NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2022
The Flames and Oilers combine for 14 goals, Marc-Andre Fleury gets the win in his debut with the Wild, Jonathan Huberdeau sets a Panthers record and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Johnny Gaudreau collected five assists as his Calgary Flames downed the Edmonton Oilers 9-5. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and added two assists while Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund each tallied two goals. Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted four points for Edmonton. With 88 points, the Flames hold a seven-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division while the Oilers cling to third place with 77 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin collected two assists as he became the fifth-youngest defenseman in NHL history to play 500 games.
Speaking of the Kings, they doubled up the Seattle Kraken 4-2. Cal Petersen made 23 saves for the win, Adrian Kempe picked up two assists and Jordan Spence scored his first NHL goal, becoming the first Australian-born player to do so.
Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 23 shots in his Minnesota Wild debut as he backstopped them to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jared Spurgeon scored in overtime after Kirill Kaprizov tied the game with his second of the night and 35th of the season. The Wild sit in second place in the Central Division with 82 points.
Jonathan Huberdeau collected an assist in his franchise-record 655th career game with the Florida Panthers in a 4-3 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators. Aleksander Barkov scored the winner and also tallied the game-tying goal. Claude Giroux collected two assists for the second straight game with the Panthers. Anton Forsberg had 46 saves in a losing cause for the Senators. The Panthers sit atop the Eastern Conference standings with 94 points.
Carolina Hurricanes forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Seth Jarvis each tallied twice in a 7-2 romp over the St. Louis Blues, handing the latter their fifth loss in their last six games. Pavel Buchnevich netted both goals for the Blues. The win leaves the Hurricanes one point behind the Panthers while the Blues (79 points) are three behind the Wild for third place in the Central Division.
The Boston Bruins picked up their fourth straight win with a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall each had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 87 points. Islanders center Brock Nelson reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time.
An overtime goal by Brayden Point lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Steven Stamkos scored the tying goal late in the third period as Tampa Bay sits one point behind the Bruins in third place in the Atlantic. Before the game, the Lightning announced defenseman Ryan McDonagh is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.
A 49-save performance by Jake Allen carried the Montreal Canadiens over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Nick Suzuki, Paul Byron and David Savard each had two points for the Canadiens while Auston Matthews potted his 47th goal of the season for the Leafs, who sit one point behind the Lightning in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Canadiens revealed Jeff Petry (lower body) and Jonathan Drouin (wrist) are sidelined indefinitely while assistant coach Luke Richardson entered COVID protocol.
The Washington Capitals got three third-period goals to hold off the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Alex Ovechkin scored his 42nd of the season while Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist on the night he was honored by his club for reaching 1,000 career points. Washington sits one point back of the Leafs in the final Eastern wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals fans littered the ice with small rubber apples commemorating Backstrom’s 1,000 points in appreciation of his third-period goal.
Evgenii Dadonov was the Vegas Golden Knights’ hero for the second straight game in their 5-4 defeat of the Chicago Blackhawks. Coming off a three-point performance in a win over the Nashville Predators, Dadonov scored the overtime goal in this contest as the Golden Knights cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 76 points. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had two points for the Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez returned to action for the first time since suffering facial injuries on Nov. 11 against the Wild. Golden Knights center Brett Howden didn’t suffer serious injuries after being stretchered out of Thursday’s game against the Predators but will be sidelined indefinitely.
The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive by dropping the Dallas Stars 4-1. Elias Pettersson scored two goals and Thatcher Demko made 35 saves for the win. Vancouver sits three points behind Vegas with 73 points while the Stars remain one back of the Golden Knights. Canuck winger Matt Highmore missed this game as he remains sidelined with an upper-body injury.
San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier picked up a hat trick in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, handing the latter their ninth straight loss.
I seem to recall that Hanifin was rated by many ahead of Mitch Marner in the 2015 draft. Marner went 4th, Hanifin 5th. Both sides could be right.
2015 was the McDavid – Eichel draft btw. How did that turn out?
Just for the record, the 4 ahead of Hanifin in the march to the fastest to reach 500 games are Scott Stevens, Phil Housley, Al Iafrate and Luke Richardson.
