NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2022

by | Mar 28, 2022 | News, NHL | 14 comments

The Penguins score 11 goals to crush the Red Wings, Roman Josi reached a scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines


NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin returned from illness to tally a hat trick in a four-point performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Detroit Red Wings 11-2. Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell and Teddy Blueger each had three points in this contest as the Penguins became the first team in the salary-cap era to score 11 goals in a game. Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled during the second period but returned in the third after Calvin Pickard was injured in a collision with Rust. The Penguins sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This lopsided loss caps a two-month slide for the Wings, undoing what had been promising improvement by the rebuilding club during the first half of the season. It’s generating speculation suggesting head coach Jeff Blashill could be replaced in the offseason.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi collected two assists to reach the 80-point plateau for the first time in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Yakov Trenin scored twice and Tanner Jeannot had a goal and two assists for the Predators, who move into third place in the Central Division with 80 points. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Josi has become a solid contender for the Norris Trophy with his play over the second half of this season. He leads all NHL scorers with 81 points and became just the fifth defenseman in NHL history to reach 80 points in fewer than 65 games. The last blueliner to achieve that feat was Al MacInnis in 1990-91.

An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Cam Talbot made 40 saves for the win and Mats Zuccarello collected three assists as the Wild have won six straight to sit in second place with 84 points in the Central Division. Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who remain atop the overall standings with 98 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kirill Kaprizov (81 points) also scored for the Wild to become the second player in franchise history to reach 80 points. He’s just two behind Marian Gaborik’s franchise record of 83.

John Tavares scored twice and Auston Matthews netted his 48th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each collected three points and Petr Mrazek made 34 saves as the Leafs (87 points) sit one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers, meanwhile, hold a one-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 94 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid bounce-back win by the Leafs following Saturday’s disappointing 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped the New York Islanders 4-1. Steven Stamkos picked up an assist to collect his 70th point of the season while Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and an assist. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller scored in overtime in a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Frank Vatrano scored two goals for the Rangers, who remain one point behind the second-place Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. It was a costly win for the Rangers as center Ryan Strome left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period. Sabres defenseman Colin Miller missed the game as he was placed in COVID protocol.

The Winnipeg Jets squeaked past the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on an overtime goal by Mark Scheifele, who also opened the scoring. With 74 points, the Jets are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes winger Phil Kessel extended his NHL Ironman streak to 965 games, sitting second to the Flyers’ Keith Yandle and his 988 games.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes scored twice as his club blew a 2-0 lead before downing the Montreal Canadiens on a shootout goal by Yegor Sherangovich. Rem Pitlick scored for the Canadiens with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.


  1. Wow …. a meme came out…”a hockey game broke out at the Oscars”

    Saw it live… so far Rock not pressing charges

    Re Leafs v Cats… better out of Mrazek ; Knight had a bad night. Good to see 2 points.

    Re: AM padding his RR numbers with 2 seconds left; up by 2 goals; 200’ away , shooting into the EN(Cuthbert laughing at the call “and Austin Mathew’s is going to take the Rocket Richard lead”)…. and Kampf had batted back Gio’s attempt at same only 5 seconds before (basically showing that it was not the right move) …. Well I’m a huge AM fan… but I’d be lying if I didn’t side with those calling it “improper” (that’s the politest)

    I’ve been consistent with my posts of being against Caps putting Ovi out with less than 30 seconds; up by 2; EN; and him padding his race towards Gretzky with an easy EN goal; so I’d be two faced if I would have thought this was right by AM. If AM does this with say 30 seconds left (we’ve seen Cats onslaughts late in games) … then it is “securing the win”. Doing it last second in a 1 goal game…. No issue

    However…..Doing it when the crowed is already counting down 10-9-8-7….. UP by 2 goals; already after Kampf has nullified the same attempted move by Gio (who tried at 8 seconds left) and crowd is at 4…. Well …. Yes improper

    Pens vs Wings… wings gassed…. Pens out on fire (probably out of shame of performance against Rangers)…. Result …11-2…. Gino … was a game time decision (non Covid illness)…. Hatrick and an assist…. Excellent

    As a Pens fan, of course I’d rather see 8 of those 11 goals equally distributed over last Friday’s game and tomorrow’s game (both v Rangers)…. But both of those games have Shesterkin between the pipes … so a dream

    Pens… come out with that stride tomorrow; don’t play CR…. And you should come out with a V in reg

    Josi or Makar for Norris…. Josi on fire of late…. As at now I’d be voting Josi (4 weeks ago I though Makar had it in the bag)

    • When a team pounds the opposition like that in a stats-padding route it’s something that tends to be remembered down the line.

