NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6. 2022
The Avalanche reaches the 50-win milestone and clinches a playoff berth, Jonathan Huberdeau hits another Panthers milestone, Ryan Getzlaf to retire, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche became the first team to cross the 50-win milestone as they downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4, becoming the second club to clinch a playoff berth. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, Devon Toews collected three assists and Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves for the Avalanche, who hold a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers atop the overall standings with 106 points. Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowen Byram returned to the Avalanche lineup for the first time since Jan. 10 after suffering from concussion symptoms. Avs winger Valeri Nichushkin missed the game due to a non-COVID-related illness.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and collected three assists as the Florida Panthers overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-6 in overtime. Huberdeau netted the winning goal and became the first player in Panthers’ history to reach 100 points in a season. Aleksander Barkov had four points, Sam Reinhart tallied twice and Spencer Knight got the win replacing Sergei Bobrovsky, who got the hook after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Mitch Marner scored two goals and added two assists for the Leafs, who remain in second place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 102 points, Huberdeau moved into second place in the NHL scoring race, one point ahead of Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored in overtime to nip the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 shots and collected the assist on McDavid’s goal. With 87 points, the Oilers are four points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division and sit one point up on the third-place Los Angeles Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers center Leon Draisaitl missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He did participate in Tuesday’s optional skate.
The Dallas Stars regained the final Western Conference playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Radek Faksa potted the game-winner by snapping a 2-2 tie in the second period with a short-handed goal. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders. The Stars have 83 points, one ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars winger Denis Gurianov was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.
Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino each collected three points for the Predators, who hold a one-point lead over the Stars for the first Western wild-card spot. Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 40th goal of the season, putting him two behind Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal for the franchise record of 42. The Wild (91 points) hold a three-point lead over the third-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.
The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Chris Kreider tallied his 47th goal of the season as the Rangers sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 96 points. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Devils announced center Jack Hughes will miss the remainder of the season with a low-grade MCL sprain in his left knee. The 20-year-old center enjoyed a breakout performance in his third NHL season, sitting second among Devils scorers with 26 goals and 56 points in 49 games. Those numbers would’ve been much higher had he not missed 20 games earlier this season to a dislocated shoulder and COVID-19. Perhaps the Devils would’ve stayed in the playoff chase had Hughes enjoyed a healthier season.
Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 upset over the Carolina Hurricanes. Craig Anderson kicked out 32 shots as the Sabres picked up their sixth victory in their last 10 contests. The Hurricanes (98 points) hold a two-point lead over the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Detroit Red Wings shocked the Boston Bruins 5-3. Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 47 shots and collected an assist on Sam Gagner’s insurance goal. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings while Boston forwards Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall each collected two points. The Bruins are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 93 points but the latter moved ahead into third place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand.
Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Carson Meyer picked up his first two career NHL points with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Elvis Merzlikins got the win with a 47-save performance.
Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk had a goal and two assists while Austin Watson tallied twice to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens.
TSN: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf yesterday announced he will retire at the end of this season. He has spent his entire 17-season NHL career with the Ducks, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2007 and to become one of the dominant teams in the Western Conference by finishing first in the Pacific Division for five straight seasons from 2012-13 to 2016-17. The Ducks captain also holds the club’s single-season assist record (66) and is the franchise leader with 1,150 career games, 731 assists and 1,013 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf will also be remembered as one of this generation’s greatest playmakers, becoming a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2013-14. He and Corey Perry were for many years the driving forces behind the Ducks’ offense. The 36-year-old center put up respectable numbers this season with 28 assists and 31 points in 49 games.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Marian Hossa will sign a one-day contract with the Blackhawks on Thursday to officially retire as a member of their club. He hasn’t played since 2017 after being sidelined by a progressive skin condition. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser has been sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. . His condition is still being evaluated.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed Kurtis MacDermid to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $987,500.
No matter how many points Hughes put up for the Devils, it was overshadowed by the aweful goaltending the team has received this season, which is the reason why they are missing the playoffs again. Blackwood/Bernier missed most of the season, Nigel Daws looks overmatched at times as a 21 y/o goalie, and the rest of the goalies the team has used (7 !! in total) are AHL-caliber at best.
