NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2022
Zdeno Chara reaches a milestone, the Predators drop the Panthers, Patrik Laine extends his points streak as his Blue Jackets upset the Leafs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Zdeno Chara tied Chris Chelios for most games played by an NHL defenseman (1,651) as his New York Islanders sunk the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Zach Parise scored two goals and collected an assist for the Islanders while Chara collected an assist while logging 20:15 of ice time. The Kraken has dropped five straight games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara can break the record when the Islanders face off against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
The Nashville Predators scored three straight third-period goals to overcome a 4-3 deficit and defeat the Florida Panthers 6-4, snapping the latter’s nine-game home winning streak. Tanner Jeannot scored twice, Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists and Roman Josi netted a goal and picked up an assist as the Predators (62 points) hold a three-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Reinhart each finished the night with two points for the Panthers, who sit atop the Eastern Conference with 75 points.
Patrik Laine scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, to extend his points streak to 10 games as the Columbus Blue Jackets upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists for the Leafs, who are 0-2-1 in their last three contests but remain in third place in the Atlantic Division with 68 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers are raising concerns about the Leafs’ goaltending as Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek gave up 15 goals over the last three games. However, they haven’t been helped by their teammates’ sloppy defensive play around their net. It’s an ongoing issue that could get worse with Jake Muzzin in concussion protocol for the second time this season. That’s sparking speculation the Leafs could go shopping for help if Muzzin ends up on long-term injury reserve. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for his first win since Jan. 9 as he backstopped his club to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Ivan Barbashev had a goal and an assist and Vladimir Tarasenko potted the winning goal. With 66 points, the Blues moved one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild into second place in the Central Division.
Speaking of the Wild, they were upset by the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Thomas Chabot scored twice for the Senators (including the winning goal) and collected an assist while Anton Forsberg got the win with a 40-save performance.
A shootout goal by Trevor Zegras lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Rickard Rakell scored twice, including the game-tying goal, as the Ducks sit just outside the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 59 points. Brent Burns had a three-point performance and Logan Couture scored twice for the Sharks, who sit nine points behind the Ducks and Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Sharks as the trade deadline approaches if they don’t gain any ground in the playoff chase. They’re getting closer to becoming sellers and that will stoke rumors over the fate of pending free agent center Tomas Hertl’s future in San Jose.
TSN: Arizona Coyotes winger Andrew Ladd will miss the next four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
NHL.COM: Speaking of the Coyotes, they made a minor trade with the Boston Bruins by shipping them the rights to college defenseman Michael Callahan in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2024.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong has been busy in the trade market. This was the third trade he’s made since Feb. 19, acquiring Nick Ritchie from the Leafs and also shipping goalie Carter Hutton to Toronto.
THE ATHLETIC: Former Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray has reportedly joined the Calgary Flames as a scout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray resigned from the Ducks last fall amid reports he’d mistreated his employees. He indicated at the time of his resignation that he was entering an alcohol abuse program. Here’s hoping he got the help he needed and gets his career back on track.
CBS SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward Derick Brassard (hip) on injured reserve.
Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Former Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov has joined opponents of Michigan’s 2019 auto no-fault insurance law in criticizing a fee cut that would slash payments to medical providers almost in half. Konstantinov was left permanently disabled following a limousine crash in 1997. He stands to lose the round-the-clock care he’s received at home for near 25 years.