NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2022

by | Mar 14, 2022 | News, NHL | 29 comments

The Sabres down Leafs at Heritage Classic, a big night for Blue Jackets rookie Cole Sillinger, the Avs regain first place in the overall standings, the Wild honored former captain Mikko Koivu, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic before over 26,000 fans at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. Peyton Krebs and Vinnie Hinostroza each scored twice and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for the win. Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 45th goal of the season for the Leafs (79 points), who sit three points behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews will face a hearing for cross-checking Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during the final five minutes of the third period.

Speaking of the Lightning, they snapped a three-game losing skid by holding off the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves while Victor Hedman and Ross Colton scored for the Lightning. J.T. Miller replied for Vancouver (65 points), who remain three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Canucks center Elias Pettersson missed the game as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

Roman Josi scored twice and added two assists to lead the Nashville Predators over the Minnesota Wild 6-2. Filip Forsberg scored two goals and chipped in an assist while David Rittich got the win with a 26-save performance. With the win, the Predators (72 points) opened a three-point lead over the Golden Knights for the first Western Conference wild-card spot. The Wild (72 points) sit four points back of the St. Louis Blues in third place in the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Wild honored former captain Mikko Koivu by making him the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. He’s their all-time leader in games played (1,028), assists (504) and points (709).

An overtime goal by Pierre-Luc Dubois lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists for the Jets as they sit four points behind the Golden Knights. Jets forward Andrew Copp left the game after taking a hard open-ice hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Cole Sillinger tallied his first NHL hat trick in a 6-4 victory over the Golden Knights. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and three assists while Max Domi had a goal and an assist for the Jackets. The Golden Knights have dropped four straight games.

Shootout goals by Adrian Kempe and Trevor Moore gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots in regulation and overtime in his 700th career NHL game. With 74 points, the Kings hold a six-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division. The Panthers (86 points) are one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings played without Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown as both were placed on injured reserve yesterday.

The Colorado Avalanche (89 points) regained first place in the overall standings by blanking the Calgary Flames 3-0. Darcy Kuemper made 46 saves for the shutout while Nathan MacKinnon scored twice for the Avs. The Flames remain atop the Pacific Division with 79 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to nine games to lead his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Tristan Jarry kicked out 41 shots for the win while Brian Boyle had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who opened a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points. With 87 points, the Hurricanes sit two back of the Avalanche in the overall standings.

The New York Islanders got their third win in a row by holding off the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Kyle Palmieri scored twice and Ilya Sorokin stopped 39 shots for the win. Anaheim remains four points back of the Golden Knights. Ducks winger Rickard Rakell missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield’s overtime goal lifted his club to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Rem Pitlick scored with 43 seconds left in regulation to set the stage for Caufield’s winner. Nick Suzuki scored twice for Montreal, who played without Artturi Lehkonen (upper body) and lost center Ryan Poehling with an upper-body injury. Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored his 900th career point in his 999th career NHL game.


  1. That outdoor game was, in stretches, highly entertaining, but when the dust (or rather ice chips) settled the glaring facts were a -3 for both Marner and Rielly and a -2 for both Matthews and Tavares, as well as 4 goals on 37 shots for Mrazek.

    Meanwhile, at the other end, 40-year-old Craig Anderson was stopping all but 2 of 36 shots.

    If Campbell is indeed out for at least 2 weeks the Leafs had better solve their goaltending because things are so tight it won’t take much to plunge 7 or 8 spots in the overall standings. Last night’s results, for example, dropped them from 5th to 7th, with a few teams behind them having games in hand.

    Unless Mrazek suddenly turns things around – or one of those rookies comes in and gets hot (that’s happened in the league many times) – the angst will be palpable in LeafNation/media. And the pressure will build on those expected to hold the fort.

    • This isn’t directed at you George, but more at the sky is falling Leaf fans.
      IMO the Leafs will be fine, unless they keep getting injuries to key guys.
      Mrazek was out for a long stretch and on a new team, so not crazy that he isn’t playing up to his historical averages. He won’t be this bad forever.

      If I had to bet Campbell was likely playing hurt until he finally had to go on IR as Mrazek was out and then just getting back.

      Sounds just like last year with Freddie. Instead of a stick tap from Leaf Nation for sucking it up and playing hurt (and getting bad habits from compensating), they get roasted by the fans, most of whom have no idea what to do about it other than trash the most recent guy to struggle and make it a terrible environment to play in. How’s Freddie looking now? Want him back?

      Let Campbell get healthy, rally around the guy, and get it going. The world isn’t ending, he has proven he can play at a high level. Let him.

