NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2023

by | Apr 12, 2023 | News, NHL | 35 comments

The Bruins set the single-season points record, the Jets and Panthers clinch playoff berths while the Predators and Sabres are eliminated from contention, and two 2023 preseason games will be held in Australia. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins set the record for most single-season points with 133 by defeating the Washington Capitals 5-2. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists for the Bruins as they picked up their seventh straight win and improved to 64-12-5. Charlie Lindgren made 33 saves for the Capitals but left the game in the third period with an apparent lower-back injury.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark also left this game in the third period with a lower-body injury for precautionary reasons. Following the game, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said Ullmark was “just fine.”

Earlier in the day, the Bruins also confirmed center David Krejci was out for the remainder of the regular season with a lower-body injury. However, he’s optimistic he’ll be ready to go when the playoffs begin next week.

The Winnipeg Jets are heading to the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild to clinch the final Western Conference playoff berth with 95 points. Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves and Mark Scheifele scored his 41st goal of the season for the Jets. Kirill Kaprizov netted his 40th of the season for the Wild as they remain third in the Central Division with 102 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ win eliminated the Nashville Predators from postseason contention.

Speaking of the Jets, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen reports Jets co-owner Mark Chipman made a pitch to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for more help from local businesses. He indicated that the club has lost 3,000 season-ticket holders since the pandemic began three years ago. Only 15 percent of the club’s season-ticket base is from businesses, far less than the other Canadian clubs.

Friesen noted that the Jets average 93.6 percent of capacity, ranking 22nd among the 32 NHL franchises. While various factors such as inflation and the economy have contributed to the decline, Friesen believes the team’s lackluster performance over the past two seasons is the main issue.

New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes scored to set the single-season franchise scoring record of 97 points in a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Tomas Tatar scored twice and collected an assist for the Devils (110 points) as they sit one point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner scored his 34th goal of the season for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Defenseman Luke Hughes, Jack’s younger brother, made his NHL debut with the Devils, seeing over 11 minutes of ice time.

The Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hopes suffered a blow when they were upset 5-2 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Petr Mrazek kicked out 38 shots and Buddy Robinson had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks. Jeff Petry had two assists for the 40-31-10 Penguins (90 points) as they remain one point behind the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Sabres and Penguins losing their games, the Florida Panthers clinched the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 92 points. It’s the fourth consecutive season that the Panthers have qualified for the postseason.

The Penguins and the Islanders each have one game remaining. To ensure they extend their consecutive playoff appearance streak to 17 seasons, the Pens need to win their final game and hope that the Islanders lose in regulation.

The Carolina Hurricanes clinched home-ice advantage for the opening round of the players by downing the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they maintain their hold on first place in the Metro Divison with 111 points. Robert Hagg replied for the Red Wings, who played without captain Dylan Larkin due to a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Evan Bouchard lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Oilers (107 points) as they sit two points behind the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Ben Meyers replied for the Avalanche as they moved one point ahead of the Dallas Stars into first place in the Central Division with 105 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Oilers activated forward Ryan McLeod off long-term injured reserve.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-1. Reilly Smith and Michael Amadio each had three points for Vegas as they hold first in the Pacific with 109 points. Yanni Gourde tallied the lone goal for the Kraken, who hold the first Western wild-card spot with 100 points.

In a preview of their upcoming first-round playoff matchup, the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3. Goalie Joseph Woll stopped 46 shots and William Nylander had a goal and two assists for the Leafs, who hold second place in the Atlantic Divison with 109 points. Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who’ve lost four straight games and sit third in the Atlantic with 96 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Lightning honored captain Steven Stamkos for playing in his 1,000th career NHL game. The Leafs rested Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Mark Giordano from this contest.

