NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2024

Hat trick performances by the Bruins David Pastrnak, the Jets Mark Scheifele and the Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen highlight Tuesday’s action. Get the details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored one of three hat tricks in the league on Tuesday in a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Rookie Justin Brazeau tallied twice for the Bruins (41-14-15) as they picked up their third straight win and remain atop the overall standings with 97 points. Brady Tkachuk scored his 31st goal of the season for the 28-35-4 Senators.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak has 44 goals on the season and sits fourth among this season’s goalscoring leaders. His 99 points rank fourth among the scoring leaders.

The Winnipeg Jets doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2 thanks to Mark Scheifele’s hat-trick performance. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 38 shots and Kyle Connor netted his 30th goal of the season for the 44-19-15 Jets as they remain in first place in the Central Division with 93 points and a game in hand over the Colorado Avalanche. Alexis Lafreniere netted his 20th of the season for the Rangers (45-20-4) as they hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 94 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets played without head coach Rick Bowness as he’s on an indefinite leave of absence following a minor medical procedure in Winnipeg. Meanwhile, Lafreniere reached the 20-goal milestone for the first time in his young career.

Speaking of the Avalanche, Mikko Rantanen’s hat trick lifted them over the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon collected an assist to extend his points streak to 16 games for the Avalanche (44-20-5) as they remain behind the Jets in second place in the Central with 93 points. Nathan Walker had a goal and an assist for the 36-30-3 Blues (75 points) to remain four points out of the final Western Conference wildcard berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche extended their win streak to seven games.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a two-goal performance from Seth Jarvis in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov collected an assist as the Hurricanes (43-20-6) have won seven of their last eight and sit two points behind the Rangers in second place in the Metro Division. Kyle Palmieri scored for the 29-24-15 Islanders (73 points) as they’ve lost five straight and sit three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings got an overtime goal from Patrick Kane to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Kane also collected two assists while Lucas Raymond tallied twice for the 35-28-6 Red Wings (76 points) as they regained that Eastern wildcard berth from the Washington Capitals. Zach Werenski had a goal and two assists for the 23-34-12 Blue Jackets.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists in a 5-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Brayden Point netted two third-period goals for the Lightning (37-25-6) as they hold the first Eastern wildcard spot with 80 points. Jonathan Marchessault tallied his 38th goal of the season for the 36-25-7 Golden Knights as they cling to the final Western wild-card berth with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov regained first place in the scoring race with 118 points, sitting one point up on the Avalanche’s MacKinnon.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their fifth win in their last seven games by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Elias Pettersson scored twice and set up another for the Canucks (43-18-8) as they hold a one-point lead over the Jets and Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference with 94 points. Rasmus Dahlin scored both goals for the 33-32-5 Sabres (71 points) as they sit five points behind the Red Wings for that final Eastern wildcard berth.

An overtime power-play goal by Leon Draisaitl lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Connor McDavid and Adam Henrique also scored for the 41-21-4 Oilers as they hold second place in the Pacific Division with 86 points. Nick Suzuki scored his career-high 27th goal of the season for the 25-31-12 Canadiens.

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 with Anze Kopitar scoring twice and collecting an assist. Adrian Kempe picked up two assists for the Kings (35-22-11), who sit third in the Pacific Division with 81 points. Philipp Kurashev had two assists for the 19-45-5 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks center Connor Bedard collected an assist as he tied Jonathan Toews’ franchise rookie record of 54 points.

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and winger Filip Forsberg each had a goal and two assists as their club thumped the San Jose Sharks 8-2. Ryan McDonagh and Kiefer Sherwood each had three assists as the Predators improved to 40-25-4 and hold the first Western wildcard spot with 84 points. Mario Ferraro had a goal and an assist for the 16-45-7 Sharks.

The Philadelphia Flyers held off the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 4-3 victory. Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (35-26-8) as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 78 points. John Tavares had a goal and two assists for the 38-20-9 Maple Leafs (85 points) as they hold third place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers captain Sean Couturier was a healthy scratch. This drew criticism from his agent citing a lack of communication between his client and head coach John Tortorella.

The Minnesota Wild got a 27-save shutout from Filip Gustavsson to blank the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. Matt Boldy and Ryan Hartman each had two points and Kirill Kaprizov scored his 36th goal of the season for the 34-27-8 Wild (76 points) as they sit three points back of the Golden Knights for the final Western wildcard berth. John Gibson stopped 28 shots for the 23-43-3 Ducks.

New Jersey Devils forwards Timo Meier and Dawson Mercer scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jake Allen stopped 36 shots for the Devils (33-32-4) as they sit five points behind the Red Wings for that final Eastern wildcard berth. Tristan Jarry turned aside 33 shots for the 30-29-9 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins forward Jeff Carter missed this game, listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.


