NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2023

by | Mar 28, 2023 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Oilers Stars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid reach scoring milestones, Matt Boldy nets his second hat trick of the month, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snapped a 4-4 tie in the third period. Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard each had a goal and an assist for the 42-23-9 Oilers as they hold third place in the Pacific Division with 93 points. Barrett Hayton and Mattias Macelli each scored two goals while Lawson Crouse collected three assists for the 27-36-13 Coyotes.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl became the fourth-fastest active player to reach 300 career goals. Teammate Connor McDavid collected his career-best 80th assist of the season and is the first player to reach 140 points in a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.

Minnesota Wild winger Matt Boldy collected his second hat trick of the month and his first natural one of his career in a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots as the Wild (43-22-9) hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Central Division with 95 points. Jaden Schwartz tallied for the Kraken as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 88 points.

The Colorado Avalanche remained one point back of the Wild by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist for the 44-23-6 Avalanche. Doug Grant replied for the 23-41-10 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks center Trevor Zegras left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period. The Ducks were already playing without Troy Terry as he was out of this contest for personal reasons.

New York Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri tallied twice and collected an assist in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 shots as the Islanders improved to 38-28-9 and hold a three-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 85 points. Erik Haula replied for the Devils (46-20-8) as they remain three points back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points.

The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive while dealing a blow to the Florida Panthers with a 5-2 victory. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Mads Sogaard turned aside 32 shots as the Senators (36-33-5) sit five points behind Pittsburgh with 77 points. Gustav Forsling scored both goals for the 36-31-7 Panthers as they remain three points behind the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury.

A shootout goal by Michael Pezzetta lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 upset of the Buffalo Sabres. Brendan Gallagher’s game-tying goal was also the 200th goal of his career for the 30-38-6 Canadiens. Rookie Lukas Rousek scored his first goal and collected his first assist in his first NHL game for the 35-31-7 Sabres, who set five points behind the Penguins for that final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pezzetta delighted Canadiens fans by riding his stick “Tiger Williams style” to celebrate his game-winner. The Sabres played without Tage Thompson as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Ilya Lybushkin was the only Sabre who declined to take part in the club’s Pride Night warmups.


NHL.COM: The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t play on Monday night but both clubs clinched playoff berths. The Rangers secured their spot due to Monday’s losses by the Panthers and Sabres while the Leafs are in due to the Panthers’ loss.

Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 26.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights set an NHL record following their win against the Edmonton Oilers by becoming the first team to win four straight games with four different goaltenders. Jiri Patera, Jonathan Quick, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit gained those respective wins.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso and forward Robby Fabbri are sidelined by injuries for the rest of the season.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Nick Blankenburg and Erik Gudbranson and forward Mathieu Olivier are also done for the season due to injuries.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The front office changes continue for the Flyers as Dave Scott is stepping down as chairman of the club’s parent company (Comcast Spectacor) and governor of the franchise. Dan Hilferty will take over as Scott’s successor.

OTTAWA SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’ll leave it up to the Senators’ new owner where, and if, they’ll build a new arena for the franchise. He stressed that the club won’t be leaving Ottawa. “If this team is going to move, the only move that will be permitted is to downtown,” he said. Bettman doesn’t want to back the new owner into a corner regarding a new arena.

The Senators signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats which is as close to the downtown core. However, Ottawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe last week said it wasn’t the only possible site for an arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman also said there are six ownership groups bidding for the Senators. The new owner could be announced by late April at the earliest.

SPORTSNET: Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov suggests Russia should withdraw from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in order to negotiate directly with the NHL for the release of its players to represent their country in international tournaments. The IIHF has suspended Russia over its ongoing war with Ukraine.

TSN: Speaking of international competition, Hockey Canada has deemed all players from Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team will be ineligible to participate in the 2023 World Hockey Championship until an investigation into an alleged group sexual assault is completed.


