NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2023
The Sabres keep their playoff hopes alive, the Avalanche move up in the Central Division, Coyotes minority owner is suspended after arrest for strangulation charge, US President Joe Biden makes a playful dig at the Maple Leafs, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 upset of the New Jersey Devils. Alex Tuch scored two goals and collected an assist for the 34-31-6 Sabres (74 points), who sit six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Jack Hughes also had two goals and an assist for the Devils (45-19-8) as remain two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 98 points.
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar each had a goal and two assists to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. The Avalanche improved to 42-23-6 (90 points) and sit one point behind the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. Clayton Keller scored his 35th goal of the season for the 27-34-12 Coyotes, who were officially eliminated from playoff contentions.
An overtime goal by Boone Jenner lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 upset win over the New York Islanders. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist while Kent Johnson scored a lacrosse-style “Michigan” goal for the 23-41-7 Blue Jackets. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Islanders 37-27-9, who hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 83 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Blue Jackets announced winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for two to four weeks with a triceps strain suffered during practice on Thursday.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL following his arrest on Thursday night in Aspen, Colorado, on a felony strangulation charge. He also faces a misdemeanor third-degree assault charge.
Barroway posted bond on Friday and is under a court order not to have any contact with his wife unless it involves their children.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barroway was the Coyotes’ majority owner from 2014 to 2019 before selling 95 percent of the team to current owner Alex Meruelo. The club issued a statement on Friday indicating they were aware of the allegations against Barroway and are working with the league to gather more information before issuing an appropriate response.
SPORTSNET: US president Joe Biden took a playful dig at the Toronto Maple Leafs during his address in the Canadian House of Commons on Friday.
“I have to say, I like your teams except the Leafs,” said Biden, drawing a standing ovation from many House of Commons members.
“I’ll tell you why. They beat the Flyers back in January, that’s why. I married a Philly girl (Jill Biden). If I didn’t say that, I’d be sleeping alone and fellas, I like you but not that much,” he said, drawing laughter from the parliamentarians and their guests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I thought it was a good-natured, funny remark by Biden. Unlike previous presidents, he’s a hockey fan and has been following the Flyers for years. I was a little surprised by how many parliamentarians stood and cheered. It just goes to show how many House members are fans of the other six Canadian clubs.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Logan Thompson, Reilly Smith and Alec Martinez will be unavailable for the final game of the Golden Knights’ Western Canada road trip. Thompson and Smith returned to Las Vegas for injury maintenance while Martinez is away for personal reasons.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins forward A.J. Greer received a one-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Montreal Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman in the face on Thursday night.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman’s face was carved up by Greer’s stick. The Canadiens winger wasn’t pleased about the Bruins forward getting only one game for his actions.
Hoffman noted he received a two-game suspension earlier in his career for cross-checking an opponent in the back of the head. However, Greer only got one game for an intentional cross-check to the face.
Hoffman deserved his two-game suspension because hits to the head are dangerous and the league is supposedly trying to eliminate that from the game. He’s right, however, to be upset with the inconsistency over the way the league hands down its punishments.
Greer’s hit was more egregious and deliberate, striking an opponent in the face. The last time I checked, the face was part of the head. And yet, he gets the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.
The department of player safety has received increasing criticism from fans on social media and from pundits over its puzzling rulings. However, the league’s brain trust continues to defend and support it. Hoffman’s comments won’t change things.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: With goaltender Ville Husso listed as day-to-day, the Red Wings recalled netminder Alex Nedeljkovic from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Canucks re-signed defenseman Christian Wolanin to a two-year, two-way contract.
THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Canucks, their long-time TV color commentator John Garrett will be retiring from their regional broadcasts at the end of this season. He’s been in the role since 2002. A former NHL goaltender in the late-1970s and early-1980s, he began his broadcasting career in 1986 on Hockey Night in Canada and moved to Sportsnet in 1998.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the end of an era for Canucks broadcasting. Love him or hate him, Garrett was always entertaining. Best wishes for an enjoyable retirement.