THE SCORE: Six proposed rule changes have been proposed to the NHL’s competition committee following this week’s meetings of NHL general managers in Florida.

One rule change will go into effect immediately as players will be banned from hanging their legs over the boards when not on the ice. A team will be warned first before receiving a bench minor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should reduce the increasing number of “too many men on the ice” penalties resulting from line changes.

The proposed changes include goaltenders being called for delay of game for intentionally dislodging the net, coach’s challenge for puck over-the-glass calls, and reviews for high-sticking penalties if it’s believed an offense wasn’t committed by the penalized player.

SPORTSNET: Rick Nash was named the general manager of Team Canada at this year’s IIHF World Championships in May. Nash is currently the director of player development for the Columbus Blue Jackets and was assistant GM for Canada at the 2022 Worlds.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Buffalo Sabres and Bills owner Terry Pegula named Pete Guelli as chief operating officer of both teams on Tuesday.

TSN: Former NHL player Chris Simon died Monday at age 52.

Simon played 15 NHL seasons with the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild from 1992-93 to 2007-08.

One of the league’s most feared enforcers, he collected 1,824 PIMs in 782 games and received eight suspensions totaling 65 games. He also collected 144 goals and 161 assists for 305 regular-season points along with 10 goals and 17 points in 75 playoff games. In 1999-2000, he led the Capitals with 29 goals.

Simon won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 1995-96, helped the Washington Capitals reach the 1998 Stanley Cup Final and the Calgary Flames advance to the 2004 Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simon’s family indicated his death was by suicide. His agent indicated his former client struggled with CTE related to his playing career.

Simon’s role as an enforcer overshadowed his abilities as a player. My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2022

The Blue Jackets honor Rick Nash, a record-setting game for the Coyotes’ Nick Schmaltz, milestone nights for the Kraken’s Mark Giordano and the Leafs Wayne Simmonds, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets honored former captain Rick Nash by retiring his No. 61 in a ceremony before their game with the Boston Bruins. The first overall pick of the 2002 NHL Draft, Nash spent nine seasons with the Jackets (2002-03 to 2011-12) and remains the franchise leader with 289 goals, 258 assists and 547 points. He was a co-winner of the Richard Trophy in 2004.

Columbus Blue Jackets retire Rick Nash’s No. 61 (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for Nash. One wonders what heights he would’ve reached or how much better the Jackets would’ve been had management done a better job building around him during his tenure in Columbus.

The Jackets rallied on a game-tying goal by Jakub Voracek to force overtime and a shootout but fell 5-4 to the Bruins on David Pastrnak’s winning goal. The win kept the Bruins (72 points) three ahead of the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Speaking of the Capitals, three unanswered goals (two of them by Conor Sheary) lifted them to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Alex Ovechkin also scored to reach 764 career goals, putting him two behind Jaromir Jagr for third place on the all-time list. He finished the game with three points as the Capitals hold the second Eastern wild-card berth. Kraken captain Mark Giordano reached a milestone by skating in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken forwards Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz were activated off injured reserve for this game.

Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz set a club record with a seven-point performance (two goals, five assists) to lead his club over the Ottawa Senators 8-5. It was a wild game that saw the Coyotes blow a 4-0 lead to fall behind 5-4 before rallying back for the win. Clayton Keller and Shayne Gostisbehere each had four points for the Coyotes. Thomas Chabot collected three assists and Parker Kelly tallied twice for the Senators.

Johnny Gaudreau scored in overtime and also had two assists as his Calgary Flames burned the league-leading Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Flames forwards Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk also each collected three points. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog netted his 30th goal of the season. The Avs pulled goaltender Darcy Kuemper after he gave up three goals on 15 shots. The Flames (73 points) hold a six-point lead over the second-place Los Angeles Kings atop the Pacific Division. The Avs (85 points) hold a four-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings.

Nashville Predators winger Michael McCarron had two goals and two assists, Roman Josi set up four goals and Juuse Saros had a 20-save shutout in an 8-0 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Forwards Matt Duchene and Matt Luff also scored two goals as the Predators (66 points) hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the March 21 trade deadline just two weeks away, this loss may have put the final nail in the Sharks’ playoff hopes. Management could become sellers, generating increased speculation over the future of Tomas Hertl, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

The Florida Panthers (79 points) moved within two points of the Eastern Conference-leading Hurricanes by dropping the Detroit Red Wings 6-2. Anton Lundell scored two goals and Aleksander Barkov collected three assists for the Panthers.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice to take over the NHL goal-scoring lead with 39 goals but his club suffered a 6-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Leafs captain John Tavares snapped a 14-game goalless streak. J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat were among six Canucks to finish the night with two points. With 62 points, the Canucks are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Toronto forward Wayne Simmonds skated in his 1,000th career regular-season NHL game. The Leafs sit third in the Atlantic Division with 74 points.

Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki had a goal and two assists and Sam Montembeault kicked out 28 shots as their club upset the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Cole Caufield and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who’ve won seven of their last eight games and are 7-4-0 under interim coach Martin St. Louis. The Oilers remain one point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card berth.

The New York Islanders got a 27-save performance by goaltender Ilya Sorokin to hold off the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Islanders center Brock Nelson scored what proved to be the game-winner. The Blues (70 points) hold a three-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Derick Brassard and Cam Atkinson gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Atkinson finished the game with two goals and an assist. Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome tallied twice.


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek told his club’s season-ticket holders he’s working toward signing pending UFA defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell to contract extensions. However, he added he would look to trade them if he cannot get them under contract before the March 21 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek mentioned having ongoing talks with the Lindholm camp. He didn’t mention the other two by name.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed center Travis Boyd to a two-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $1.75 million.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Ben Hutton to a two-year extension worth an annual average value of $850K.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr will donate the proceeds from Kladno’s final Czech Extraliga regular-season game toward Ukrainian families in the Czech Republic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Owner of the Kladno Knights, Jagr had the game moved to a bigger arena in Prague that holds over 17,000 seats.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

Leon Draisaitl powers the Oilers to a comeback win, the Kings and Ducks extend their winning streaks, the Blue Jackets set to honor Rick Nash and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the third period as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-3. Draisaitl leads all NHL scorers with 12 goals and also collected an assist. Teammate Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his points streak to 12 games. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for the Bruins.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 26 points, Draisaitl sits two points ahead of McDavid atop the NHL scoring race.

A 34-save shutout performance by Jonathan Quick carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Anze Kopitar and Andreas Athanasiou were the goal scorers as the Kings (8-5-1) extended their win streak to seven games. The Senators have nine players on the COVID protocol list, including Matt Murray, Alex Formenton and Nikita Zaitsev going on the list yesterday. Sens defenseman Artem Zub left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be the last game the Senators play for a while if more of their players end up on the COVID list over the next couple of days. The league is monitoring their situation closely and could postpone several upcoming games.

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games in a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists as the Ducks (8-4-3) have won six in a row. Jared McCann tallied twice for the slumping Kraken (4-9-1), who’ve dropped three straight games.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists while defensemen Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard each had two points as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the Vancouver Canucks 7-1. The Avs scored three times in the first period and another three in the second to put the game out of reach. Colorado blueliner Bowen Byram left the game in the first period after taking an elbow to the face from Canucks center Bo Horvat. Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman was ejected in the third period for swinging his stick at the head of Avs forward Kiefer Sherwood.

The New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Islanders 4-0 with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicking out 42 shots for the shutout. Dougie Hamilton led the way with a goal and an assist.

Zach Fucale made 21 saves to become the first goalie in Washington Capitals history to notch a shutout in his first NHL game in a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller were the goal scorers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist but remains tied with Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list with 741.

Shootout goals by Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tristan Jarry got the win by stopping 36 shots. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored to extend his points streak to eight games. After getting off to a 10-0-1 start, the Panthers are 0-2-1 in their last three contests.

Matt Duchene tallied two goals, including the game-winner to lead the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Mikhail Granlund collected four assists for the Predators while Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues.

The Winnipeg Jets tallied four straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 26 shots for the win.

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit made 24 saves as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. Golden Knights forwards Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg each scored their first-ever NHL goals.

Nick Suzuki snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2 to end the latter’s five-game road winning streak. Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Rick Nash will become the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his number retired in an on-ice ceremony before their March 5, 2022 game against the Boston Bruins. The first-overall pick by the Blue Jackets in 2002, Nash is their franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash deserves that honor. He was a true franchise player but the Jackets management wasted most of his nine-season tenure in Columbus by failing to build a solid supporting cast around him.

SPORTSNET: Lawyers representing the Chicago Blackhawks sent a letter to Kyle Beach’s attorney requesting mediation in their lawsuit settlement negotiations. In the letter, the club’s lawyers called Beach’s initial demand “extraordinary”. Beach’s lawyer replied the Blackhawks did not make a counteroffer. The former player is suing the team over its handling of his allegations of sexual assault against former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury suffered 23 days ago. He’s unlikely to rejoin the club for the remainder of their current road trip.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo $2,000.00 for diving and embellishment in a recent game against the Florida Panthers.

The Arizona Coyotes announced assistant coach Phil Housley has been placed on the COVID protocol list.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski cites a source saying the NHL is in talks with Las Vegas officials about staging two new skills competition events outdoors on the Las Vegas Strip during the 2022 All-Star weekend (Feb. 4-5, 2022).