NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2023

by | Feb 26, 2023 | News, NHL | 67 comments

Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark scores in his 30th win of the season, the Sharks retire Patrick Marleau’s number, the Jets acquire Nino Niederreiter, the Blues claim Kasperi Kapanen off waivers, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark celebrated his 30th win of the season by scoring an empty-net goal in a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Ullmark had 26 saves while Hampus Lindholm and Brad Marchand also scored for the 45-8-5 Bruins, who opened a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the overall standings with 95 points. Brock Boeser scored for Vancouver as they dropped to 23-31-5 on the season. Canucks defenseman Ethan Bear left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Canucks acquired winger Vitali Kravtsov from the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Will Lockwood and a seventh-round pick in 2026. The 23-year-old Kravtsov was the ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft but struggled to establish himself with the Rangers. He becomes an affordable reclamation project for the rebuilding Canucks. The Rangers, meanwhile, shed some cap space ($875K) for perhaps another move at the March 3 trade deadline.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, their five-game winning streak ended after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson kicked out 51 shots while Trevor Zegras and Ryan Strome each collected two assists for the 19-34-7 Ducks. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jesper Fast replied for the Hurricanes (39-11-8) as they sit second in the overall standings with 86 points.

As for the Rangers, their winless skid stretched for four games (0-3-1) after falling 6-3 to the Washington Capitals. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and collected two assists while T.J. Oshie also tallied twice for the 29-26-6 Capitals as they sit one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 64 points. Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each had two points for 33-17-9 Rangers as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren left the game in the first period with an injured left shoulder following a hit into the boards by Oshie. Earlier in the day, they also placed forward Jake Leschyshyn on waivers in what’s expected to be a cost-cutting move for the upcoming trade deadline.

The Pittsburgh Penguins reclaimed that final Eastern wild-card spot with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on an overtime goal by Bryan Rust to snap their four-game losing skid. Rust, Evgeni Malkin and Marcus Pettersson each had a goal and an assist as the Penguins (65 points) improved to 28-21-9. Jordan Binnington made 45 saves for the Blues as they fell to 26-28-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blues claimed winger Kasperi Kapanen off waivers from the Penguins. The 26-year-old winger did not play in this game. The Blues did the Penguins a favor as this move cleared Kapanen’s $3.2 million cap hit through 2023-24 off their books, providing some cap flexibility to perhaps make a move before the trade deadline.

A four-point performance by Connor McDavid couldn’t prevent the Edmonton Oilers from falling 6-5 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. McDavid scored twice and set up two other goals as his Oilers overcame a 4-0 deficit to tie the game but Columbus rallied with two more goals and held on for the win. Jack Roslovic also had two goals and two assists as the Blue Jackets improved to 19-35-5. The Oilers (32-20-8) sit third in the Pacific Division with 72 points.

New Jersey Devils goalie Akira Schmid made 23 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 7-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. Jonas Siegenthaler had a goal and two assists while Dawson Mercer scored to extend his goal streak to six games for the Devils (39-15-5) as they sit three points back of the Hurricanes with 83 points. The 23-28-10 Flyers played without winger Travis Konecny (upper body) as he was placed on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk didn’t play in this game. Head coach John Tortorella claimed he was “a little banged-up.” The 33-year-old van Riemsdyk is expected to be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

