NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2022

by | Feb 27, 2022 | News, NHL | 40 comments

The Lightning defeat the Predators in their Stadium Series, Mitch Marner collects six points in wild Leafs win over the Red Wings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists as his club held off the Nashville Predators 3-2 in their 2022 Stadium Series game before a sellout crowd of 68, 619 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots as the Lightning (74 points) moved within a point of the first-place Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left the game in the first period following a high hit from Nashville center Ryan Johansen. With 64 points, the Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

Mitch Marner enjoyed a career-high six-point performance (four goals, two assists) as his Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Detroit Red Wings 10-7. Austin Matthews tallied his league-leading 37th goal of the season and collected three-assist while rookie Michael Bunting had a goal and four assists. Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek had a four-point night (one goal, three assists) while rookie winger Lucas Raymond scored twice and added an assist. The Leafs sit three points behind the second-place Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At one point, the Leafs led 7-2 before the Wings made it interesting by cutting the lead to 7-6 and then to 8-7 before the Leafs finally put it away. It wasn’t a good night for either club’s defenses or goaltenders. The Leafs’ Jack Campbell gave way to Petr Mrazek after giving up four goals early in the third period while the Wings Alex Nedeljkovic got the hook in the first period but returned in the third.

Edmonton Oilers forward Derek Ryan netted his first career hat trick as his club hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers, handing the latter their third-straight defeat. Mikko Koskinen kicked out 44 shots and Connor McDavid collected two assists for the Oilers, who opened a two-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 61 points. The Panthers (75 points) remain second overall in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Oilers as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left the game in the first period with a suspected shoulder injury. He’ll be re-evaluated today.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche (82 points) got two unanswered goals by J.T. Compher and Nathan MacKinnon to down the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Darcy Kuemper turned aside 34 shots for the Avs, who sit six points over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings. The Golden Knights have just one victory in their last six contests and six in third place in the Pacific Division with 62 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ stumble could force them into the trade market before the March 21 deadline. There’s speculation they’re looking for goaltending help with starter Robin Lehner sidelined by what’s believed to be a shoulder injury.

Speaking of the Pacific Division, the Calgary Flames (68 points) hold a three-point lead over the second-place Los Angeles Kings after thumping the Minnesota Wild 7-3. Matthew Tkachuk and Tyler Toffoli each scored twice and picked up an assist. Flames defenseman Oscar Kylington left the game in the third period after an awkward fall into the boards but head coach Darryl Sutter said he’ll be fine. The Wild sit in third place in the Central Division with 65 points.

The Kings, meanwhile, remain three points behind the Flames by dropping the New York Islanders 5-2 to extend their winning streak to five games. Trevor Moore and Matt Roy each had a goal and an assist while Cal Petersen picked up the win with a 26-save performance. Islanders center Mathew Barzal left the game with a lower-body injury as did Zdeno Chara with an upper-body injury.

Tristan Jarry turned in a 27-save shutout and Evgeni Malkin potted the only goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the New York Rangers 1-0 to snap a three-game losing skid. With 72 points, the Penguins moved one point ahead of the Rangers into second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored two goals and chipped in an assist to lead his club to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. With 66 points, the Bruins have won four straight and moved one point up on the Washington Capitals into the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Sharks have lost 10 of their last 12 and also lost defenseman Mario Ferraro to a leg injury.

As for the Capitals, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers. Cam Atkinson scored and set up another while Carter Hart made 27 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals hold a 10-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets but they’ve been struggling in recent weeks. There’s talk they could go shopping for a goaltender or a top-six winger before the March 21 trade deadline.

The Montreal Canadiens extended their winning streak to five games by nipping the Ottawa Senators 2-1. Artturi Lehkonen scored both of the Canadiens’ goals while Andrew Hammond made 26 saves against his former team. Colin White scored for the Senators in his season debut after being sidelined by shoulder surgery.


THE SCORE: Wayne Gretzky called upon the international hockey world to ban Russia from participating in the 2022 World Junior Championship in Edmonton as a protest over that country’s invasion of Ukraine. Gretzky pointed to Poland’s Men’s soccer team as inspiration as that club intends to boycott its World Cup playoff game against Russia on March 24.

