NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 12, 2022

by | Mar 12, 2022 | News, NHL | 19 comments

A hat-trick performance for the Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov, Islanders coach Barry Trotz reaches a milestone, the Stars re-sign Joe Pavelski, Marc Staal set to join his brothers in an elite club, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: A hat-trick performance by Evgeny Kuznetsov set the stage for Lars Eller’s overtime goal as the Washington Capitals downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist but remains tied with Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time goal list with 766. Defenseman Quinn Hughes had three points and Bo Horvat scored twice for the Canucks (65 points), who sit two points behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Capitals hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 74 points, one back of the Boston Bruins.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (NHL Images).

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz picked up his 900th career victory as his club rolled to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Trotz sits third on the all-time list, 69 wins behind second-place Joel Quenneville. Josh Bailey scored two goals while Semyon Varlamov picked up his first win since Jan. 18 with 27 saves. Kyle Connor netted his 36th goal of the season for the Jets (62 points), who remain five points out of a Western wild-card spot.

The Pittsburgh Penguins got a 40-save effort from Tristan Jarry and three unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2. Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist while Sidney Crosby collected an assist to extend his points streak to eight games. With 79 points, the Penguins move two points ahead of the New York Rangers into second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Golden Knights cling to third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.

Zach Werenski’s tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Yegor Chinakhov’s shootout winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets upset the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist for Minnesota. It was a costly win for the Blue Jackets as Jakub Voracek and Patrik Laine left the game with apparent leg injuries. With 72 points, the Wild are one back of the second-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild forward Marcus Foligno could face supplemental discipline for kneeing Voracek. The Jackets winger returned to the bench for overtime and the shootout but didn’t see a shift.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars yesterday signed forward Joe Pavelski to a one-year, $5.5 million contract extension with a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski is taking a pay cut to stay in Dallas, completing a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $7 million. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and frequently surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate.

However, Pavelski indicated he and his family love living in Dallas and he remains committed to helping the Stars become a winner. The 37-year-old is their leading scorer with 59 points skating alongside Roope Hintz and rising star Jason Robertson. He’s a big reason why the Stars are jockeying for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal is set to play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Calgary Flames. He’ll join Eric and Jordan as the first three brothers in league history to reach the thousand-game milestone.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Speaking of the Red Wings, forward Robby Fabbri is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during Thursday’s loss to the Wild.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brock McGinn is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.

FOX 13 SEATTLE: Kraken forward Joonas Donskoi (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve on Friday.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: The floundering Flyers are on pace for the worst average attendance in 49 years. Their average announced home attendance is 16, 505 in an arena that seats over 19,000 fans. With the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and a roster ravaged by injuries, fans have been tuning out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article points out the number of actual fans at recent Flyers games is actually much lower than the announced paid attendance.


  1. Marcus Foligno should be disciplined! As should of Dumba the night before when he pummeled Lucas Raymond with his gloves on as Raymond’s head was against the ice, bloodying the ice! Dumba declined 2 real fights later in the game with Rasmusen and then Hronek.

    • Spot on Johnny. It isn’t often that a team has players commit an act worthy of suspension in back to back games, but the Wild have managed to do so.

    • Dumba is a spot picking punk, he is lucky Blashill didn’t dress G. Smith … looking forward to the next meeting between these two.

      • I’m with you on that one Ed. I doubt Dumba will get to avoid fighting like he did with Rasmussen and Hronek after mugging Raymond. What a coward Dumba is.

  2. Maybe those missing fans in Philadelphia aren’t so much “tuning out” the Flyers as they are intent on preserving their lives during a pandemic.

    • You give Flyers fans too much credit. No way they are smart enough to make that decision.

      • Nice

  3. Congrats to the Staal bros

    Little Joe… good signing… seems he is certainly enamoured with the franchise and the city; and he’s been great for the team

    Hope McG’s injury (week to week which typically means 2 min) is short

    Re Pens v over Knights

    Good jump by Pens to start. The line juggling sleep to induce more 2nd and 3rd line chances; and Puustinen in his first ever NHL game seemed to fit in (and got his first point and was a plus 2). Small sample size… but we’ll see how that goes.

    Dumo was a surprise scratch… little mention why… I found a couple places that posted “illness”. Hoping the “illness” is not covid and is short.

    Friedman flying and played a fantastic game and scored. Matheson back in the line up…. Flying and he scored. Ruhweedel…. another truly bad game. Completely to blame for 2nd Knights goal that got Knights back in to the game.

