NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2022

The Blackhawks down the Flyers, the three stars of the week and the Masterton Trophy nominees are revealed, Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner to undergo season-ending surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and Alex DeBrincat matched his career-high with his 41st goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the only game on the NHL schedule last night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced center Kirby Dach is expected to miss their remaining games of this season due to a shoulder injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick are the three stars for the week ending April 24.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf are among the 32 nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. It is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Other noteworthy nominees include Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair, New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier, New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom.

The full list can be seen at this link. Three finalists will be chosen with the winner announced between Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the nominees. Each of them are worthy candidates for the Masterton Trophy.

The eight Eastern Conference clubs that qualified for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs made history. It’s the first time eight teams in the same conference each reached 100 points in a single season.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Vegas Golden Knights announced goaltender Robin Lehner will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Frank Seravalli first reported on Lehner’s injury and his requirement for surgery over two months ago. The Golden Knights denied Seravalli’s report, as they did with a recent report by ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan claiming the 30-year-old Lehner would require a surgical procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ handling of this situation was very puzzling. It was apparent Lehner was struggling over the past two months and had missed some games likely because of his injury. They did themselves no favors with their public denials. It’ll be interesting to see if there will be any fallout from this story in the coming months.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He was hurt during Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs when he crashed awkwardly into the boards following a failed scoring attempt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, Ovechkin is expected to return to action in time for the start of the playoffs next week.

THE ATHLETIC: Sara Civian cited sources reporting sidelined Carolina Hurricanes goalies Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta are expected to return in time for the playoffs starting next week. Andersen is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Raanta left the club’s previous game but that was due to a cramping issue. He’s expected to suit up as the backup for Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

NEW YORK POST: Speaking of the Rangers, sidelined forwards Andrew Copp, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko are considered game-day decisions for tonight’s match with the Hurricanes.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo is being evaluated for a leg injury suffered during practice on Monday.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The NHL department of player safety levied a one-game suspension on Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg for instigating a fight with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak on Sunday. Panthers coach Andrew Brunette received a $10,000.00 fine for a game misconduct in the aftermath of the Lomberg-Cernak scuffle.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev was fined over $2,245 for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Mahura on Saturday.

Sidelined Ottawa Senators forwards Shane Pinto, Connor Brown and Colin White are expected to remain out of the lineup for the remainder of the season.

TORONTO SUN: 2022 Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay signed a two-year AHL contract with the Maple Leafs’ farm team, the Marlies.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings have signed top prospect Simon Edvinsson to a three-year entry-level contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2022

The number 13 proves to be lucky for the Panthers, the Blues extend their points streak, Sidney Crosby ties Jaromir Jagr for the second-most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers set a franchise record with their 13th consecutive win by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Brandon Montour. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots. Mitch Marner and Justin Holl scored for the Leafs while teammate Auston Matthews was held scoreless in his return to the lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers also set an NHL record for the most overtime goals in one season with 13. They have opened a four-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the overall standings with 120 points. Meanwhile, Toronto picked up a point and sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 109 points. Leafs rookie winger Michael Bunting is expected to miss some time after leaving the game with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Justin Faulk lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 to extend their points streak to 15 games (13-0-2). Faulk finished the game with two goals and an assist. Coyotes rookie winger Bokondji Imama tallied his first career NHL goal. The Blues are tied with the Minnesota Wild with 107 points but the latter holds second place in the Central Division with a game in hand.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Sidney Crosby tied Jaromir Jagr for the second-most 30-goal seasons in Pittsburgh Penguins history as he led his club over the Detroit Red Wings 7-2. Crosby has ten 30-goal campaigns and sits one back of franchise leader Mario Lemieux. Evgeni Malkin scored twice and Kris Letang had a three-point performance as the Penguins opened a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for third place in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings forward Filip Zadina missed this game and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with appendicitis.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored multiple points for the fifth straight game in a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Stamkos had a goal and two assists and has 13 points in his last five contests. Nikita Kucherov also had three points as the Lightning (104 points) sit five points back of the Leafs in third place in the Atlantic Division. Predators captain Roman Josi scored to become the first defenseman to reach 90 points since Raymond Bourque in 1993-94.

