NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2020
Leon Draisaitl tallies four goals against the Predators, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl tallied four goals and Connor McDavid had four assists as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Nashville Predators 8-3. The Oilers broke a 3-3 tie with five unanswered third-period goals. With 78 points, the Oilers moved within two points of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division. The Predators (72 points) cling to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Draisaitl (107 points) holds a big lead in the NHL scoring race. He also moved into fourth place (43 goals) in the goal-scoring race.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring injury or a significant scoring drought, Draisaitl has the Art Ross Trophy locked up for this season. He’s also put himself into the running for the Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer, and should be a serious contender for the Hart Trophy as MVP.
The Colorado Avalanche (87 points) edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to move within one point of the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues. Michael Hutchinson made 17 saves in his debut with the Avs. Colorado rookie defenseman Cale Makar missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Wings, meanwhile, played without winger Adam Erne, who could miss the remainder of the season with a broken hand.
Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 1.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson underwent shoulder surgery on Monday and will need four-to-six months to recover.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was considerable interest in Anderson leading up to last Monday’s NHL trade deadline, but uncertainty over the status of his injury likely scared off potential suitors. His status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent status could make him a fixture in this summer’s rumor mill.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks indicated defenseman Jacob Middleton is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. They’re also believed to have agreed to a four-year, $8-million contract extension with blueline Radim Simek, though this hasn’t been confirmed by general manager Doug Wilson.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Brian Dumoulin and John Marino are close to returning to the lineup. Both are game-day decision’s for tonight’s contest against the Ottawa Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And not a moment too soon for the struggling Penguins, who’ve dropped six straight games.
TORONTO SUN: Sidelined Maple Leafs blueliners Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci have returned to practice and could rejoin the lineup sometime next week.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey is expected to return to action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres after being sidelined for four games with an upper-body injuy. Winger Patrik Laine (left foot injury) could also return tonight.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators goalie Marcus Hogberg is returning to Sweden for family reasons. The club hopes to provide a further update shortly.
SPORTSNET: The NHL has no plans to make any changes to its emergency backup goalie rule.