The Dallas Stars ended a five-game losing streak by nipping the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on shootout goals by Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz, who also tallied the game-tying goal with 38 seconds remaining in regulation. Jake Oettinger stopped 41 shots for the 31-16-12 Stars as they hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division with 74 points. Jack Eichel netted his 20th goal of the season for the Golden Knights (35-18-6) as they sit atop the Western Conference standings with 76 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy made 45 saves to blank the Detroit Red Wings 3-0. Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn were the goal scorers as the Lightning improved to 37-17-4 and sit two points behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 78 points. Detroit (28-22-8) sits one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 64 points. Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 4-1. Mikko Rantanen scored for the fourth straight game while Alexandar Georgiev made 28 saves as the Avalanche (33-19-5) moved past the Winnipeg Jets into second place in the Central Division with 71 points. Tyler Toffoli scored his 25th goal of the season as his Flames fell to 27-21-12 and four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche also acquired minor-league goaltender Keith Kinkaid from the Bruins in exchange for forward Shane Bowers. Bringing in Kinkaid could be an insurance move as Pavel Francouz remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators swept their season series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-2 win. Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist while Mads Sogaard stopped 30 shots as the Senators improved to 28-26-4 to sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 60 points. Nick Suzuki tallied his 20th goal of the season for the 25-30-4 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens also announced defenseman Arber Xhekaj will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Center Kirby Dach is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury while forward Joel Armia is day-to-day with an upper respiratory infection.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek turned aside 45 shots in a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on a shootout goal by Philipp Kurashev. The Blackhawks improved to 21-32-5 while San Jose sank to 18-30-12. Before the game, the Sharks retired Patrick Marleau’s No. 12 in a pregame ceremony.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau is the Sharks’ all-time leader with 1,607 games played, 522 goals and 1,111 points. He’s also second in assists with 589. Marleau is the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.


WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets acquired winger Nino Niederreiter from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A nice pickup by the Jets to bolster their scoring depth. The 30-year-old Niederreiter is a big-bodied winger who is on pace (18 goals) to reach the 20-goal plateau for the sixth time in his career. He’s not a rental player as he carries a $4 million annual cap hit through 2023-24. The Jets might not be done making moves as Cap Friendly shows they’ve got over $5.4 million in projected trade deadline cap space.

SPORTSNET: The Buffalo Sabres placed winger Alex Tuch on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a big blow to the Sabres’ playoff hopes. Tuch is second in scoring with 28 goals and 62 points. This could prompt management to shop for a replacement if he’s sidelined for a long period.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs will send a second-round pick in 2025 to the Arizona Coyotes to complete last February’s trade that sent forward Nick Ritchie to the Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin and forward Ryan Dzingel.


  1. That you St. Louis!!! Xoxoxo

    • Yeah why on Earth did St Louis do this? Seems like some kind of bail out of another gm for some back door deal? I mean the Yotes got paid to take Ghost last yeah St Louis should have looked for that kind of deal

      • The only rationales that I can possibly come up with is maybe…

        1) they only had (before the move) just 5 fwds under contract for next year and were not counting on being able to re-up UFAs Barb and Blais; and maybe were not interested in re-uppijng Lievo and Pitlick; OR

        2) Army going to retain 50% on Kappy; flip for a 4th? Basically buying a pick???


        Rationale not important

        The fact that it happened …. great cap space opened up for Pens

        Just wish Hextall wasn’t asleep …. Chevy was awake and called Poile…. 2nd —NEXT YEAR; for NN…. steal. Pens could certainly have used him!!!!

      • This was a stupid trade made by David Poile. You have a reliable 20 to 25 goal player in Nino locked up at a very reasonable 4M cap hit for one more season and you trade him for a low 2nd round pick? And this on a team that is 26th ln league scoring and needs all the goals it can get?

        In contrast, Poile traded a 2nd round pick to acquire 3rd pairing Dman Jeremy Lauzon last year. This gives you a good idea in to how Poile values players by position and why the Preds are stuck in mediocrity.

    • yeah not like they will go below cap min even if they move more forwards….

  2. Pens…. finally a solid game…. but had to do it in OT even though they completely dominated in shots, attempts, high danger chances; due to to Blues controversial calls (2nd for sure, whistle should have been blow… if ref loses sight of puck for 3 steam boats!!!!; the first one I believe was a high stick but to challenge; too close to over-turn)

    The end result was what Pens needed

    As Chrisms said…. thank you Blues re Kappy

    Now that done…. still shows that Hextall is asleep at the wheel ….. he wanted a player that could help him now and in future…. Neiderieter (6’2″, 220 on 82 game pace for 28 G) was gotten for a measly 2nd….. NOTE in 2024 (not this year)…. wake up Hextall…. you had the assets and had the space. You think he wouldn’t make a difference on the third line?????


    • Pengy word in St. Louis Kappy was first step in Barbie a d Leivo to Pitt. Sounds like 2023 2 d and Pickering will also be heading to St. Louis.
      That’s what one of the beat writers stated this morning.