The Carolina Hurricanes got an overtime goal by Seth Jarvis to nip the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Hurricanes rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov made 19 saves for the win in his first NHL game. With the win, the Hurricanes opened a two-point lead over the New York Rangers atop the Metropolitan Division with 110 points.

Speaking of the Rangers, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Boston Bruins. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist in his return to the Bruins lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. The Bruins hold a two-point lead over the Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 101 points.

Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm scored his 40th goal of the season in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Chris Tanev collected three assists, Dillon Dube scored twice and Johnny Gaudreau collected two points for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 108 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss leaves the Canucks’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread. With 87 points, they’re six behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild-card berth. The Stars need just one point to eliminate the Canucks from postseason contention.

Speaking of the Stars, they overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Roope Hintz tallied twice and Jake Oettinger kicked out 30 shots for the win. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers was held pointless for the first time in six games.

The Los Angeles Kings improved their chances of securing a playoff spot by doubling up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Anze Kopitar, Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev each collected two points as the Kings hold a seven-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division with 96 points. Trevor Zegras scored to set the Ducks rookie points record with 58.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 with rookie forward Mark Kastelic scoring his first two NHL goals and Anton Forsberg making 44 saves. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield scored his 20th goal of the season and Rem Pitlick tallied twice. Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot was held scoreless in his first game since breaking his hand on March 16.

Forwards Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson each had a goal and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres extended their win streak to four games with a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier scored his 34th goal of the season in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Kaapo Kahkonen got the win by stopping 27 shots.

IN OTHER NEWS…

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner missed practice for the second straight day amid speculation he requires season-ending knee surgery. The Golden Knights have declined to comment and remain hopeful he’ll play tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forwards Mark Scheifele and Cole Perfetti have been shut down for the season due to nagging injuries.

CBS SPORTS: An upper-body injury could sideline Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the first game of their opening-round series against the Blues.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: The Flyers have ruled all their injured players except for Nick Seeler are sidelined for the season. That list includes Cam Atkinson, Carter Hart, Rasmus Ristolainen, Sean Couturier and Cam York.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2022

The hockey world honors the late Guy Lafleur, the Oilers clinch a playoff berth, Kirill Kaprizov establishes another Wild milestone and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

HOCKEY WORLD HONORS LAFLEUR

NHL.COM/MONTREAL GAZETTE/THE ATHLETIC/TVA SPORTS: The hockey world was in mourning yesterday following the announcement that Montreal Canadiens icon Guy Lafleur had passed away at age 70 following a long battle with lung cancer.

The hockey world honors the late Guy Lafleur (NHL.com).

Tributes poured in from around the league from current and former stars such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Alex Ovechkin, Phil Esposito, Marcel Dionne, Patrick Roy and Martin St. Louis, former teammates such as Ken Dryden, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, Yvon Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Jacques Lemaire and Chris Nilan and former Canadiens coach Scotty Bowman.

Lafleur was also remembered by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec premier Francois Legault and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Teams, executives and coaches from around the league sent their condolences, including Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic and Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. Sakic was Lafleur’s teammate during the latter’s two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques while Sutter played against him in the early-1980s.

The Quebec Remparts, Lafleur’s former junior team, honored his memory prior to last night’s game against the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wrote my tribute to Lafleur yesterday after seeing news of his passing. I noted his five Stanley Cups as well as his individual honors, statistical achievements, and what he meant to the Canadiens and their fans.

