NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2022

by | Mar 11, 2022 | News, NHL | 19 comments

The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights on Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo, the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau takes over the lead in the scoring race and much more from a busy night of action in the NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres spoiled Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Eichel was held scoreless while Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch (the two players he was traded for) each tallied a goal for the Sabres. It was a milestone game for Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson as he made 30 saves for his 300th career NHL victory. The loss leaves the Golden Knights in third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel fired a shot at Sabres fans following the game as he received a mixed reaction from the Buffalo crowd. “That’s about the loudest I’ve heard this place, ever,” he said. “It only took seven years and me leaving for them to get into the game.”

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad each collected four assists and Sam Reinhart netted a hat trick as the Florida Panthers dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3. Huberdeau broke his own franchise single-season record by picking up his 64th assist and vaulted over the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid into first place in the scoring race with 82 points. With 85 points, the Panthers move into a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first overall in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got a 36-save shutout by Antti Raanta to blank the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. Ethan Bear and Sebastian Aho were the goal scorers as the Hurricanes sit two points behind the first-place Avalanche in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog could face supplemental discipline from the league for criticizing the officiating during and following the game after receiving a misconduct penalty in the final minute.

Johnny Gaudreau tallied a hat trick to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rasmus Andersson collected two assists while Jacob Markstrom got the win by stopping 30 shots. The Flames sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 77 points, five up on the second-place Los Angeles Kings. The Lightning (80 points) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau banked two of his goals in off the back of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s enjoying a fine performance in a contract year and is a big reason behind the Flames’ improvement this season.

The Leafs, meanwhile, dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Arizona Coyotes. The Leafs overcame 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to force the extra frame. Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun scored the winner but it was controversial as he got away with a blatant hold on the stick of Leafs center Auston Matthews moments before. Chychrun finished the night with two goals, Matthews tallied his league-leading 44th goal of the season while Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot had three points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek was terrible, getting the hook after giving up four goals on 12 shots, with three of those while he was out of position. Erik Kallgren made 10 saves but gave up the overtime goal. Earlier in the day, the Leafs announced starter Jack Campbell will miss two weeks with a rib injury.

A late goal by David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Pastrnak had two goals on the night while Brandon Hagel tallied twice for Chicago. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane collected an assist to tie Bobby Hull for second place among the franchise’s all-time scoring leaders with 1,153 points. With 75 points, the Bruins hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas scored twice as his club downed the New York Rangers 6-2, chasing Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin after he gave up four goals on 17 shots. Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou each collected two points for the Blues (73 points) as they hold a two-point lead over the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. The Rangers remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points.

The Wild, meanwhile, got shootout goals by Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Fiala in a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Matt Boldy scored twice for the Wild as did Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond. The two clubs also engaged in a big brawl at the end of the second period.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist and Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the win as the Predators (70 points) opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first Western Conference wild-card berth. With 63 points, the Ducks remain four behind the Stars.

Tomas Hertl’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings to snap a three-game losing skid. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson picked up two assists in his return to the lineup after missing 15 games recovering from a forearm tendon surgery. Trevor Moore had three points for the Kings (72 points), who hold a four-point lead over Vegas for second place in the Pacific Division.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor’s 35th goal of the season was also the winner as his club squeaked past the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Eric Comrie made 33 saves as the Jets (62 points) are five points back of the Stars. The Devils honored Travis Zajac in a pregame ceremony for playing 1,000 games with the franchise, a feat he accomplished last February when there were no fans allowed at Prudential Center due to COVID restrictions. Zajac retired at the end of last season.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves to shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0. Anders Lee picked up the hat trick while Ryan Pulock collected three assists.

An overtime goal by Josh Norris gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken. It was Norris’ second goal of the game. Senators goalie Anton Forsberg picked up the win with a 30-save effort.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price continues to train at the club’s training facility and is reportedly aiming at returning to action in April. He’s encountered a couple of setbacks in his recovery from offseason knee surgery that has sidelined him all season thus far.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen is sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.

THE ATHLETIC: The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg on injured reserve.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard is sidelined by a lower-body injury and has returned to Denver for further evaluation.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers value Ristolainen’s size and physical play. His new contract isn’t unreasonable in term or dollars as he’s completing a six-year deal worth $5.4 million annually.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Marco Scandella returned to action on Thursday after missing over a month with a lower-body injury. Forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Oskar Sundqvist missed Thursday’s game against the Rangers nursing injuries.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets granted forward Alexandre Texier a leave of absence for personal reasons stemming from the personal losses of people close to him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Markus Niemelainen to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $762K.


  1. Got to see a possible SCF last night in Canes v Avs….. very even match IMHO …. Basically 1 goal game (Canes had EN)…. Basically even in shots… excellent scoring chances and brilliant saves at either end… was surprised that with such a close game that all 3 stars were Canes??

    re Leafs…. I don’t want to downplay how well Yotes have been playing (I think they all want to showcase themselves so they can get traded out of the desert as they are definitely NOT looking forward to playing in front of only 4,000 (5,000 max) fans in an arena with extremely poor TV sight lines where they’ll never get noticed); or miss pointing out that YES AM’s stick was held by Chychrun who then scored a couple of dozens seconds later….all that said… not playoff type hockey Leafs…. Not good goaltending (rinse repeat)

    Saw the highlights of the Cas v Flyers game…..Hoooobie on fire…. Certainly has to be in consideration for Hart….although by definition of the award….”Most valuable to HIS team”…. IMHO as at now, Markstrom is more valuable to HIS team than other players around the league including Vazy, Hoobie, AM, McD, Dry, Mac K

    • Leaf’s should have given up Nylander last summer for decent goaltending and D. LOL

      • Yes I know I said that (for 2 years)… I like Wee Willy…But Leaf’s must change from 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds…. And they weren’t moving (and shouldn’t) AM, and JT has full NMC… so it is/was down to MM & WW…. Since basically no team could fit in Marner’s hit…. It needed to be WW

      • Jack Cambell is the Best Goaltender the leafs have had in YEARS..❗️
        Problem with the leafs is in 2 Areas.
        Leafs have way to much Dollars tied up in the top 4 X $40. Million dollar forwards,✔️

        Nylander is better than 2 of the other $40. Million Dollar Club
        $11. mil John Tavares and Inconcistant $11 Mil Mitch Marner….

