NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2023
Anze Kopitar has a four-goal performance as the Kings reportedly ship Jonathan Quick to the Blue Jackets, the Wild acquire Gustav Nyquist, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored four goals as his club overcame a 5-3 deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 6-5. Adrian Kempe scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Kings improved to 34-20-8 to sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 76 points. Josh Morrissey scored two goals and collected two assists and Kevin Stenlund also tallied twice as the Jets (35-24-2) hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 72 points.
The Boston Bruins picked up their eighth straight win by nipping the Calgary Flames 4-3 on an overtime goal by Charlie McAvoy. Linus Ullmark kicked out 54 shots while Dmitry Orlov scored twice and collected an assist for the 47-8-5 Bruins as they opened a 13-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the overall standings with 99 points. The Flames sank to 27-21-13 with 67 points to sit five back of the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins forward Nick Foligno left the game with a leg injury in the second period following a questionable hit by Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
Third-period goals by Sidney Crosby, Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators for their third straight win. The Penguins (30-21-9) hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 69 points while the Predators dropped to 29-23-6 and sit seven points back of the Jets in the Western Conference.
A 39-save performance by Filip Gustavsson gave the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders with Frederick Gaudreau tallying the winner in the shootout. Ryan Reaves scored in regulation for the Wild as they improved to 34-21-6 to move into second place in the Central Division with 74 points. Josh Bailey tallied for the Islanders (31-25-8) as they hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 70 points.
The Seattle Kraken snapped a three-game losing skid by dropping the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-3. Morgan Geekie scored twice and Martin Jones made 22 saves for his first win since Jan. 25 as the Kraken (33-21-6) hold third place in the Pacific Division with 72 points. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each had a goal and an assist as the Blues fell to 26-29-5.
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eric Staal had a goal and an assist as the Panthers (30-26-6) sit three points behind the Penguins in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Brayden Point replied for the 37-19-4 Lightning as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points.
The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive by thumping the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Austin Watson scored two goals and Tim Stutzle had a goal and two assists as the Senators improved to 30-26-4 (64 points) to sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot. Dominik Kubalik scored for the Red Wings as they fell to 28-24-8 (64 points). Wings defenseman Filip Hronek left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Eric Robinson netted his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Elvis Merzlikins turned aside 38 shots for the 20-35-6 Blue Jackets, who sat out goalie Joonas Korpisalo from this game for “trade-related reasons”. Jack Quinn had a goal and an assist for the 31-24-4 Sabres as they sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot. Their home record has dropped to 12-16-2 on the season.
The Montreal Canadiens got a 38-save performance from Jake Allen to defeat the San Jose Sharks 3-1. Christian Dvorak had a goal and an assist for the 26-30-4 Canadiens while the Sharks sank to 18-31-12.
Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz scored for the fourth straight game in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Schmaltz and Clayton Keller each finished with two points for the 21-30-9 Coyotes. Andreas Athanasiou tallied for the 21-34-5 Blackhawks. The Coyotes held center Nick Bjugstad from this game for “trade-related reasons”.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Los Angeles Kings have reportedly traded goaltender Jonathan Quick and a 2023 first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goalie Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
**UPDATE: TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Blue Jackets will receive a conditional first-round pick in 2023 and a third-round pick in 2024 as part of the return along with Quick. The condition on the first-rounder is based on the unlikely possibility of the Kings missing the playoffs this season.**
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests there could be more pieces involved in this trade but the centerpiece of this deal is the Kings moving on from Quick while bringing in Korpisalo and Gavrikov.
Quick was the Kings’ long-time starter who backstopped them to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. However, the pending free agent struggled this season which prompted this move to shore up their goaltending depth. Korpisalo has put solid numbers since December behind a porous Blue Jackets defense.
The Kings were in the market for a left-side defenseman and reportedly had an interest in the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun. The two clubs were said to have discussed a trade but those talks evidently fell through, forcing them to turn to Gavrikov. He lacks Chychrun’s offensive skills but plays a responsible defensive game.
As for the Blue Jackets, they get a first-round pick in this year’s draft and likely more assets to put toward rebuilding their roster. Quick, who was said to be unhappy about moving to one of the worst teams in the league, faces an uncertain future given his free-agent status on July 1 and the decline in his performance this season.
TSN: The Minnesota Wild acquired forward Gustav Nyquist from the Blue Jackets in exchange for a 2023 fifth-rounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist remains sidelined by a shoulder injury but is expected to return to action before the playoffs. He’s an experience two-way forward with 53 points last season. His production declined this season but the Wild are gambling that he’ll regain his form in Minnesota.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks acquired the rights of prospect defenseman Henry Thrun from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick. The Sharks have until Aug. 15 to sign Thrun to an entry-level contract or he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed defenseman Jake Walman to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3.4 million. He was slated to become a UFA on July 1.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals signed defenseman Nick Jensen to a three-year deal worth an AAV of $4.05 million.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller receive a three-game suspension for spitting on Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on Sunday.
TSN: Dallas Stars defenseman Colin Miller was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Vancouver Canucks center Nils Aman. Canucks defenseman Christian Wolanin was fined over $2,000.00 for slashing Stars forward Ty Dellandrea.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Anaheim Ducks claimed defenseman Scott Harrington off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Harrington was acquired by the Devils along with Timo Meier on Sunday.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed forward Brock McGinn and defenseman Mark Friedman on waivers.
TSN: The NHL sent a memo to teams yesterday indicating they will be closely scrutinizing trades involving injured players who are acquired with the intent of keeping them on long-term injury reserve until the playoffs. The league isn’t banning such moves outright but wishes to ensure such moves don’t circumvent the salary cap.