NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

by | Mar 16, 2022 | News, NHL | 35 comments

Alex Ovechkin takes over third place on the all-time goal list, Connor McDavid, Chris Kreider, Roman Josi and Mitch Marner also reach scoring milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 767th career NHL goal as his club downed the New York Islanders 4-3 on a shootout goal by Anthony Mantha. Evgeny Kuznetsov collected two assists for the Capitals while Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. With 76 points, the Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin surpassed Jaromir Jagr to move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goal-scoring list, becoming the top European goal scorer in NHL history. He now sits 34 goals behind Gordie Howe for second place.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two points and Evander Kane tallied twice to give the Edmonton Oilers a 7-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Warren Foegele snapped a 5-5 tie while Leon Draisaitl, Duncan Keith and Kailer Yamamoto also collected two points for the Oilers, who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points. Marc Staal scored two goals for the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was McDavid’s 200th career multi-point game. It’s the most among all players since his debut in 2015-16.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider became the sixth active skater to score at least 20 power-play goals in a season as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Adam Fox had three points (including the winning goal in overtime) and Artemi Panarin collected three assists. The Rangers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 81 points but hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand. The Ducks (65 points) have dropped five straight and sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. Roman Josi collected three assists, becoming the third place in franchise history to record 50 assists in a season. Josi also leads all defensemen in scoring this season with 69 points while his club moved into third place in the Central Division with 74 points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren turned in a 35-save shutout in his first NHL start to blank the Dallas Stars 4-0. Mitch Marner collected two assists to surpass the 40-assist mark for the sixth straight season. With 81 points, the Leafs are one back of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The loss puts the Stars one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights (68 points) for the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first of two games the Leafs will play without Auston Matthews as he serves his suspension for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, suffered their fifth straight defeat as they fell 7-3 to the Winnipeg Jets, who’ve won four of their last five games. Kyle Connor led the way for the Jets with a goal and two assists while Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for the win. They now sit just two points behind the Golden Knights. Jets forward Andrew Copp missed this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Six weeks ago, the Golden Knights sat atop the Pacific Division with 57 points. The combination of injuries to team captain Mark Stone and starting goalie Robin Lehner has contributed to their decline since then. They’re in danger of dropping out of the playoff race.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and added an assist to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3, snapping a 12-game losing skid against New Jersey. Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 13 games with three assists as his club sits one point behind the Golden Knights. Devils forward Pavel Zacha is doubtful for his club’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames after suffering an upper-body injury in this contest.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche became the first team to reach 90 points this season (91) by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his second straight shutout while Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and an assist. Josh Manson logged over 18 minutes in his first game with the Avs since they acquired him from the Ducks on Monday.

Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano scored the game-tying and overtime goals to lift his club to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Panthers center Joe Thornton’s first game back in San Jose against his former club since his departure in 2020. The Panthers (88 points) move one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins (79 points) remain three points ahead of the Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Matt Grzelcyk. Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 46 saves in a losing cause.

A 36-save effort by Karel Vejmelka gave the Arizona Coyotes a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens for their sixth victory in their last seven contests. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Cole Caufield tallied twice in eight seconds for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens held trade candidate Ben Chiarot out of this game while Josh Anderson missed this matchup with a lower-body injury. The Habs also indicated Ryan Poehling was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.


THE DENVER POST/TWINCITIES.COM: The Colorado Avalanche made their second trade in as many days, shipping forward Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for forward Nico Sturm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move adds more size to the Avalanche roster while also swapping Jost’s $2 million salary-cap hit through 2022-23 for the pending free agent Sturm’s more affordable $725K. Avs general manager Joe Sakic could be setting the table for a bigger move before the March 21 trade deadline.

As for the Wild, this deal is being seen as GM Bill Guerin’s attempt to inject some life into a roster that’s struggled over the past month. He believes Jost will have a better chance to showcase his skills with the Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin underwent season-ending hip surgery on Monday. He’s expected to make a full recovery but will be sidelined for six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should put an end to the Braden Holtby trade rumors. The Stars won’t shop their backup while they’re jockeying for a playoff spot. He’s currently sidelined by a lower-body injury though he skated with his teammates during practice yesterday.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL defenseman Jean Potvin passed away last night at age 72. An 11-year NHL veteran, he spent two tenures totaling seven seasons with the New York Islanders, winning two Stanley Cups with brother Denis Potvin. He also served stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars. Potvin netted 287 points in 613 total games between 1970-71 and 1980-81.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Potvin’s family, friends and former teammates.