      • If that is the case; Hextall needs to be fired IMMEDIATELY

        2 UFAs for a 2nd (in this years deep draft) and Pickering???

        When he (Hextall) could have had Niederreiter (82 G pace of 28 G; 6’2”, 220) for this year AND next year ; for just s 2nd—- NOTE: NEXT YEAR!!!

        Holy shite-shooter Batman

  3. I’ve watched lots and lots of hockey. Since the late ‘70. When things are going right for a team, so right that even your goalie scores. Things tend turn quickly. Not in a good way. Just saying

    • Could you please elaborate, Yes guy. I’m very interested. I’ve seen a few games over the decades as well.

      • Teams play well and get on a roll. Things go so well and they’re getting all bounces. Eventually you can win by showing up. Then, bad habits, some bad luck and worse injuries. Then a tailspin and loses start. Good teams eventually find their way back.
        Good on Bruins they’re doing great! It’s just hard to go a whole season and playoffs on a roll. Maybe they can, there’s always a chance!

      • Great pickup by Chevy and only for a 2nd round pick. The kicker is Nino Niederreiter isn’t a rental.

      • Thanks for the explanation. I tend to agree. Luck and injuries play a major part in wins and losses.
        The Bruins and Canes are on fire. It might be time to come back to earth……..or keep rolling. That’s why they play the games, i suppose.

      • Yes bad luck can happen to any team, and past luck has zero determination on future luck. We had bad luck last year with Lindholm getting hurt, Marchand was hurt, McAvoy was hurt, Grz was hurt.

        That’s why you get depth you can afford to get, Sweeney did a great job of that in BOS, especially on the blue line.

        If the B’s lose top players to injury, they won’t win, just like every other team.

        That’s why when you bet on any team vs the field it pays so well.

      • According to CapFriendly, Niederreiter has been placed on “IR – Visa issues”

        You’d think that sort of bureaucratic crap would have been automatically dealt with – it is, after all, a pro league with franchises in two countries who make trades from one country to another all the time.

        Dadonov went from Montreal to Dallas with no visa problems (and he’s a flipping Russian whose country is involved in an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation).

    • I would be very leery of the Bruins going far in the playoffs. Everything is clicking for them in the regular season. That is usually the kiss of death for the playoffs.
      How many times have we seen the president trophy winner flame out in the playoffs. I predict they will be out after the first round causing major angst in bean town.

  4. I don’t think he did have the space pengy. It depends on when kappy was claimed. By then negotiations would have been well underway by jets and nash.

    • He had space at time of deal

      He apparently didn’t even call

      Chevy and Jets win big

      Hextall fails (asleep at the wheel) AGAIN

      see anove what Brian has posted that beat reporter (in St L) posted re Hextal/Army trade underway… sickening if true

      • Doesn’t make sense. Why not just trade kappy in the deal? Sounds like speculation cause the claim makes no sense

  5. Why did St. Louis do that, some ask? Well, since many like to use initials when naming a player, could it be because Armstrong has SFB?

    • See above post by Brian

      If true … Army a hero; Hextall SFB

  6. Pengy, yesterday in one of the threads you were incredulous when you read that Edmonton remains interested in Karlsson.

    Last night’s result should convince everyone – even Holland – that the LAST thing they need is an offensive D-man whose defensive side of the game left the station a long time ago … unless he figures he can start winning games 7 – 6!

    26 shots combined on Skinner and Campbell and they allow 6?? That should tell him where his priorities lay.

    Signing Campbell as a UFA was even dumber than Armstrong claiming Kapanen.

    • Ken Holland has been exposed since Jim Nil left his side for Dallas.

      • SOP, isn’t that the truth.
        I agree completely

      • Disagree with that SOP. How was EDM doing before he got here, how are they doing now?

        Who has he added, as a whole, and how have they performed? Pretty flippin’ good actually. Oil were final 4 last year.

        Year one of Campbell, heard the exact same thing about Sweeney and Ullmark last year and I said the same thing – it’s a volatile position for everyone not named Vasilevskiy, some patience required.

