 straight Hart

      2 Art Ross…. as a D!!!!

      2 Con Smythe’s

      2 Stanley Cups

      8 straight All Star appearances

      The Lou Marsh award

      Averaging 1.4 PPG lifetime reg season; 1.24 PPG playoffs…as a D!!!

      Averaging + 0.89 per game

      Plus 582 Lifetime… 2nd most ever (Larry Robinson 1st , but Robinson played close to 2 1/2 times as many games)

      Plus 124 in 70/71 alone (78 GP)

      Could skate like the wind; hit like a beast; and could (and did) dust it up when challenged

      Oh and he finished his last full year of playing (due to injuries) at 26 and 27 years old

      After that he only played on one knee; barely one knee; and only for 36 more games (over 3 seasons) but still played at 1.4 PPG

      That player… was “the greatest talent of all time”. Period. Full stop.

      • No argument here. No. 4
        Is best player of all time.

      • I’m very aware of Orr’s accomplishments, but the reason Orr can skate around the opposing team at will is because in those days 98% of the players in NHL were like the beer league players of today. No doubt Orr was a full package, in today’s game he would be an above average d-man nothing more. Can’t tell me he can weave through today’s hockey teams without getting pummeled to the boards. He could in his playing days, because nobody can keep up to him. Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux, they all benefited from the era they played in. Players today are faster, stronger, and shots are more accurate and frankly they have more imagination with the puck. You put McDavid in the 70’s 80’s or 90’s, he could probably score over 100 goals every season. If will be like cherry 🍒 picking. In today’s game the goalies look like the great wall of China, the d-mans skate like the wind and man to man coverage is suffocating, but despite all that guys like McDavid and Mathews find a way to put the puck in the net. When you watch McDavid and Draisitle work their magic or see Mathews and Marner making ever so subtle plays that only greatest skilled players can make while in the full stride are thing if beauty. Gretzky made plays like that every single game because the defenders were slow and unskilled, most of Jari Kurri’s goals were empty net tap ins because Gretzky spoon fed him. You watch Mathews and McDavid’s goals, they are all highly reel goals, hard replicate. What I’m saying is that if I play against 8 years old kids I can be like Bobby Orr too. Or if I’m playing against 70 years old guys I can be looked upon as Bobby Orr. There is nobody since the inception of NHL you can compare guys like McDavid and Auston Mathews. Period.

    • The only way McD goes to TML is for a package that includes AM

  7. You have to give it to Connor McD, he just keeps on producing with highlight moves on a regular basis.

    He is far and away the best player in the league, nobody even comes close.

    With being said Patrick Kane is looking like the league MVP for carrying Chicago on his back to a potential playoff birth.

    The blanket of secrecy over Jonathan Toews implies a serious situation , losing close teammates like Crawford and Seabrook makes Kane’s performance this year all that more noteworthy.

    • @habsfan
      Agree all points.

      Buffalo could appease fans moving Eichel for Kane? Buffalo has some other young pieces to build on

      Chicago longterm be better with Eichel+Dach

      • ds,
        Chicago should make that trade in a heartbeat, money is a wash and they get a star that’s 8 years younger.

        Buffalo would want a younger guy in return I think.

      • What are you guys smoking…why would Chicago trade Kaner for Eichel…Even if Kaner turns 40 years of age tomorrow, he will still be 1000 times better than Jack Eichel will ever be. Chicago should put a statue of Kaner oustide their arena for the 3 cups he delivered with Towes. Because of Kane the Blackhawks are still relevant in hockey today. You don’t trade guy like him for the sake of trading. As much as i wish Toronto can bring in Kaner to play with Taveres or Mathews, it won’t be right taking Kaner out of Chicago. Unless ofcourse he desperately wish to play along side Mathews, then we would in a heart beat send Nylander and package of picks and prospects for Kaner. That will be no doubt much more of compensation for the likes of Kaner than what Buffalo could or would offer. Bottom line is, Kaner is a future hall of famer, Eichel is border line 1st line centerman. 8 years younger doesn’t justify that trade, as Kaner at the age of 40 will still perform better than Jack Eichel can at his prime….come on guys…lets be realistic here…trade for McDavid for half of Toronto’s roster and boat load of money and draft picks for the next 10 years make more sense…..