Put simply, he was the greatest player on hockey’s greatest team in the 1970s. A hero to Canadiens fans and admired by non-Habs supporters, Lafleur was worshipped in his home province of Quebec. He was a superstar whose electrifying style lifted fans from their seats and is fondly remembered to this day. He was also a Hall-of-Famer who always had time for his fans long after his retirement from the game. Rest in peace, Flower, you’ll never be forgotten.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff berth with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Evander Kane had a hat trick and chipped in an assist while Connor McDavid had three helpers and Mike Smith made 34 saves. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice for the Avalanche. The Oilers have won eight of their last 10 games and hold second place in the Pacific Division with 98 points. The Avalanche had lost three straight and remain in second place in the overall standings with 116 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have won 23 of their last 34 games since Jay Woodcroft took over as interim coach. The addition of Kane in late January is another contributing factor to their turnaround in the second half of the season. He had 20 goals and 36 points in 39 games with the Oilers. A potential concern, however, was the departure of defenseman Darnell Nurse in the second period of this game with a lower-body injury. He will be re-evaluated today.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov became the first player in franchise history to reach 100 points in a season as he helped his club defeat the Seattle Kraken 6-3. Kaprizov scored a goal and picked up three assists while Joel Eriksson Ek tallied twice for Minnesota. The Wild hold a two-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for second place in the Central Division with 107 points. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers scored to extend his career-opening points streak to five games.

The Washington Capitals blanked the Arizona Coyotes 2-0. Vitek Vanecek made 19 saves for the shutout while Conor Sheary and John Carlson were the goal-scorers. The Capitals have won seven of their last nine games. They’re tied with the Boston Bruins with 99 points but the latter holds the first wild-card berth with a game in hand.

A shootout goal by Tim Stutzle gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brady Tkachuk also scored for the Senators while Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic notched his 20th of the season for the first time in his career.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning will visit the White House on Monday as President Joe Biden honors the club for their 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup championships.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer dismissed a report by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan citing sources claiming goaltender Robin Lehner was about to undergo season-ending knee surgery. Lehner missed Friday’s practice as a maintenance day, according to DeBoer, who also said he expected the netminder at practice on Saturday and to be dressed for Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the second time this season that DeBoer has dismissed a report claiming Lehner could undergo season-ending surgery. The previous one occurred in February alleging he’d suffered a serious shoulder injury. Multiple reports claim he’s battling a nagging injury which would account for his inconsistent play this season. There’s been no confirmation of this by Lehner or the club.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forwards Andrew Copp (lower body) and Filip Chytil (upper body) are listed as day-to-day and won’t play against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford were both fined by the NHL department of player safety for their actions against the Lightning during their 8-1 loss on Thursday. Simmonds was fined $2,250.00 for charging Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev while Clifford was fined $2,500.00 for high-sticking Corey Perry.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: ESPN NHL analyst Kevin Weekes is considered a strong candidate for the Sharks’ general manager position. The club is conducting a search to replace Doug Wilson, who recently stepped down as GM for health reasons.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Arizona Coyotes fans should expect to pay high prices to attend the club’s home games at the 5,000-seat arena at Arizona State University. The highest price per ticket for full season-ticket holders works out to $300.00 per game (before separate ticket fees) while half-season tickets work out to $445.00 per game. The cheapest seats for season-ticket holders is $89 per game while the cheapest half-season price is $110.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s just the ticket prices. It doesn’t take into account the price for concessions, souvenirs and parking. It seems to me those tickets will be mostly sold to local businesses, shutting out the average fan and leading to a lot of empty seats in that small arena.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2022

Alex Ovechkin reaches 50 goals for the ninth time, the Golden Knights keep their playoff hopes alive while ending those of the Jets, the date for the 2022 Draft Lottery is revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice, including his 50th goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his club from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Shea Theodore tallied the winner in overtime for the Golden Knights (89 points), who moved within two points of the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Ovechkin, meanwhile, reached an important scoring milestone, joining Hall-of-Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only NHL players to score 50 goals in nine seasons. His Capitals are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 97 points but the Penguins still hold third place in the Metropolitan Division on the basis of regulation plus overtime wins.