SPORTSNET: NHL Hall-of-Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek took to Twitter calling on the NHL to suspend the contracts of all Russian players in the wake of Russia’s actions against Ukraine. He also criticized Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin over his “no more war” remarks on Friday, calling Ovechkin an “ablist” and a “liar” among other pointed comments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL won’t be suspending the contracts of Russian players. If they did, the NHL Players Association would immediately file grievances against the league. As for Gretzky’s remarks, there’s no indication of what the International Ice Hockey Federation intends to do regarding Russia’s participation in the WJC this summer.

YARDBARKER: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier remains a few weeks away from returning from a finger injury.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju will be sidelined for at least two games with a lower-body injury.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings head coach Todd McLellan entered COVID-19 protocol yesterday.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks placed defensemen Kyle Burroughs and Tucker Poolman on injured reserve.


  1. Sitting here sipping my BRC (Freedom Choice) this cold winter morning I agree with both Hasek and Gretzky

  2. So the NHL should suspend Russian players for being Russian? Regardless of political beliefs or affirmations?

    So Panarin for example, a clear outspoken critic of Putin should be suspended?

    Yeah, this will definitely night fly with the NHLPA!

    • Not fly, not night fly! Freaking auto fill!

    • If a Russian player outright condemns Putin’s actions, no, he should not be suspended, But any who waffle – like Ovechkin – are giving tacit approval to the invasion and so should be suspended. Yes, some of them have families back home in Mother Russia. So what? There have already been several thousand protesting against the flagrant invasion of a sovereign state arrested in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities and placed in detention. What about THEIR families.

      Let the NHLPA do whatever the hell they want. But send a strong f&^*ing message to that murderous SOB and make life so f^&*ing difficult for approving oligarchs and fawners that maybe – just maybe – someone will put a bullet in HIS head.

      I am sick of the wimp approach.

      • While I agree 100% on your take of Putin, you cannot suspend players for simply being Russian.

        It strikes at the very foundation of what the United States was built on.

        A popular misconception of freedom of speech, is that only popular speech is protected.

        It protects everyone. Both popular and unpopular speech, religion, political affiliation.

        Suspending players simply because they’re Russian is grossly unconstitutional. And ultimately what affect would this have on Putin or Russia?

        Is Putin suddenly going to have a change of heart and withdraw his troops and change his ambitions?

        My guess is no, it will have zero impact.

        We should be worried about smashing this regime with forces. Not strongly worded emails, bs sanctions or suspending Russian players.

        How NATO and the rest of the world has left Ukraine to fend for themselves is an absolute embarrassment!

        The time to put an end to this madman is NOW! While even his own people are turning against him.

        Ukraine will fall within days without the support of the rest of the world.

        If the world continues to turn their backs on Ukraine, I can see Putins ambitions growing beyond Ukraine.

        And why wouldn’t they? We’ve only emboldened this psychopath with our weakness and soft response.

        The time to end this insanity is now! Putin and his regime must go now. And I’m not talking to jail, or exile. I’m talking about from this planet.

        The wimp approach is every government on this planet allowing this chaos to go unpunished.

      • I guess Lyle is trying to keep this site family friendly. He omitted the part where Hasek called Ovechkin “chicken***t”.
        Agree with Hasek on that part. All of those years Ovie has been standing side by side with Putin, even while political opponents were being murdered. And now, when things get difficult, he’s suddenly “not into politics”. I understand his concern for his family in Russia, but this is dishonesty at its lowest.
        Reminder that Hasek was born in 1965. He may have some memory of Soviet tanks rolling in to crush the Prague Spring in 1968. The current invasion may be awakening traumatic memories.
        Russia should be banned from all international sporting events. And I’d certainly love to see all Putin supporting Russian NHLers sent right back home. But from a practical and legal perspective, it won’t happen. But us fans can certainly make ourselves heard.

      • We seem to be in agreement on everything but one key point: ” you cannot suspend players for simply being Russian.”

        By saying – unlike Panarin – absolutely nothing how would you feel skating with – or against – a player who my, in fact, be in complete agreement with Putin’s aggression.

