NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2021

by | Jan 25, 2021 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s game, the Leafs remember the late George Armstrong and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Morgan Rielly collected three assists and Auston Matthews netted the game-winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Before the game, the Leafs mourned former captain George Armstrong, who passed away yesterday at age 90.

Hall-of-Famer George Armstrong passed away Sunday at age 90. (NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong spent his entire 21-NHL career with the Leafs, 12 of those as captain. He led the Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the 1960s, finishing his career with 296 goals and 713 points in 1,188 games. Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975 and went on to work for the Leafs in various front-office roles and was a long-time scout and team ambassador. My condolences to Armstrong’s family, friends, former teammates, and the Leafs organization.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their second win of the season by thumping the Detroit Red Wings 6-2. Blackhawks rookie Pius Suter tallied a hat track, becoming the second player in franchise history to score his first three NHL goals in one game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a well-deserved victory by the Blackhawks. The Red Wings certainly didn’t help their cause, looking every bit as horrible as they did last season.

Jack Eichel’s shootout goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 decision over the Washington Capitals. Sabres defensemen Colin Miller and Rasmus Ristolainen each had two points, as did Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and blueliner Justin Schultz.

A controversial goal by William Karlsson late in the third period lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Arizona Coyotes 1-0. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves for his 62nd career shutout, moving into 17th place on the all-time list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet wasn’t pleased by Karlsson’s goal, believing play should’ve been whistled down for icing.

The New Jersey Devils got goals from Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha to blank the New York Islanders 2-0. Scott Wedgewood kicked out 28 shots for the shutout. Devils blueliner Ty Smith became the sixth rookie defenseman in NHL history to collect points in his first five games.

Jake Guentzel tallied his 100th career NHL goal, breaking a 2-2 tie as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the New York Rangers 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up two assists. Rangers center Filip Chytil left the game with an upper-body injury following a second-period collision with Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues.

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 thanks to a 32-save performance by goaltender John Gibson.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the St. Louis Blues 6-3. Brayden Schenn scored twice for the Blues.

Brent Burns’ goal late in the third period was the game-winner as the San Jose Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Sharks forward Ryan Donato had a goal and an assist, as did Wild winger Zach Parise.

The Dallas Stars tallied three power-play goals to hold off the Nashville Predators 3-2. Stars forwards Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz each tallied a goal and two assists. The Stars were playing without captain Jamie Benn, who’s been sidelined with a lower-body injury since Friday’s season-opener.

Leon Draisaitl scored with one second remaining in the game to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected three assists in this contest.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson has changed agents, moving to Pat Brisson at CAA Hockey. Brisson also represents Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brisson is among the NHL’s most powerful agents. Pettersson and Hughes are in the final seasons of their entry-level contracts. Both will be seeking significant raises this summer.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed center Brandon Dubinsky on long-term injury reserve. He’s been sidelined since the 2019 playoffs with a chronic wrist injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubinsky’s playing career is likely over. He’s in the final season of his contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.


  1. We shared a family name with George Armstrong and my younger brother’s name was George so the Leaf captain was a hero in our house.
    My dad said that Armstrong skated like he needed his skates sharpened – he wasn’t the quickest guy out there – but he sure could play.
    I can remember, as a camp counsellor in my teens, telling the kids at camp that George Armstrong was my brother. The reaction was always “Wow really?”
    A great Leaf and a good man – RIP George.

  2. I have to admit my overreaction to the Penguins start … 4 in a row is pretty sweet … the blueline is still weak but Joseph looks like a keeper so far … Jarry has rebounded nicely but Malkin and Zucker look lost … Malkin is pulling his sulking disinterested act and Zucker can’t generate any offense … and he cost the Pens a #1 and top prospect Cale Addison …. wow

    • Maybe a top prospect for the pens but their pool is very weak

  3. After having the weekend to listen and review the Laine PLD trade, it leaves me with more questions then answer. I keep reading does there need to be a winner. My response is the NH got rid of ties because no one liked them. No different then haggling with some one to drive down the price, you want a perceived deal.