  1. Re the decision by Hockey Canada to render ineligible for the 2023 Worlds all those who played for the 2018 Canada Juniors until the sexual assault charges are finalized – her are the 22 players from that team and their current locations:

    Dillon Dubé – C drafted by Calgary 56th – currently with Flames
    Jonah Gadjovich – LW drafted by Vancouver 55th – currently with San Jose
    Boris Katchouk – LW drafted by Tampa Bay 44th – currently with Chicago
    Maxime Comtois – LW drafted by Anaheim 50th – currently with Anaheim
    Taylor Raddysh – RW drafted by Tampa Bay 58th – currently with Chicago
    Tyler Steenbergen – C – drafted by Arizona 128th – currently with TPS Turku Finland
    Drake Batherson – RW – drafted by Ottawa 121st – currently with Ottawa
    Michael McLeod – C – drafted by NJ 12th – currently with New Jersey
    Brett Howden – C – drafted by Tampa Bay 27th – currently with Vegas
    Sam Steel – C – drafted by Anaheim 30th – currently with Minnesota
    Alex Formenton – LW – drafted by Ottawa 47th – currently with Ambri-Piotta Swiss League
    Jordan Kyrou – C – drafted by St. Louis 35th – currently with St. Louis
    Robert Thomas C – drafted by St. Louis 20th – currently with St. Louis
    Jake Bean – LD – drafted by Carolina 13th – currently with Columbus
    Conor Timmins – RD – drafted by Colorado 32nd – currently with Toronto
    Cal Foote – RD – drafted by Tampa Bay 14th – currently with Nashville
    Cale Makar – RD – drafted by Colorado 4th – currently with Colorado
    Dante Fabbro – RD – drafted by Nashville 17th – currently with Nashville
    Kale Clague – LD – drafted by Los Angeles 51st – currently with Buffalo
    Victor Mete – LD – drafted by Montreal 100th – currently with Toronto
    Colton Point – G – drafted by Dallas 128th – currently with Fort Wayne Komets – no NHL exp.
    Carter Hart – G – drafted by Philadelphia 48th – currently with Philadelphia

    19 of the 22 listed are currently in the NHL
    9 of the players are still with the team that drafted them
    4 were drafted by Tampa Bay – all are with different teams now

    Keep in mind that there were allegedly 8 involved (question: were they all players or were other team associates involved?), and that, as one prominent lawyer stated – declarations of non-involvement is not proof of their non-involvement.

    • Hi George

      With you re “declarations of non-involvement is not proof of their non-involvement.”

      That said….. banning (until this investigation [which is taking an extremely long time] is complete) ALL of those players…. Is not right

      I believe 3 (but for sure at least 1) of those players; was not only NOT at the hotel; but NOT even in the city that night

      Kyrou for sure was not in London that day…. I believe Clague and Mete were also not in London that day. Why should Kyrou (and perhaps Mete and Clague) be banned?

      I remember at the time of the news break…. Shortly after; Kyrou not only stated he was not in London ; but posted pics of where he was on that day

      Agree action needed to be taken…. But definitely not fair to Kyrou (and perhaps Mete and Clague)

      • No doubt – but I suppose Hockey Canada has taken enough of a hit over that sorry episode to simply keep ALL of them away from anything in which Hockey Canad is involved.

        Remember that, according to the woman involved, there were supposedly 8 – if all were players from that team, then, with 19 of the 22 still in the NHL, at least 5 current NHLers took part, That is, IF all 8 involved were actually players. There is also quite a list of “support” personnel with that team (at least 15) – how do we know all participants were players?

        It’s a pile of mud that won’t go away until the Keystone Kops complete their “investigation.”

      • So how would you do it Pengy?
        Let them all play or just suspend a few, and if a few where do you draw the line?

        That’s the reason I ask, as it’s kinda a damned if you do and damned if you don’t thing IMO.

      • This long into the investigation..maybe this is a bit of the boys keeping mouths shut and they are trying to pressure them to talk more?
        who knows. seems wrong to wait this long to charge the 1 or 3 main players its rumored to be

      • If you check out this report from the CBC, only Alex Formenton has not made any declaration of non-involvement … so, either he was there and totally alone (in which case it would boil down to consensual sex) – or there are 7 (or possibly 8 if Formenton was not involved) lying through their teeth.


      • Hi George and Ray

        Excellent points

        For sure I wouldn’t suspend any player who wasn’t even in the city

        I can see the point re investigation pending and any players that were actually IN London

        NOT for those who have shown/proven they were in another city (province ? country?)