        Members of the American Bund were eventually rounded up for their blatant support of Nazism.

        But let’s leave that for now and look at a hypothetical situation – which could become very real in short order: what if armed warfare breaks out between NATO and Russia? Do we let those Russian players STILL remaining silent on the issue continue to play, or adopt the attitude that “we don’t take action against them for simply being Russian” – meanwhile, our troops will be killing your countrymen simply because they are Russian.

      • Captain, I agree on the need to crush Putin. But I don’t agree that NATO has left them to fend for themselves. Granted that sanctions, while punitive and necessary, do not have an immediate effect. But where do you think the Ukrainians have been getting the weapons they’re using to fight back. They’ve received much military aid from NATO countries with more to come. You can’t say that’s not making a difference.
        I agree that more should be done. A “no fly zone” as advocated by Garry Kasparov may become necessary. But for better or for worse, there is little, if any, support in the US for direct military intervention. I haven’t heard a single prominent American politician, journalist or other public figure, including Kasparov, call for US troops to Ukraine. And I unfortunately don’t see that the American people would support stronger US measures if it means the loss of American lives, deeper US involvement, or, heaven forbid, significantly higher food and gas prices over the long term.

      • George so you want the citizen to pay the price for the idiot actions?

        Dom entitle to his opinion.

        Unless you have something to risk? Like an Ovie or any other Russian citizen your opinion like mine carries no weight.

        Ovie said peace not war and handle his situation his way.

        The NHL is not going to ban Russian born players. They are citizen of Russia playing in the NHL.

      • Howard,

        Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Putin has dug himself in for the long haul against sanctions. It will not even slow his ambitions, never mind stop him.

        I don’t love the idea of Americans fighting or losing their lives, but believe it will be necessary.

        This is strikingly similar to the United States half hearted involvement in WWII in the beginning. Sure we supplied war materials to some countries (Russia being one of them) But we acted too late.

        The cost was over 60 million Allies dead both military and civilian. Mostly civilians (45 million)

        I don’t believe we should sit back and allow the slaughter of civilians once again.

        Nearly 3 decades ago the US along with the UK and Russia we offered military protection in exchange for Ukraine relinquishing their nuclear weapons.

        Ukraine lived up to their end of the bargain, Russia obviously betrayed their end.

        The United States needs to live up to theirs. More so than any other country.

        It’s nice to see we’re all generally on the same page.

      • I guess the thousands protesting back home in Mother Russia – and being incarcerated for doing so – don’t count in your warped view of a very serious situation. If you think this stops with Ukraine … well, read a history book. It didn’t stop in 1939 with Poland. And this clown dictator is every bit a megalomaniac as was Hitler.

        Anyone who does not openly condemn his actions is, in fact, exactly what Hasek branded Ovechkin – a chicken-s*&t. That’s my opinion.

      • That above post was in response to Caper – no one else.

      • George,

        Was that for me? I’m confused?

      • You and I see eye to eye on this matter. If they support Putin, they can finish there careers in the KHL.

      • No, CO – see above. These long threads can lead to misunderstanding depending solely upon where they are placed. LOL

      • Just one last quick response, Captain, as Lyle wants debate to be kept to hockey.
        I agree that sanctions won’t deter Putin. But somewhere down the line, they’ll begin to affect the banks and oligarchs whose support is vital to him, not to mention the Russian people. Don’t underestimate the effect that may have.

      • I’m in agreement completely with cap. Even if ovi came out and said I support Putin. There should be consequences if that happens in the form of the capitals either benching him and not resigning him. But a broad ban on Russians? That kinda of fear and anger induced reaction against a group of people never had good results. As George said. Open a history book.

  3. High scoring games like the Tor – Det fiasco last night are for the birds. It was like watching a tiny mites game.

    • SOP, your TV has one channel, does it? No books to read? Forced to watch, were you? Poor guy.

      • What good are books when he can’t read?

      • Yes, BCLeafFan. Forced to watch. No good books to read. That was my point exactly.
        That wasn’t a good game for both teams. I’d wager you’d be upset if Det had pulled off an 11-10 victory.
        It was embarrassing for both squads.

        @Ed. Pound sand, troll.