“The department of player safety has received increasing criticism from fans on social media and from pundits over its puzzling rulings. However, the league’s brain trust continues to defend and support it. Hoffman’s comments won’t change things.”
I guess they have no concept as to how to best utilize a computer … set up a system whereby they can access instantly all previous similar infractions … AND the penalties handed down. Then again, I doubt the league head office types could even spell “incompetence.”
Totally agree with you George, btw we have news about Hoffman , 15 sitches on the chin and 10 other in the mouth. Do something like that outside an arena and see if you’ll get away with it. That department is a real joke. Pic:
On a more positive note, another prospect from the Senators’ other “farm” team, the University Of North Dakota (Sanderson, Pinto and Bernard-Docker are from there as well), 6′ 4″ 200lb physical D-man Tyler Kleven, has signed his 3 year ELC and has joined the team.
I saw that George. Looks like a very big, physical player with one helluva hard shot. Exactly what we need!!!
And, the Saint, he’s one of the first prospects that some teams were seeking whenever a trade proposal was being bandied about leading up to trade deadline day. Including Armstrong in Arizona – but Dorion said no to each.
Their D depth is looking solid, with LD Chabot, LD/RD Chychrun, RD Zub, LA Sanderson, LD/RD Brannstrom, LD Kleven, RD Bernard-Docker, RD Thomson, LD Tomas Hamara (still in Jr.), LD Jorian Donovan (still in Jr.), and ex U. of North Dakota and Univ Of Nebraska at Omaha LOD Jonny Tychonic, now with Nfld in the ECHL.
I think, too, they’ll re-sign UFA RD Hamonic – but LD Holden, also a UFA, is as good as done in Ottawa.
All that gives Dorion some decent material with which to negotiate a goalie trade in the off-season, including perhaps recouping a traded-away 1st round pick from someone. Stay tuned …
correction—Jackets defeated the Islanders
What team does Greer play for?
As noted above – Boston
I see what you’re saying, but if you look closely at the punishment Parros has handed out in the past, he is more apt to go easy on tough guys and really punishes skilled players and softer players more severely. However, there may be some merit to your point of view regarding the Bruins.
I’d have given him 5 games, as it was stupid and totally unnecessary.
Sop. Shoulda been min 3 games. Refs should have warned them both when they were slashing each other before they dropped the puck. Parros not qualified for the job. It often seems the punishment depends on who gets injured or who did the injury rather then the actual offence For example if Marchand he gets more as the offender. And less when he is receiving the abuse
It seems no one likes Hoffman.
But the fact that it happened before the puck dropped is really ugly.
SOP agree should’ve been much longer. No place in the league for that.
Greer knew as soon as he did it; that doesn’t matter, the punishment should’ve been between 3 – 5 games.
I’m a fan of Australian football and their top professional league, the Australian Football League (AFL) faced the same problem as the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Their solution was to create a point system for offenses with a schedule of points according to whether the offense was accidental or intentional, severity and other factors. The “punishment” is determined by how many points are accumulated. And to deter repeat offenses, a player’s points stay with him for two seasons. There still are the occasional disagreement with a leveled punishment, but it’s the fairest system possible. In my opinion, the NHL should adapt such a system.
Sounds like a reasonable solution Paul.
Yotes ownership looking good again.
Another fix is to allow the injured player to appeal the suspension handed to the perpetrator. The prosecution is allowed to appeal sentences, after all, and the perpetrator can appeal to have a suspension reduced.
That’s an OK proposal, LJ, but I’m not sure that the NHLPA would go for it. You most likely can’t file a grievance involving the punishment handed out by the league disciplinary office promoting a further suspension and loss of wages against another card holding union member.
A better idea is to replace Parros with a competent and consistent individual or a small group of people. Or even a large potato.