NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2020

by | Feb 19, 2020 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Sidney Crosby has a four-point game, an update on Jay Bouwmeester, the Senators honor Chris Phillips, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up four points in a 5-2 victory over the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs. Bryan Rust collected three points as the Penguins (80 points) moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division. Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 43rd goal of the season for the Leafs (70 points), who cling to third place in the Atlantic Division. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch due to illness. Earlier in the day, the Penguins also revealed forward Zach Aston-Reese is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby led his club to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to take anything away from the Penguins’ dominant performance, but that was a pathetic effort by the Leafs in a must-win game. They’ve dropped six of their last nine and remain in danger of slipping out of a playoff spot.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 17 saves to shut out the New Jersey Devils 3-0, snapping his club’s five-game losing skid. It was their first victory since Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident last week in Anaheim. Bouwmeester released a statement yesterday indicating he’s on the road to recovery. With 76 points, the Blues hold a two-point lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Western Conference. Devils’ Will Butcher and Nick Merkley left the game with injuries.

The Ottawa Senators honored former defenseman Chris Phillips by retiring his number and thumping the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. They tallied four goals in a 3:29 span in the first period and sealed the two with two third-period goals. Jean-Gabriel Pageau led the way with two goals and two assists while Artem Anisimov also scored twice. Brandon Montour scored twice for the Sabres, who remain eight points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic.

Travis Konecny had a three-point performance as the Philadelphia Flyers rolled to a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, leaving the latter winless in their last six games. The Flyers (73 points) vaulted over the New York Islanders and the Blue Jackets into third in the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho scored to extend his points streak to 10 games in a 4-1 win over Nashville Predators. The Hurricanes (72 points) hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Predators (65 points) remain three points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth.

Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers each had three points as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. With 67 points, the Jets are one point out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-1 lead to fall 4-3 to the lowly Detroit Red Wings, who swept their four-game regular-season series. Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for the Wings, handing the Habs their fifth straight defeat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, we can close the book on the Canadiens’ playoff hopes for 2020. Earlier in the day, they traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues for two draft picks. More moves are likely in store leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline. The Wings, meanwhile, won 15 games thus far this season. Four of those came against the Canadiens.


SPORTSNET: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen received some good news when an MRI on his upper-body injury revealed no requirement for surgery. He’s expected to return before the end of the regular season.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser will be sidelined eight weeks with a rib cartilage fracture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks already made a significant move to address Boeser’s absence by acquiring Tyler Toffoli earlier this week. They might not be done dealing.

CBC.CA: A shoulder injury will sidelined Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom for the next two-to-three weeks.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers acquired minor-league winger Julien Gauthier from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for minor-league defenseman Joey Keane.


  1. It was a light skate and 2 points for Sid and the boys…2 more coming Thursday for the Pens.

    • Joey, the playoff picture east and west is promising to be one of the most intense in recent years, a prospect which could galvanize some of the teams involved into making deals they may come to regret later

      • I’m sure that third for demileo will be sorely missed. 😳

      • I doubt it – they were 29th with him – can finish there without him. Certainly no more than SJ will regret losing Dillon or the Habs shipping out Scandella, both of whom are better than DeMelo. 🙂

      • George,regardless of how many teams fight to the bitter end for a playoff spot in the East, unless TML stops laying eggs and starts doing on the ice all the right things they admit they are not doing after each loss, TML won’t be one of those teams fighting for one of those playoff spots.

        Like I said yesterday, the sky is not yet falling for TML but the roof over their heads is definitely taking on water

    • Good morning guys …

      Iam really not gong to comment on the Leafs ..barbecue there really is no need it speaks for itself….loud and clear !

      HOWEVER …I have to echo what Geirg O is saying ..especially in teh East …not only did the Leaf look like a bunch of slugs ..the Penguines looked like a Champion ship caliber that is going to compete at the absolute highest level against the rival clubs in the Bolts Bruins and Caps …I can not wait to see some of these teams play each other…as George said this could be an amazing playoff series with a few of the teams going head to head..

      Zucker has really given speed skill and FINALLY a finishing touch to the Crosby line….in a very similar style he looks and play a lot like Chris Kunitz…not only that but it seems as if every player the Pens are bringing up over the past few years CONTRIBUTES in some way in there tenure or regardless of how many games they play …they just fill a role and play hard hockey!

      I can not say enough about Jarry ..just wow this kid has been just lights out ..great to see ..hes just so solid in there.

      And Mike Sullivan as I said last week really deserves Coach of the Year ..its not even close ..

      @ PENGY …

      keep that Glenlivet close you may need some to celebrate with over the playoffs this year !


