NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2023

by | Apr 3, 2023 | News, NHL | 47 comments

The Bruins reach the 60-win milestone, the Kings clinch a playoff berth, the Rangers reach 100 points for the second straight season and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins became the fourth team in NHL history to win 60 games in a season with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on a shootout goal by Charlie Coyle. Linus Ullmark made 35 saves for the Bruins as they sit first overall (60-12-5) with 125 points. Jordan Kyrou scored two goals and Tory Krug another as the Blues (35-35-7) overcame a 3-0 deficit but the loss officially eliminated them from playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins join the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning as the only clubs to reach the 60-point plateau. With five games remaining in their schedule, they could break the record of 62 wins held by the Wings and Lightning.

Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo scored twice in a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks to clinch a playoff berth. Anze Kopitar collected two assists for the 45-22-10 Kings as they vaulted over the Edmonton Oilers into second place in the Pacific Division with 100 points. Brock Boeser replied for the 34-35-7 Canucks.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 5-2 to earn consecutive 100-point seasons for the third time in franchise history. Artemi Panarin collected three assists for the 45-21-11 Rangers (101 points) as they sit third in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals fell to 34-34-9 and have dropped seven of their last eight games. They also played without Trevor van Riemsdyk and T.J. Oshie as both were sidelined by upper-body injuries.

Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers scored two goals in a 6-1 trouncing of the New Jersey Devils. Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the 43-31-3 Jets (89 points) as they remain two points ahead of the Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Nico Hischier replied for the 48-21-8 Devils as they remain three points behind the Metro Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 104 points.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got goals from Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Martinook to nip the New York Islanders 2-1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders while teammate Ilya Sorokin stopped 33 shots. The Hurricanes (49-18-9) have 107 points on the season while the 39-30-9 Islanders (87 points) cling to the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang skated in his 1,000th career NHL game as he and his teammates doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. Rickard Rakell scored twice while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin collected two assists each as the 38-29-10 Penguins (86 points) moved one point ahead of the Florida Panther into the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth. The Flyers fell to 29-34-13.

The Calgary Flames kept pace with the Jets by overcoming 2-0 and 4-3 deficits for a 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks on third-period goals by Milan Lucic and Michael Stone. Dan Vlader got the win with 11 saves after replacing Jacob Markstrom to start the second period. The 36-26-15 Flames are two back of the Jets with 87 points. The Ducks sank to 23-44-10 on the season.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin tallied a hat trick to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 43 shots for the 34-33-9 Red Wings. John Tavares and Calle Jarnkrok replied for the Leafs, who also lost goalie Matt Murray to injury following an accidental collision with Wings forward Lucas Raymond in the first period. The Leafs (45-21-10) hold second place in the Atlantic Division with 100 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs also rested winger Mitch Marner and defensemen Mark Giordano and Jake McCabe from this game as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs. They will be facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round.

An overtime goal by Kirill Marchenko lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 upset of the Ottawa Senators. Marchenko and Johnny Gaudreau each finished with two points for the 24-44-8 Blue Jackets. Dylan Gambrell, Mark Kastelic and Alex DeBrincat replied for the 37-34-6 Senators, who sit six points behind the Penguins for the final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators, Penguins and Panthers each have five games remaining in their respective schedules. The Sens must run the table while hoping the Penguins and Panthers stall out in their remaining contests.


  1. Never thought I’d say this in 2023, but what a snipe by Lucic!

  2. Talbot did Ottawa’s brass a favor, his performance against Philly and Columbus yesterday proved that he should not receive another contract offer from Ottawa. He did not make the big saves when needed.

    • the bigger question has been – why was he used at all –

      Pierre Dorion better have been pushing this and not the brain dead coach who refuses to go with the hot hand. Maybe Soggard had a nagging injury then play someone ELSE. Baffling coaching moves in net down the stretch by this guy.

      • @Dark G – would have to assume that management is pushing this for two reasons:

        1. Evaluate Talbot’s performance down the stretch for contract
        2. Giving up on making playoffs (3 teams in front of them makes getting in a pipe dream. Try to improve draft position.

      • SCJ , I agree with point 1 , point 2 not valid since they don’t have a pick until round 4 .

        Not hockey player DNA to give up on making playoffs until mathematically eliminated.

      • SCJ, why bother doing anything to improve their draft position? Their 1st round pick now belongs to Arizona … and from Round 2 on it’s all a crap-shoot anyway.

        Talbot wasn’t coming back anyway – he wasn’t about to accept what Dorion was offering (and that was deliberate on Dorion’s part), nor would Ottawa (or anyone else with a brain, give him his demand of 45 years @ $5 mil per (also deliberate on his part since he knew damned well that Ottawa wouldn’t give him that).

        As for the weekend losses to Toronto and Columbus – not surprising given that they were without Chabot, Chychrun and Hamonic on D and Brassard up front (who had been playing very well as a swing C, while killing penalties as well).

      • If Talbot can get a 45 year contract, heck you might be able to sign on somewhere George. Hire an agent!