  1. The other day, when talking about Mrazek’s performance in the outdoor game, and the prospect of Campbell being out for 2 weeks – or more – I posted “Unless Mrazek suddenly turns things around – or one of those rookies comes in and gets hot (that’s happened in the league many times) …

    And what do you know – in comes Erik Kallgren – a 7th round pick by Arizona – and post a SO! Shades of Rogie Vachon, Ken Dryden, the Hamburglar.

    Lyle, you misspelled his name above.

  2. Duh !
    U think we should of put the “kid” in the net earlier boss …
    Dubais speaking

    How long have the likes of above been talking about this

    Mind boggling

  3. I also dread the fact , Ovechkin , possibility – breaking Gretzgy’s record !
    Not Good

    • I hope he never break Gretzkys record the guy is a Putin supporter. Bruins still need. Good D left shot. Where’s ole poopey pants this morning or rather Scott. To use one his quotes “ This team was built for the playoffs,” let’s just stand by and watch the b’s ship sink slowly in the east.

      • Agreed Rick. Ever since the Expos left town, I’ve taken great delight in the fact that MLB’s homerun king is a steroid cheat and hits leader is permanently banned for gambling, while hockey’s top goal scorer is universally respected inside and outside the game. Let’s not ruin it.

      • Ya Rick, the B’s are slowly sinking in the east due to that 10-1-1 record in their last 12 games.
        Damn Sweeney that useless do nothing loser.

        Also your “guarantee that they will lose to CHI if Ullmark starts” was wrong. I bet that they would win. Ullmark was solid in a 2-1 victory. B’s are now 18-9-2 in his starts. They have no chance with him in net! Except of course the 2/3’s of the time they win.

        If we could actually bet on here I would own your car.

      • Ray, why would you need a ’84 Chevette?

      • Agreed, Rick. As far as I’m concerned, Jagr is still 3rd. I never liked Ovechkin (the guy always knows where the cameras are after he scores a goal) but his continued support of Putin is unacceptable. He’s trash.

      • SOP, a buddy growing up in Sask had a 1976 Pontiac Acadian, same thing as Chevette but Pontiac version. Orange with tan vinyl interior.

        He had 4 brothers that all used that car at one time or another as it was the cheap kids car. That car was ugly and got pounded. Chasing rabbits and sh*t out in the country. As you can appreciate I’m sure.

        His dad had to take it to work one day and when he backed out of the driveway the front wheel fell off.

        Loved that POS.

      • Great story, Ray. My buddies family ran a Citation in nearly the same manner. Great memories in that old girl…….except for the almost dying parts.

      • I remember the Citation SOP, early FWD if I recall correctly.
        Might have even been uglier than the Acadian, Pacer like.

  4. Excellent game by Kallgren. Kudos abound

    I’d be lying if I said (or thought) that Leafs now have a saviour. Only time will tell how well his career will be and his next few weeks may determine his future with Leafs

    This could have gone the other way…. Ton of pressure on the youngster and he could have folded

    He didn’t and came out strong …. Which is fantastic.

    He had no experience before at this level so that’s a huge jump all at once. He did have some advantage over those shooting against him in that none would be familiar with him (and familiar with any weaknesses he had, if any).

    I’m just trying to temper expectations.

