NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2022

by | Apr 5, 2022 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Auston Matthews ties a Leafs’ records, the Flames widen their lead in the Pacific Division, the three stars of the week are revealed, an update on Mike Bossy and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Auston Matthews tallied a hat trick as the Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. Matthews now has a league-leading 54 goals, tying Rick Vaive’s single-season franchise record. Mitch Marner collected three points and Jack Campbell got the win with a 32-save performance. Leafs forward William Nylander missed the game with a non-COVID-related illness. The Leafs sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this pace, Matthews will not only set a new franchise goal record but will become the first player to reach the 60-goal plateau since the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos hit that mark in 2011-12.

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice and picked up an assist to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. With 91 points, the Flames hold a five-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division. Adrian Kempe netted both of the Kings’ goals.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk scored twice (including the winner in overtime) to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. With the win, the Bruins have won seven of their last eight games. They are tied with the Lightning with 93 points but the Bruins move into third place in the Atlantic Division with 44 regulation wins.

A four-goal second period carried the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice while teammate Pavel Buchnevich collected three points for the Blues (88 points), who sit three points behind the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, and New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov are the three stars for the weekend ending April 3, 2022.

CBC SPORTS: The family of former New York Islanders superstar Mike Bossy said he is resting peacefully at home while continuing his battle with lung cancer. This comes following unconfirmed reports claiming the 65-year-old Hall-of-Famer had entered palliative care.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bossy in his battle with this insidious disease.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price took part in a full practice with his teammates on Monday for the first time this season. Price, 34, has been rehabbing from offseason knee surgery. There remains no timeline for his return to game action.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price reportedly looked good during yesterday’s practice, which suggests he might return for a handful of games before the end of the Canadiens’ season on April 29.

TSN: Kyle Connor and Nate Schmidt emerged from COVID protocol yesterday and rejoined their Winnipeg Jets teammates after missing the last three games.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin is expected to return to action tonight against the Florida Panthers. He’s been sidelined by a concussion since Feb. 21.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker is still being evaluated since suffering an undisclosed injury last Thursday against the Minnesota Wild. A more complete update on his condition is expected today.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks could decide to shut down winger Kevin Labanc for the remainder of the season to allow more time for his recovery from shoulder surgery.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram has rejoined his teammates after being sidelined for nearly three months with concussion issues. He’s been practicing with his teammates for weeks and was recalled from an AHL conditioning stint.

GOPHNX.COM: The Tempe City Council will discuss the Arizona Coyotes proposed arena and entertainment district in an executive session on Thursday. The proposal is reportedly tightly contested and could come down to one or two swing votes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ future in Arizona could be determined by the outcome of this vote.


  1. Well, after last night anyone who still thinks the Leafs – and Matthews – are not be taken seriously when the playoffs roll around has not been paying attention.

    • The east is getting tighter and tighter. None would surprise me if they make finals

    • With any luck the vote you refer to Lyle spells the end of the Arizona Coyotes. This franchise is nothing but an embarrassment to the NHL and needs to be either eliminated and have it’s players redistributed through a dispersal draft or be relocated.

  2. Both above comments are very true !
    We need this Mike guy who comes on here periodically to have his lengthy essay on Matthews !
    Ah Mike – RU out there !

    Leafs need to renew Matthews contract before the end of term to prevent an exit to Arizona , as some people think this a given

    • Ken, he has 2 more years on his deal after this season and if, by the end of his term, we’re STILL dealing with the debilitating effects of this bloody pandemic which, among other far more serious effects related to the economy, has also resulted in stagnant cap limits, then what happens to various athletes and their contracts will be the least of our worries.

      On the other hand, should Covid be a thing of the past by then, and the crowds – and consequently the cap – get back to normal, I’m sure a deal will be worked out to extend him within the new confines.

      If there’s to be monkey wrenches in the financial aspect of the negotiations they will be centered around the fact Tavares and Marner will each have 1 additional year to run on their deals, while Nylander and Brodie will be UFAs at the same time as Matthews.

      • @ George
        Thus pandemic is like a science fiction movie ?!?!

        As far as Matthews , the guy is lethal , Cooper – Tampa made note of this as well ..

        Also of note, I think Giordano has had a calming , settling effect on this team .

        Cross our fingers , as per Campbell !

  3. Marc McLaughlin gad a good first game with the Bruins last Thursday lots of energy and scored …. Why hasn’t he played since ?

    • He will get in tonight. Frederick hurt Pasta too

      • The Pasta one is concerning MB4, I read some where that he was already dealing with a “core” injury before last nights game.
        Those can take a while if accurate and usually don’t improve if playing through it. Hopefully not serious and he can get healthy by playoff time.