    Sully has shown his desire to shuffle lines , shake things up, sit forwards, have forwards as healthy scratches …. To get the best out of the team.

    Let’s see if this true helmsmanship holds when Dumo returns….. it should be Friedman in and Ruhweedel out. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    That is the right move for the team as a whole. You can’t continue to play a guy because he is a nice person ; or childhood friend of the Captain; or good dressing-room guy…. If he is costly to the team.

    Even more so when he is costly to the team in most every game. We have all seen what that plan of action did for Pens (assistant coaches begging Sully that a certain D-man not to be played, Sully ignores, loss of series to Isles…. Then those same assistant coaches are fired just after the season; GM lauds publicly same player…. then eventually after finally listening to everybody… buys that same player out.

    Come on Sully… CR out, MF in…. gedddderdunn

    • I’m sure that Carson Soucy would be better … delusional

      • Are you inferring sarcastically that Soucy is not as good as CR…..

        If so you have never watched a single game, let alone multiple games, or seasons of either of them

        Soucy on Pens, CR out…. Would be a massive improvement to the Pens D…. absolutely massive

        Just at the very simplest level…

        1) Soucy knows his left (side) from his right…. CR … Nyet
        2) Soucy doesn’t follow his D partner into the opposite corner to get at a forward already engaged by his D partner; leaving his own man in front of net UNcovered… CR does
        3) Soucy doesn’t send puck down ice for unforced icing multiple times a game… CR does
        4) Soucy can give accurate passes…. CR can’t
        5) Soucy can effectively take passes without faltering… CR …. Very rarely can
        6) Soucy can, and does, move forwards of any size out from in front of his goalie…. CR physically incapable of doing so for any forward over 6’1” , 200; and many smaller players as well
        7) Soucy knows when to effectively pinch; CR does so at random often with costly repercussions
        8) Soucy knows where to play, where his opponents are, where his team-mates are… CR guesses… often poorly
        9) Soucy wins puck battles; CR doesn’t know what puck battles are
        10) Soucy knows how to play in order to win a game; CR knows how to apologize to a goalie, D-mate; team-mates ; coaches for costly errors
        11) Soucy 82 game pace (note on a bottom 3 team)…. 14-14-28 and + 20; CR (in a very offensive team) …. 3-8-11 and plus 5
        12) Soucy more than 4 years younger; 25 lbs heavier (all muscle I’d guess); and a full 1/2 foot taller

        The list goes on and on

    • I thought Puustinan looked pretty good for his first game as well. He definitely is an NHL caliber offensive player if he keeps working hard.

      • Absolutely Dee

        Part of the “first NHL” game mantra (and mindset and expectation) is always to give absolutely everything you’ve got…. So very small sample size and he would have been playing on super adrenaline anyway….But I certainly liked what I saw

  4. Re….” The floundering Flyers are on pace for the worst average attendance in 49 years. Their average announced home attendance is 16, 505 in an arena that seats over 19,000 fans. With the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and a roster ravaged by injuries, fans have been tuning out.”

    This made my mind jump to the Monty Python “4 Yorkshire Men” scene…. thinking/reminiscing/outdoing each other’s turbulent, arcane, impoverished , and increasingly bizarre upbringing…. “Oh we were poor”

    The reason I bring this up…. Flyers average attendance NORTH of 16 K…. Because of a certain Commissioner… there is an NHL franchise that will not (impossible to unless every single game is a sellout) even average 5 K… for 3 years for sure…. 4 more likely; 5 not out of the question

    • Melnyk would be doing cartwheels on Parliament Hill if he averaged 16,000.

  5. Kyle Connor must be the quietest goal scorer In the league.

    Last night he got his 36th goal tying him for 5th in the league

    He has 30 plus goals in 4 of 5 full seasons; the exception was last season scoring 26 in 56 games.

    He’ll be a 40 goal scorer this season for the first time.

    If he were in another market, you would hear much more about this prolific, consistent goal scorer who sits 12th in league scoring.

    Not to gripe, he also should’ve been a Bruin.

    • Nope, Jet for life for KFC, it was destiny for the Bruins to screw up

    • Caper…. As everyone knows Sweeney wasn’t prepared for a real important draft for the Bruins , this draft was going to set them up for 10-12 years if they nailed it & there were a lot of very good players in that draft and the ball was dropped ….it was a bad start for him and it never really got any better as a GM … in 7 years a couple of good FA signings a few good draft picks and one or two decent trades

      • Joe. It seamed he only had one focus to trade up for hanafin and when that did not happen they did not know what to do