        Leafs Defence is well below Average
        Leafs have 1 A grade D/man in Rielly,
        They No B d/men…..✔️
        They have 2 C grade d/men in Muzz & Brodie
        the Rest are Whatever d/men……..

        if they get Bounched out Again in the playoffs first round…..❓
        Its time for Majior changes in the forwards and Up-grade in the d to where it should be if they want to contend…. I’m Really not sure what the
        Maple Leafs Brass will say in a Story Spin this year……..❗️😂

        2 more years left for UFA Austin Mathews before he gos back home to AZ🤔

      • Hi Wwillie

        Up until the latest Arz fiasco I would have agreed with you that AM would go home to Phoenix on 1/7/24

        Now, with this “state of the art” (he said laughing); massive (he continues to laugh) new arena with fantastic TV sightlines (NOT)…. and max 5,000 in the barn until at least 25/26 (and likely 26/27 or even later… no plan in place even yet, minimum 4 years to build); then I think AM “back home” is less likely.

        Now, AM leaving on 1/7/24… or before…. that I have well above average confidence in

        If Bettman quits (we can hope, LOL); then AM would become the first (and franchise) captain of the relocated Houston (Yotes????) franchise.

        If Bettman does not quit (dang) then I certainly could see Krakken put a massive pitch to him.

        By that time, Krakken should be well under way on to a good build; and he would be the Captain; new building, great fans; great city.
        Krakken (or Knights, or Houston, or Stars, or Panthers, or Bolts, or Preds) has a massive advantage (over all 7 Canadian teams) in having no state tax.

        Leafs will have to offer him $14 M (basically a given) * 8…. His take home… $52.3 M over 8 years (per Gavin group).

        Any of the above teams offering $14 M * 7…. And his take home is $62 M (again per Gavingroup) …. So $10 M more; AND he has another year at the end where he would likely get re-upped at his same rate for another year— total take home for that 8 year deal in those cities…. Just shy of $71 M…. so almost $19 M more take home

        Yes money is NOT everything…. But these players if they are lucky, play to just beyond their mid-30’s. There life-time income is very front end loaded. Add to that …. Being with a brand new franchise in Houston; or with a relatively new one in Seattle…. Getting to grow with the team while joining them at 26 years of age… has to be enticing.

        By 24/25, the Cap will be up a bit, and with a fair expectation of good rises by 26/27 or 27/28… (i.e. 2nd or 3rd year of his new contract)…. So offering him 7 @ $15M is not out of the question…. He would be in his prime AND is expected to be a perennial RR award winner; and a power Centre.

        BTW …. 7 @ $15 M; then a re-up for the 8th year at $15M…. as a UFA from one of those state tax free franchises…. Take home…. ~ $76 M (Gavin Group)…. About $24 M more than he would reap in T.O.

        And for those stating that he will get huge Ad money in Toronto… yes; but he will also get that money; or thereabouts in those other cites.

    • There’s no single player more important to his team than the netminder for the NYR’s.
      That kid is probably the best I’ve seen since Hasek.

  2. Bruins need another a good d left desperately. And backup goalie for Swayman

  3. So the question is why would the Coyotes want to trade a VG 23 year old Dman who plays left or right D that has a $4.6 per year cap hit and is signed for the next 4 years, who’s a player you can build a D around ….

    • Exactly Joe.

      • us older guys think alike..

    • Joe,
      Your Right this dose not make sence at all, unless they know something about him we dont❓

      AZ have Lots and Lots of picks coming up in this years draft….❗️and $43. Million in Cap space for next year….they could pick 1st and at worst A top 3 pick Overall so they will get a Great Player. and thats before they trade 3 of there players before March 21st deadline….?
      Im sure they plan to pick top 3 in the 2023 draft also…..

      2022 Draft
      3X 1st round picks
      5 X 2nd round picks
      2023 Draft 2 so far in the 1st 2 rounds
      2024 Draft 4 picks so far in the 1st 2 rounds
      Getting Ready for Austin Mathews Return Home to Arizona …..⁉️

  4. I get Eichel might be upset with Sabres management. Regardless, I feel that’s a classless comment directed to the fans.

    • Maybe the Sabres fans would have been louder if Eichel and his teammates had given them something to cheer about all those years.

      • Yes….notice that Eichel’s team came out losers yesterday, just like Buffalo did when he was there. Could it be that Eichel was/is part of the problem for both teams ?

    • It’s also pretty classless to boo and heckle a returning player.

    • Yes Guy…yes

  5. Eichel was speaking his mind which he had every right to do under the circumstances.

  6. Unfortunately for Eichel he became the face of “tanking” in Buffalo. Mishandled by mgmt from the start as they tried to appease him by firing coach Dan Bylsma, trading Ryan O’Reilly and awarding Jack the captaincy prematurely. Lots of blame to go around (including Eichel and fans), but mgmts/ownerships buy-in to the tank was a disgrace to this once-proud franchise.

  7. B’s game last night …Had a nice chuckle watching Ahcan wearing the McQuaid jersey…what is it with the Bruins and the small Dmen they do remember these players take a beating in the playoffs