The Leafs were finally able to call up Woll as Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov are sidelined by injuries. They were forced to rely on an emergency backup due to salary-cap constraints for the third straight game, this time signing Windsor Spitfires goalie Matt Onuska to a one-game amateur tryout contract.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson collected two assists to exceed 100 points (101) in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. J.T. Miller broke a 2-2 tie in the third period for the Canucks. Trevor Zegras had two assists for the Ducks.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Owen Tippett scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk collected his 300th career goal in this contest. Michael Hutchinson made 35 saves for the Blue Jackets, who played without captain Boone Jenner as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.


NHL.COM: The league announced the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will play two preseason games in Melbourne, Australia at the Rod Laver Arena on Sep. 23 and 24 as part of the NHL 2023 Global Series. It will be the first time the NHL has staged games in the Southern Hemisphere.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Long-time Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski will be retiring at the end of this season. He started his position in 1987 and had been the longest-tenured trainer in the league.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Speaking of the Blackhawks, they signed Jarred Tinordi to a one-year contract extension worth $1.25 million.


  1. Lyle, what’s the tie-breaking formula for two teams with the same points total?

    If Pittsburgh loses in Columbus they’re out, and should the NYI lose their final game against Montreal they end up with a 41 32 9 91 pts record.

    If Buffalo wins their last 2 games – at home to Ottawa Thursday and in Columbus Friday – they end up with a 42 33 7 91 pts record.

    Would they not then get the nod by virtue of their 42 wins to NYI’s 41?

      • So, the OT/SO wins are considered inconsequential and are subtracted, which means the NYI would have more Reg Time wins than Buffalo as the tie-breaker.

        And yet the league persists on going ahead with those bloody 3-point games as part of the process. In other words, had Buffalo managed just one more OT/SO loss and everything else remained as described above, they’d be in with 92 points to NYI’s 91 regardless of whether the Islanders have more Reg Time wins.

        Wonderful formula!

    • George
      Pens need win and isles not to get a point to qualify. Everyone else is out

      • 99% probability that Isles travel to Boston opening round

      • Pengy, if Isles win tonight, Panthers must defeat Carolina tomorrow night in order for your scenario to occur.

        Carolina needs a win to secure first in their division and a playoff matchup against the Isles.

        Should the Panthers win, Carolina likely finishes second and faces the Rangers (assuming Devils defeat Caps).

      • Hi HOTG

        Cats would just need to get to OT if Isles win tonight …. Cats have tie breaker I believe

        Canes don’t need to win to secure 1st…. but they can’t take the gamble that Devils lose… both games going simultaneously

        Canes and Cats both on the road… will be an interesting night

        Of course many a Pens fan are hoping for a Habs V tonight… Habs winning drops their Bedard odds ever so slightly….. compared to Chi… with win last night… they lost 14% chance at Bedard…. went from 25.5% pre last nights game; to 11.5 % now!!!

        Isle win tonight makes Pens game tomorrow useless…. A Pens loss tomorrow…. with two final wins by Sabres… Pens jump to 2.6 % chance of picking 3rd Overall… with 90% chance of picking 13th

        An Isles loss tonight, Pens V tomorrow…. is actually bad for Pens long run…. best they can hope for is 17th overall; zero chance top 5; and somehow with making the playoffs, perhaps HexBurkie can talk owners into keeping them… nightmare part deux!!!

  2. Young Stu skinner played an other Great Game last night against the Avs,
    Stu looked like he Really had a Great time last night he just loves playing for the Oil…..👌

    Evan Bouchard looks like he is starting to play like he did Last year for the oil, With his New D partner Ekhom they are playing Great together👍

    • I believe Skinner should be top two in Calder voting… I would argue that he has done better than Beniers (who tapered compared to early season)

      Skinner has been on fire

      It’s a shame that voters rarely give it to a goaltender

      If they are giving it to a forward…. it should go to Macceli not Beniers… Maccelli has more PPG and is on the horrific Yotes; while Beniers is on the much higher powered offense of the Krakken

      • Hi Pengy,

        I agree 100% with what you have said especially
        Young Skinner, he has had a Great 1st season and he just loves being an Oiler the team he grew up cheering for…👌

        his post game interviews he is just happy and smiling… every time, looked a bit tired a few months ago when he and his Wife had the firest baby….

