NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2022

by | Feb 28, 2022 | News, NHL | 13 comments

The Jets’ Kyle Connor scores twice as Richard Trophy race heats up, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby reaches another milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets tallied three unanswered goals to rally past the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kyle Connor scored the winning and insurance goals and sits fifth in the Richard Trophy race with 32 goals. With 55 points, the Jets are six points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a tight race for the Richard Trophy. Toronto’s Auston Matthews leads with 37 goals, followed by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (36), the New York Rangers Chris Kreider (34), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (32) and Connor.

Third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Malkin and Bryan Rust each finished the game with two points while Casey DeSmith made 32 saves for the win. Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist for the Jacket. With the win, the Penguins (74 points) sit four points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division and three points ahead of the third-place New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also moved past Mike Mondano into 25th place on the all-time points list with 1,375. He is the third active player among the top-25, joining Florida’s Joe Thornton (1,535) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (1,383).

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the Eastern Conference standings as they held on for a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Teuvo Teravainen scored and set up Sebastian Aho’s game-winner to extend his points streak to eight games while Frederik Anderson picked up the win with 29 saves. The loss puts the Oilers (61 points) behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card spot.

The Stars, meanwhile, moved ahead of the Oilers by doubling up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Michael Raffl tallied twice and Jake Oettinger kicked out 38 shots for the Stars (61 points), who hold a game in hand over the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer the Stars stay in playoff contention, the less likely they are to trade defenseman John Klingberg, who’s been the subject of trade rumors for nearly two months. It could take a significant pitch to pry him away from the Stars now.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. David Perron scored two goals for the Blues as they picked up their fourth straight victory. With 70 points, they hold a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 upset of the New York Rangers. Thatcher Demko made 31 saves while teammates J.T. Miller, Tyler Myers and Matthew Highmore each had two-point performances. The Canucks have 58 points and sit three back of the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller and teammates Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have featured prominently in recent NHL trade rumors. Management, however, could be reluctant to part with them as long as the club stays in the playoff chase.

A 34-save shutout by Ilya Sorokin gave the New York Islanders a 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Casey Cizikas had a goal and an assist. The loss leaves the Ducks (59 points) two points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

The San Jose Sharks kept their fading playoff hopes alive by dropping the Seattle Kraken 3-1, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. James Reimer got the win with 39 saves as the Sharks (54 points) are seven points out of a wild-card berth in the West.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The Sharks announced defenseman Mario Ferraro will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery yesterday to repair a fracture in his lower left fibula suffered during Saturday’s game against Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious loss for the Sharks blue line. Ferraro logged big minutes skating alongside Brent Burns on the Sharks’ top defense pairing.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto missed yesterday’s game against the Hurricanes after blocking a shot on Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have loaned goalie Vitek Vanecek to their AHL affiliate in Hershey for a conditioning stint. Vanecek had been sidelined by an upper-body injury since Feb. 1.

ARIZONA COYOTES PR: Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.


  1. Checking the standings this morning and Bruins are 6 points behind Leafs, but there are two H2H games left in the season… Bruins winning both in reg could mean only a 2 point difference

    The odds are still in favour of Leafs finishing 3rd and Bruins 4th in ATL but it is not a done deal

    Still not a desirable first round match up for either …. Travel south anyways for game 1…. do Leafs or Bruins prefer opening in Raleigh, Sinrise, or TBay…. not a “welcome” scenario

    Pens win again so that’s great…. But again low scoring; and scoring coming from the same small (very small) cast of characters. Secondary scoring MUST “revisit”…. and no Pens can’t count on another CR shot (going wide) deflected by an opponent D-man into the net

    Friedman had a fantastic game …. Fast, poised, jumped up at opportune times; covered up excellently for his D partner. Very good to see.

    Re Oilers loss to Canes and moving (currently) out of a playoff spot….the game was 2-1, evenly matched in shots; Canes dominated the 1st; Oil dominated the 2nd; even in third; two goals (one each) erased…. and Oil were playing B2B , with travel; and playing as visitors to the league’s (current) 2nd best team…. So that outcome should not be devastating

    • @ Pengy..Penguins responded properly after losing three straight with two strong wins vs the Rangers and Jackets.

      Hearing the Penguins are willing to move a defenseman….hearing Matheson who has had a strong year and his value is high.

      Hearing these names associated with the Penguins.
      – Rickard Rakell -Anaheim
      – Vladislav Namestinikov Detroit
      – Luke Schenn Vancouver
      – Robert Hagg Buffal0
      – Mark Giordano Seattle
      – Phil Kessel Arizona

      in no particular order…

      I would love Robert Hagg as our third LHD with Friedman
      I think Phil wouldn’t mind being back it will spice up the power play and Geno.

      I love Namestinikov perfect third line center 14 goals, UFA $2.0 million Blueger can switch to 4th line center Carter to wing.

      • I’m good with all except for Kessel— he would not be able to keep up

        Scheen would be an excellent low cost pick up

        Miller (Sabres) would also be a good pick up

        Hard to see them moving Matheson— been solid for Pens—- but who is going to pick him up ? It would have to be a contender … and why would Pens help a contender; and that contender would have to have space. I think it is a longshot for Matheson being moved

        Schenn in, Matheson back, is a low cost (Cap and actual dollars) move that strengthens the D

        Something has to give with the secondary scoring— becoming anemic

        Many teams will be looking for reasonable secondary scoring and/or depth grit wingers— so Pens competing from the same pool— and not much in the cupboard to offer up

  2. Cup still runs through Tampa

    • Hi MrBruin4

      not totally disagreeing; but don’t sell Sunrise short…. This just might come down to Bobo vs Vazy…. as at now …. Yes Vazy…. but Bobo has had some short stretches this year where he has been very good

      No question that Avs v Bolts are a pretty reasonable bet for SCF

      • I think the Kings are primed for a run. They just might upset a couple of favorites on their way to a conference final, or even the last dance.

      • I am a believer that teams new to playoff hockey usually have to feel the sting of defeat before they get over the hump

      • @ Pengy & Mr. Bruins 4

        Cup does run through Tampa.

        top tier East Tampa Florida Carolina

        next tier good teams
        Pittsburgh NY Rangers Washington Boston

        Who ever improves themselves best at the deadline will win….

  3. No counting out any of the teams that go to the dance. Always seams to be a Cinderella team every year. 1 st rd alway has upsets which can open the door for another team

  4. There’s about 50 Russian hockey players in the NHL maybe it’s time to put the pressure on the NHLPA and remove the Russian players from the Teams rosters …. IT’s happening all over the world that games against Russian teams are being canceled nobody wants anything to do with the Russians right now …

    • Yeah, but………..They’re representing their NHL club over here. Not their home country. NHLPA would never allow it to happen.
      Now, if there’s a full out WW3, and they return home to take up arms, that’s a different story all together.

      • It’s seems to me that the NHL is standing alone no other country or sports organization wants anything to do with Russia

      • SOP….How many of those 50 Russian players you think are pro Putin ?