NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2022
The Blue Jackets honor Rick Nash, a record-setting game for the Coyotes’ Nick Schmaltz, milestone nights for the Kraken’s Mark Giordano and the Leafs Wayne Simmonds, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets honored former captain Rick Nash by retiring his No. 61 in a ceremony before their game with the Boston Bruins. The first overall pick of the 2002 NHL Draft, Nash spent nine seasons with the Jackets (2002-03 to 2011-12) and remains the franchise leader with 289 goals, 258 assists and 547 points. He was a co-winner of the Richard Trophy in 2004.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for Nash. One wonders what heights he would’ve reached or how much better the Jackets would’ve been had management done a better job building around him during his tenure in Columbus.
The Jackets rallied on a game-tying goal by Jakub Voracek to force overtime and a shootout but fell 5-4 to the Bruins on David Pastrnak’s winning goal. The win kept the Bruins (72 points) three ahead of the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Speaking of the Capitals, three unanswered goals (two of them by Conor Sheary) lifted them to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Alex Ovechkin also scored to reach 764 career goals, putting him two behind Jaromir Jagr for third place on the all-time list. He finished the game with three points as the Capitals hold the second Eastern wild-card berth. Kraken captain Mark Giordano reached a milestone by skating in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken forwards Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz were activated off injured reserve for this game.
Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz set a club record with a seven-point performance (two goals, five assists) to lead his club over the Ottawa Senators 8-5. It was a wild game that saw the Coyotes blow a 4-0 lead to fall behind 5-4 before rallying back for the win. Clayton Keller and Shayne Gostisbehere each had four points for the Coyotes. Thomas Chabot collected three assists and Parker Kelly tallied twice for the Senators.
Johnny Gaudreau scored in overtime and also had two assists as his Calgary Flames burned the league-leading Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Flames forwards Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk also each collected three points. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog netted his 30th goal of the season. The Avs pulled goaltender Darcy Kuemper after he gave up three goals on 15 shots. The Flames (73 points) hold a six-point lead over the second-place Los Angeles Kings atop the Pacific Division. The Avs (85 points) hold a four-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings.
Nashville Predators winger Michael McCarron had two goals and two assists, Roman Josi set up four goals and Juuse Saros had a 20-save shutout in an 8-0 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Forwards Matt Duchene and Matt Luff also scored two goals as the Predators (66 points) hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the March 21 trade deadline just two weeks away, this loss may have put the final nail in the Sharks’ playoff hopes. Management could become sellers, generating increased speculation over the future of Tomas Hertl, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
The Florida Panthers (79 points) moved within two points of the Eastern Conference-leading Hurricanes by dropping the Detroit Red Wings 6-2. Anton Lundell scored two goals and Aleksander Barkov collected three assists for the Panthers.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice to take over the NHL goal-scoring lead with 39 goals but his club suffered a 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Leafs captain John Tavares snapped a 14-game goalless streak. J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat were among six Canucks to finish the night with two points. With 62 points, the Canucks are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Toronto forward Wayne Simmonds skated in his 1,000th career regular-season NHL game. The Leafs sit third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points.
Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki had a goal and two assists and Sam Montembeault kicked out 28 shots as their club upset the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Cole Caufield and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who’ve won seven of their last eight games and are 7-4-0 under interim coach Martin St. Louis. The Oilers remain one point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card berth.
The New York Islanders got a 27-save performance by goaltender Ilya Sorokin to hold off the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Islanders center Brock Nelson scored what proved to be the game-winner. The Blues (70 points) hold a three-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.
Two unanswered third-period goals by Derick Brassard and Cam Atkinson gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Atkinson finished the game with two goals and an assist. Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome tallied twice.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek told his club’s season-ticket holders he’s working toward signing pending UFA defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell to contract extensions. However, he added he would look to trade them if he cannot get them under contract before the March 21 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek mentioned having ongoing talks with the Lindholm camp. He didn’t mention the other two by name.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed center Travis Boyd to a two-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $1.75 million.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Ben Hutton to a two-year extension worth an annual average value of $850K.
SPORTSNET: Former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr will donate the proceeds from Kladno’s final Czech Extraliga regular-season game toward Ukrainian families in the Czech Republic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Owner of the Kladno Knights, Jagr had the game moved to a bigger arena in Prague that holds over 17,000 seats.
Bruins just 2 back of Leafs playing good hockey. Debrusk. Scores again slowing him as tied for 35 th in nhl for LWs. And 53rd in points. That is decent 2nd line production
Corrected version. Lol.
Debrusk. Shows tied for 35th in goals and 53rd for points in nhl for LWs
Perfect time to trade him.He is hot and move him before he cools off.
Depends on the return as always Steve R. If they keep him on the top line, he will keep producing IMO. B’s are near top of the league in GA/game, middle of pack GF/game. So unless you get some scoring back keep him until off season.
He played well yesterday, dug up some pucks, back checked hard to the right spots.
If he keeps scoring they will get a decent return in off season maybe even at the draft.
Should be interesting as he seems like a guy a contender could use more than a rebuilding club. So might be a difficult move to make this time of year if you need to replace his scoring in the lineup.
It’s tough. He has bumped his value for sure but to what? He went from a mid round pick in value to a second rounder now. I don’t see him with his hot cold history getting a first from anyone. You don’t trade him for a second right now if your Boston.
Ya we differ on him Chrisms. IMO he is a consistent producer with the outlier last year as opposed to hot and cold.
Goals per game point to 20 goals scorer with fewer games last couple years.
They don’t grow on trees. 2nd RD pick seems pretty low IMO.
We’ll see I guess.
Rick Nash, nobody as big who played small.
Leafs… wake up. Look over your shoulder, there’s a bear close behind you…. do you somehow believe that the possibility of Canes as a first round opponent is better than having to go through both FLA teams…. well guess what …. finishing in WC spot still may have you playing Bolts or Panthers first round
Either way…. Leaf’s should not be dumping loads of futures for rentals in the hopes of the Uber Miracle…. That be winning 3 series vs the US SW juggernaut troika then somehow also beating (likely) the juggernaut Avs…. Instead…. Big moves in summer or acquiring players with term to look towards the window… June ‘23 and June ‘24…. Balance line up away from 1/2 Cap on 4 forwards…. In summer ….strengthen the back end; get some P&V…. Gedderdone
it is my understanding that a player cant be traded if he is on ir. is this true during the offseason or am i just misunderstanding rule completely thanks
A player on IR can be traded as long as the injury information is disclosed to the acquiring team.
To paraphrase the great Harry Neale, our starting goalie’s in a slump and the backup’s just as bad. We’re running out of goalies to play.
Something’s gotta give.
Solid win for the Habs last night having to battle the Oilers and the refs.
Maybe one day the NHL will come up with an actual definition of goaltender interference. As it is, there seems to be different definitions for the Habs and their opponents. Letting the Oilers second goal count last night was a disgrace. I’ve seen Hab goals called back for less interference, and even no interference, than this goal.
I heard a rumor that the Oilers were considering a challenge to the PPG scored by Suzuki before deciding not to. On the theory that Gallagher was sitting on the bench thinking about interfering with the goalie.
Agree. If that play involved a Gallagher type player it is goaltender interference.