    Just to debate the two players.

    One a center and one a winger. Most feel it needs to be a C.

    Two players who are thought to want out of the City.

    What did we learn?

    PLD, says he asked for a trade before the season started and has great respect for Torts, goes on to say that Torts is only hard on you because he wants the best out of you and says there is no rift between him and the coach and has nothing but respect for Torts.

    Laine, posted how he loved playing in Winnipeg and the passion the city had for hockey, it came to him very early that Winnipers loved hockey more then anything else. Goes on to thank everyone.

    What did the teammates say.

    Blake Wheeler; Its a sad day. Takes some blame for how he handle things with players early on in his captaincy.

    Nick Folingo we only want players here who want to play here and want to win.

    2020 stat line

    PLD 70gp 18g – 31a 49pts -2
    PL 68gp 28g- 35a 63pts +8

    We know PLD wanted out of Columbus and if we take him at his word, wasn’t because of Torts or his teammates; reasons we may never know. He did say his teammates know as he inform them.

    PL, never once said he wanted out of Winnipeg, he did say he wanted to be on the top line and a better opportunity.

    Both players send out nice messages and excited for their new opportunity. PLD says Winnipeg already feels like home.

    Next contract PLD is signed for another season and i dare say that was huge in this contract, i believe if PLD doesn’t have a second season this trade doesn’t happen.

    From a Winnipeg respective its long been suspected that Laine next contract will be demands of around $9m they say this played a big part in the trade. Tough negotiations ahead.

    Personal view this is the one thing that bother me, if it’s true that the next contract is part of the reason.

    You have a high end pick your hoping the player is going to have a huge impact on your team, but what not to much success because you don’t want to pay the player?
    It’s like “hay we hope your good but don’t be to good to early.”

    PLD is a quality C and will add physical grit to the Jets, although sometimes skates around like a chicken wit his head cut off, will be an impact player and set Winnipeg up for a quality number 1 and 2 c with Mark Scheifele

    Laine is a top scoring winger with size a arguably the best release in the NHL. Laine has improved his 200ft game over the pass 2 seasons and as most in Winnipeg have commented he increased his assist, played a strong 2way game but decreased his goal scoring.

    Laine was drafted 2nd over all and PLD 3rd, now they have flipped and Winnipeg added Roslovic for a 3rd round pick.

    PLD wanted out and Laine was going to cost too much to resign, PLD has an extra year on his contract and his next contract won’t be as high of a demand as PL. PLD fills a need for the Jets and Laine will be a Rocket Richard candidate for seasons to come.

    Columbus wins this trade just by getting Roslovic. Both players are high quality and will help their new team.

    Patrik Laine, i would and have paid to watch play, Patrik Laine is the best player in this trade.

    JK says he would of had to give up assets to move up one spot in the draft to draft Laine.

    • JK says he would of had to give up assets to move up one spot in the draft to draft Laine.

      Isn’t it funny, a few years later in which both Laine and PDL have proven their worth, JK receives Laine and a nice asset (Roslovic) for PDL?

      • Gohabsgo you’re discounting the fact PLD is signed for an extra season at a good value.

    • You have put some thought into this Caper.
      More than me, and I agree with a bunch of that, but we disagree on the value of the players.
      I value C’s more than W’s because they have a bigger impact on the game all over the ice. The responsibility of the positions dictates that.
      PLD generates more scoring opportunities than Laine on the ice, and I would also say, but can’t justify with data, he prevents more chances against.
      Hence a more complete and valuable player.
      At the end of the year it isn’t the team that scores the most goals that wins, it is the team that scores more than the team they are playing against most often that does. Keeping it out is just as important as putting it in.
      Agree with your point the contracts had a big impact on this trade, which they should in a cap world.
      IMO Laine doesn’t get $9M in a flat cap world. Even if he gets $8M, that $3M is a big deal next year for a team wanting to win now.

