NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2021

by | Mar 22, 2021 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s action, updates on Max Pacioretty and Ryan McDonagh, the Kings re-sign Matt Roy, the Capitals re-up Trevor van Riemsdyk, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tyler Johnson scored the winning goal in the third period as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Florida Panthers 5-3. Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. They’ve won four straight and sit atop the Discover Central Division with 48 points, opening a four-point lead over the Panthers. It was a costly win for the Lightning as defenseman Ryan McDonagh left the game with a lower-body injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

The Los Angeles Kings downed the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 to snap the latter’s five-game win streak. Goaltender Cal Petersen made 41 saves and Anze Kopitar collected two assists for the Kings (32 points), who sit five points behind the fourth-place St. Louis in the Honda West Division. Vegas winger Max Pacioretty was scratched from this contest with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Golden Knights (43 points) sit atop the West Division.

An overtime goal by Jesper Bratt lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins and Sami Vatanen replied for the Devils, who got a 35-save performance by Mackenzie Blackwood. Pittsburgh (40 points) picked up a point to open a four-point lead over the fourth-place Boston Bruins in the MassMutual East Division. Penguins forward Brandon Tanev missed the game with an undisclosed injury and is considered day-to-day.

The Nashville Predators overcame a two-goal deficit to nip the Dallas Stars 4-3 on a shootout goal by Calle Jarnkrok. Eeli Tolvanen had a three-point performance, including scoring the game-tying goal. With the win, the Predators (29 points) moved within four points of the fourth-place Columbus Blue Jackets in the Central. Stars forwards Radek Faksa and Joel Kiviranta left the game with lower-body injuries.

TSN: The Kings announced they’ve signed defenseman Matt Roy to a three-year, $9.45 million contract extension. The annual average value is $3.145 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A seventh-round pick by the Kings in 2015, Roy has steadily risen up the club’s blueline depth chart since his debut in 2018. He skates on their second defense pairing and has become a reliable presence on the blue line.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $950K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: J.J. Regan speculates this move could be insurance for this summer’s expansion draft as the Capitals could lose a rearguard like Justin Schultz or Nick Jensen to the Seattle Kraken.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have had preliminary discussions with local health officials about a plan to host some fans at Rogers Arena this season. The Montreal Canadiens have also pitched the Quebec government about allowing a limited number of fans at the Bell Centre.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Currently none of the seven Canadian franchises are allowing fans in their arenas. The Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have also broached the subject with their respective provincial governments. Much will depend upon COVID-19 case counts and vaccine distribution. If all goes well, whatever four Canadian clubs qualify for the playoffs in May could be allowed to welcome back some fans for postseason games.


  1. Ontario has reported around 1,800 positives a day for the past 3 days and in Ottawa 3 schools are reporting outbreaks. Close to 200 in Ontario are on respirators. Per capita, it’s close to the same in Alberta, Quebec and B.C. so it will take a government with gonads to allow for exceptions in the case of pro sports franchises while other businesses go into – or remain in – so-called red zones.

    Vaccine eligibility announcements by age group are coming out, but the actual scheduling of the shots are spread out over weeks/months.

    My wife and I are both in our early 80s and registered here in Ontario as soon as we were eligible. We don’t get our first shot until March 31 and the 2nd on July 21 do to the sheer number (some 800,000) in our age group in the province. So, what are the expectations for those in the various age groups being formulated below the 80s?

    Meanwhile, every time any province has tried to relax the gathering protocols in the interest of boosting economies, the numbers shoot up dramatically.

    They start allowing 3,000 or 4,000 fans into the arenas you just know there will be those in the mix never tested who are also asymptomatic who will spread it around. And trying to arrange a system whereby any attending fan would need to show proof of negative testing is simply beyond the capacity of any bureaucracy.

    • ” due to …” damned auto-correct

    • George,
      I think it will depend on how well and quickly the vaccine rollout goes in the affected cities.

      Montreal is down to 60y/o and seems to be dropping 5-10 years every two weeks with a really well organized appointment schedule (to my surprise)

      With that being said I have 0 issue with no attendance till next year.