The Golden Knights’ win over the Capitals officially eliminated the Winnipeg Jets from playoff contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer raised eyebrows by replacing starting goaltender Robin Lehner with Logan Thompson following the first period with the score tied at one after he gave up just one goal on 13 shots. DeBoer claimed the move was made to shift the momentum during the game.

Connor McDavid scored and collected two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Dallas Stars 5-2. The Oilers hold a four-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division with 96 points while the Stars failed to widen their lead over the Golden Knights. McDavid regained first place in the NHL scoring race with 113 points, two ahead of Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves as his club held on for a 3-2 upset of his former club, the Colorado Avalanche. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers picked up an assist to extend his points streak to four games. With the loss, the Avalanche drop to second place in the overall standings behind the Florida Panthers. Avs center Nazem Kadri returned to action after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beniers only has four games of NHL experience but he’s not looking out of place with the Kraken. The second-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft appears to be on his way toward a bright future in Seattle.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat’s 40th goal of the season was also the game-winner as his club nipped the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime. The Coyotes have dropped eight in a row.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The 2022 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on May 10 at 6:30 PM ET, setting the order for the 16 teams that failed to qualify for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Central Scouting’s final rankings will be released on May 5 while the annual Scouting Combine is set for May 29 to June 4 in Buffalo.

TSN: Evander Kane’s grievance hearing over the San Jose Sharks’ termination of his contract will require a second day. The date has yet to be determined.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry’s status remains “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury. His right foot appeared to be in a boot cast during their recent annual team photograph.

The Penguins also announced Amanda Kessel will be joining their executive management program. Kessel, an Olympic gold medalist in women’s hockey, is the sister of former Penguin and current Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. He’s been sidelined since last Thursday with an upper-body injury. The Bruins are still waiting on sidelined winger David Pastrnak and defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

MLIVE.COM: Longtime Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka was reportedly fired because another employee caught him urinating into a drain used for ice runoff at Little Caesars Arena. He’s filed a lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against due to his age and disability.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2022

Claude Giroux plays his 1,000th (and possibly final) game with the Flyers, Roman Josi sets a Predators record, Golden Knights lose Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner denies he’s seriously injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s 1,000th and possibly final game with the Philadelphia Flyers ended in a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators thanks to Joel Farabee’s game-winner late in the third period. Farabee, Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers while Giroux was held scoreless. Predators defenseman Roman Josi collected three assists to set a single-season franchise record with 55 assists while teammate Filip Forsberg scored his 210th career goal to tie the franchise record. The Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 74 points.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux is not traveling with the Flyers to Ottawa to face the Senators tonight. He’s expected to be dealt before Monday’s trade deadline.

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a five-game losing skid by beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 but lost Jack Eichel as he left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with one of his arms. There was no immediate update on his condition. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice as the Golden Knight (70 points) remain one point up on the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Panthers, meanwhile, remain one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 88 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Golden Knights starting goaltender Robin Lehner denied a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claiming he could miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Nevertheless, his frequent absences to injury this season and the Golden Knights’ struggles while he’s out of the lineup fuels speculation that management is shopping for a goalie.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs as rookie goalie Erik Kallgren made 34 saves for his second straight win in his second NHL start. Ondrej Kase tallied the winning goal for the Leafs (83 points), who are 4-1-1 in their last six and move within one point of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

The Stars, meanwhile, got the game-tying and winning goals by John Klingberg to nip the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime to snap a three-game losing skid. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 31 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Jan. 13.

Leon Draisaitl scored his 40th goal of the season as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 6-1 dubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Connor McDavid was among five Oilers to finish the night with two points while Mike Smith made 27 saves for the win. With 72 points, the Oilers have won four straight and sit in third place in the Pacific Division.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 38th goal of the season, Anthony Mantha scored twice and Vitek Vanecek stopped 39 shots as the Washington Capitals thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game with a lower-body injury. The Capitals (78 points) move within a point of the Boston Bruins for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Detroit Red Wing netminder Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 43 shots and Pius Suter scored the only goal to blank the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Canucks center J.T. Miller’s point streak ended at 13 games. The loss leaves the Canucks (67 points) three points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Speaking of shutouts, Cal Petersen made 29 saves for his third of the season in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe were the goal scorers as the Kings (76 points) hold a four-point lead over the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division.