      • LOL. A typo of course … then when I saw it I figured … that’s even better … him asking for 5 years (and getting it) would seem like 45 years to the poor schmuck who gave it to him.

    • Hi Fergy22 ,
      You are 100% right….❗️👍

      I would not even bring him, Cam Talbot back as a Back up goaltender…..
      lots of choices for next season out there….

  3. Well, the absolute wagon of a team, known as the Bruins, now have 15 more wins than I thought they would, at the beginning of the season, and there’s still a handful of games left to play. Wow! What a season!

    Hey doubters, should we still fire Sweeney and Neely?

    • I was one of the doubters. I absolutely said they’d take a step back. Heck I might have even gone so far as to say they’d miss the play offs. I’ll own it. I said Washington too. I did say the Sens would be close or would make it, and that they are.

      And yes, I stand by Sweeny being fired. Tactically the moves that were made have been successful in spite of him not because of him. I personally don’t believe he was behind many of them. Someone else is pulling the strings in BeanTown.

      • Dark G, gotta call BS on that.

        Tactically the moves that were made have been successful in spite of him, not because of him.

        WTF does that mean?

        News flash, Sweeney is the GM and negotiates the trades and the contracts.

        Does he need sign off for long term expensive deals by ownership, yes of course, like all GM’s.

        So if it isn’t Sweeney, could you kindly let us know who is secretly pulling the strings in Boston?

        Ron Watkins was asking.

        All of us get predictions wrong on here, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thought they would be this good in the entire NHL or sports media.

        I still think they’re winning despite not playing well of late, which can be dangerous when the playoffs start. I wish they would have lost that game last night, as a wake up call.

      • Dark G, can you elaborate?

        Sweeney traded for Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall, Hampus Lindholm, Paval Zacha, Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi and signed Linus Ullmark.

        You have to give him as much credit for them deals, for as much as you may blame him for the 2015 first round draft picks, where 2 of the 3 are consider a bust. For me i’m still a Zboril believer. Not to mention the Backes, Belesky and Ritchie deals.

    • I was one who told Rick W. they’d be fine even before the opening whistle without Marchand and MacAvoy, and that once they got back, look out.

      Looking up and down that line-up I could see NO glaring weaknesses.

    • Sweeney, yes. I think all the credit goes to Montgomery and the players, I raise my hat to them,they did an incredible job. David Krejci for one has really surprised me, I didn’t expect him to have the kind of year he is having at 36 yo. I can only imagine what they would have looked like this season if Sweeney didn’t blow the team’s 2015 draft. Can you imagine if he had drafted Barzal, Connor or Chabot instead of Senyshyn and Zboril ? DeBrusk turned out to be alright. So yes, I think Sweeney is really lucky.

      • Sweeney hired Montgomery, after taking a lot heat for not keeping Cassidy because of his record.
        Krecji came back on a cheap deal, made by Sweeney. Some suggest because Cassidy wasn’t there any more.

        Sweeney didn’t trade a struggling DeBrusk after he asked for a trade, who is now happy and rescinded his trade request, reportedly because he was having issues with Cassidy.

        Sweeny could have had a way better draft in 2015, absolutely. But he did get DeBrusk and Carlo. He has also drafted McAvoy, Swayman, Frederic etc.

        And made some fantastic trades.

        No GM is perfect, Sweeney has been very good overall and deserves some credit. If he can get them competing for the cup again next season they should hang his jersey from the rafters. But I not sure how in the world he can pull that off.

        Go B’s Go, this year or gonna be a while.

  4. Ovie slashed and crosschecked Goodrow a good dozen times after getting mad about a very tame high hit at a slow speed from Goodrow. #8 snapped.

    • Ovi never has to pay for his elbows; cross checks; head shots; boardings… Parros loves him

      • this was a level beyond that. go look for the clip. the goodrow rubout was barely anything..but set him off. applauding the refs for letting him take 15 whacks or for the goodrow hit? i couldnt tell by the end

      • Nor did Gordie Howe.

      • Ovie and Sid never has to pay for their elbows, cross checks, head shots, boarding’s, dirty hits, the league loves them.

        Fixed that for you.

      • Hi Brian

        When I first read your post quickly, I misinterpreted “the league loves them” to infer they like the head shots et al

        Reading again … yes … League does love Sid and Ovi

        That said… trying to put Sid anywhere near the category of elbows; head shots; and hitting straight on the numbers; as Ovi…. Just can’t be compare at all

        Ovi is in Wilson territory; game in ; game out

        No challenge that Sid gets away with things….. it is far far far less than what Ovi gets away with…. And Ovi’s are almost always where his opponent is vulnerable

        Ovi, like Wilson, could someday end a career, perhaps a life

        Parros needs to be fired

  5. If Matt Murray didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.

    • Sad isn’t it? I wonder what he could be if he could just remain healthy?

      CUJO was the ebug for last night’s game! Good thing you guys have Samsonov, cause I think Joseph is pushing 55 or more.