        My Wife knows his Mum, A supper nice lady and the whole family are very very nice

        Maccellihas been playing Great for Phoenix..
        just dont know if they are going to get the grap sorted out down there its a constant Gong show…
        they now think its going to be June/July time before Tempe get there vote sorted out for this New Area Deal……. it would be a great location for the team and very Central to pull from the population of 4.8M of The Phoenix Metropolitan Area❗️

  3. I think Buffalo & Ottawa are a Starting Goaltender Away from being Very Very Good Teams…⁉️

    They will make the playoffs next season 100% when they improve this area, looks like there Could be a number of good younger goaltenders available
    should be fun at the Draft & July 1st when the UFA period open up….👍

  4. Hard to believe more teams like Winnipeg aren’t struggling to fill the arena with todays inflation and prices. 9.00 hot dogs 16.00 hamburgers and 16.00 beer. Ticket prices are ridiculous was going to watch the Bruins in Arizona tickets were 500.00 and yes I know it’s a small building with only 5,000 seats. Parking prices have doubled and you’re lucky to get back to your car and find it not broke into. Can’t see the cap going up in years to come but hey maybe I’m getting cheap in my old age. Had Oiler season tickets for 10 years and couldn’t give them away when certain teams came to town. Keep giving it to the man and the man will slowly turn away good luck Winnipeg and the Chipman group.

    • Obe

      It is cheaper to fly to Florida for weekend to see panthers golf and shop with 2 great seats then go to game in Toronto with lower bowl seats parking per game dinner and 20 dollar beers Simply no value Buffalo still good value but it will change soon as they get better and better

      • In other words, with spiraling salaries, and as ticket prices and other arena commodities rise to keep pace, eventually they’ll price themselves out of the market – sorta like what the unions did to a lot of manufacturing, forcing companies to relocate to Mexico, China and other areas where labor costs remain comparatively low.

      • Due to lack of commas, I thought you were saying people fly to Florida to watch the Panthers golf and shop.

      • Not really a forum for economic debate George, but it is inaccurate to say that unions price themselves out of the market in manufacturing. Unions could offer to work for 5 bucks an hour and still not be competitive with overseas countries. Not an apt comparison to Winnipeg’s situation.

    • And, of course, as the cap rises, we can count on stable ticket and concession prices, right ?

      I know my Red Wing tickets are middle of the pack NHL wise, but any further increases will probably have me not renewing my seats for next year.

    • Do like Mike Illich did and raffle of a car for the price your attendance, but maybe over 3- 5 games attended within a month.

    • Hey OBE,
      Food & Beverage is very Expencive at Oilers games since they moved downtown..

      ➡️ 2 coke, & one popcorn….$33.95 + tip
      cost of product $3.50….. REALLY‼️😳

      ➡️ 2 Draft 16oz domestice draft Beers $27.80 + a tip
      cost of product.. $5.50 tops‼️

      ➡️ 2 Bland Tastless 3.oz Burgers & Fries $40.00 ‼️+
      A tip
      I dont know how young familys do it ….

      Needless to Say we Dont Eat there any more when we go to an Oilers game…☹️

  5. Absolutely George where’s Pengy was looking forward to his Penguins rant.

    • Hi Obe

      Uber busy at work today

      See rant (meh) below

      All good… picking earlier than last 17 years; and booting GM and Prez of Hockey ops; and big roster changes a comin’

  6. Anyone check on Pengy? Havnt been on much last couple months but I do recall Pengy pretty much had counted Florida out.

    • HI Slick

      I’ve been posting but have been very busy at work, so less often

      I hadn’t counted out Cats…. but was losing confidence that they could get in… I did not see Lyons coming to the rescue…. Lyons in, Bobo on bench…. HUGE difference.