    I clearly remember AMs first game…. Mesmerizing first performance…. Pro-rated tracking of 300 + goals… media gone wild. Even my highly educated # 1 son (who was mid 20’s at the time with two undergrad degrees under his belt by then) and ALL his budz were buzzing with the expectations that AM was for sure going to pot close to 100 goals that year. They were not joking…. They truly felt that after his first game. No matter how much I, and their fathers tried to bring these mid-20’s “youngsters”back to reality…. They were totally convinced

    AM as we know… got 40 Gs that season, and will have his first 50 G season this year

    What I’m trying to say is ….Kallgren did fantastic his first outing . Give credit where credit is due. But under no circumstances should we immediately put the Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden type moniker on him after 1 game

    Sh#$t …. That just puts more pressure on this young guy… already living in one of the world’s (and definitely Hockey’s) largest fishbowls

    So… Kallgren… excellent job, thanks. Just do what you can for us next outing….. relax… play your game. Enjoy the experience.

    Re the other game I watched n full last night… Saros stopped the show…. 35 of 36….972 (did get a couple of post dingers behind him and Tanger missed the gaping net… but Saros was the difference). Pens came out strong and had Gould patches of domination…. Couldn’t solve Saros. One EN and one goal DeSmith should have had…. So really 2-1…. But a loss is a loss.

    • Pengy, I think that was his second appearance this season with the Leafs, was it not?

      • Just checked – he did come in in relief of Mrazek in that last game against red-hot Arizona and was instrumental in keeping them in when down 4-1 and although they ultimately lost in OT he the main reason they salvaged a point.

        Interestingly, his AHL stats are modest

        26gp 3:02gaa – 0.904 save %

      • First start ever is what I meant. Sorry

  5. @george
    Ken Dryden
    Only 6 regular season games , comes in and wins the cup , game 7 against Chicago I believe
    Conn Smythe Trophy
    Rookie of the year the following year

    • he could have been a bruin I still have recurring nightmares’ about that one

  6. MAF was outstanding last night almost stole the game. Chicago needs to get some assets for him.

    Ullmark could’ve easily been the scapegoat ; however he made some timely and outstanding saves.

    Seen what was a funny tweet last night; unfortunately don’t know who the author was:

    Toronto sign UFA Boston Cashew for 2 games and with a picture of Matthews in a totally different hairstyle

  7. I’d love to see that. (see what you say?)

    let the masses vote on line-up changes. Let the fans set the line-ups, and give us a good three game window.

    the Sens defense for instance. Zaitsev and Brown stapled to the press box for three games.

    I’d also love to see a reality show about “making the team” hold auditions, like American Idol, or The Voice. Make some legit rules about the auditions. Players can have played PRO in europe but can’t have ever played PRO in north america. Or the candidates can have never played pro at all. must be between the ages of 20-25. Hold a mini summer camp for them in your host city. Film the pro workouts they get with the pro club. Have them do some competitions etc etc. Make it three teams. Have one team be the team of goalies. In the end offer 2 PTO’s and a guarantee of at least 1 NHL pre-season game to the winners. I’d watch that.

  8. Hey Pengy and anyone else, who would you rather have, seguin for $9.9M for 5 more years or tavares at $11M for another 3?

    There’s been a lot of s#it talk (aka the usual) regarding the Leafs mismanagement and general incompetency and just like to hear who’s the better player/contract in this case.

    • If I’m a GM anywhere I want neither at those prices/term

      • I thought so. I guess many can’t make an argument for one over the other? Hmmm on one hand $11m over the next three years or $9.9m for five more years and comparing players, points, age, etc it pretty obvious who’s the better choice if you HAD to choose one. Yes both are over paid which is not the point because honestly it’s pretty bs to judge someone’s worth and then say he’s over or under paid by x dollars which usually is about 10-15% off more or less – in this case less. Fans can’t value talent correctly.

      • I doubt anyone is basing their opinion on contracts like that because they can’t value talent correctly. I believe some believe – as I do – that having contracts like that severely limits what you can do to balance out your roster, especially if the team of choice already has 2 or 3 high-cap players with quality RFAs coming up for re-negotiation.

      • True bad contracts do hamper team building. But what constitutes a bad contract? I define that as a player that is paid above their performance.

        I also think many don’t consider that a 60pt player is a very good first line scoring talent which you need in a game where most goals win. 60pts in 82games is a difficult task in this league and you only need to look at how many players achieve that low bar for a good player.

        Bad contracts are not just big dollar contracts because the best of anything cost way more than normal regular items so you can’t really criticize a player that produces close to or more than a point per game because there’s usually only a handful that can produce like that annually.