  4. Yes the Leafs are for real George this is a well built team. They have a lot of depth on Defence and tone of speed special teams are are at the top or near it Campbell looks like he is returning to form. But I think it’s a crapshoot in the playoffs there are a lot of good teams in the east to win a cup you have to have so many things go your way. Injuries bounces goaltending but if they get those things they will be difficult to beat because they also will have a big chip on their shoulders too.

    • Although not a fan of the team myself, for the sake of my long-suffering (and avid fans) grandson and daughter-in-law in Scarborough, I would love to see them go all the way. It’s long past due for a Canadian-based team to bring home the Cup, and with the Leafs – and a strong Flames team – in the mix, there’s a good chance.

      And no, I haven’t forgotten the Oilers, but of the three teams they have the most glaring line-up holes and I just don’t see them having much of a chance against the top teams in the West when push comes to shove. But hey, you just never know.

      • George O, report to the principle’s office to answer charges of heresy, false prophesy, lunacy and perhaps demagoguery. Your job as the patriarch is to provide wisdom to the family.

        As part of your re-education you will be required to watch re-runs of the Leafs playoff games. Mercifully for you, this won’t take long.

      • If pens don’t win I hope it’s the leafs. I want to see an American lead then to the promised land… a man who doesn’t exist without bettmans expansion and dedication to the Arizona franchise.

      • LOL LJ – there were times over the years when I have frequently had the upper hand in the back-and-forth bantering as regards the playoff fortunes of the Leafs and Senators – but, ominously, never when they went head-to-head in a series where the Leafs have always prevailed.

        The fact the Leafs haven’t won a series in so long may well be attributed to the fact they haven’t gone against the Senators in that lengthy span.

        Anyway, the bantering more or less stopped with that infamous (for Leafs fans anyway) collapse in that game against Boston – I just couldn’t take a dig at them anymore after that.

        Almost as bad as that one was the series against Montreal last spring when Keefe inexplicably shrugged off the wisdom of matching lines and got schooled by the opposition.

        Just that, this year seems different when you watch them closely – that oft-maligned D is taking care of business in their own end and making better break-out passes to the Fs who, collectively, look like they’ve realized that fore-checking and digging in the offensive corners produces better results overall than free-wheeling.

        If these kids can keep it all together like that in the playoffs anyone they meet had better be on their A-game. I will be rooting for them to bring the Cup home. As I’ve kept trying to say in here over the years – I’ve never “hated” (HATE that word) them as charged by many – what I have intensely disliked though is the supercilious, supposedly “national” in scope media and if they ever did win rest assured I won’t be tuning into any aftermath broadcasts by any of them.

        That I could not stomach.

      • I cheer against the Leafs more than any other team other than the Habs, just because of the rivalry with BOS.

        Every now and then I catch myself sort of hoping they finally win a series. More of a Rudy thing than a Canadian team thing.

        Then I snap back to reality.

        If the B’s are out, and every other Canadian team, I suppose I will have to root for them, but won’t be happy about it.

        Yes they are a very good team, I have beat that drum all year. Takes a while for talented young teams, should be ready about now.

        Their D looks as good as it has in recent memory. Need Campbell to stay healthy, which you could say for every contender with regards to their starting tender.

  5. Austin Matthews is having a great year. Toronto has thumped both Tampa and Boston in recent games.

    They won’t catch Florida, meaning they’ll play either TB or Bos in round one.

    Regular season wins are nice.

    Until Toronto wins in the playoffs, the regular season will be forgotten about.

    I don’t think they have the defense or goaltending to carry them.

    I will say Toronto and Colorado would be an entertaining finals.

    • that’s right Caper, even if Toronto makes it to SCF, the Avalanche will be there to meet them and bury them alive. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!

      • Statements like “bury them alive” are hardly indicative of what usually transpires in a final series. Yes the Avalanche are solid – but they’re not perfect.

  6. Never have been or ever will be a Leafs fan but you really have to love what Matthews has done and is doing.

  7. Avalanche have to get by Calgary and Minnesota

    All evenly matched !

    as where Florida, Tampa, Boston, Carolina and Toronto…

    No clear cut favourite!

    • George O, not saying their perfect but they will get past Calgary, Minnesota and Toronto if Toronto is there. Let’s put it this way, if the Avalanche are healthy they’re going to win it all. GO AVS!!!!!!!!

  8. Bruins -194 tonight …. Could be a trap

    • Joe, tough one tonight, back to back on the road and 3rd in 4 nights.
      Not sure what the win % is in this situation, but not great I would guess.
      Need Swayman to stand on his head.