      Majority (not all) of EDM fans wanted Koskinen run out of town and were willing to trade assets for the Korpisalo’s of the world. Ooops, looks like Miko’s got it going again. His team mates absolutely luv him and are playing their bag off for him.

      Leafs will for Soupy as well if I had to bet.

      • Well said, Ray. I totally agree. The Leafs, when healthy, are a top tier club. They have flaws, like all teams, but they are nothing short of an offensive juggernaut when firing on all cylinders. Another year older, another year more acclimated to the rigorous drive that is the playoffs. They’ll continue to improve.

      • Thank you, Ray.

      • You may be bang on re Mrazek Ray. The ability is there, based on past performances. I watched a re-run of yesterday’s game around lunch time and the stops he made in the 1st period were eye-opening. The score could have been 3-0 Buffalo by the 15-minuted mark. What he needs most is consistency.

      • Ya George, players need to play to get caught up long stretches on IR. Mrazek reminds me of Smith in EDM, unorthodox and rely on athletic ability, which leads to hot/cold. Except he isn’t 39.

        Campbell is their guy and I think by Keefe’s statement pasted below I think he was playing hurt for most/all the bad stretch.
        Need to get him healthy.

        Keefe said the 30-year-old Campbell “tweaked something” a while ago and then aggravated the issue during a 26-save performance in Tuesday night’s 6-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken.

        “I knew that he was uncomfortable after the game, and (Wednesday) wasn’t feeling a lot better,” Keefe said. “They sent him for some tests and ultimately found out he needs some time.”

        Campbell had an excellent start to the season to earn his first All-Star nod but has an .865 save percentage since mid-January.

        Sounds like a guy trying to play through an injury to me.

      • Could be – and if it’s a rib-cage problem (as some say they heard), that’s a bugger to deal with. Can even hurt to fart! I remember having one when playing football as the result of a bizarre sequence of events. Took a LONG time ti get comfortable again (of course, medical processes not to mention treatment has come a long way since 1960 🙂 )

      • I have heard the same thing about ribs George thankfully haven’t experienced it fist hand.
        Ya, might be out a bit more than 2 weeks than Keefe said.
        So Dubas needs to decide if giving up assets for a guy like Anderson (good choice), for a month is worth it or not.
        Pretty sure Dorian may try and get him to pay more than he is worth as a rental.

      • I think you mean Adams in Buffalo – that’s where Anderson is now.

      • Ya George, that is what I meant.
        Wow, brain farts happening more frequently these days.

        On the bright side I can hide my own Easter Eggs.

  2. Ok Leaf fans what do you say? Matthews how many games?

    I watched the first hit Dahlin put on Matthews at center ice, clean bodycheck.

    Matthews said his stick rode up Dahlin shoulder pads video replay doesn’t seem to support that argument.

    However you look at what Foligno recieved for his knee on knee and you just don’t know what Parros will do.

    As what person commented Foligno received a $5000 fine and a 3 game suspension that will be served by Brad Marchand.

    • Not a Leaf fan but would think it should be 3 games but who knows with George . It was clear frustration and intent to hit the head . But a star and never in trouble my bet. Is 1 game

    • Matthews finally gets tough…and of course it has to be against a Swede!

  3. Same old Leafs, the bigger the moment,the sooner they go in the tank.There Defensemen and Goalies look like AHL caliber.Good luck in your next job Dubas along with Sweeney.

    • Steve R., all in all their D did their job for the most part – the only other D to log a minus were Holl and Sandin – each a -1.

      As I noted above, Rielly’s performance was less than stellar as were those high-priced Fs mentioned.

      I can’t argue about Mrazek being AHL calibre – he did nothing yesterday to suggest otherwise.

      The Matthews cross-check was a classic reaction to frustration. 1 game would be my guess as well.

  4. Lost respect for Matthews on that hit to Dahlin,who was the best player on the ice by far!

  5. Matthews should get 5 but will get 2 because first offense but what bothers me the most is that he had zero remorse. Leafs have very little confidence right now but won’t miss playoffs nobody playing well enough to pressure them.

    • True Obe, but they could drop down into one of the 2 Wild Card slots as Boston and Washington are close to them. After that there just no team that could close the large gap (the only ones at or just above .500 are Columbus and NYI – neither is a threat.

    • Why does he need to have remorse? He’s paid to entertained. Are you not entertained?

    • What bothers you is a lack of remorse? Sheesh that’s lame shade coming from you. Why do you only comment when the team doesn’t perform well? Is it to make you feel superior? At least George who isn’t a fan can comment and argue somewhat valid points when they are doing well as well as when they are sucking.

