NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2023

by | Mar 15, 2023 | News, NHL | 28 comments

The Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl reaches 100 points on the season, the Penguins’Jake Guentzel reaches a career milestone, plus the latest on the Leafs’ Auston Matthews, the Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored twice to become the second player this season to reach 100 points in a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist as the Oilers improved to 37-23-8 to vault over the Seattle Kraken into third place in the Pacific Division with 82 points. Tim Stutzle tallied twice for the 33-30-4 Senators (70 points), who’ve dropped three straight and remain six points behind the New York Islanders (76 points) for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid now leads all active players for most points in a season with 129. Meanwhile, Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot and winger Mathieu Joseph missed this game due to injuries.

The Montreal Canadiens (27-35-6) snapped a seven-game winless skid by upsetting the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on third-period goals by Anthony Richard and Josh Anderson. Jake Guentzel scored twice and collected an assist to reach 400 career points for the 34-23-10 Penguins (78 points) as they remain two points over the Islanders for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. They played without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov as he’s week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.

Speaking of the Islanders, they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings, who blew the game open with a four-goal second period. Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves and Vladislav Gavrikov collected two assists for the Kings (39-20-9) as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 87 points. Ryan Pulock had two assists for the 34-27-8 Islanders.

The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Patrick Kane scored his first goal on home ice as a Ranger. With a record of 38-19-10, the Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 86 points. Injuries sidelined Alex Ovechkin and Sonny Milano for this game as the Capitals (32-29-7) remain five points behind the Islanders in the chase for the final Eastern wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brandon Hagel had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, who lost their grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division. Despite the absence of sidelined captain Steven Stamkos, the Lightning (40-22-6) moved within two points of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 86 points. Damon Severson replied for the 44-17-6 Devils (94 points) as they fell two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got two goals and an assist by Jesperi Kotkaniemi as they downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. With a record of 44-14-8, the Hurricanes sit in second place in the overall standings with 96 points. The Jets (38-27-3) hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Hurricanes announced winger Andrei Svechnikov will undergo season-ending surgery on his right ACL on Thursday. His absence will be keenly felt among their top-six scorers over the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey remains sidelined by an injury.

The Nashville Predators improved to 34-28-9 and moved within four points of the Jets by holding off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Juuse Saros made 28 saves while Kiefer Sherwood and Tommy Novak scored for the Predators, who played without sidelined defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Alex Chiasson replied for the 30-28-9 Red Wings.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Jonathan Quick (27 saves) picked up his fourth straight win since joining the club in a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and two assists while Ivan Barbashev tallied twice for the Golden Knights (42-20-6) as they hold first place in the Western Conference with 90 points. The Flyers sank to 24-32-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Flyers Sean Couturier took part in his first morning skate with the club this season after being sidelined by his second back surgery. His plan is to return to action for a handful of games before the end of the season.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Taylor Raddysh scored his first career hat trick to lead his club to a 6-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. Boris Katchouk had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks as they improved to 23-38-6, though they lost goalie Petr Mrazek in the second period with his third groin injury of the season. Hampus Lindholm had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (50-11-5) as they remain comfortably atop the overall standings with 105 points.

The Vancouver Canucks collected their fifth straight win by upsetting the Dallas Stars 5-2. Brock Boeser had three assists for the 29-32-5 Canucks while Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen each had two points for the 37-18-13 Stars, who played without sidelined winger Mason Marchment in this game. The Stars are in first place in the Central Division with 87 points.

An overtime goal by Travis Boyd gave the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Clayton Keller scored twice, including his 31st goal of the season for the 25-31-11 Coyotes. Jonathan Huberdeau scored the tying goal for the 30-24-14 Flames (74 points) as they sit five points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau scored twice (including the winner in overtime) and collected three assists in a 6-5 victory over the San Jose Sharks to officially eliminate the latter from playoff contention. The Blue Jackets sit at 21-38-7 on the season and sit last in the overall standings. Logan Couture had a goal and two assists for the 19-36-13 Sharks.


THE ATHLETIC: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews revealed he’s been nursing a hand injury that has hampered his performance this season. However, he claims it’s feeling a lot better now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Leafs as they head down the stretch toward what will be a crucial postseason for this team.

SPORTSNET: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he’s expecting Ryan O’Reilly to return before the playoffs. He’s been sidelined with a broken finger since March 4 and underwent surgery on March 7 with a recovery timeline of four weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would mean returning by April 7 but it’s possible O’Reilly might not be good to go until the first game of the playoffs.