        I’m sure those who were at the hotel; especially those in that room; have been told by their lawyers….” Don’t post about; din’t text about it; don’t talk about it…. To ANYONE (but me as your lawyer)”

        We’ve been told for months that the investigation end is “close”….. when????

        Get it over with…. If their findings are for guilt …. Punish those found guilty; not any they find without guilt

      • Well, technically they are not “suspended” – rather they are “ineligible to participate in the 2023 World championships until the investigation is complete.” A distinction without a difference I grant you … but with all the players who may be eligible to play this year (should they even wish to), why drag along anyone who was a part of that team and subject them to a barrage of questions sure to come from a ravenous media, thereby presenting the team with an unwanted distraction?

      • It’s also curious – to a degree anyway – that one team – Tampa Baby – drafted 4 from that team and each has been subsequently dealt elsewhere

      • George, I thought it was a little weird that 6 of the guys shared one lawyer in that link you shared?
        Or am I reading too much into that?

        None of the others did, and most spoke for themselves or their agents.

      • Ray, there is a lot about this fiasco that raises all sorts of speculation and questions. For instance, Formenton and Dorion not coming together on a contract – and not a word from either camp about “talks going on” – “we’re too far apart” – whatever – you know, the usual chatter you hear during RFA re-negotiations. Also, as I point out above, Tampa trading away all 4 of the players they drafted from that team – 1 or 2 wouldn’t raise eyebrows – but all 4?

        And, above all, the fact that all but one player has had a statement released professing their non-involvement – and yet the complainant has insisted there were 8 involved. If she’s telling the truth then there are 8 liars out there. And, as a result, all except those who can prove they weren’t in London for the Gala (so far only Mete) will have that question hanging over their heads if this ends in no charges being laid.

        On the other hand, if the woman – who did receive a huge chunk of cash in an assumption of proceeding no further – does point fingers, is that cash settlement revoked and will she have to pay it back in full?

        A smoldering, stinking mess.

  2. So very very glad Leafs didn’t keep Campbell

    Last 8 starts…. 859 save %’age ; 4.54 GAA ; pulled twice. On year ….882 and 3.59

    Pretty well if Oil had any other “#1” (LOL) goaltender…. They’d already be secure as 1st in Pac Div

    Campbell on Leafs…. No chance they are in 2nd ATL right now; and if it weren’t for Bobo (see below) ; Leafs/Cats would be battling for 3rd in Atl/WC spot

    Oil very likely to end up with a 65 (or More) goal scorer; 50 (or more) goal scorer; and TWO 35 (or more) goal scorers. Top 4 on pace for 191 goals. Top 4 are all PPG. Oil will have a 150 point + player; a 120+ point player; and possibly a 3rd player getting at least 100 points (possible for RNH).

    When was the last time in NHL history those kinds of stats on 1 tram happened???

    Just think what would have happened if Kane had been healthy the whole season!!

    There is no way Oil should start Campbell in any playoff games

    Cats and Bobo…..

    Bobo last 8 starts…. 871 save % and 3.98 GAA….. $10 M Cap hit for another 3 years. Still owed $22.5 M after this year…. Buyout?? …

    Save $3.3 M Cap for 3 years; then 3 years $1.7 M dead cap

    No team wants him even at 50% Cap hit…. And note he has a full NMC in 23/24

    IF (huge IF) they could get him to waive his NMC; pay his SB 1/7; pay assets (how much ??) to middle team to eat 25%…. Is there a team that (A) he would waive for [note : he is in a tax haven now] and (B) willing to take him (for 3 years) at a Cap hit of $2.5 M????

    Note…. Middle team would get $2.5 M Cap hit (3 years) for cash AAV of ~ $1.38 M (cheaper way to hit Cap floor…. Yotes???)