      • It is due in Detroit as Blashill has run his course and a new voice is needed to get the Wings moving in a better direction. That kind of loss, especially after Saturday’s tight game with Tampa shows coaching is an issue. Only difficult part is no clue who to replace him with as how many coaches are going to want to sign on for a rebuilding club?

      • AZ….I think that replacing Blash is inevitable now. I have been wondering who the Wings might get to take the job, and my thinking is that is won’t be a former coach retread, but rather someone with no NHL head coaching experience…either a coach from Europe, an NHL assistant, or someone from the AHL/College/Juniors

      • I guess when the hammer will drop on him all depends on where Yzerman might like to be come draft time. Right now the Wings sit in 24th overall (9th pick) – just 5 b/o Anaheim and 6 back of SJ (12th pick). Going the other way. they are only 2 up on Chicago and 4 on Buffalo (7th pick).

        Montreal, who hosts the draft (barring another Covid lockdown fiasco in a province where hospitalisations are on the rise again) have “improved” themselves out of 32nd into 30th with 47 pts, ahead of Seattle (46) and Arizona (45 pts).

        I know finishing last doesn’t guarantee anything re the # 1 (just ask Dorion) – but it does increase your odds (just ask Dubas).

      • Hi George

        Sully did pull back the reins on minutes for top two lines in the 3rd

        Gave some PP time to players who never see PP work

  2. Hoping for the Jets to make the playoffs but realistically i don’t think they will.

    Winnipeg is only 2pts behind Vegas with a game in hand. In between Vegas and Winnipeg is Dallas with one more point then Winnipeg and 1pt less then Vegas.

    Dallas has 4 games in hand on Vegas and 3 games in hand on Winnipeg.

    Winnipeg 15 games remaining 9 against playoff teams 6 against non playoff teams

    Vegas has 14 games remaining 5 against playoff teams and 9 against non playoff teams

    Dallas has 6 against playoff teams and 12 against non playoff teams.

    St. Louis who has lost 5 of the last 6 but gained points in 3 of them contest, and has a 5 and 6pt spread over Dallas and Winnipeg respectively would be a long shot to catch have a split of 9 games against playoff and 9 against non playoff teams.

    If each team only won the games against non playoff teams that would put St. Louis and Dallas in the playoffs.

    Dallas has loss 3 of its last 4 against non playoff teams.

    St. louis has loss their last 7 against non playoff teams.

    Vegas has loss 5 of their last 6 against non playoff teams

    Winnipeg has won 4 of 6 against non playoff teams.

    Winning against non playoff teams isn’t a give me.

    • Caper and Pengy staff writers ????….
      Get a real job….

      • Made me spit out my coffee! Good one.

      • Hi OHF

        Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner

        I am at a convention and was in a meeting with Venus Flytrap; Dr. Johnny Fever; Herb; Nes; Mary; Lou; Murrr; Ted and Sue-Anne

        Somehow things went haywire …. And time flew by

      • Sorry Ron re your coffee

        My bad…. See my response above to OHF

        Couldn’t have been Tim’s

    • Unless the Jets can dramatically increase the points % pace at which they’ve been playing since Feb 1 (i.e., .523), they don’t have a hope in Hell

      Projection for final standings if % pace begun Feb 1 continued to the end

      Col – .674 – 120 pts
      Min – .523 – 101 pts
      StL – .579 – 101 pts

      Cgy – .780 – 115 pts
      L.A. – .675 – 101 pts
      Edm – .625 – 98 pts

      Wild Card
      Dal – . 643 – 99 pts
      Nas – .526 – 96 pts
      Van – .595 – 90 pts
      Wpg – .523 -88 pts
      Veg – .425 – 87 pts

    • Good analysis Caper

      However don’t forget the 4 point games (H2H with other bubble teams)

      Re Knights….it may come down to next 6 games (all v non playoff teams); plus they have 3 H2H with bubble teams

      Certainly a very big (longshot)… but if somehow (again longshot)… they win next 6 in a row…. Dynamic of standings changes rapidly

      This just may come down to the Knights v Stars game…

      Setting aside this game is a couple of weeks away… and looking at the overall pic for balance of season…
      Stars win in reg…. Means Knights have to make up 4 games in hand ; the “4 point game” loss; and only stand one point ahead (as at now) of Stars

      However …Knights beating Stars in reg; Knights 3 points up; Stars 4 games in hand…. Much less ominous than Stars win in reg; Stars up by 1; 4 games in hand

      It certainly is a somewhat “longshot” for Knights OR Jets OR ‘Nucks to get in…. But not impossible

      Knights go 6-0 next 6… game on…. Lose 2 of 6…. “Say good night Dick….Good night Dick “ (Sorry had to throw in the “Laugh-in” reference)

    • OHF, you always have an option to read or not to read.

      also my grammar sucks, so i could never be a writer. But thanks for reading.

      Anyways back to my real job.