        Not a great start for him, fair enough, but look at who was in the other net yesterday for CLB. He has been brutal for last 2 years and playing really well this year.

        If one of you figure out how to predict goaltending, you let me know.

      • Ray, McDavid, and Leon are responsible for the turnaround. Free agents like Hyman and Kane know a good seat when they saw it. Riding shotgun with those guys will increase their value for their next contracts.
        As for the goalies? Straight voodoo. Your guess is as good or most likely better than mine, however I was beating the drum for Linus as soon as Rask was done.
        I still don’t understand your love for the Oil. Proximity I’m guessing, but being a Bruins fan, I absolutely despise them. Especially Klima. I have a long and somewhat unforgiving memory I suppose.
        I agree with about 99% of what you post on here, but I just can’t get on board with the Oil love. All good though, cause I favor the Flames in the western conference.

    • Well not “incredulous”… but surprised

      If I were Holland…. Go after Soucy;

      Say Yammo for

      Soucy and a 3rd

      See if there is any way to move Campbell and upgrade…. 3rd above; 1st; Bourgot as pieces needed to make the move

      • The only way to move Campbell is to stuff him in a U-Haul and abandon him somewhere north of Great Slave Lake.

      • Pengy

        SEA is in a playoff position. I don’t think Francis is trading Soucy for a 3rd line winger and a lottery ticket?

        It’s obvious that EDM needs help on defence and in net. They could also use help with a defensive forward. The fact that WPG got Neidereiter for a 2nd show how out of touch Holland is.

        Parayko is available.
        Chychrun is available.
        Eckholm is available.
        Schenn is available.

        All four of those players would improve the Oilers defensively and only one of them is a UFA.

        McDavid and Draisaitl are two of the best offensive players in the league but are horrible defensively. They’ve been in the ice for 58 and 60 5v5 goals. They need to have the Bowman/Yzerman conversation about playing for wins/Cups instead of playing for the scoring title.

        Holland should be on the phone to ARZ and asking what it will take for Chychrun and Veljmaka or call his old buddy Nill and get Khudobin. Campbell needs to go on LTIR with severe sunburn from all the red light behind him.

      • It looks like there are lots of d/men Avalable out there now, & more coming this week….❗️

        After yesterdays Gun & Run 80’s Style Oilers game 🙈 The Big Glaring hole is on D…..
        and they play Nurse way to much

        #1 priority for the Oiler’s is a good 2nd pairing LD…? maybe 2 new d /men….
        #2 priority will be a top 6 RW who can play with the top 5 guys

        This year I think Ken Holland may look at moving picks.. before top prospects, all on the table 1st to 7th on the table.
        I dont think they move young RW/C Xavier Bourgault, he could be up with the big team next year as a RW…🤔
        however if the go after a Top d, Evan Bouchard could get moved with a 1st pick for the right guy….❓

        Pengy, Would love to see the Oil go after Big Carson Soucy.. But i dont think the Karken move him at the deadline they are a playoff team and he has been good for them, Ron franics will make a few moves… chess game at the moment things should warm up by wednesday-Thursday

  7. Watching that Habs-Ottawa game, I figured Montreal was head for a win after 2 periods as they were clearly the better team to that point.

    But then Montembeault – who only faced 22 shots over the entire game (Montreal fired 32 at big Mads Sogaard) – faltered in the 3rd.

    It was the second of back-to-backs for both teams and I could not believe that knucklehead Smith trotted Chabot out there for 26:23 after having him play 25:31 the night before! Nice to see Gauthier get a goal, though.

    Now they play Detroit 2 night in a row – Monday-Tuesday at home with one of them a make-up game for an earlier one cancelled due to a bad storm – with another major dump arriving Tuesday!

    • Yeah, well Detroit will already be in the city, so the game should be played.

      • Oh, it definitely will be Johnny Z – but possibly in front of a very small crowd.

    • I agree about Smith, George. He is making so many dumb decisions. I just can’t see why he insists on using Chabot so much when it’s clear to most observers that Chabot is completely out of energy – has trouble handling the puck, can’t defend effectively, missing assignments etc. etc. Is Smith deliberately trying to wear him out? I hope not but what he’s doing to him borders on inexcusable.
      On the other hand Brännström is playing better but still subject to getting crushed by the opposition along the boards. Where is that deal for the top 4 defenceman? Might not happen this season, but if that’s the case why move Zaitsev?