      Looks like Ilse v Bruins first round

      • I couldn’t see last years prez trophy winner not making it. A little surprised isles might get in over Pitt though. Still a chance they blow it. Was kind of looking forward to a Pitt/NYR rematch somewhere down the line.

      • Well Slick

        Rangers v Pens this year….. would mean (1) Pens getting in; and then (2) both teams winning first two rounds; meeting in ECF…. so… not happening.

        To me….probability toss up (Rangers, Canes, Devils) as to who meets Bruins in ECF

        Bruins for sure shouldn’t be “counting their chickens” (enough vets in their to crimp any idea of that… so nyet to that)…. but realistically their challenge to a cup this year is likely only in the SCF where anything can happen.

        Odds still heavily in their favour for a SC’23… Oil or Avs just may push them

  7. Well… looks like streak is over

    so that is a sad thing…. but….

    this means:

    HexBurkie fired for sure

    Possibly Sully goes (for not fielding the best available roster provided to him; for 77 games)

    Many and Big changes coming this summer

    and the nice piece…. lowest pick in 17 years…. as at now 2.1 % chance at picking 4th overall; about 95% chance of picking 14th

    If the cost of ending the streak is booting Hexburkie and having the highest pick in 17 years…. in a deep draft…. all good.

    Thought for sure they would be able to win last two games… which would have continued the streak; they would have picked 17th and been ousted in 5 (maybe 4) by Bruins… so two home gates

    instead… Even thought Chi playing B2B, travel included; got in to their hotel at almost 3 AM according to coverage; and game was in Pitt…. Chi held the fort. Basically a 1 goal game as two ENs.

    Had trouble getting a goal past Mrazek…. that line alone should tell it all.

    Then….. once again, they let down Jarry…. huge. He came through with several 10 bellers…. D just now good enough

    Dumo will be gone. They should try and move Petry…. he is playing absolutely no where near his Cap hit…. already mid 30’s; slower game by game; and making more and more mistakes.

    Granlund…. what an absolute waste of assets to acquire… what a waste of $5M cap…. two more years…. move him if they can

    Get Carter to have a good hug with Hossa; or wear his gloves to practice…. retire LTIR

    Perhaps they need to move Rusty???

    Re-signing Zucker (after his skewed excellent year performance …. which jacks up his Cap requirement) at his age; for term…. mistake

    Overhaul needed

    • Not sure it will be that great of a summer for Pitt.
      Jarry will be the top Goalie in the UFA market this summer, and Seattle, LA, Buffalo, Ottawa, are a few of the Teams that will likely make him an offer. He is certainly going to get 5+ AAV on his next contract. Can Pitt match? who knows. Trading Petry or Granlund is going to be tough, and would likely require salary retention or other assets to be moved to facilitate the trade. I doubt Carter would agree to a move at this point.

      • Agree Brian

        Pens have the upper hand up to and including 30/6…. then the door is wide open for the Jarry camp

        Pens need a starter (not a chance they can go with De Smith)…. so they are on the market for one as well… why not go back to Jarry

        Jarry’s numbers when a “reasonable” defence is put in front of him are very good.

        One caller had said (I’d have to go into every game’s stats to verify, but definitely sounded reasonable) that Jarry’s numbers when Carter, Ruhweedel and Dumo were not on the ice was 937… putting him in 2nd only behind Ulmark

        He’s 909 for the season

        Again, I can’t verify that claim…. but I’ve watched Pens all year and there were many many games where Dumo and/or Ruhweedel and/or Carter were on for multiple goals and directly responsible for the loss of standing point; and many a times… a full two standings points. They were that costly.

        If Dumo, Ruhweedel and Carter had not played at all this year… Pens would have clinched a playoff spot at the latest, early last week.