    • Habfan30 while I may agree that McDavid is the best player in the league. I don’t agree with far and away the best.

      The best goal scorer in the NHL right now is Austin Matthew’s heis also extremely elite and very close to McDavid.

      I also believe Nathan McKinnon is right up there.

      Yes McDavid can do something that others can’t and a lot is based on speed.

      Matthew can also do things that no one else can do and he has started to become a more complete player using his size to create space and take the man.

      I just wish that Matthew would shave his mustache.

      • Caper…that stache needs to go. It makes him look like a greasy creep.

      • Caper,
        You listed a number of great players but let’s look at it this way, which of them would you refuse to trade for McD one for one?

        Not a single one.

        If you were Holland which would you trade McD for?

        Not a single one.

        We can quibble over “far and away” which is a matter of degree and not a sword I’ll die on so I’ll settle on the best.

      • Kane would NEVER accept a trade to Buffalo in a 1,000 years !
        That team is a disaster , poorly managed and coached
        It’s a shame really , very Passionate fans , and a great place to go to watch a Leaf game .
        I prefer to go to Buffalo , than the Air Canada Center , just my opinion .
        They at least have an upcoming , winning NFL team
        Leafs may be playing there, if they get out of their conference , only thing holding them back , is the Soft Goal King – Dread that Fred’s between the pipes

    • Nice to read a good post.

    • I wouldn’t say McD is the best player … the most talented yes … best meh

  8. Auston is Sid’s Ovie when the comparison to Connor McD is made IMHO.

    As far as Kaner, I have claimed for years that he is the most purely talented player I have seen play the game since Wayne. That said, also my personal opinion, Mitch Marner is a Patty Kane clone & I believe future will prove that Marner not Matthews will be the best Leafs play of this era.

    & to clarify I am a die hard Habs fan whose all time favorite Habs player is the Roadrunner.

    • Pure talent:

      1) Orr
      2) Lemieux

      No one else is even in the conversation.

    • I couldn’t stand Cournoyer, and I mean that as a compliment.
      I’ll take Matthews over Marner, and it is pretty close when compared to McDavid for me. Matthews has become a really good defensive player, and as a C that’s huge. He’s better than McDavid that way.
      Matthews has more takeaways than giveaways which is rare fr an offensive player, especially for a guy who has the puck as often as he does.
      He’s become like Bergeron, accepts scores more.
      Hopefully he signs in BOS when his term is up.

      • Finally Ray Bark, someone who sees the game the way it is. Auston Mathews is a complete package. True STUD both in the Ozone and Dzone.

      • Which kind of takes me back to The Oiler’s heydays, as talented as Wayne Gretzky was, Mark Messier was the true leader of that team on those championship teams.

        In his prime, Messier, much like Howe, could play the game which every way the opponent wanted to play it & beat them more times than not of their choosing!!!

    • Your perception of Marner to Kane’s clone is 100% accurate, but your prediction of Marner being Leafs GOAT is not. Marner is no doubt a StUD of a player, but he is and will always be Auston Mathews’ Robin. Auston will be top 5 of all time in NHL. Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, McDavid and Mathews. No one else come close to these 5 .

  9. While it’s legitimate to question whether Bobby Orr would be a dominant or middling player its the wrong question.

    There is Hockey before Orr and Hockey after Bobby Orr.

    He revolutionized the game, single-handedly changing it forever.

    So yes, Bobby Orr was the greatest hockey player of all time.

    • hf30, that is a great argument for Orr.

      Another player that is very often overlooked when talking about pure talent is Marcel Dionne. Of top ten all time point scorers in history, Marcel did far more with less than any other player in that top ten.

    Hellibuyck willNoT be in Goal tonight vs the Leafs !
    The hockey gods have intervened – 4 games in a row against stellar goaltending !
    1st Demko , now Hellibuyck
    Mike might be right a lights out night from Auston Matthews
    The soft goal king will his ground , Be his normal unpredictable Self !!