NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2021

by | Jan 15, 2021 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Recaps of Thursday’s action and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid had a hat trick and Leon Draisaitl had four assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored twice for the Oilers and added an assist while Mikko Koskinen made 38 saves for the win. The Oilers peppered Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko with 46 shots.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins seemed determined to make amends for their unproductive efforts in the Oilers’ 5-3 loss to the Canucks the night before. They were the best players on the ice in this game.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as his club edged the Calgary Flames 4-3. Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists for the Jets. Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm replied for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine doesn’t appear to be troubled by the trade rumors dogging him since last fall. If this game is any indication, the 22-year-old sniper could have one of the best seasons of his career.

The New York Islanders spoiled the NHL debut of Alexis Lafreniere by blanking the New York Rangers 4-0. Anders Lee scored twice while Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for the shutout. Rangers center Mika Zibanejad played over 19 minutes after recovering from COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lafreniere, the first-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, saw 15:21 of ice time with one shot on goal and a two-minute hooking penalty that led to Lee’s second goal. Overall, the Rangers played poorly in this contest as the Isles took an early 3-0 lead and never looked back.

Peter Laviolette picked up his first win as head coach of the Washington Capitals as his club hung on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 6-4. T.J. Oshie had a three-point night (one goal, two assists), Alex Ovechkin collected two assists while Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson each had a goal and an assist. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist in his debut with the Sabres while teammate Eric Staal left the game in the third period after he was hit in the head by the Capitals’ Nic Dowd. Staal is listed as day-to-day.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring and ended it with a shootout goal as the Boston Bruins nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Devils center Jack Hughes collected two assists while teammate Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves.

Filip Forsberg snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period as the Nashville Predators went on to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. Juuse Saros kicked out 29 shots for the Predators.

Mark Stone scored a goal and set up another in his first game as Vegas Golden Knights captain, leading them to a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Alex Pietrangelo had a team-leading 25:40 of ice time and collected an assist in his debut with the Golden Knights. Max Comtois scored twice for the Ducks.

A shootout goal by Logan Couture gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Sharks had a 3-1 lead in the third but the Coyotes rallied to tie it on goals by Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel. Tomas Hertl scored twice for the Sharks and picked up an assist while teammate Evander Kane had a goal and two assists.

Kirill Kaprizov made an impressive NHL debut with two assists and a breakaway overtime goal to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar each had two points for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaprizov was the star of the game as he seemed to have little difficulty adjusting to the NHL pace. He’s among the top rookies for watch in this season’s race for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

The Carolina Hurricanes opened their season by shutting out the Detroit Red Wings 3-0. Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Dzingel and Andrei Svechnikov were the goal scorers while Petr Mrazek made 14 saves for the shutout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes’ margin of victory would’ve been larger if not for a 40-save performance by Wings goalie Thomas Greiss, who got little help from his teammates in this contest.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed Jonathan Toews (illness) and Kirby Dach (wrist surgery) on long-term injury reserve and placed defenseman Brent Seabrook (back) on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews going on LTIR indicates his mysterious illness will keep him out of the lineup much longer than anticipated.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Sammy Blais received a two-way suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews on Wednesday. Toews left the game but returned and afterward said he suffered no lingering effects from the hit.

TSN: The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers yesterday just two days after claiming him from the Edmonton Oilers.

CBS SPORTS: The Sharks placed defenseman Radim Simek (undisclosed) on injured reserve.


  1. Flames dominated the first and then went fully asleep at the wheel for the second. Beauty snipe by Laine for their first goal; but the best part of that play was Forbort robbing Rasmus Andersson of a goal.

    Definitely seeing some ‘Tenders working on getting up to game level and I think the first 5-10 games will be above average for scoring while teams get back up to speed defensively.

    • Plus Zib with no team practices.

      It will come.

    • Looks like “bad” auto corrected to “young”, weird.

  2. Only one game, don’t want to be to critical; however same issue for the Bruins can’t score 5 on 5, both goals came on the PP with Miles Woods going to the box twice for goaltender interference, as he skates away from the net with a smile. Maybe saying to himself “I’m glad there is no Chara there.”

    • Ya Caper, but they were the better team most of the game and no Pasta. Rask was solid. Zboril got through it OK. Miller looks healthy. Grez played well in an expanded role and getting bulk of PP time. Lauzon played a whack on the PK. To your point I am coming around to the idea that they could use more toughness. We’ll see how it progresses.
      As for Chara, I checked his #’s this AM.
      20 minutes, +2, over 70% of his shifts started in the D zone. An effective Chara type game.

      • Surprisingly Carlo at 16:48 had the least Toi of all dman.

      • I thought that was weird too.
        Guessing it won’t continue.

  3. Other than Pittsburgh, Buffalo will be the biggest bust this season …

  4. Laine, as advertised by your favorite prognosticator, well on his way to be 3rd in league scoring behind Ovi and Matthews.

    • There’s a shock Wendel!
      Didn’t watch that game, but rave reviews from those getting paid to talk about it.
      There was a question that came out from somebody asking for the top 3 scorers in the NORTH division, you responded for the league.
      Mine were : Matthews, Draisaitl and McDavid (who I think scores more this year) .
      You listed 2, who is the 3rd?

      • Ray
        Ovi Matthews and Laine, and btw Laine is scoring at a 2 gpg pace , 97 at a 1.5 pace. Again, facts are important.

  5. One of the things most people miss about Laine is how his game has evolve.

    Last night was a good example. Outside of Ovie best shot and quickest release in the game.

    His passing, the pass he made to Connor to set up Connor goal was a thing of beauty.

    His defensive awareness he is one of the first player to be back checking.

    His physicality he finishes more check then most players on the team.

    Last night Hanafin crossed check Connor dangerously in the back sending him flying into the end boards and who was the first player to grab Hanafin; correct, Laine, who also landed a punch to Tkachuk face. Laine received a a roughing penalty.

    After the game Laine was asked about the roughing penalty and he replied “I’m pissed i didn’t get a fighting major.”

    lastly his team mates love him, if you seen how they interacted after to OT goal, it spoke volumes.

    • Good for him Caper, and good for the Jets.