NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2021

by | Jan 20, 2021 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Recaps of Tuesday’s games, Hurricanes-Predators game postpone over COVID-19 concerns, Avalanche trade Ian Cole to Minnesota, Elias Pettersson fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Jack Hughes enjoyed his first two-goal game and added an assist as his New Jersey Devils held on for a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 47 saves for the win. Artemi Panarin collected two assists for the Rangers, who lost center Mika Zibanejad to an apparent upper-body injury after falling into the corner boards late in the third period.

New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes and Blackwood were the Devils’ stars in this contest. This was Hughes’ best game in his young NHL career, showing the skills that made him the first-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. An update on Zibanejad’s status could be made later today.

The Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 thanks to a 40-save performance by goalie Brian Elliott. Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who lost defenseman Philippe Myers and center Morgan Frost to injuries during this contest. Both are slated for MRIs today. Sabres goalie Carter Hutton didn’t return for the third period following a collision in his crease in the second period. Earlier in the day, the Sabres moved winger Kyle Okposo (undisclosed) on injured reserve. He’s yet to play a game this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big bounce-back win for the injury-depleted Flyers after getting drubbed 6-1 by the Sabres on Monday. The Sabres had plenty of opportunities to score but Elliott held them off the board.

An overtime goal by Frank Vatrano lifted the Florida Panthers over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves, the most notable stopping Patrick Kane on a penalty shot. Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe each scored twice for the Panthers while Dominik Kubalik tallied twice for the Blackhawks, who still seek their first win of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be a long, painful season for the Blackhawks. They’ve given up five goals in each of their first four games.

The Pittsburgh Penguins swept their two-game series with the Washington Capitals with a 5-4 overtime victory. Sidney Crosby tallied the winner in the extra frame as the Penguins overcame a 4-2 deficit. Tom Wilson scored twice for the Capitals. Penguins defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola left the game with undisclosed ailments and will be evaluated today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby collected three points in this contest and is now the Penguins’ leading scorer with five points.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-1 deficit to edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist and Mark Scheifele collected two assists for the Jets. Senators rookie Tim Stuetzle missed the game with what’s been called a minor injury but he isn’t expected to be sidelined for long.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough loss for the Senators, who out-shot the Jets 41-28 in this game.

Tyler Bertuzzi potted an overtime winner to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 decision over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wings forward Bobby Ryan scored his fourth goal in his first three games of this season, becoming the first player in franchise history to achieve that feat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-earned victory for the rebuilding Red Wings over a Blue Jackets team whose best players have been anything but through most of the first week of their season.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists, including his 500th career point, in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Anze Kopitar had two helpers for the Kings. The Avs were playing without goaltender Pavel Francouz and winger Andre Burakovsky as both remain sidelined by injuries suffered during practice on Monday.

The Carolina Hurricanes-Nashville Predators game was postponed after five Hurricanes players (Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Jaccob Slavin) were placed in COVID-19 protocol. The rescheduled game will be played at a later date.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This probably won’t be the last game to be rescheduled during this season. The Dallas Stars had their first four games postponed and rescheduled after several players were placed in COVID-19 protocol during the final days of training camp.


THE DENVER POST: Prior to the Colorado Avalanche’s game with the Los Angeles Kings, they shipped defenseman Ian Cole to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for blueliner Greg Pateryn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild made this swap because general manager Bill Guerin was looking for an experienced stay-at-home defenseman. He also knows Cole from their days with the Pittsburgh Penguins and likes what the blueliner could bring to his roster.

The Avs, meanwhile, shed all but $800K of Cole’s $4.25 million annual average value while taking on Pateryn’s $2.25 million AAV. It allows the to put Pateryn on the taxi squad if necessary to create room for promising blueliner Bowen Byram.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson was fined $3,987.07 for slashing Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan during a game on Monday night.

NHL.COM: The league will pause the use of pucks with embedded tracking technology because of performance issues. A new supply of tracking pucks will be received soon and put into service once quality-control testing is completed.


  1. Pens…. whew!

    Not a good start to the season… but finally B2B wins scraped out.

