NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 8, 2022

by | Mar 8, 2022 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Auston Matthews tallies his 40th goal of the season, Cale Makar reaches 20 goals, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines


NHL.COM: Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 40th goal as his Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. It’s the fourth time in six seasons the Leafs center has reached the 40-goal plateau. Matthews, Mitch Marner, Michael Bunting and T.J. Brodie each finished the night with two points. The Leafs are third in the Atlantic Division with 76 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is the defending Richard Trophy winner. He’s in a tight race for this season’s goal-scoring crown with the Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl and the New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider nipping at his heels. Nevertheless, he remains the favorite to take home the Richard Trophy again this season. Since his debut season (2016-17), Matthews is currently tied with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin for the most goals with 239.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche tallied four goals in the third period, then hung on for a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar each collected three points for the Avalanche with Makar reaching the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career. Isles goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 44 saves while teammate Anders Lee scored twice and added an assist. The Avs (87 points) hold a four-point lead for first overall over the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar is the first defenseman to reach 20 goals since the San Jose Sharks’ Brent Burns in 2016-17. He leads all NHL blueliners in goals and points with 63. Meanwhile, teammate Tyson Jost suited up after undergoing several hours of surgery on Saturday and Sunday to repair a fractured jaw and damaged teeth after being struck in the face by a puck during Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Speaking of the Flames, they remain red-hot by downing the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 to extend their home points streak to 13 games. Tyler Toffoli scored twice, Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist while Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves. The Flames (75 points) hold a four-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division while the Oilers (64 points) remain two points behind the Nashville Predators for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli has scored seven goals in 10 games since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, the Oilers placed defenseman Tyson Barrie on injured reserve.

The Florida Panthers regained first place in the Atlantic Divison by thumping the Buffalo Sabres 6-1. Spencer Knight (29 saves) got the win in his first start since Feb. 1 while teammates Aleksander Barkov and Mason Marchment each collected three points. With 81 points, the Panthers sit one ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers rookie Anton Lundell left the game in the first period with an apparent leg injury and is listed as day-to-day.

An overtime goal by Andreas Athanasiou lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Cal Petersen made 29 saves for the win as the Kings (71 points) sit four points behind the first-place Flames in the Pacific Division. Craig Smith and Charlie Coyle each had two points for the Bruins, who hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 73 points. Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk missed the game with an upper-body injury.


TSN: The NHL is suspending its dealings with the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). This decision could make it difficult to sign players from that league. It’s the NHL’s latest move in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move could affect NHL teams trying to bring over their Russian prospects next season. This likely won’t have any effect upon NHL free agents signing with KHL teams this summer, but the increasingly tightened sanctions on Russia could make that league a less-desirable destination for those players.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson, Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 6, 2022.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.


  1. Bruins Ullmark has now lost 7 of his last 11 games played, at 5 million per x 4 with a NTC he’s going to be the White Elephant in the Bruins locker room ….. there isn’t a team in the NHL that gives up more last minute goals than the Bruins ….. Next

    • Ullmark with a NMC not a NTC

      • What is the difference between a NMC and a NTC?

      • NTC can be sent to the minors
        NMC can’t be sent to the minors

        Neither can be traded without their approval

        or at least that’s how I understand it.

      • His NMC. Turns into a 16 team no trade in 2023. Same time Swayman will need his new deal.

    • You obviously have not watched the Flyers this year.

  2. Congrats AM… keep netting them

    Leafs…. Certainly glad for the V… good start… getting out 3-0…. But again fail to keep the pedal down; allow Jackets to tie; sneak out the V…. Mrazek…. 886 💩

    This type of play (Leafs overall) , with this type of goaltending is not playoff type hockey

    A couple of favourable bounces (for Leafs) and the late goal by LA (eventually winning in OT) and the result is Leafs with a 3 point cushion on Bruins instead of 1

    BTW…. As I said yesterday… I have trouble believing Bruins move Swayman

    Panthers…. They Keep on blasting tons of goals…. Kudos to them….They collectively have earned (with great honours) a vacation…. I would love them all to take a freebie vacation today…. Take a load off, relax, go see a movie. Come back to work tomorrow refreshed

    • Re; Bruins Swayman and his new deal.
      this kid is Very Very Good at 23 yr old,
      Im sure he will do a Bridge deal 2 yrs…? then a BIG One
      he is going to be Top 5 in Goaltenders
      Boston will Never Trade this kid now❗️✔️

      Bruins Ullmark will be around an other 2 years to see him through his development then they will trade him he has 3 full years left at $5. Mil
      as per Capfreindly.🤔

      Boston Still need a Puck moving d man
      as they only have 1…. if not, they wont make it out the 1st round…. Unless they get to play the Toronto Maple Leafs…. ❗️🤔😝🤣

      • Yes a puck moving LD would be nice along with a tough big SAH RD …

  3. Joe
    Join the party
    Leafs have their own circus with Laurel and Hardy between the pipes !

  4. I agree Joe, Ullmark has now picked up the mantle from Rask as the biggest choker in bruins history. You cannot rotate this guy along with Swayman he will always lose. Play the Ullmark only when you have back to back games I only wish they’d package this guy along with a bag of sunflower seeds and a roll of tape get him out of beantown just give him away, anyone in providence can do better than this pug.

    • Rask was no choker but haters going to hate ullmark had no chance on 1st 2 goals no goalie would have stopped them. BUT. He should have stopped the shot in OT 100%
      Really bad pass by Coyle to give the breakaway as well

      • Braaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkk!!

    • Rick, B’s aren’t sending Ullmark down and calling up someone from Providence.
      Bad bounce right onto Moore’s stick in front led to tying goal, Ullmark was good up to then and that goal was just a bad break.
      He’s going through a tough stretch, no doubt, but they will stick with him.

      Coyle feeds AA for a breakaway on a blind spin-o-rama in OT that led to winning goal, after another strong game from that line.
      Cut him too and call up a guy from Providence?

      It’s a long season, you pick your mates up and get the next one, you don’t slag them and dump them in the trash. That’s one of the reasons the B’s have been good for as long as they have.

      Man, can’t imagine having a guy like you on the bench or in the room after a tough loss. You are a major league whiner. Every time the B’s lose you start crying. You would be the guy I would cut loose.

      • Ray Bark I 2nd your motion 🏒

      • haven’t you a pms meeting to go or something?

      • Says the RWM who sits when he pees. Lol

  5. QUESTION: Not much has been written lately but did the NHL catch/make up all previous games postponed due to Covid and Canadian capacity regulations during the Olympic break?

  6. An interesting note regarding the Leafs winning by out playing their weakness is Bunting leading all rookies in points and goals at 26.

    • One helluva astute pickup of a group 6 free agent – wonder who it was in the organization (scout?) that saw this potential in the guy – or if Dubas went that route on his own?

    • Great addition and he must give thanks every day for being on the first line.

      • Certainly doesn’t hurt being there … but the bottom line is, he is burying the chances he gets as a result of being there whereas some hit everything but the net with those chances.

    • It’s nice to see a guy finally get a shot and do good with it.