      As far as what everyone is saying publicly, whatever, every agent and team has handed out the talking points.
      The teams don’t want to seem like they pushed good young players away, and the players don’t want to appear to be whiny coach killers.
      Not sure we will ever know what really drove these guys to ask out, other than they wanted to be somewhere else.

    • Thats the first time I have heard a Jets fan describe Laine’s two way play as ‘strong’. He has improved over the last two years and it is no longer a joke, it is just that his defense is not the 5v5 drag that it was.

      Laine may become a great player but what he offers is not near a 10m value (except maybe in Toronto) at this time in his career.

      dubois will continue to improve and will be playing with stronger players – his stat line should improve.

      The Jets are a better team than they were last week and will save money down the road to allow for adding D.

      • 2.0 and Ray goals count and when the team is down by one, or in OT who would you want on the ice? exactly!

        Laine is a + player and PLD who plays on a much better defensive team is a negative.

        PLD is a good player and will help the Jets but he isn’t Laine replacement.

        As its been said the core of Winnipeg is Wheeler and Scheifele and for that reason the Jets are stuck and gone in reverse.

        Players that wanted out of Winnipeg for various reasons

        Evander Kane
        Jacob Trouba
        Dustin Byfuglien
        Jack Roslovic
        Patrik Laine

        Chevy and Maurice need to take alot of blame of what has happen to the Jets.

        Chevy has mishandle on so many different occasions

        Gone for a Stanley Cup contender to a playoff hopeful. But hay we gave up a pure sniper and a young NHL player for a good Center. That should solve the issues.

        Final note out of the Evander Kane deal all Chevy has left to show for it is a third round pick, which he got for Roslovic.

        Extremely poor management of assets.

      • I don’t see Laine being a plus player in Columbus but PLTs numbers will likely improve in Winnipeg.

        Also, when he Evander Kane left Andrew Ladd was the captain, buff and enstrom were core and Scheifele was a prospect. Trouba left due to personal desire to play in New York, Buff left due to injury and loss of desire. Laine doesn’t push himself and doesn’t like being pushed, Roslovic isn’t good enough for top six in Winnipeg.

  4. In the days before the media anointed Toronto as the centre of the universe, Leaf players were respected around the country.

    The Chief was always looked up to in Montreal as an honourable talented player and leader.


  5. Sad day when you lose a legend like Armstrong class act also shows you how long it’s been for Leaf fans when a player passes away who was on your last Stanley cup winning team and he is 90.

    • Obe, you know you’re old when…..

  6. Reported in a Finnish newspaper from inside sources that Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler mistreated Laine and Maurice wouldn’t step in.

    Interesting as Wheeler on Saturday said he has regrets of how he treated Laine.

    • PLD/Laine can be compared on many levels but the centre vs winger doesn’t apply in this case.

      A very good centre doesn’t compare to a great winger in importance on a team.

      You can teach and watch a centre improve, natural scorers are born and rare.

      Columbus wins this trade without Roslovic, with him it’s a steal.

      • habsfan30 agree

    • I guess we have to agree to disagree on the value of these 2 guys.
      IMO they are not that different offensively. Last 2 combined seasons Laine has 113 pts and a minus 16, PLD has 110 and a plus 14.
      Early in Laine’s career he was lighting it up on the goal front. Not as much lately. So was he cheating for offense, or ?
      I don’t know.
      So is CLB getting the 44 goal Laine from 17/18 or the 30 goal Laine? Or 25 goal Laine on a less offensive team?
      44 would be borderline great, 30 is good.

      IMO Both are good young players, not proven to be great. PLD better all around at the premium value position, WPG added Roslovic because of that.
      Fair deal in my mind, especially because all of them wanted a change of scenery.
      Everyone’s a winner!

  7. I know I’m old when my great nephew who is 5 has to get my tv to work when I screw it up. In hockey terms you know your old when you remember goalies with no masks players no helmets and watching the original 6.