TSN: Speaking of broken fingers, Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big loss for the Avalanche. Lehkonen is fourth among Avalanche scorers with a career-best performance of 20 goals and 49 points in 62 games.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Diamond Sports Group, which owns the Bally Sports regional network in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. The company released a statement indicating it expects to continue operations during the bankruptcy process and that the coverage of games would not be affected. That coverage includes 12 NHL teams.


      • Pengy, currently the Sens are in 11th in the lottery. A team can only move up 10 spots. If by a very slim chance, the Sens win the lottery the highest pick they can get is the 2nd pick. Then because that pick is now inside the top 5 the Sens get to keep that pick and the Coyotes will get the Sens 2024 1st-round pick unprotected.

      • Hi Kevjam

        Per TSN…., 11th last teams (which Sens are right now) can land the 1st overall… moving 11th to 1st OA…. 3% chance per TSN

        The rationale you gave… top 5 AFTER the lottery happens; makes sense

        I was not sure if “top five protected” was pre or post lottery drop (e.g. finishing in 11th worst record (outside of top 5) but winning lottery…. So fisrt…. TSN didn’t elaborate whether “top 5 protected” was pre or post lottery…. And that specification is absolutely crucial right now

        Is there anybody here who knows where to find out for sure if “top 10 protected” and “top 5 protected” etc are selection ranks are PRE or POST lottery?

        I would hope the teams giving these picks up have specified in the deal that it is AFTER the lottery

        Thanks in advance

      • Sorry, you are right. The 11th spot can move into the top pick.
        This is what I found on Puckpedia about protected picks.
        A “protected” pick just means there’s a condition on the pick that if it ends up being in a certain slot, that pick is not traded. For example, if a first round pick is Top 10 Protected, it means that if the pick ends up being in the Top 10, that pick isn’t traded, and instead a different pick is traded. The most common example would be that the first round pick the following year is traded instead.
        The keywords “ends up being” says if the pick is inside the top 5 after the lottery it’s protected.

      • Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!

        Pengy, clearly Dorion thought, at the time, that his team was not going to finish anywhere near the lottery, probably never figuring that he’d have to go down the stretch with 2 rookie goalies and that his coach of choice, Smith, wouldn’t lose sight of the goal by icing a team 4 out 5 on the road trip that was ill-prepared for the task at hand.

        As Forrest Gump allegedly coined “s*&t happens.”

        Meanwhile, hindsight is still only 10 cents a pound.

      • Thanks Kevjam

        Hi George

        Absolutely NOT a mountain out of a molehill IF the protection was only for PRE draw

        I’m guessing (hoping) the wording in their agreement is POST draw pick…. And in that case Dorion is still protected to potentially land Bedard IF Sens finish bottom 11 and Sens win lottery

        He’d have little concern (re draft) finishing one spot outside of bubble and in 17th (16th worst)…. As winning the lottery at best gets him to 6th… so regardless of deal wording…. 6th pick would then go to Yotes

        Finishing 18th (15th worst) and winning lottery gets Sens picking 5th (IF… agreement wording is pick as at POST lottery ball drops)

        It lS a HUGE deal IF that (post lottery) was not part of the trade language

        As at the trade; they were doing well but still had more probability finishing outside playoffs than making playoffs; and still had the possibility of finishing 22nd (where they are at… with 3% chance at Bedard)

        Fingers crossed that his top 5 protected IS post lottery

        If so…. Will be interesting at draft (if they remain where they at in the standings …..or there abouts) as the broadcast always shows who (pre draw) is slated to pick when…. So until revealed; broadcast would show both Yotes/Sens at that pic….. and when that pick is actually revealed…. If Dayley is showing neither Yotes or Sens emblems…. That means Sens won the lottery and moved up 10 spots (again only if trade wording is top 5 protected POST lottery drop)

      • There are so many “ifs” in there that we can probably make a soup out of them.

        The deal made to acquire Chychrun was obviously predicated upon his pick being Top 5 protected. Period.

        He was clearly happy with the way the deal went down – as opposed to being required to give up two 1st Round Picks, PLUS a top prospect like Greig, PLUS a roster player like Pinto – which is what Armstrong had supposedly been demanding for months.

        You have to give to get – that’s why he’s a GM in the NHL …. and none of us are.

      • Fully agree George

        Just hope he worded it so that it is top 5 protected post lottery

        Zito got raked over the coals (appropriately so) for not protecting this year’s pick

        Cats may get in…. But also could fall to where Sens are (only 3 points different right now)…. And that would give Habs the extra 3% shot at Bedard…. With a generational player….. every percentage point odds in s team’s favour counts!!