    The formula of only having 4 (possibly 5) players actually showing up; engaged; ready, willing and able to play; and actually executing….. Sid, 3rd line and for two games… Guentzel…. is not a formula for success

    When your most solid and reliable D Man (Dumo) is the direct cause of 3 goals in first two games (waaaaaaay out of character for Dumo [note I believe he has been one of the most underrated Dmen for a couple of years])…. not a formula for success

    The apathy and discombobulated play is painful to watch

    Yes a team that is built on speed and precision that had a very shortened training camp and no exhibition games is going to have a tough start…. but wow…. this has been a struggle

    Two goalies struggling (DeSmith was great in first outing , but for sure lost on 3 stoppables last night); D mismatches; coaching guffaws; early injuries …. not a formula for success

    Their most costly acquisition in a few seasons (top D prospect, 1st, and at $5.5 M) being absolutely the worst player on the team (and on the ice… worst for both teams) for 3 of 4 games…. not a formula for success. When your team is struggling ….. missing passes (giving and receiving) everywhere on the ice and floating for half the game … not a formula for success …. he needs to step up at least to half his $5.5 M Cap hit… I’ll take him even playing at $1M value right now

    Injuries mounting 🤬😢

    Sid is going great,👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
    Love the 3rd line👍👍👍
    Gino took 10 + periods to come alive… 😄… but hopefully he’s back to form👍👍
    Kappy looked very good 👍😄👍😄👍😄

    Let’s hope that sparks the rest🙏🤞🙏🤞

    Re my other fav team…. to me … not as good as Habs.
    Leafs (3-1) are in 1st in CanDiv but should be 4th:

    Habs for sure should have (and deserved to) beat Leafs…. IN REG… Leafs goal aided by weird Ref bounce and no call on JT hook in 3rd when Habs up 4-3… instead of 4-3 Habs and Habs on PP, Leafs score very shortly after the non call on JT. Habs should have won in reg… making them undefeated at 3-0.

    Leafs then would be 2-2 (4 points in 4 GP); behind Flames (5 pts, 3GP); and Jets (4 pts like Leafs but in 3GP)

    Too early in season…. but IMHO…. Habs looking like best in CanDiv right now

    3 remaining undefeated teams … and one of them is Panthers …. wow 🤩

    • Are you talking about Zucker? Zucker has been fine, hasn’t got a point yet but he’s putting shots up and he’s noticeable.

      Blueger and Kapanan were both great last night.

      Worried about being down 3 dmen.

      • Hi Dee

        Yep really liked Kappy and Blueger

        Also really like the McC Jankowski Turbo line

        Sid looks great; Guentzel just missing (posts, near misses) on many… so that is coming very soon

        Gino broke out last night👍👍

        Rust just missing to click (like Guentzel) but getting there… just on the cusp of breaking out

        Re Zucker… sorry can’t agre at all with you. From my vantage point he has by far been Pens’ absolutely worst forward in these first 4 games

        I’m hoping this was just because no exhibition games and/or short training camp

        I thought it was me misreading his play and only remembering his mistakes in the first two games ; so I took more notice in game 3 and actually paid specific attention to him in last nights game…. he floats too many times… hoping for a breakaway.. which he has got; but not closed the sale on yet; but his floating effectively causes 5 on 4 in Pens zone … which has cost them. He is also making panicked dumps or quick ups off the mark and is flubbing passes (giving and receiving)

        Last night I counted 11 times that he either flubbed giving a pass; receiving a pass; or panicked and just shot it up the boards… effectively “giving” the puck to Washington… 11 times in one game … he must be feeling the Ghost of JJ past … LOL

        Caps were pressing and he had an ample opportunity to dump it out (via neutral zone centre ice or down the close boards)…. instead he panicked and rifled on the boards facing his own end … to round boards behind net and along far boards… easily received by Caps D… that then ensued with massive Caps onslaught…. Not good

        So…. to Pengy’s weary eyes… as at now… Zucker is their worst forward (that has played in the 4 games) by far (so far this season)…. I can’t believe this would continue (it better not!!) …. hence my other post re desiring a Roslovic for Zucker trade