Doesn’t help that the team doesn’t know how to play defense, which is why the entire coaching staff needs to go after this year
5-1??? The Maple Loaves being the Maple Loaves … bwahahahahahahahaha
The LEAFS just played Florida twice, Tampa Bay and Boston and came out with 7 of a possible 8 points. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Aww ignore him What the Heck – he only pops in here irregularly to demonstrate his tendency to troll. NEVER anything even remotely related to reality.
The Leafs went into the Florida Death Valley and came away with 3 of 4 points. If there was a fault in last night’s game it was to revert to their habit of opening up and trying to add more when holding a big lead instead of concentrating on stifling the other’s team offense with relentless fore-checking.
Put it down to a lesson learned by a young team.
Right on all points George. I’m sure if you watched the game, you heard Ferraro go on about how easily the Leafs could go up the middle on FLA, and that FLA was giving that away too easily? I ask because I wonder if that was their game plan.
The Leafs are on a back to back game. They beat a very good team the night before. It’s easier for a tired team to skate up the middle if you can than along the walls. FLA controlled the boards and most of their goals came off the walls controlling the east-west play in the Leafs dzone. This type of play would take advantage ofl tired defenders more, not to mention the physicality to play along the boards and win battles.
I think it worked for them and can only wish we could have a few more games to see more from them. It was a game alright.
I see completely differently George. I find the leafs are trying to play defense to hold a lead. To me that’s there problem. They’re best defense is puck possession and when they go away from that and play the standard defense of clog the neutral zone, get the puck and just shoot back in the opponents zone all of a sudden they let the other team back in the game. They should stick to what got them there and skate around with the puck and continue to try and score. Even in the playoffs go with relentless attack because that’s what they excell at. I don’t care if they have a 1 or 5 goal lead if the puck is on your stick the other team won’t score. They should of tried to make the Florida game a 10 1 win instead of letting Florida back in the game by holding back and just trying to stop Florida from scoring.
So Ed,Do you really think that Florida would like to meet up with the Leafs in the first or in any round this year? Same could be said with Tampa or any other team.
If you believe that,well,..Walt Disney wants you!
Well actually, yeah, I do believe any team would love to meet the Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. One thing the Leafs top players have shown consistently in the playoffs is not producing at the same rate in the playoffs as they do in the regular season.
This regular season the Leafs have shown that they can outscore their deficiencies. If Matthews, Mariner, Tavares, and Nylander produce at the same rate in the playoff as they have in the past, they won’t be outscoring their deficiencies.
KevJam -Well If we are going with what you are suggesting of the Leafs playoffs runs of the past and how it is proven….well it has not been proven,…this is a new year and again if we went with your stance..where would florida be when it comes to scoring in the playoffs?
Reality is teams grow, players grow and learn. Yes playoffs are tighter but both teams can and will be able to light em up.
Even though we lost last night, we came out of that swing with points and nearly beat the Panthers in their own barn after they were the rested ones, sending thier starter to the bench (pulled) Florida knows we can compete with them in a high scoring battle. It is as simple as that.
I really dug the Leafs taking it straight up the pipe. For years now I have been preaching for our Leafs to try and do that when playing Florida because the Panthers do own great board work and play that style usuing the boards.
The Leafs speed is what creates that down the pipeline mentality. JT however has to keep his head up more often because he did get lambased by that bugs bunny solid looking hillbilly lol and that would have been no laughing matter.
I Feel we are faster than previous years and sure if you can lay the puck down the boards and do the foot race, employ it but if you can take it through…please do. It was the first time I seen our team do that against florida and it seemed to work for the most part so the team should feel good about doing that semi suscessfully against the Panthers.
The past 5 playoffs appearances of the same core forwards is a good sample size with the same results for the Leafs. Now, this could actually be the year that Matthews, Mariner, Tavares, and Nylander produce in the playoffs, but because of their past 5 playoff performances, no team is scared of facing them in the playoffs, until they show differently.
Looking at a few of the Panthers players and their small sample size of two or three playoff appearances, they produce about the same or more in the playoffs than in the regular season. Reinhart is their wildcard though. He hasn’t played in a playoff game yet in his career. So that isn’t a good example compared to the Leafs.
DJ the reality is , until the leafs do something in the playoffs, they done nothing.
The playoffs are not just tighter there a whole lot more physical.