        Re “so many ifs”….. I was throwing them in there not for the hyperbole but to emphasize what this all hinges on the wording of the trade

        A couple of weeks ago…, I think Sens looked on the bubble cusp

        Things (unfortunately for Sens) have turned

        For me; as long as yotes do not get Bedard, I’m happy (and I’m positive, so is he)

    • In all honesty, the coach shouldn’t have to do too much to for the players to give maximum effort. The fact that the Sens are in a position to get in the playoffs and play for the Stanley Cup should be motivation enough.
      Can’t blame the Sens for last night’s loss. It’s just one of those games where the Oilers star players weren’t going to let another game get away from them.

    • Lol!!

  1. Great Game in Edmonton last night with my Two fav canadian teams…👌

    The German conection were very good…
    The German Great One against the German Next one did not disappoint,❗️

    Young Stutzle played very well and scored 2 nice goals ….so did Draisaitl… He played a other strong game scoring a Beauty for his 100 pt of the year 👌

    Young Mads Sogaaed made some Great Saves last night, But the Oil were just to much for the young Kid…he needs more time in the AHL to work on his game i think he is 18 month to 2 years away from the NHL.

    Tkachuk had an other strong game…, think they missed Chabot last night, Local St Albert Boy Sanderson looked Very Good…👍

    Really liked young Shane Pintos game last night he was flying, and looked to be a handfull for the Oilers
    97 took a penalty trying to slow him down…😝

    Really hope the Sen’s address there Goaltending in the off season, thats there big weak link
    the rest of the team is Very Exciting to watch,

    PS Sens have a LOT of Very Very Good Young Players….

    • Watched as well Willie…. good points!!

      • Hey Pengy,
        Yes A very entertaining game last night…Sen’s will be in the playoffs 100 % next year✅

        The Sen’s need to add a Good Big Tough 3rd paring LD dman to round out the d, ❓

        if they bring Rd man Travis Hamonic back at less money 1.2M to 1.5M range for one more year,

        Then Add a starting Goaltender…. looks like there are 3 good ones avalable after the season they would need to trade for…..?
        and your guy Tristan Jarry as a UFA….? its going to be an intresting Draft and UFA period..

        Was reading this am, Gary Bettman has not oficaly said the cap is only going up $1.M… it could be a little more…….🤔❗️
        stay tunned

      • Hi Willie

        Agree …. Except for the Bettman thing…. Can’t trust anything he says…. He’s been claiming success and a bright future for thr NHL in Phoenix for over a quarter of a Century…. And he’s been grossly wrong with every utterance

    • williew, with the prospect of Forsberg perhaps never playing again – and certainly at the very least, expecting him to bounce back at his age after TWO ACLs on the same play- and no chance of Talbot being offered a new contract, Dorion’s choices in the off-season are:

      1) head into the new season with Sogaard and Mandolese as the tandem (Uber risky)

      2) shop for a # 1 goalie with Sogaard in a back-up role (ennnh)

      3) acquire both a # goalie AND a decent back-up type veteran and give the kids another full year in Belleville.

      I would prefer to see the 3) option – but in that event, while a back-up veteran type might be acquired through the UFA pool, it will cost in terms of prospects/roster player combination. He simply can’t pawn any more top picks for a while so he might have to deal a Tyler Kleven plus, maybe, a Pinto IF he wants to land one of the better goalies that COULD wind up on the market (such as Hart or Gibson – and that’s no guarantee to happen).

      A 4th option is to scour the European market for a free-agent goalie who has shown some considerable ability.

      • Hey George,

        I fully Agree with you on #3….✅
        Sens Acquire both a # goalie AND a decent back-up type veteran and give the kids another full year in Belleville., i would say 18 month to 2 years
        So they can both fully develop and learn there Trade so to speak….👌

        I Really hope they DONT Trade Shane Pinto, in his 2nd season he is just getting better & better every Game…… last night he was an all star 🤔 97 had a Hell of a time slowing him down ( knocked his stick out of Pintos hand)

        ➡️ A Trade For a #1 Goaltender like this….⁉️

        Hart, Gibson, Demko, Cost would be a 1st pick, & your Best Top prospect like a RW, Tyler Boucher Or a Top D prospect like one of these 22yr olds
        A Bernard-Docker Or A Thomson…❓
        for any one of these Re-building teams above, would be a great help to a Re-build/Re-tool
        then there is Pengy Pens goaltender A UFA…
        27 yr old Tristan Jarry….., it may cost more $$ to sign as a UFA, but your giving up nothing in the way of prospects and picks🤔
        im sure PD will make the righ choice

  2. does anybody the extent of ovechkins injury and how much time he is expected to miss.

