NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2023
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has a four-point game in Oilers’ victory over the Jets, some of the fallout from the NHL trade deadline, plus the latest on Cale Makar, Ville Husso and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals and collected two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Leon Draisaitl also scored twice and had an assist while Connor McDavid collected three assists for the 34-21-8 Oilers (76 points) as they hold a four-point lead over the Jets for the first Western Conference wild-card berth. The Jets (72 points) hold the final Western wild-card spot but have lost five straight games, dropping to 35-25-2.
The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas each collected three points while Antti Raanta (17 saves) remains unbeaten in regulation (13-0-2) since Nov. 26 as the Hurricanes (40-12-8) sit second in the overall standings with 88 points. The Coyotes dropped to 21-32-9 on the season.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill kicked out 47 shots backstopping his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils. Shea Theodore scored the winning goal while Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and collected an assist for the 37-19-6 Golden Knights as they hold first overall in the Western Conference with 80 points. Dawson Mercer scored to extend his goals streak to eight games as the 40-15-6 Devils sit two points back of the Hurricanes in the overall standings.
The Seattle Kraken doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Jared McCann became the first player in Kraken history to score 30 goals in a season as his club improved to 35-21-6 and sit third in the Pacific Division with 76 points. Patrik Laine collected two points for the 20-36-4 Blue Jackets.
Third-period goals by Mason McTavish and Jakob Silfverberg enabled the Anaheim Ducks to hold off the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 3-2. The Ducks are 21-34-8 on the season while the Canadiens dropped to 26-32-4.
NHL.COM: 21 trades involving 34 players took place during Friday’s trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be fooled by those numbers. The 2023 NHL trade deadline will go down as one of the quietest in league history in terms of significant moves involving notable talent. That’s because those moves were made in the weeks leading up to deadline day.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman explained why he became a seller in the days leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. He cited their back-to-back lopsided losses to the Ottawa Senators this week as an indication that his club still needs improvement. “I look at Ottawa and Buffalo, and in all honesty, I think they’re ahead of us with their group,” said Yzerman. He also indicated the Wings have to keep an eye on the rebuilding Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman made a blunt assessment of his club, thinking with his head and not his heart. It would’ve been tempting for him to sacrifice some futures for a quick fix but he still has his eye firmly on the prize: building a long-term Stanley Cup contender as he did in Tampa Bay. The Wings have been improving but there’s still more work to do.
SPORTSNET: Canadiens GM Kent Hughes pointed to the high number of injuries to his roster that hampered his ability to make more significant moves leading up to the trade deadline. Sources told Eric Engels that the club is undergoing a thorough examination of its medical staff, procedures, training and therapeutic procedures, rehabilitation procedures, and practice and travel schedules.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes believes no other NHL club has been wracked by injuries over the past two seasons like the Canadiens. One season leading the league in man-games lost to injury could be chalked up to bad luck but two consecutive years suggest there could be other issues at play here.
CALGARY SUN: Flames GM Brad Treliving said trading away young assets or a draft pick for a quick fix wasn’t on the table for him during the trade deadline. “We were not entertaining moving any ‘A’ assets, significant assets, for short-term,” he said. “Where we’re at right now, that was never an option for us.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are five points out of a Western wild-card spot. The returns Treliving brought in were minor ones that won’t move the needle. It’s up to their core talent to carry them through. Treliving said he’s not worried about losing his job but he’s on an expiring contract. Missing the playoffs for the second time in four years could prove costly.
TSN: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been cleared to return from concussion protocol.
MLIVE.COM: Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso could miss Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders with a minor injury.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators re-signed defenseman Dante Fabbro to a one-year, $2.5 million contract and goaltender Kevin Lankinen to a one-year, $2 million deal.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals re-signed forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year, $1.225 million contract.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Sean Kuraly could miss the remainder of the season with an oblique strain.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington is expected to remain out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. He’s been out since the start of the season due to personal family reasons.