        I’m hoping HexBurkie are fired tonight; after the Isles V…. new GM…. full tilt negotiations with Jarry.

        Jarry’s camp just may get interested if new GM commits to serious changes on the back end (no re-signing Dumo; never ever playing Ruhweedel; possibly moving Petry; bringing up Smith; UFA upgrade [that has not turned 30 and that is bigger than 6′ 1″ and more than 205!!!)

        Something has to give

        Sully has to accept blame as well. HexBurkie dealt him a crappy hand…. but Sully repeatedly refused to play the best available roster at his finger tips (cite repeated Ruhweedel playing while sitting Friedman and/or not calling up Smith and/or a few times he Sat P-O J and played Ruhweedel; and cite— repeatedly going with the Carter-Kappy-McG line…. doh!!!!)

    • Sorry Pengy, but I am glad the Pens will be out of it!
      (NO, don’t let the improbable happen and let them in again!)
      They really need to blow it up!
      Petry, Granlund, Jarry, Zucker, Carter and most of their UFA’s ….GONE ! Re-sign Kullikov
      Trade for Markstom, or better yet Gibson, especially if Petry will go in that deal. or trade Petry with half salary retained + a 3rd or 2nd for Lindstrom from the Wings.
      Sorry you are stuck with Gino and Tanger. Good luck with their performance in a couple years.

      • Hey Johnny, do you hate the Wings ? Petry is dead weight, and I would prefer to see Gibson wearing red and white next year.

      • Hi JZ

        with you on most of what you have said

        I do like Tanger and Gino. Gino still PPG guy.

        I would sign Jarry back if they can. With no more Dumo and Ruhweedel in the line-up…. Jarry will jump a minimum of 20 points in Save percentage…. they (along with Carter) had that much impact on him

        A trade will cost too much; not much in UFA market… and will over-pay.

        I would not keep Kulikov and would also move Rutta

        Tanger and Pettersson,
        *? and P-O J,
        Friedman and Smith

        *put all efforts into a 2LD, in his 20’s, 6 ‘ 1″ and taller; 210 minimum; and a 2 LW

        An LTIR Carter would be nice

        Move Petry, Granlund, Rusty…. even if 50% retained required.

  8. Question everyone. The last place team gets beat lotto odds at 25 ish percent. But teams 12-16 can’t move into first. So doesn’t last team get the last team odds plus the tiny odds of those 4 teams?

    • Chrisms, great question.

      Last place odds of winning the lottery are 18.5%.
      However, because teams 12-16 can only move up 10 places, the odds of the cellar dweller picking first is 25.5%.

      This chart plots the probabilities for all teams that miss the playoffs.


      • HOTG and Chrisms

        Notice the sparkling 2.1 % chance that Pens pick 4th overall…. Woooooooo Hoooooooo!!

        Well one can dream

        Still going to pick lowest in 17 years!!!

  9. A few things to note about the Leafs and their game last night vs the Lightning. I think the Leafs did do some circumvention of the cap with the Knies signing and exploiting that loophole allowing the ATO goalies. That’s a good job on them to exploit this and make the league look dumb. This isn’t a call to haters to comment but to bring to light how there are some dumb rules in place with this CBA and something needs to be changed before a worse scenario happens to another team.

    Speaking of goalies, Woll was very good and looked it. Not perfect but looks like a keeper. The Lightening threw everything at him and the Leafs all around the rink. Nice push back by the buds. It’s gonna be a great first round that is still a 50/50 as to who will win it.

    I found it interesting that before the game, coach Cooper mentioned how this game, even without the Leafs best players playing, was as close to a playoff like game but however after the game he called it a preseason game. I think this speaks volumes of how much BS these guys say through the media and fed blindly to us. Keefe was no different calling it a nothing game that doesn’t matter…if he’s talking about not caring about beating them in the season doesn’t mean anything because it wasn’t a playoff game when it matters, then I can agree to that.