A shootout goal by Bryan Rust lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s point streak ended at 10 games. Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 43 saves in a losing cause. The Penguins (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division while the Blues (77 points) sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild in second place in the Central Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves for the win as Kyle Palmieri broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 40th goal of the season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot’s season is over after suffering a broken right hand during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Andrew Copp was shaken up but avoided another concussion following a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist on Sunday. He passed a return-to-play test on Tuesday. Copp has suffered four concussions in his playing career.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made to shore up Vegas’ injury-depleted blue line.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford was placed on the NHL COVID protocol list.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 1, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s action, the three stars of the week are revealed, the league suspends business and social media ties with Russia and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins got a 34-save shutout from Jeremy Swayman and a natural hat trick from Jake DeBrusk to crush the Los Angeles Kings 7-0. DeBrusk finished the night with four points while linemate Patrice Bergeron had three points and Erik Haula potted two goals.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

With 68 points, the Bruins opened a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Kings (65 points) remain three behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division and three ahead of the third-place Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk has been red-hot since being moved onto the Bruins’ top line alongside Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He has seven goals and nine points in five games since that move.

DeBrusk requested a trade three months ago. His recent performance could improve his trade value but could also make him worthwhile for the Bruins to retain. He’s a restricted free agent this summer so they aren’t under pressure to move him before the March 21 trade deadline.

Speaking of the Capitals (65 points), they dropped their third straight game in a 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs blew a 3-1 lead but recovered on late goals by Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall. Sandin, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Justin Holl all finished the night with two points each. Tom Wilson scored twice for the Capitals, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with a 10-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Leafs, meanwhile, are tied with the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. However, the Bolts hold two games in hand.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist to pick up his third straight win over brother Quinn Hughes in a 7-2 drubbing of the Vancouver Canucks. Jack was among seven Devils to collect two points on the night. Goaltender Nico Daws got the win with a 36-save performance. Canucks netminder Jaroslav Halak got the hook after giving up six goals on 14 shots.

With 58 points, the Canucks remain three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The league announced yesterday it was suspending its business and social media ties with Russia. It is also discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL. The move comes in response to that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

SPORTSNET: The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Russia and Belarus from international competition until further notice. It has also pulled the 2023 World Junior Championship out of Russia.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports NHL agent Dan Milstein has raised concerns about threats to his Russian clients to the NHL and NHL clubs with Russian players. He’s asking for extra security for those players in North America.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a ripple effect throughout the sports world. It’s also prompted some people to call upon the league to suspend Russian players on NHL contracts but there’s no indication that’s going to happen. That move would be strongly contested by the NHLPA.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports sources said the Chicago Blackhawks will name interim general manager Kyle Davidson as their full-time GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks are getting trolled a bit on social media for making a grand production of their search for a new GM only to remove the interim label from Davidson. That aside, Davidson could prove a worthwhile hire after working his way up the front-office ranks of the Blackhawks over the past decade.

Davidson’s yet to make a major move trade-wise but got positive reviews for replacing Jeremy Colliton as head coach in November with Derek King. Given the Blackhawks’ improvement under King, he could also be back behind the bench next season on a permanent basis.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews, Vancouver Canucks J.T. Miller, and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos are the centers of attention as the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 27.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner is expected to start Tuesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. He’s been sidelined since the All-Star break with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner is said to be suffering a shoulder injury that will require offseason treatment. His absence sparked speculation the Golden Knights could be in the market for a goaltender.

OILERS NATION: The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Kris Russell on long-term injury reserve.