All d. Interesting
A possible Toronto-Carolina match-up may be in the cards and wouldn’t that be something to see what with Toronto’s current state of flux in goal and running head on into Frederik Andersen, having a career year with 44gp 2.07gaa and 0.926 save % (vs career averages of 2.59ga and 0.916 save %)
At least then we’ll see if Andersen’s penchant for giving up “bad goals” holds true (as has been stated by many Leafs fans) if Dubas was right in replacing him with a Campbell-Mrazek tandem, and if charges by non-Leafs fans that Matthews-Marner-Tavares are not attuned to playoff hockey.
One way or another a lot of assumptions will be answered in that series. Could be a barn-burner of a series.
Campbell seems quite content to step away from it all and walk his cat. I’m concerned over his mental well being as he’s never been a starter and got to January and seemed to be burnt out from the pressure of life in a fishbowl
Freekin Hilarious !
Good post George, I don’t often agree with what people say about players one way or the other but I do like that it’s out there because it gives a chance for most people change their perception since we are constantly bombarded with opinion.
The trouble is, Matthews , Marner for example ..
Leafs do not have an adequate second line
The focus will be for any opposing team to shutdown the first line , which is very possible
Goaltending , they had Campbell the year before , they knew what they had
But to bring in Mrazek at 3.6 mil was a major blunder .
Any way you look at it , Leafs have to score 5 goals every game to win , which is not playoff hockey
Last nights game for example , 51 shots – Jake Allan was outstanding .
I find it impossible for Dubas to remain as GM
Leaf GM’s over the years, not pretty – John Ferguson Jr
No is, 2 examples , not pretty
Annoying franchise …
Jays and Raptors have figured it out in the fishbowl
Leaf land , still a work in process
@Ken: Tavares and Nylander have little or no chemistry and never did which puts it all on the first line and every team now knows how to do a Danault on Matthews.
I’m looking forward to seeing that team get bounced again in the first round as they will not beat Boston, Tampa, Florida or Carolina in a 7 game series and as for Dubas, See ya !
They did have Campbell the year before – but in a backup role (or perhaps better described as a “shared # 1” with Andersen) when, in 22gp, he had a 2.15gaa and a 0.921 save % in a shortened season when they only played the other 6 Canadian franchises. Andersen, meanwhile, played 24 of those games with a 2.96gaa and a dismal 0.895 save %.
The thing is, we’d have to go back and see which of the other 6 Campbell got as compared to Andersen to get a better picture of who was better, all things considered.
Whatever the actual case, clearly Leafs management figured Campbell was the better choice going forward (even though he had yet to prove himself as a # 1 starter) and so let Andersen walk to Carolina. But to hedge their bets, they then turned around and brought in Mrazek for 3 years at $3.8 mil per – more than twice what they were paying their # 1.
Now Campbell is a pending UFA and they have to decide – either on the basis of his very good performance over the first 2 months or, conversely, his so-so results in his last 2 months of action, OR, on the basis of his performance in this year’s playoffs – assuming he returns and re-assumes the # 1 role. If he does come back and play well, what kind of contract will he be seeking as a UFA? If he doesn’t come back – or does and flops – do they then let him walk and either go forward with Mrazek or find a replacement.
Absolutely no assumption can be made at this stage on how the rookies would do if thrust into a starting role in the fishbowl.
Dubas has his work cut out for him.
Kallgren did fine last night but Jake Allen stood on his head. It would be unfair of TML to expect Kallgren to carry any consistent load moving forward especially in that current unstable environment.
I hope Campbell puts it all back together again & Mrazek becomes consistent but regardless, it’s a poorly constructed team designed to entertain; not win a championship.
Ken, Who in Canada hates the Jays or Raptors? Everyone not a Leaf fan hates the Leafs (and the city of Toronto media). Very different fish bowls in my opinion. Way more pressure on the buds.