        Both in my example both players can play as your top 2 centers and will fair well with most teams. Both can score, ones a bit better defensively, but one has a big long contract for a couple million less and the other a couple years shorter. Basis aside, Tavares contract is slightly more palatable because of the term.

        As far as I’m concerned guys like Matthews, McDavid and Crosby you back up a brinks truck to their house and give them what it takes, just because players like that just don’t come a long often and you’d be so lucky if you land one.

        The real problem is the hard cap and paying players what their worth is. I think some fans are gonna sing the same tune shortly as their teams start hitting on their prospects, like your team that historically has decent drafting record and do develop good players that unfortunately price themselves out of what the Ottawa market can bare and that is something Leafs fans are seeing on their team with their prospects develop only to be traded and blossom elsewhere. You can argue and point to the “big four” and say well if they didn’t sign this guy or that guy for that much they would be fine which would be true but also can you image not signing these four and you’re forced in a trade where you’re not trading from a place of power… and for what, anything from ½ a million or as much as 1.5m over?

        I understand Tavares is a unique situation because top line centers usually don’t leave their teams and to be one of the best in the league, I think the Leafs were lucky to sign him. One can argue if it was necessary or not but considering they signed him when they did, it would be nice to have a top tier talent while you rebuild and develop your young team.

        And in general, the past two years no one saw that or could of prepared for that so the flat cap has just magnified the issue but you have to give Dubas credit because I doubt many GMs could of done a better job of maintaining their teams performance and standings for three years of this cap crunch. Is it ideal? No. I’ve said in the past the cap punishes success more than anything else. Heck, Tampa lost a whole 3rd line of really good players because if it. That’s not right in my book because I’m all for super teams…teams that when you’re team plays them, it’s either gonna be sick because your team like many will get crushed or mind blown when your team crushes them or seeing multiple super teams compete. The cap, to me, levels the playing ground where no one team can run over other teams but allow a pretty average mediocre teams throughout the league.

    • Seguin at 9.9 million is the highest cap hit on his team. Tavares at $11 million is the second highest on his team, with Mariner just $200k less.
      Seguin’s cap hit isn’t prohibiting his GM from improving their defence. Dallas has a young Oettinger in goal and a stronger d-core than the Leafs. Dallas also has a projected $17 million in cap space next season over the Leafs $6.4 million with Mrázek as the only goalie signed for next season.
      I wonder how Seguin would look being the second-line centre on a team with Matthews and Mariner on the first line?
      I’m sure Dallas fans will take Seguin and his lesser cap hit over Tavares and his cap hit. At least with Seguin, the Stars can afford to improve their team in other areas.

      • When you consider that at those salaries Seguin gets to take home 1.6M more in Net Salary, that is cause to question the equality of the cap altogether.

    • I take Tavares. I’d pay for the intangibles that he brings.

  9. A few thoughts;

    Is my geography that bad or am I wrong thinking Russia is in Asia? That would make Ovechkin the highest scoring Asian of all time, leaving Jagr as the top scoring European.

    RWM, please keep picking the Bruins to lose. The way you predict their games is laughable. I could win a lot of money on pro line betting opposite of what you say. Their best stretch of games in a long time, I don’t believe you’ve even seen them play.

    I always root for rookie goalies so I’m actually happy for Kallgren. Keefe, just keep playing him. That’s what AHL goalies are for. Your #1 is hurt, #2 stinks. What have you got to lose? Remember a few years ago, some AHL backup came up and won it all!

    • Part of Russia is in Asia and part of it is in Europe. I’m not sure how much of Russia is in Asia though. So I guess it depends on where in Russia Ovechkin was born.

      • Born in Irkutsk

      • Which is located in southeastern Siberia just north of the border with Mongolia which, technically, makes him more “Asian” than “European.”

      • He was born in Moscow, making him very European.

      • So, Chrisms, where did you come up with Irkutsk? LOL – I took your word for it

      • Ovie wasn’t actually “born”, he was more or less manufactured in a lab near Novosibirsk.

    • Central Asia is my uneducated guess.