      • Hossaheat, moving Zaitsev was a pure salary dump as a preliminary to either being a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline.

        Dorion saw the next 4 games after dealing Zaitsev as critical to his going one way or the other. Carolina figured to be an unlikely win, but if they defeated Montreal, then Detroit back-to-back in Ottawa and NYR next Thursday (in NY), they’d be at 66 points and right in the thick of the WC race, and so probably in on a deal (or two) to help the cause.

        If, however, they come out with a split – or less – then they could probably kiss those hopes goodbye and he’d then become a seller where some of his UFAs are concerned.

    • Goaltending was the difference in this one. Søgaard kept the Sens in the game through 2. Montembeault was sieve like in the 3rd.

      • Yes, Søgaard has been a nice surprise but his lack of mobility (not surprising for such a big man) was exposed a bit on that Suzuki goal. The big question is what will happen if the Sens trade Talbot and cannot bring in a decent back-up? Is Kevin Mandolese injured?

      • No, he’s back in Belleville to make sure he gets plenty of playing time.

  8. Is there ONE single player in the rumor or mill that wouldn’t be a great fit for Pittsburgh? ONE?

    Who’s to say Pittsburgh wasn’t in on Niederreiter? Or maybe, just maybe Hextall didn’t see another 30 yo as a good fit? Is Niederreiter curing what ails Pittsburgh?

    It just screams desperation when EVERY SINGLE free agent, player on the trade block (often players not on the trade block) end up here in some lopsided trade proposal.

    It’s bizarre because every other trade proposal kinda contradicts the day before a trade proposal as far as Pittsburghs needs.

    Some of these thoughts make Hextall look like a genius by comparison.

    • Heh, so true Captain Obvious. As if a Niedereiter was going to be instrumental in the Penguins hanging onto a WC slot. Reaping the benefits of that sort of tinkering with that aging lineup ended at least 2 seasons back.

      Yesterday, when I suggested maybe it’s time for the Penguins to see – in the off-season – what they could reap for Sid, Malkin, Letang and Guentzel, someone said that was a “stupid suggestion” since all had no movements clauses and ‘don’t want to go anywhere.”

      What is bone stupid is thinking that no one can change their mind … and if those 4 see their remaining years of their careers being spent on a bottom feeder either endlessly trying to tinker their way out of the roster mess or in the throes of a complete re-build, each one of them would waive that clause if a trade to a contender became possible.

      Certainly a case of nothing ventured – nothing gained. The REAL stupid thinking is, even if they waived THEIR NM/NT clauses, they can find takers for all of Zucker, Rust, Carter, Petry and Dumoulin.

      • I did see that comment George. I’d love to go back and look at similar ones like in Chicago’s case. I’m positive someone said that Kane, Toews, Keith, Duncan would ride into the sunset retiring Blackhawks.

        The only stupid thing is the idea is sentiment business decisions by players and organizations. Usually tongue and cheek idea that is only stuck in fans heads.

        Pittsburgh has been ousted 4 years in a row in the 1st round. And right now jumped into the last wildcard spot, only 1 point separates them from the 4 teams behind them.

        Only the most stubborn fans out there would think they are a 30 yo winger or two away from competing.

        It is interesting (in a funny kind of way) for people to talk about how this player or that player owes it to the franchise to either stick around and rot / retire and or leave millions of dollars on the table to express their gratitude and loyalty.

        Most of these talking heads would 💩 on their bosses desk and depart from their current employer in a heartbeat for a better opportunity and $1 an hour.

        Where’s the loyalty there? Oh, that’s not other peoples money we’re talking about? It just easily rolls off the tongue when it’s not life or financial future.

  9. Nobody commented on Ullmark scoring a goal

    What can’t Boston do !

    And Zdeno Chara is reborn in Boston as Orlov is aboard …

    It’s not a cake walk to the Stanley Cup , but who is going to beat them now ???