    • norman d crum nothing but the usual “lower body injury” – whatever the case, the Capitals aren’t going very far without him if you by their record in the 6 games they’ve played without him in the lineup so far – they are 0-6-0 scoring 12 goals while giving up 27. Add in Milano’s absence as well (he’s been having a decent in Washington) and they’ll be lucky to stay in the game tonight against Buffalo – the second of a back-to-back.

      • I almost wonder if this Ovi injury has been a lingering thing and if Wash will shut him down at some point if they are out of contention. I guess it depends on how serious the injury is. I’m sure Ovi wants to play to chase the goal record, but if no playoffs are in sight it might make sense.

  3. Pens D….. stop letting down your goalies!!

    3rd time in a few weeks that Jarry has been pulled…. Each time… the fault lies with abysmal D infront of him; and therefore on Sully for scratched/playing players and D pairings

    Worse than playing with/through injuries…. Playing with complete apathy

    Sully sat Petry basically for the third period…. Why did Sully wait so long…. Grossly apparent right from his first shift that Petry truly was not “into” thr game and literally playing “distant” “aloof” “apathetically”

    Petry and Dumo hand delivered 2 Habs goals …. Completely hanging Jarry out to dry…. Certainly not his fault

    Dumo has struggled huge this year and should have been wayching from the press box for quite a few games

    Petry has better skills, and knows better…. He arrogantly showed up with no will to play last night

    Was he peeved being oft paired with Dumo?

    Pairing of Tanger/Pettersson has worked well

    The other pairings should have been

    Petry/P-O J

    Friedman (or Ruuta)/ Smith

    Kulikov is injured and has grit sure….. but prior to injury …., Rutta/Kulikov pairing was not a good choice

    Sully…. You’ve punished Petry for his brutal effort….. hope he learns from that…. Comes out gangbusters v Blueshirts

    That said….Pens just canNOT afford to play Dumo @ MSG these next two games…. Sully…. Wake up!!!

    • Hi Pengy,

      I see a Full Re-build coming the Pens way starting next season …🤔
      Think they are way past the Re-tool stage to do anything else,…..
      even if they make the palayoffs they are out in the first round..

      Your right the d is just Horrible & up front its just way to Old now they they have 14 players on the current Roster 30 to 38 years old ⁉️
      i dont think they could last 4 playoff rounds they dont have the horses to do it, any more
      Sid, Guentzel & Tanger cant do it all .

      • I’d be happy if they got in and won 2 games let alone a series

        Sully is fully to blame re roster selection…. He never fields the best roster available.

        Hexburkie completely blew things trade/extension/acquisition wise since they have come on board

        The expansion draft was abysmal…. Literally handing Krakken 2 key Pens …. and getting a player who at best will br s career AHler

        Just imagine …,

        McCann, Sprong , Tanev…..(82 game pace of 80 goals) for 3rd line


        Carter; McGinn, Kappy…. 82 G pace for 32 goals

        Just that aline makes a huge diff…. Would equate to at least 4 more game points

        Had they played P-O J; or Friedman or Smith instead of Dumo and Ruhweedel…. For even 25 games…. Count a minimum of 6 extra points

        Those 10 points have Pens ahead of Rangers; in second place

  4. I mean it’s not like I have any pipe dreams of the Sens winning the Cup this year, or having a deep run in the playoffs, but I was really hoping to see that wild car berth with AT LEAST a winning record to finish the season. Now I am just hoping for a .500 showing. This is a collapse. I mean the Flames and Oilers are great teams with a LOT to play for, so I sort of see why that was tough… but the Hawks and Nucks?

    I have resigned myself to just watching them and seeing what happens in the off season.

  5. That Svech injury, on top of the Max Pacioretty injury are really going to test Carolina’s depth.
    Going to test my depth too as I had both of them on my fantasy team this year 🙁

  6. Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile sells for 1.3 billion dollars. He owned approximately 20-25% of that. People are already speculating he wants to use that money toward his Senators ownership bid.

  7. Can’t wait for tonight’s tilt between the Avalanche and Maple Leafs!!!! GO AVS!!!

    • Well , I accept that…. Where would you like them to GO…. I’ll have limos pick them up; take thrm wherever they want; Leafs get the two points for the Avs not showing up to the game 👍👍