NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2020

by | Jan 31, 2020 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Game recaps, Predators GM David Poile reaches a historic milestone, Tomas Hertl out of the season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene gave the Nashville Predators a 6-5 win over the New Jersey Devils. Forsberg also scored twice in regulation, while Devils forward Pavel Zacha scored two goals and collected an assist. The Predators (55 points) are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The win was the 1,507th of Predators GM David Poile’s career, moving him past Glen Sather into first place for most victories for an NHL general manager.

Filip Forsberg scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the New Jersey Devils 6-5 (Photo via NHL Images)

Al Iafallo’s hat trick lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 overtime victory over the slumping Arizona Coyotes, who’ve won three of their last 10 games. The Coyotes (58 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision with Kings forward Dustin Brown.

The Montreal Canadiens kept their fading playoff hopes alive by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Winger Brendan Gallagher marked his return to the roster following a six-game absence by tallying the game-winning goal. Sabres captain Jack Eichel netted his 30th of the season. The Habs sit eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they acknowledged reports of employing illegal tactics recruiting tactics but declined to comment on any potential investigation. Some CHL teams accused the club of putting draft-eligible players through physical testing, which isn’t allowed before the annual NHL combine in June. They could face fines of $250K or more.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Bad news for the struggling San Jose Sharks, as winger Tomas Hertl is out for the season after suffering torn knee ligaments during Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Sharks sinking toward the bottom of the Western standings, Hertl’s injury could be the final nail in the coffin for this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins announced winger David Backes won’t be reporting to the AHL affiliate in Providence after recently clearing waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Backes simply won’t be playing for a while as the Bruins consider their options. He won’t be suspended, he’s not retiring, and his contract won’t be terminated. I’ll have more on his situation in the rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: The St. Louis Blues recalled forward Troy Brouwer.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Tyler Motte (upper body) was placed on injured reserve.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers placed Kris Russell and Joakim Nygard on injured reserve.



  1. Safe to say Backes and the Bruins aren’t happy with each other…..

    • Actually, no, their relationship is fine. Backes understands this situation, and Bruins management are fine with him not reporting.

      • He actually makes more money in the minors because of the no escrow

      • 👍🏻

  2. Well, after 39g 55a 94 pts in 219 gp since joining the Bruins – at a cost of almost $5 mil per, I can see why the Bruins feels that way

  3. Appears the bruins arnt actually all that upset with him. Otherwise they would suspend and save some money. A surprisingly classy move by the bruins.

    • Agree

      I’m sure there were several well planned and very careful and tactful discussions on how to move forward; followed by some very good (and candid) meetings (Backes, Agent; Sweeney and maybe even Casidy)

      It seems all are on board and in sync

      As at right now , the net effect is like a “mutually agreed upon paid leave of absence” with Team benefitting from burying $1.08 M (annual rate in Cap) and player not losing any money or dignity and being given time and space for decisions on his playing future

      Kudos to all involved here

      Moving into next year is a different story though

      • Ya, it my be different next year Pengy, or they may just buy him out. Won’t be as bad next season. Or he retires and gets a job within the organization that pays well.
        I think everybody is just being intellectually honest, which is refreshing these days. Backes knows he hasn’t played well enough to keep his spot on the roster, he can’t make a reasonable argument that he has. The B’s MGT and players respect him for who he is and he has earned it.
        Ya, classy move Chrisms, not sure if you are surprised by the Bruins doing it or that any NHL team would. I’m not that surprised by Sweeney doing it, seems par for the course IMO.

      • It was a bit of good old friendly shade thrown the Bruins direction.

  4. David…go to your room…your grounded….but, you can watch tv, play video games and here’s your allowance. Good boy.

  5. Will they try to move him in a trade as part of a bigger deal probably tough to do cause he really don’t have much left

  6. What a shock. Another knee on knee collision which Dustin Brown miraculously survives.
    They should name an orthopedic wing of an LA hospital after him.

    • that was my thought too. Still remember his ‘collision’ with (Hanzal?) playing for Yotes in 2012. OT, the play was offside, late ‘hit’ (knee on knee), no penalty call, Coyote was out – turned out to be long term. The bench was hot, about 10 seconds later LA scored the series winner and went on to win the cup.
      Dustin Brown
      Flush him down