Unless the league changes how the call the game in the playoffs, Toronto will be in a tough spot.
The playoffs are were the third liners shine, this is a direct line to the officiating. Players get away with more clutching and grabbing, interference, charging etc. This is unfortunate because it hinders the stars of the league from shining and glorifies the third, fourth liners.
As a Bruin fan i want Toronto in the 1st round. I would also think any leaf fan out there would want Boston in the first round.
Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay are a tougher out for Boston and Toronto.
Tampa has the best goaltender.
Toronto has the best forward
Carolina has the best defense
Florida has the best team
Boston has the best structure
Agree Caper, that until they do something in the playoffs, they haven’t.
But I get DJ’s point too.
TB kept getting bounced early until they didn’t.
Swept by CLB? Ouch.
STL & WAS before that.
At the end of the playoffs the leading scorers are usually the best players from the winning team and who you would expect. So at the risk of using a cliche’, your best players need to be your best players.
I think COL is kind of where TB was a couple years ago and if I had to bet it would be on them. Seem ready.
So does TOR IMO. But ya, the east is a crap shoot.
TB is due for a bad break at the wrong time for them, so I see a change in the east.
Healthiest team wins?
Totally disagree about your take on the lightning.
They made 3 ECF’s and a Stanley cup final BEFORE Columbus bounced them in the 1st round.
Fair point Captain, forgot about that.
Even more unpredictable, in hindsight, and shows just how hard it is to win.
You’re a hockey guy, who would you pick in the east? Really even this year.
IMO FLA not ready, BOS older which can sometimes mean slower and more injury prone. TB 2 in a row is incredible these days, 3 in row just seems unlikely as they are due for bad luck.
Leaves CAR and TOR as my choices if I had to place a bet for ECF, and would settle on CAR.
Barring new injury news of course.
I wonder why Chicago for Hossa…. He played basically the same amount of games for Ottawa.
Ya….I could see him retiring there, or PIt or Detroit. I mean Hossa was a class act everywhere he went. Maybe because he won the cup with chicago? (I think he did anyhow)
And the ticky-tack bickering about the leafs aside. Ya, great 7/8 possible points at the end of the year when the stars are mailing it in for the playoffs. Toronto’s goaltending is on pins and needles. I get they’re playing in a lot of games but Campbell needs all these reps. I would have started him last night. And then, to bring him in and have him poop the bed isn’t a good look.
3 Stanley cups would explain it
I suppose. Usually you see this move from players who spent nearly all their careers in one place.
Chrisms, I don’t think he ever forgave the Senators (and specifically that idiot Muckler) for getting his signature of a new 3-year $18 mil deal … and then trading him to Atlanta later that same day for Heatley.
Muckler’s success was right place right time. he ruined alot of whatever he touched after Edmonton
Did not remember that tid bit.
Seems he has the “itch” to resign there. (sorry couldn’t resist)
Swayman looked ordinary. Bruins got walloped by a terrible team. Another opportunity to move up blown. I don’t feel this team’s good for a long run in the playoffs.
That’s ok earlier in the year you didn’t feel good for them even making the playoffs so it’s an improvement.
2nd of a back to back, 3 in 4 nights, travel between. So not a shocker.
Also not a surprise, a rookie tender going through a tough stretch. Who could have saw that coming?
What is a concern – injuries to Pasta and Lindholm. Key guys, hopefully nothing that drags on.
Priority needs to be getting them healthy, sit them if required.
Totally agree with your statement. Healthy is more important than any seed. Every team in east can win
Mrbruin4 – which is why I keep saying that Washington, currently holding down the 2nd WC slot, is perfectly intent to continue their sub-.500 pace since Feb 1 and back into the playoffs.
They currently hold an 11 point lead over the Islanders (who, incidentally, are among the hottest teams since Feb 1) both with 13 games left. Mathematically doable for the Islanders – but highly unlikely, especially after last night’s loss.
Fans loving all the goals, goalies losing their minds. The new NHL.
Bounced around watching games last night…some a bunch of goals the netminders would love back in various games.
that should change come playoff time when the officials tend to back off calling penalties , more line match ups and fewer fringe or rookie players cutting their teeth.
I prefer a Boston vs Toronto series, as well actually..
I find these 2 teams to be the most entertaining