  6. It was a total blantent crosscheck to the back of the neck. As soon as I seen it I called out 5 games. Usually I go with my gut feeling but they may drop it to three because he had no priors. But honestly (no priors) shouldn’t result in less games when you know for a fact Matthews was totally targeting an area that could of paralized the opponent. Matthews is just lucky Dalhin it didn’t go that way. It could of wrecked his own “growing” career. Saying that maybe it should be more than 5 games. Hate to say it but just being honest.

    • DJ,

      I agree….5 games would be fair. But, having watched an even worse cross check to the back of Dylan Larkin’s neck by Jamie Benn last April which ended Larkin’s season and put him in a neck brace for 2-3 months, in which Benn didn’t even receive a two minute penalty, I doubt Matthews gets much more than a slap on the wrist.

  7. Heritage Classic?

    I believe the atmosphere was there…. and there were patches of excitement but the speed was slow and passes and shots off (no fault of players…. Dusting of snow does slow things down)

    Leafs not performing at a level they should be…. check over your shoulders Leafs… there is a bear paw on your back and only 2 points behind (same number of games played)

    I’m a huge AM fan… this (cross check to head) was not at all what I want to see. Ride up his sleeve???? ….not without CGI replacing reality.

    The league has said it is going to clamp down on cross-checking. This was to the head. Parros can’t let this slide because he (AM) is the League’s RR trophy leader. If Marchand had done this …. Parros gives him 10 games

    A cross check to the head is not hockey. This done by anybody else should be a minimum of 4 games if I were Head of DOPS. Cross-checks to the head are egregious and extremely dangerous.

    You never know with Parros… he should have been fired a long time ago

    If Parros only gives a fine (which is a max of $5K…. Note he’s already earned over $40 M from Leafs over the last 32 months) …. All Hell will (grantedly so) break loose

    Parros is quite literally all over the map

    Fine only…. Expect cross checks to the head to be more oft… only $5 K fine… no worries

    My gut is Parros caves …. 2 games

    Re Pens v Canes…. Truly a 4 point game…. Lose in reg … Canes with 10 point lead and 6 weeks left…. 1st in ATL a done deal

    Now it’s 6 …. (Note ….Could have been 3 if Pens had not let the previous Canes v Pens game go to OT [thanks a bunch Ruhweedel]).

    Speaking of Ruhweedel…. Sully was speaking late last week about how well Friedman had been playing (and boy has he) and inferred that Friedman might continue playing once players are back (injuries over)…. and Sully was quoted last week….

    “But you know, my hope is that sometimes watching the game from a different vantage point can be productive for a player”… he was referring to the press box and likely at that time re Kappy

    Then early yesterday it was said that Dumo WOULD be playing and they hinted that Friedman would also play

    Putting the above Sully quote along with Dumo IN and likely Friedman also playing… and with a high priority game (Canes) up; AND with one of the main reasons Pens didn’t win in reg last time v Canes being on CR… the conclusion would have to be that Sully finally came to his senses and CR was press box bound…. Nope….CR plays and Pettersson sits…. WT fuddle duddle??

    Quote from Sully yesterday

    We have seven defensemen here (and) we can only put six in the lineup,” Sullivan said. “(Friedman) played a couple of real solid games and was deserving of staying in the lineup. There’s a healthy competition amongst our group at all the positions, but in that position in particular, I thought (Friedman) deserved to play based on performance. These are difficult decisions. They’re not easy. Marcus has played a lot of good hockey for us as well. We’ll make decisions game to game, and we’ll try to put the best six in the lineup that gives us the best chance to win.”

    Sully has yet to play his top 6 D in ANY game this year. CR is not as good as Pettersson, Friedman or P-O J…. so at the very best he is 8th on the team for D

    This stubbornness in playing an inferior player just because he is a nice guy can, has and will be extremely costly ….I need only to cite JJ and series loss to Isles. Sully …. You can’t keep this up.

    Read yesterdays posts today… glad to see you on again Kal El

    • Well, Pengy, It was probably a “classic” for Buffalo fans!

      • Yes… that is probably very true

      • Much like art, it’s all in the eye of the beholder!

      • Note….Any beholder of Mark Rothco paintings needs their eyes examined

      • Heh. You could say the same about some of Picasso’s more bizarre facial artwork – except for the ever-increasing value.

      • Rothco is no Picasso by any stretch

        You could at least make out some semblance of what he was conveying

        Rothco just did painting of none true rectangles…. All in 1 colour of the same painting… ridiculous