    • A lot of folks thought same thing when prez cup winner Florida aquired Giroux.

    • Tampa Bay, in seven, on a Vasy shutout with 45 saves

      • Richard IIfeld, over Toronto

      • Vary stole one for Tampa in Detroit yesterday. If Tampa plays like that in the playoffs, they will be one and done.

    • Carolina, Toronto, Tampa, Jersey, and the Rags can all beat the Bruins.
      Orlav is a really good defenseman, but he doesn’t compare to Chara in any way.
      Good on Linus for hitting the empty net. Great achievement.

      • And Sogaard got an assist in Montreal. The goalies are producing better than Kapanen lately.

  10. Lindgren had arm in a sling after game. Still havnt seen an update from Rangers on injury. Could he end up on LTIR? 3mil cap hit. Could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe they look at Gavrikov? Best case scenario would be adding a better player than Mikkola and getting Lindgren back for playoffs.

    • I think NY is going to use any combination of Jones (unless he gets dealt in the Kane deal) Hajek, Harpur to fill the gap. Maybe Robertson gets a look?

      I’m not sure exactly how much space Lindgren would actually create in the next few days? It would be around 182k I believe? Putting them slightly over 2 million in deadline space.

      Kane seems like a done deal. That won’t leave room for any significant moves beyond that without moving $$$ out.

  11. @Slick62

    Bruins were already a favourite


    2 Premium goaltenders

    It’s like the Berlin Wall back there

    Than you can go on and talk about the forwards
    Elite scorer -Lead by Pastranak
    Well balanced , top 2 lines
    Tremendous leadership in Bergeron
    Really hard to play against , lead by Marchand , and another pest added from Washington
    Bottom six – Is there any better

    Where is there a hole in that lineup !!?!?!

    • Ken

      I have to agree. Bruins have no weakness to see. I think only injuries can stop them from winning the Stanley Cup this year

      • The Bruins run is historic.Know all about thePresident trophy and it’s history.I had this team buried until they signed Bergeron and Krecji to bargain basement prices.Both goalies have been absolutely lights out.Managing the players minutes will be the key down the road!Would love to seeBergeron get another cup.Can t think of a better ambassador for the game

    • Boston looks as good as any team I’ve ever seen. Which to be honest is a bit shocking. I was saying last year it was probably time to rip it down and start rebuilding. Boy was I wrong!!!!

      I’m pretty sure you’re a Toronto fan? But if you’re a Boston fan, boy are you gutsy! Up or down in a series, I don’t say a word! I’m way too superstitious!

      Even after hearing last year Penguin fans claiming victory by game 4, I said zero. Even after NY won that series. Zippo. Ditto the Carolina series. Zippo.

      All that being said, don’t count your chickens. How many times have we seen a strong season team be ousted early? A few years back an “unbeatable “ team ( Tampa) we’re swept out by Columbus. President’s trophy Vs. The lowly 8th seed.

      It happens.

      • I think I was one of the few who, before the season began, and with Marchand and MacAvoy both out for the first 2 months, thought they were still a solid team and that, if they could manage to keep their head above water until those two returned, they’d be a top team.

        Talk about holding your head above water! And when those two got back – sooner than originally expected – you could just see 4-line dominance that few other teams possess.

        Yes, Carolina and Tampa are major hurdles, but while both can hurt you through lines 1 to 3, and their top 4 D, neither runs quite as deep as the Bruins who are solid 1 to 4 and their 6 main D.

        No, neither Boston goalie is Vasilevsky – but he isn’t unbeatable.

        Boston to the finals … to face the defending Cup holders who will soon be totally healthy. And don’t count Sakic out of producing a rabbit or two out of his hat at the trade deadline.

    • Mrbruin4 as far a winning the cup. Seriously hope you’re correct.

      Comimg out of the east will be very challenging.

      Rangers are about to add Kane after already getting Terasenko.

      Rangers don’t have many weakness, very soldi d and goaltending.

      TB may not have the depth they did have but another very strong team.

      Carolina plays a game that is the most difficult for Boston and probably have the best team defense.