    • Oh it’s luck now is it BC fan?

      Since his father’s passing when he was in Pitt this guy has not been the same between the ears. That’s all this is. He has a ton of talent but is just lost. “are you injured or are you hurt?”……He’s not injured.

      • Did you see the game? Did you see the collision? If that wasn’t luck, what was it?
        Don’t be a jerk.

    • Leafs fans should be happy he even made it through warm-ups…

      • I’m not going to say it …. aww, to Hell with that … I’m saying it ….”I TOLD YOU SO!”

    • Matt Murray id the CHINA CUP of the NHL…. ❗️
      One Look and there is a Big Crack.. then he if of on vacation for a few weeks😳

  6. Congrats Tanger….1,000…. Well done

    Congrats on 60 Wins Bruins… the record is just around the corner

    While the Bruins have been head ‘n heals above the rest….with 5 or 6 games left for most teams…

    1 point separates top 3 in Central

    2 points separates top 3 in Pac

    Metro order of top 3 still TBD

    WCE will definitely come down to last 2 games

    WCW… even “divesters/re-toolers” at TDL (Predz)…. Still have a chance at getting in

    All the above suspense…. And Leafs and Bolts have known their first round opponents for months. Only TBD is which arena the first two games are played at!!

    Draft playoff pool picks are going to be crazy

    I know the one I’ve been in for closing in on 4 decades will be a looney tunes one

    Ours is 2 points a goal; 1 point an assist; no goalies; up-down draft style…. So if you get the 1st pick overall… with 18-20 guys in the pool; your next pick isn’t until 36th at least … Pasta (because extremely high likelihood he goes 4 rounds…20+ games) will go 1st in that pool for sure…. But does McD go 2nd???

    I’m sure that no Leafs go in top 10 in our pool (and we’re [in that pool] all but two; insanely avid Leafs fans)

    • @pengy
      Draft pools before final standings be extremely hard. At least once you see the top 2 West seeds you have have some confident picks. But on the East are the Canes top guys going fast? and even if Vegas stays in 1st…..can you roll the dice on Eichel’s injuries?

      • Fully agree ds

        I can’t possibly fathom Pasta not going 1st in our draft though

        I’d be ver surprised if any Leaf is taken before 15th overall pick

    • Pengy , agreed on the Letang milestone , watched the ceremony and you can tell how much Sid and Geno respect and appreciate him. Amazing he is still in the league and playing at a high level after his health issues.

      • Well said

    • FYI, after only playing 16 games in last year’s playoffs McDavid and Draisaitl still finished 1 and 2 in playoff points, and Kane tied for first in goals.
      It’s always better to go with quality over quantity.

      • Good point @kevjam
        Leafs-Tampa series gonna be long and some offense-choose winning side could go far

      • Yes they did…. But the two guys in our pool that picked McD and Draisitl didn’t finish in top five… McD went 1st OA last year; I think Draisitl about 4th…. So the first guy pick McD then not until 42nd pick (we had 21 guys in the pool last year);

        We pick numbers out of a hat to get our order…. I hate getting top 5…. No one from our pool ever wins with top 5 selections. It tens to be the guys picking in the middle

        If I get 1st…. I’m definitely picking McD…. But with zero hopes of winning the pool

        No trading lottery spots either 💩🤬

    • Pengy, that’s too many guys for an up and down draft isn’t it?

      12 max IMO

      • Well we’ve had between 18-22 guys for many years

        15 of us have been doing this pool since the Isles were still cup champs

        Can’t kick anybody out

        It’s all for a good cause though… now (and for the last several years) winner can keep their $500 entrance plus another $500; 2nd gets his $500 back…. The balance (in the $8K – $9K range)… gets donated to a charity of the winner’s choice

        Of course , winner has bragging rights for a year

        If it’s me… it’ll probably be either the Canadian Cancer Society or Canadian Red Cross

      • We used to have each player eligible to be selected twice when we had numerous drafters for playoffs.

  7. Tyler Bertuzzi with 3 goals in his last 7 games, prior to that 0 goals in 10 games.

    He is starting to find the net, this bode well for the bruins.

    • Caper it does indeed. It seems all the pick ups by Sweeney. Are doing very well in the spoked B

      • So if Hall makes it back for playoffs, and the current top 6 is healthy, the 3rd line is:

        Hall – Coyle – Bertuzzi?

        Not bad, and could cause a matchup problem for a team with less depth.

      • Yea Ray, nice problem to have. He know injuries will happen, the depth of this team is extremely important.

  8. Yes this Bruins team is insane. Yes they look poised to hoist the cup.

    Also yes… 2018-19 Lightning ended with 62 wins and promptly got swept out first round by the Blue Jackets.

    Nothing is a foregone conclusion!

    • 100% true theSaint.
      On April 1 the Bruins paid $380 to win the cup. So the rest of the field is still favored by almost 4 to 1.

      So they likely won’t win it.

  9. Well done Bruins, hope you get the record against the Habs….

    -Said by a Canadian and diehard Habs fan