      • Hi Habfan30

        Wow… that is fantastic (down to 60 yr olds)

        Technically as I recently turned 60 I am eligible for the Astra Zeneca … but I’m hesitant on it. My wife who is still in heel late 50’s , won’t be eligible until July at the earliest

        My mother (who will be 90 this year) was only given her first dose last Monday ; and she was bumped up the list due to recent health issues. Her neighbours (all in their late 80’s) are on a waiting list

        I’m hesitant on the Astra Zeneca…. some European countries have pulled it; low efficacy rate; soon to be past due date; and the states are “lending” Canada some as they haven’t approved it yet

        Has anybody here done the Astra Zeneca ?

        Would appreciate your thoughts on it

        Thanks in advance

      • Pengy,

        The US is “giving” Astra Zeneca to Mexico and Canada because they have ample supply and the AZ in stock has a shelf life of end of March.

        Doctors in Canada, full disclosure I have a very wide circle of medical friends and family, who agree that whichever of AZ, Pfizer or Moderna is the one your centre has, take it.

        I get my shot next Monday and am taking whatever they have.

      • Thanks Habsfan30

        I’ll drive to Montreal if I can get the Moderna or Phizer

        I used to be bold/brave; now I seem to be wimping out

        Amongst my friends about 1/2 are going (or have already) the Astro Zeneca route; 1/2 waiting it out for one of the other two

        Been having heart-to-heart with my wife as to what to do…. I told her if she wants me to wait I will; and if she wants me to take the AZ I will…. silence so far on that response

        As I said, dud to her age; she can’t get hers until summer anyway

    • George, at some point we have to loosen the restrictions. In Manitoba the case numbers are low and restrictions loosening.

      Yet you go on social media and people are upset that the restrictions are loosening, restrictions are to tight, restrictions should stay the same.

      The US is far ahead of Canada when it comes to being vaccinated.

      In the good news department folks are being vaccinated and we are heading in the right direction.

    • George… recommend you and wife stagger shots if possible. Particularly the second shot has given many people I know and work with a very unpleasant 24 hour “flu”. Having two people under the weather at the same time without someone to help them out at your age not great. Or maybe family could be on hand?

      • Caper, not disagreeing with that sentiment about the need for opening things up – but each time a government has gone down that road the positive cases spike dramatically – Manitoba included. This puts governments between the proverbial rock and a hard place.


        With the way this damned thing mutates I can’t get away from the uneasy feeling that, one day, we’re going to hear about the first cases of those vaccinated contracting Covid. If that ever happens, all bets are off.

        Chrisms, thanks for the heads up. But with the way this is structured here, trying to get them to stagger our shots would be a nightmare in logistics in light of the age-group scheduling. Like trying to find out which vaccine we’re getting – the scheduler had no clue and could only suggest a link to follow to determine that. One try at that soon convinced me that that was a Fool’s Errand.

        In any event, whatever one we get will be fine with us. What you report hasn’t surfaced here – yet – but with 9 days to go before our first shot and then almost 4 months before the second, I’ll keep watching for news of that sort. Thanks

      • Most of the people I know who had issues George got the phizer or moderna.

        For what’s it’s worth I had very minor fatigue after both of mine and that’s it.

    • there have been fans in the seats in north america for months. has any one outbreak been linked?

  2. Yes, Hopefully they don’t allow fans in the arenas ..
    We have no control over the U.S.
    It’s ridiculous , let’s get this dreadful disease behind us !!
    It’s like a science fiction movie – IMO – never thought I would see something like this , in my lifetime .
    Life used to be “simple”
    Life is about what you gather, not Scatter..

  3. Pens… Hextall, I repeat, Sid can’t play 1C, 2C, 3C and 4C every game

    E Staal …. can’t cost too much

  4. Pengy my wife got her Astra vaccine and she is in her early 60’s and she is fine with it

    • Thanks Robo

      Are u not getting it though?

      • I will get it Pengy if that is what is available when my turn comes up.
        Check out the UK who has been using it for millions of folks. Seems to be all good there.
        EU back on board.
        US trial just completed this past week: 79% effective against symptomatic disease & 100% against severe disease and death.
        It isn’t much different than a flu vaccine with parts of the spike protein added. The technology is actually more proven for safety than the others (mRNA), which have also been very safe so far and no reason to think they won’t continue to be.

      • Thanks Ray for the input

        This fence sitting is killing me

        1/2 my friends in; 1/2 my friends out

        My wife ineligible until late summer