Nonis is the second example as per above
Watched Leafs v Habs; and Sens v Cats games last night; and Alta game (condensed version on NHL Live)
Gotta pick 14 goal games as my fav (even though I only got to see the condensed version)…. They should have been playing Loverboy, Men Without Hats, Glass Tiger, Platinum Blond ; and The Persuit of Happiness in the background ‘cuz I thought we were mid 80’s again. TSN turning point…. None… LOL
Leafs… put enough pucks out there… just out-duelled in goal… have to give credit when credit is due… Kudos out to Allen
Re Sens-Cats… watched on NHL Live…. Play by play completely cut out with a couple of minutes left in reg…. and no PBP for entire rest of game , including shoutout. NHL Live is supposed to be the basic TV feed…. Those watching Sens games on TV …. Did PBP cut out??
Either way… great game by Sens
Looks like the Rocket Richard race is full on, Leon and AM tied at 47; CK lurking just 3 behind
Johnny Hockey just keeps raising his next contract value…. Great vision, excellent passes
Play-offs…. East 8 have been set for months; Metro and ATL eventual winners seem to be strongly trending to end up Canes, Cats….. but…
ATL …. 2nd to 4th separated by 2 points (with 4th place Leafs having game in hand on 2nd place Bruins); Metro 2nd-4th… 4 points (albeit 4th place Caps have played 1 extra game over 2nd place (Pitt) and 2 more than 3rd place Blueshirts
Pengy, the race to the wire will, I’m sure, provide for some fantastic games and, if each team’s % pace since Feb 1 continues over their remaining games, the end result will be tight. Here’s what each Division would look like at the end in that scenario:
Carolina – .625 – 114 pts
NYR – .658 – 112 pts
Pitt – .643 – 109 pts
Florida – .667 – 118 pts
Boston – .739 – 112 pts
Tampa – .579 – 108 pts
Toronto – .587 – 106 pts
Washington – .523 – 100 pts
Of course, that could (and likely will) change drastically if one or two teams absolutely catch fire down the stretch or, due to injuries (or wilting under pressure), fall apart.
Boston, for example, has been red hot since Feb 1 with that .739 pts % – can they maintain that over their final 17 games? And could a very good team like Tampa go into a surge over their 18 games and increase their .579 pts % substantially as they gear up for the playoffs – or will they be content to go into them healthy?
Don’t forget the 4 pt. H2H games
I have strong confidence in Cats finishing 1st in East; and fair confidence in Canes 2nd; Caps 8th
The rest …. Anything could happen
My gut feeling is
ATL …. 1st Cats; 2nd Bolts (I am thinking a slight uptick down the stretch for Bolts); 3rd/4th (Leafs or Bruins) could very well be determined on the last game of the season [29/4] when Leafs host Bruins. Note Leafs also play Bruins in Beantown 29/3 (Tuesday)
Metro…. 1st Canes, 4th Caps; 1st round Pens v Blueshirts (home ice could very well be determined by the remaining H2H games…29/3; 7/4)…. those games come down to who Sully plays on the back end
Pengy – good point re the head-to-head games of the 8 teams vying for an ideal playoff slot. Here they are, starting today
The 8 East Teams Vying For Ideal Playoff Slots In Head-T0-Head Games
March 28 – Fla @ Tor; Car @ Wash;
March 29 – Tor @ Bos; NYR @ Pitt; Car @ TB;
April 4 – Tor @ TB;
April 5 – Tor @ Fla;
April 6 – TB @ Wash;
April 7 – Pitt @ NYR;
April 8 – Bos @ TB;
April 9 – Wash @ Pitt;
April 10 – Bos @ Wash;
April 12 – Car @ NYR.
April 14 – Wash @ Tor;
April 16 – Pitt @ Bos
April 21 – Bos @ Pitt; Tor @ TB;
April 23 – NYR @ Bos; Tor @ Fla;
April 24 – TB @ Fla; Tor @ Wash;
April 26 – Fla @ Bos; Car @ NYR;
April 29 – Bos @ Tor; Wash @ NYR
As you can see… Leafs 2 games each against Cats, Bolts, Bruins
I’d be lying if I thought they’d get more than 5 (of 8) points v the FLA teams …. and 2-4 points is not out of the question…. Meaning down to the two Bruins games… and it literally could come down to last game of the season at the ACC (I still call it that)
Pens must do no worse than a split v Rangers (who have a game in hand)… and that will come down to who Sully plays on the back-end
To me Cats too good.., 1st
Hard to be logical and say that Leafs have a good chance at finishing ahead of Bolts
Still looking strong possibility of Cats or Bolts or Canes in SCF
People who don’t watch the game and merely followed the stat line fall into the jaded reviews of TML fanboys.