    Now, Zito can incentivize Bobo to waive his NMC…. “We can buy you out…. You lose $5M gross (which you won’t get a team to sign you for [that would be 3 @ $1.67 M… not a chance]); OR …. You can waive ; go to another team; get full pay; possibly only lose the tax benefit (max loss take home of $1.8 M)”

    Pens….. very glad to see Bobo continue to play for Cats… Pens odds of making playoffs increased again

    Petry might be back tonight which could be a plus…. But sadly that likely means Ruhweedel playing (despite how absolutely solid Friedman has been playing; and how well Fedun filled in). Sully still blind to Ruhweedel’s play. Yes , finally got a goal last game (and it was nice…. But one a year doesn’t count for much and especially in a game where he almost handed 4 goals to Washington). Previous 3 games (where Pens got just 2 points)…. Ruhweedel directly caused 1 goal in EACH game (with multiple other plays where a team-mate prevented Ruhweedel handing out many more) ; AND had a penalty in EACH of those 3 games (where 2 goals were scored while he was in the box). Ruhweedel MUST have some compromising pictures of Sully. 👎💩😭

    • Well Pengy, the upside of Campbell and the Oil is there is nowhere but up after this season! Far and away the worst #’s of his career. It can’t stay this bad can it?

      Was surprised to hear how well the Yotes have played at the Mullett this season. While not economically feasible long term, they play well there and a good atmosphere by all accounts. Filled with Oil fans last night.

      Starting to look like we might have a B’s Pens first round. Better than playing the Isles and Sorokin??

      Can the Pens flip the switch come playoff time Pengy? Seems kinda meh of late.

      • This may sound cocky and I’d rather not face either but I’d rather the pens played Boston. I think there’s a slight chance. I think zero chance against Carolina

      • Care to explain why, Chrisms? I also wouldn’t want to draw the Canes, but they’re not the same club without that big Russian roaming around.

      • The Bruins – barring devastating injuries – are gong to go through their opponents like you-know-what through the proverbial goose on their way to the cup – simply because they have shown, throughout the season, that they can rise to the challenge of meeting any system or style their opponents choose.

        Just about the only team they’d probably prefer to avoid in round one would be the Ottawa Senators should they do the impossible and win 7 of their last 8 to get there… not because I think Ottawa would beat them in a series – fat chance – but rather, it would be a physical one that could be wearing on some of the Bruins veterans.

      • While that would be great George, I think it will be a tough go.
        Just because it almost always is.

        CAR, TOR, NYR, TB, and even a young NJ team can beat the B’s in the East. Plus whoever comes out of the west.

        Just the way it is IMO. CAR and NYR seem like the 2 teams ready to give the cup a serious run this year. Both have experience, the D, and the depth.

      • Hi Ray, SOP, Chrisms, George

        1) I’m certainly not counting my chickens (that Pens make the playoffs);

        2) I actually believe IF they get in , they will have made up their two games in hand (on Isles) with Vs; and at least matched (to Isles) the test of the games points …. So IF they get in…. I’m thinking NOT v Bruins

        3) Hard for me to conclude that they can best either Bruins or Canes ; BUT , if magically Devils catch/pass Canes (count as just over 0 % chance); then I do believe Pens can best Devils in 7

        All that said…. Making playoffs , gives much less impetus to the absolute must needed changes off season

        At this point; with what I believe is the absolute best attainable by Pens…. 3 home games and out…. Why not hope for missing playoffs; picking higher; forcing changes

        Anything can happen in the playoffs…. I’m not holding my breath

  3. Just from what I saw from the games this year. Carolina games looked like foregone conclusions. I feel like pens played Boston better. Didn’t beat either team though I believe.

    • You made me check Chrisms.
      Pens vs CAR – 0-3. All 1 goal games. 2 went to OT.
      Pens vs BOS – 0-2. Both 1 goal games. 1 went to OT.

      1 left.

      So they could still do better vs BOS. Play them both pretty tough so far.

    • Canes getting Ilya could make it a series. Bruins will chase any Pens goalie that comes at them imho.
      As a Ranger fan lets see Devs-Isles 1st round- Rangers vs Canes would be relentless from the puck drop

    • Funny Chrism, I would much rather Boston play Pittsburgh, the Florida.

      We may both get our wish.

      It will be Boston in 5 or fewer.

      • Probably but not only did pens seem to play Boston better I also just would rather see that series. If pens are going to be overmatched I’d rather go to the biggest guy in the yard and try to kick em in the berries. Would make the improbable win even sweeter should it come about. Plus they have a not so recent good playoff history.