      • If anyone reads my post ……Sorry about the spelling ..

        was trying to get a post in before taking the kids to school……LOL..apologies !

  2. The Maple Loaves would be better served to take that 5.5M they are about to give Muzzin and sprinkle it down Bay Street … sort of a refund to their diehards who deserve better from Dumbasss and Shanny with his head up his fanny ..

    • They have a pretty good selection of individual forwards, but from what I’ve observed, they’re a far cry from being a team.

      I’d trade the kid who wanted the most money, yet the least term on the “team” and fill out the roster with what you get in return.
      Or just keep on, keepin’ on.

    • dufais has to sign muzzin,,
      He relinquished , A “TON’ TO GET HIM …

      Leafs are in ‘Trouble, Big Trouble…
      What”s next in Leaf land

  3. Pension Plan Puppets, a Leaf blog that’s fun to read, headlined its game summary “The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t half as sick as we are of them.”
    Brutal’s the only word for that effort.

    • Probably the worst case scenario for Dubas, BCLeafFan – at least optically – is to finish 9th, just out of the playoffs, and fail to get into the Top 10 picks in the draft order, as I believe that # 1 given to Carolina was protected only if it slotted into the Top 10.

  4. Was the firing of Babcock really the right move?

    • Hard to say Smitty, seems like they had tuned him out. Truth hurts I guess. Keefe is now letting them have it in the media. Maybe they don’t like his message anymore either.
      He was right about one thing, this group needs to learn how to defend and until they do, they aren’t winning anything.
      Still a young core that can turn it around, just not sure they can do it without Rielly.
      Obe’s right, those 2 games against FLA are huge.

    • I think it was deliberate, and the tank is on. Leafs knew they were not a real contender and decided to tank by firing Babcock and replacing with an inexperienced person.

      They did the same to Carlyle as they were in a playoff position at the time, canned him and went on to draft Mathews… Shanahan’s best move to date. they are trying to do it again in another strong draft year.

      • The Leafs, with 70 pts, have 21 games to go 2.0, with 16 teams behind them down to Detroit. Since they only have a pick in Round 1 if they finish among the bottom 10, that would be one helluva tank job!

        Detroit up to Buffalo currently sit in the bottom 10 – forget about falling far and fast enough to pass, going in the opposite direction, the Red Wings (34 pts), L.A. (47 pts), Ottawa (53 pts), N.J. (54 pts), Anaheim (55 pts) and San Jose (56 pts).
        In whatever ultimate order, they hold down the bottom 6.

        They are 8 up on Buffalo and Montreal – both in free-fall themselves – 9 up on Minnesota and 10 on ChIcago and, since those teams are pretty much resigned to missing the playoffs, I doubt they’d allow the Leafs to pass them going the other way.

        As I say elsewhere, the Leafs’ worst case scenario is to miss by a hair, fail to get into the bottom 10, and sit at the draft table watching Round 1 sail by.

  5. Leafs play Florida twice will come down to those two games Florida doesn’t look any better than Toronto right now. I am obviously a Bruins fan but watch a pile of Leaf games to me Marner is paid double more than he should be maybe a 5.5 million dollar player. Matthews is a one man wrecking machine but needs to learn to pass the puck once in awhile. Tavares is slowing down a little bit but still is very capable. Frederik isn’t the same goalie he was last few years and injuries has cost them not enough depth.

    • Agree Obe

      Those 2 games just may come down to the ‘tenders

      Panthers don’t really have an issue putting the puck in the net (tied 4th in NHL with Avs)

      Bobo @ $10 M ….21-17-5; 3.31 GAA; 897 Save %’age

  6. As a Leafs/Pens fan….. as I’ve posted before; when they meet I always hope for a high scoring OT win by whatever team is lower in the standings; and Sid to score

    So pre-game I was hoping for 5-4 Leafs in OT; Sid with a pair

    When they announced at last minute that Geno would be out ; I thought there was a chance of a Leaf victory and that it may even come in reg (to my regret as I wish for both teams to get game points)

    ….oh how wrong I was

    Leafs need to listen to the mantra of the “knuckleheads” in LetterKenny:

    “Forecheck; Back check; Pay Cheque”

    Leafs didn’t do the first two but did get the last one 🤔

    A Panthers win in the West Coast tonight would put Leafs sitting outside of a playoff spot (same points but Panthers would have played 1 less game; so by NHL rules; puts Leafs 4th in Div)🤪😡

    • @ PENGY

      Stick with the Pens …and do not look back !!

  7. Have you ever seen the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup ??!??

    • Of course, who hasn’t?

      • Everyone on the planet 53 years old and younger 🙂