        Not a chance Chevy would take it; and Jimbo won’t do it as it would prove that he seriously overpaid (Addison AND a first; AND at $5.5 M Cap… ouch) … but Roslovic for Zucker would be nice

        TSN has inferred Jimbo’s interest in Roslovic and that maybe a D would be Chevy’s ask

        Pens won’t (and shouldn’t) be offering Dumo ; Tanger; Marino; or Joseph (Joseph should be in Pens top 4 in 2-3 years)

        Ruhweedel (please) won’t even come close; Chevy won’t bight on Matheson or Ceci

        That leaves Riikola and Pettersson … both injured last night… and the hit on Pettersson looked awful so not sure how long he’ll be out

        If Riikola and Pettersson out for next game ; and with Matheson already out…. is Sully stupid enough to put CR on the left top 4 ? 🤬😡

        Might get to see Joseph have his NHL debut… but at only 165 pounds (listed) …. he’d be focused in on by opposition and would need to be sheltered

        Should be Czuczman …. and what I saw of his WBS play and his exhibitions in the bubble last summer …. I’m good with that move

        🙏🤞🙏🤞re injuries


      • Zucker is streaky but he’ll be fine, I’m definitely not trading him for a bottom 6 player plus Rodriguez is the worst forward on the team by far. I think Riiko was playing well especially on the PP so I’m hanging onto him to. Petterson is tall but I bet he’s way under 200 pounds as well, that’s how he got rocked so bad even though that hit was dirty and committed by a guy who throws those blindside hits all the time. If they put Kapanan in the top 6 and on the top PP because of the RH shot and get Rodriguez off the PP all together things won’t be too bad. I really don’t hate their D when healthy, other than CC but he doesn’t have to play in the top 6.

  2. Just was in nhl.com/standings to see how the rangers are doing…but the scroll bar was frozen..

  3. Pens go the way of the Wings , Hawks and Kings. only so long that you can stay on top, keep the team together.

    Tampa is starting to feel it, Oilers and Leafs haven’t succeeded despite the high picks.

    Colorado seems like the next ones, NYR might join them.

    Obviously I hope the Habs take, they are built for it this year, but the window is small.

    • Hi habfan30

      Ur prob right re Pens … hoping not tho 🤞🙏

      What I’ve seen of Habs so far… I’m still thinking they can end up winning CanDiv

      Leafs not designed for a Cup… 1/2 of Cap on 4 Fwds is not a good scenario

      Need stronger D; better goaltending; balanced fwd lines

      Oil big need is in net IMHO

      Yes Avs are team of future

      The West Div playoff finals (VGK v Avs) should determine team in SCF ‘21 likely meeting Bolts

      Interesting times

  4. As I sip my morning coffee…

    No word on the Grzelcyk injury which happened two days ago

      • Lyle…. I meant to say no word from the Bruins but they tend to be a bit slow with their injury news … you’re always on top of it

  5. If Griz is out,do the b s stretch and play Vak ?That would give them 3 rookie l h defensemen.This is the year to do it.Otherwise we will here about Hanifan,the one that got away in the 2015 draft.

    • Hanifin was drafted at #5 in 2015 who knows what Carolina would’ve wanted for that pick with the Bruins having 13-14-15 or even if Sweeney offered anything …. but they did get Carlo & Lauzon out of the draft which was nice

  6. Perhaps the NHL should start utilizing a rapid test along with their current testing strategy.

  7. Steve R.,Joe would you rather have Chabot,Lauzon s d partner or Barzal,Boeser,Connor than Carlo?That 2015 crippled them for years.

    • yes as stated many times here the Bruins (Sweeney,Neely & Scouting ) screwed up that draft BIG TIME

  8. Joe,in that draft they got a second or third line left wing,a second pair at best defensemen I think he is no more than a 4,And a defensemen who is closer to a third pair than a first.They need to do better than that.If their goalies aren t lights out wait to you see how the team implodes.They always seem to be outshooting and out chancing teams,where does that get you?

    • I would have no problem with them trading Carlo if they can get a nice return for the offense he’s a SAH Dman and there’s a lot of them in the league