Erik Källgren kept the TML in the game every much as Jake Allen did.
Habs were playing 2 men short for half the game, one from a head shot, the other I didn’t see.
TML plays hockey like a blitzing football team that refuses to adapt and gets beat by the passing game.
The D is constantly activated despite getting caught regularly, forcing the goalie to make outstanding saves.
TML has the players, they just don’t have the discipline for a 200 ft game for 60 minutes.
Congrats to Alex Ovechkin on his 121 game winning goal. Tying Gordie Howe for 2 all time.
Why are we congratulating Ovechkin
Cause it’s a hell of an accomplishment?
Anyone know how many empty net goals Evander Kane has scored this year?
Looks like money well spent by the Oilers.
I think just 2, SOP
Absolutely money well spent…. 82 Game pace of …..45 G- 25 A- 70 pts; + 27…. for annual Cap hit of only $2.1 M … wow
Add to that his grit…. Worked out quite well for Oil
PP is lights out
Can you imagine what the difference would have been IF Oil could have made a goalie deal?
I can see Oil getting by Kings (if that is the first round match-up)…. But a 7 game series (v Flames) like last night…. Wow…. Oil could score 20 goals; and be swept
Will be interesting off-season for Kane… with the “no-fault” finding via the NHL independent investigation… likelihood that Kane gets a substantial chunk of his remaining SJ contract owed back is pretty high…. IF he gets most of that back (as speculated by many in media) then he can negotiate a contract that basically has him ending up netting more (over next 2 years) than he would have rec’d if he had stayed with Sharks
Thanks, Pengy. I think the Oilers defense is more to blame than the goaltending, but I could be mistaken. Either way, help is on the horizon.
Even more interesting
How many time outs has Wanda Nylander taken over the last while ..
She’s, I mean he is in her own own little world !!!
Ken, the guy does what he wants. Prances around the ice waiting for a breakaway. Score a goal and f*** off into the sunset for a few games.
Yep. Nylander stinks. My Bruins will take him off your hands for Debrusk.
LOL. How magnanimous of you ShoreOrrPark! I’m sure Dorion would see if Toronto would take Colin White for Nylander as well. Save them a couple of million per off the cap for the next few seasons. You know, just to get the slug off their hands.
Wanda won’t be a Leaf next year , see if U can string together a more favourable package and the Bruins can prance off to the sunset with your new and improved , very sought after converted 2nd line Center.
I know u have mentioned her/his name on here before , as part of your wish !!
Dubas , will be available as well , Bruins can hire him as a special assignment account
Ken, why would we add more than Debrusk for a player of Nylanders ilk? According to most Leaf fans he’s nothing short of a floater who only shows up periodically. Kinda like how most Bruins fans feel about Debrusk.
Heck, send us Tavares too.
Pretty funny reading the comments today, Ron and Ken have outdone themselves, which is pretty tough to do.
Here’s a thought- won’t it be amazing when Ottawa, Buffalo and Detroit join the fun in the Atlantic division? Montreal too I guess.
Hi everyone have you listen to TSN overdrive show all I hear is Mattews is mvp and winner of the rocket but when I look at scoring race I see mcdavid leading and his partner dicsidle one and two. They just talk about mattews all the time and forget about everyone else who are having a great season. Also mattews is tied in the the rocket
U R more than welcome to Tavares .
He’s free for the taking … he and his 11.5 / yr contract
He has a NTC , only gliche
Dubas emptied our cupboard
1st and a 4th for Foligno , U know that guy
2 seconds and a 3 rd for Giordano
A 1st to blow off Marleau
If ur could be so kind to help the Leafs restock their cupboard , much appreciated
Don’t worry Robo, if you believe some of the chatter in here, as soon as Matthews bolts as a UFA to Arizona – who by then should be completing their 30-year re-build – they’ll stop talking about him despite what he does in the desert.