      We know what Toronto has, ton of offense, but questionable team d and goaltending. I think they need to add a strong dman before the deadline.

      Yes health will play a big part but i’m not ordering my Stanley Cup t-shirt today.

      I don’t care about any regular season records or personal acheivements.

      Need to be smart and rest Bergeron, Krejci down the stretch and start rotating the d in and out.

      16 wins is along ways away.

      • Rangers d and goaltending have looked very suspect of late.

        Sheterkin being hung out to dry. Pretty sure he faces 8-10 breakaways and odd man rushes yesterday. the d looks lost. Even Fox has looked ordinary the last 4 games.

        Hopefully just tired / hiccup. But watching them is not making me feel warm and fuzzy.

        Another back to back against LA today makes me think loss 5 in a row on the way today.

        They’ll also be playing again with 11 forwards and without Lindgren. Not pretty!

      • Caper

        Toronto has the 5th best goals against in the league. Their defence is doing just fine. Could they use an upgrade? Sure.
        All teams are looking for an edge. BOS has the best goals against and they upgraded with Orlov.

      • Been saying that for a while Daryl … Toronto’s D has turned out to be one of the most solid in the league. But there are still some who think Holl, Sandin and maybe even Liljegren will suddenly forget how to play D once the playoffs start.

        The ONE thing I believe they will have to shore up is in goal. And if any are harboring the thought that Murray will come off LTIR just before the playoffs and turn into the second coming of Grant Fuhr or Ken Dryden as the Leafs coast to the Cup, they are in for a rude awakening. And does anyone really see Samsonov back-stopping them through the likes of Tampa and Boston?

      • Daryl they made be tied for the 5th best, but i wouldn’t want to be counting on that D and any long series.

        In the last game against Boston Liljegren and Sandin could not handle the pressure from the Bruins. In that game they were both a -3

        Your asking alot of these two young dman.

    • Well done, Ken, but, just to be on the safe side, let’s play the games.

  12. No one likes hockey fights anymore; yet, my tweeter feed has blown up with the highlight of a fight yesterday.

  13. @ Captain Obvious

    I also thought Boston was in for a rebuild .
    Boy, we were both WRONG

    Then came Jim Montgomery !!!
    Highly under- rated coach !!!

    I am a Toronto fan , frustrating at that , to say the least ..

    Bobby Orr was always my favourite player growing up . My uncle had season tickets when I was young , always made sure to see the Bruins games . My mom
    Was the Best sports Mom – Ever !
    I wore number 4 , since a tyke playing hockey , allowed to wear Bruin socks in practices , but always had Bruin gloves ,regular games with the number 4 attached …
    Listened to Leafs away games on the radio , especially in Boston garden
    Therefore , Boston is always a 1A team with me !
    Dryden was an interference to a cup , Philadelphia antics and another Super goalie in Parent prevented another cup
    Cheevers to the WHA really hurt the team as well ..,

    This playoff year will provide Fabulous hockey !

  14. ➡️ Sunday Trade…..

    The Vegas Golden Knights acquired RW & UFA
    Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues
    20 yr old C Zach Dean Today Sunday, an other Very Good Prospect….🤔

    Good trade for both teams…

    Blue’s GM Doug Armstrong continues to do a nice job of Re-tooling the young Blues

    Ken Holland you missed out on a good RW…⁉️

  15. There are still quite a few Penguins fans in the Columbus area. Several that I know are saying what no one on this blog seems willing to say. The Penguins are getting old and don’t have much in the way of very good prospects in their system. Slowly but surely, they’re sliding down the NHL ranks and a rebuild is in the offing…. if Pittsburgh fans will allow it.

    • Paul, the Penguin fans should definitely allow it. Pittsburgh has the longest active streak of playoff appearances (16 years). Next best are the Caps and Preds at 8. Three cups during that playoff streak.

      Chicago also won 3 cups during that time frame, but they had a much shorter window of competitiveness – only 9 consecutive playoff appearances and only once in the past 5 years, not including 2022-23.

      Nothing lasts forever.

      • The streak is the longest in professional men’s sports in North America. At least the major sports.
        And I might just end. It’s fun to see the excitement other teams fans have to witness the end.