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.
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.
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.
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.