NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2023
The Sabres, Avalanche and Stars are the winners in Monday’s action, the three stars of the week are announced plus injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing skid with two third-period goals by Alex Tuch to hold off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Dylan Cozens, Owen Power and JJ Peterka each had two points for the Sabres, who improved to 33-28-5 (71 points) to sit five points behind the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists for the Leafs (40-18-8) as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 88 points.
Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and collected an assist in an 8-4 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens. Cale Makar collected three assists and Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and two assists for the 37-22-6 Avalanche, who sit in third place in the Central Division with 80 points. Josh Anderson scored his 20th of the season for the 26-35-6 Canadiens, who’ve dropped seven in a row.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehkonen left the game in the second period with a broken finger after being struck by a shot. He’s returning to Colorado for surgery. Canadiens forward Rem Pitlick left the game in the first period after going head-first into the boards. No update was provided on his status.
The Dallas Stars downed the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists while Miro Heiskanen had three assists for the Stars (37-17-3) as they hold first place in the Central Division with 87 points. Vince Dunn had collected two assists for the 37-23-7 Kraken as they hold third place in the Pacific Division with 81 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars forward Tyler Seguin remains sidelined recovering from a superficial cut to his leg. He could return to action within the next couple of weeks.
NHL.COM: Arizona Coyotes winger Clayton Keller, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are the three stars for the week ending March 12.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov is sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Svechnikov’s absence is a big blow to the Hurricanes’ offense. He’s third among their scorers with 23 goals and 55 points in 64 games.
GOPHNX.COM’s Craig Morgan tweeted that Coyotes forward Christian Fischer is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. There is no timeline yet for Nick Schmaltz’s return from a lower-body injury.
CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have shut down rookie forward Cole Guttman for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury.
TSN: The Nashville Predators signed forward Mark Jankowski to a one-year, $775K contract.
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports a potential expansion of video review for high-sticking and over-the-glass calls was discussed during yesterday’s meeting of NHL general managers. There was also discussion about meeting with the NHL Players Association to potentially grandfather in cut-resistant equipment as mandatory.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oh, goody! More things to slow down the game.
NORTH STAR BETS: Chris Johnston reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly takes a dim view of three-team trades where a club acts as a broker to allow trades among cap-strapped teams. He said the league has never favored such trades but relented to them years ago because general managers lobbied to have retained-salary transactions in the collective bargaining agreement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe that was implemented in the updates to the CBA following the 2012-13 lockout. Former Leafs general manager Brian Burke was reportedly among those GMs at the time leading the charge for retained salary transactions to facilitate more movement in the trade market. I doubt we’ll see the league clamp down on that in the next round of collective bargaining.
Johnston also reported Daly didn’t sound as though there is any need to implement a rule that would prevent teams from sitting out players for “trade-related reasons” as we saw in the weeks leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility if it were to become a trend.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly may have said the same thing to the general managers. Probably something along the lines of, “Don’t make it a habit, gentlemen, or else.”