      • LOL.

    • O/U was 6.5 so they were expecting a high scoring game …I’m thinking the game was more in line with a NHL AllStar game …17 goals with only 3 penalties

    • Last nights game is a clear example of why the Leafs won’t get out of the first round. Notwithstanding their enormous offensive firepower, their defense and goaltending is not consistent. And that’s what’s needed to win in the playoffs.

      • Howard, the win against the Wild doesn’t count?
        A wise man once said “Every game has a life of its own.”
        Best game this weekend- Oilers 4-3 over Florida. Seven goals – pretty wide open. Can’t have that can we?

  4. I watched two completely different games yesterday…. A spectacular goalers duel ending 1-0; with tons of scrums…. and ….

    A game where 4 goalies (well 3 for sure)…. Played horrifically bad… 10-7 …. it was like the mid 80’s again

    Both my fav teams won… so I should be happy…. But one team could only muster 1 goal (albeit against the league’s best goalie) and it was on the PP….and the other pumped 10…. But was defensively (and in goal) atrocious ….

    neither performance (Leafs and Pens) yesterday gives confidence in the expectation that these two teams will do well in the playoffs. I’m very happy for MM (4 goals, 6 points)…. but that Leaf’s team showing up in a series vs either FLA teams…. Will be eaten alive. Getting a bit worried with recent results from Soupy

    Pens need to score more

    Friedman finally got to play again (due to Matheson’s injury) and handled things well, covering up heroically twice was his D-partners mistakes (Sully… hop you noticed for when Matheson returns)

    Leafs will definitely have opening series vs an FLA based team; and a longshot to win. High odds that Pens will be playing the Blueshirts (who have cap space for improvements and the League’s best goalie)… and that series will be tough for Pens to win

    Preview of WCF yesterday ? (Avs v Knights)… yes Knights have 6 regulars out injured and Avs have just Byram…. But Avs look (and have been) very strong

    • Can’t wait to see Ken’s take on that Toronto-Detroit ice-pond shinny match.

      • Hi George
        I just copied and pasted an article onto the second segment from today .

        I am going to try and be more diplomatic , Lol

      • Well, that fiasco certainly gave weight to your arguments.

  5. P


    You have consistently had Vegas in a MUCH higher position than I see them–WCF???


    WHOEVER it is, they’ll be playing the BLUES


  6. we can see where Hasek is coming from, but the NHL won’t be punishing players for their political views. NHL plays in North America where citizens are allowed to express their own views, unlike Russia.
    If the NHL somehow went this route, I guess the next thing would be watching all the MAGA supporters get suspended as well

  7. McCarthyism was one of the stains on American history, recreating it should be an anathema.

    Free speech is all speech in the USA where unlike Canada there are no anti-hate speech laws.

  8. with his 6 point night … Marner and his Dad should hold out next year for more money..lol

  9. Hey, folks, let’s not get too far off-topic here regarding Russian players and the invasion of Ukraine. Keep it hockey-related. Thanks!

  10. Toronto 10 goals, hard to believe that JT had zero points.

    It’s only one game and we all know Toronto can score.

    Need some work on the back end and not overly confident in their goalies.

    TD is just over three weeks away.

  11. I wondered about the possible effect a Russian invasion would have on Russian NHL players in an imagined scenario that I posted here before the invasion’s start, noting especially the consequences of NATO becoming a party in the conflict. Now that there are calls for NATO involvement, I see no more reason for the expulsion of Russians from the NHL than I did then, since if a war opposing Russia against NATO was imminent, many players from both the NHL and KHL would probably go to the country of their allegiance rather than play in a country that was at war with theirs.

    Of course, none of this, not even hockey, will take place if there’s an all-out conflict.

  12. looks like Lyle took down my post George; however, left your up.

    You turned a subject of Ovie reaction, to name calling (as per usual with you) and then turned it into a war.

    Try staying on topic. Easy to shed the blood of others.

    You want Ovie to do what exactly? from the safety of the US? while the only one ask risk is his family back home.

    If Nato wants to make advances then by all means.

    • If NATO gets into the war, and the missiles fly, will Ovi be any safer in Wahington than his family would be in Moscow?