NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2021

by | Feb 16, 2021 | News, NHL | 38 comments

Recaps of Monday’s action, the Leafs acquire Alex Galchenyuk, three stars of the week and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for the shutout while Clayton Keller scored the only goal as the Arizona Coyotes blanked the St. Louis Blues 1-0. The Coyotes took four of the seven games in this series. Blues defenseman Torey Krug left the game after the second period with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The New York Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored and Josh Bailey collected two assists for the Islanders while Victor Olofsson tallied for Buffalo. It was the Sabres’ first game since their schedule was paused after Jan. 31 due to COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The long layoff adversely affected the Sabres’ performance in this contest. They had nine shot attempts in the third period but none of them reached the net.

Ottawa Senators winger Evgenii Dadonov (NHL Images).

Evgenii Dadonov scored the tying and winning goals as the Ottawa Senators roared back from a 5-1 deficit to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in overtime. Auston Matthews scored twice for the Leafs while teammate Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist in his return after missing 10 games to a rib injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators deserve credit for not giving up after falling behind by four goals. However, the Leafs were their own worst enemies as complacency seemed to set in after they took that big lead.

Speaking of the Leafs, they acquired forward Alex Galchenyuk from the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Galchenyuk is on the move just two days after being acquired by the Hurricanes from the Senators. He’s now on his seventh team since 2018 and is expected to join the Leafs’ farm club because he already cleared waivers before the trade went down. He also doesn’t have to quarantine because he was still in Ottawa preparing to head to Carolina when this deal went down.

The Leafs were in the market for a depth forward. Acquiring Galchenyuk is an affordable move to bring in some additional experience.

And speaking of the Hurricanes, they tallied six unanswered goals to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and set up two others, Brock McGinn had a goal and three assists, Jordan Staal netted two goals and James Reimer made 37 saves for the win.

The Florida Panthers held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4, handing the latter their first home loss of the season. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anton Stralman each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Alexander Volkov tallied twice for the Lightning.

Dominik Kubalik scored twice, including the winner in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Wings overcame a two-goal deficit to force the extra frame.

The Winnipeg Jets downed the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 as Blake Wheeler tallied the winning goal in the third period. Jets center Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson each scored twice for the Oilers as they overcame 4-2 and 5-3 deficits.

Johnny Gaudreau’s overtime goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead until Brock Boeser force overtime with a shorthanded goal late in the third period.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture had a goal and an assist to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2.


Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 14.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars postponed their game last night against the Nashville Predators at the request of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson as a severe winter storm left hundreds of thousands of Dallas residents without power.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers canceled practice on Monday at the request of the NHL as a measure of caution. The club has seven players on the COVID-19 protocol list. They are still scheduled to practice today. They’ve been shut down for a week now.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Jakub Zboril are still nursing injuries and are questionable for Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin believes prospect forward Cole Caufield will turn pro at the conclusion of his college season with the University of Wisconsin. It’s uncertain if Caufield will play any games with the Canadiens this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield’s offensive exploits in college play and in the 2021 World Juniors have generated plenty of anticipation among Habs fans. Time will tell if he can successfully make the jump into the NHL.

THE ATLANTIC: NHL Hall-of-Fame goaltender Ken Dryden believes oversized upper-body goaltending equipment has changed the game and not for the better. He feels expanding the net is a viable solution.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dryden makes a compelling case. He points to golf-club technology making championship courses longer, how a lighter soccer ball now makes it possible for players to curve or drop shots around a goaltender, and how the three-point shot eventually improved scoring in basketball.


  1. Leafs…. I do not get their pick up on G-Chuck; plenty better than him already in the Leafs system

    Last night’s game just points out the vulnerability that Leafs have. Yes just one game; but does show that they are not built as is, to win the cup

    Freddy has played very well recently but he does have (and did last night) severely below par games. Two games (like last night ) in a series, and series is over

    D still an issue with Leafs

    There is no issue for Leafs re putting the puck in the net… but they still need to balance the skewed roster (1/2/of Cap on 4 Fwds) to upgrade from the blue-line back ; if they hope to get a Cup before Mathews exit (on 1/7/24)

    • You were begging Rutherford to sign Anthony Duclair … how’s he doing so far? That’s what I thought …

      • Got 2 last night?

      • That’s 2 more than he’s had all season.

      • The timing of that shade was a little odd.

    • Pengy I don’t think anyone including dubas understands the galchenyuk trade lol you hit the nail on the head he is the exact opposite of what the leafs should be looking for

  2. Is it just coincidence? The Leafs acquire Galchenyuk and immediately look like the Sens defensively.

    But they won’t repeat that in the next game when they’ll likely bury the Sens.

    • LOL

      So true George

      I’m certain the Leafs will be better defensively next game; but that doesn’t mean they win

      BTW… this Leaf fan didn’t miss the no call on Marner’s flagrant trip

      These missed calls are piling up…. they happen to all teams but tend to balance out in the end… I’m just hoping that the balancing doesn’t come first round of playoffs 🤬👎

      • P, (Lyle too)

        I’ve got to show my ignorance—why would the Leafs make a trade for G-Chuck when they could have picked him up for nothing on waivers? It ended up costing them a prospect and vet player. I don’t understand the process/thinking?


      • One thing it shows is that Dorion hasn’t cornered the market on supposedly highly questionable moves. First thing that crossed my mind as well when I heard they dealt for him after passing on waivers. Either way, they’re still on the hook for his salary. Or am I missing something?

      • Hi Iowa Prince

        I believe this has to do with number of total contracts

        Warsovsky is an AHL guy and will finish his career there. He played in the Pens system and his ability is between JJ and Ruhweedel; so that should speak volumes

        Korshkov may or may not make the NHL

        Before move; Leafs were at 47 (of 50 allowed) contracts.

        If they snagged G-Chuck off waivers… they’d be at 48…. tight against the 50… room needed for potential future moves

        The 2 for 1 allows Leafs to be at 46 instead of 48

        Warshovsky meant nothing ; Canes get a little bump in Korshkov ; IF he ever comes back from KHL and IF he ends up making the NHL

        Leafs still “unofficially” owe Canes on the Marleau deal; where they ended up “buying” a first (small centre Seth Jarvis) for $3.8 M (to Marleau); and Marleau still on books

        It’s a nothing deal

        My disbelief was in why they got G-Chuck (off waivers or trade was irrelevant) at all. Leafs have others already in the system better and at a lower Cap hit and Sal (G-Chuck @ $1.05 M; note League min is $700 K)

      • Iowa Prince,

        Had the Leafs picked up Galchenyuk off waivers they would have been required to keep him on the roster. As he has cleared waivers, they can send him to the AHL or taxi squad. The guys they gave up for him appear to be career minor leaguers.

      • Iowa prince Howard’s answer is the only correct answer to your question. Wow Montreal wasted that 3rd overall pick.

      • Ron, I wouldn’t say Montreal wasted that 3rd overall pick because Chucky ended up indirectly allowing them to land Josh Anderson via Max Domi. Plus Chucky was a way better player than he is now when he was playing in the Habs uniform and they benefitted from his best year including a 30 goal season. Things started to go sideways when he got traded to Arizona and 5 or 6 other teams afterwards.

      • Pengy, maybe the refs didn’t want to get the “crowd” on their case by penalizing Marner? 🙂

      • Hi George

        Ya that crowd was pretty Blaise …. almost as if they had no voice…. sorry … had to

  3. All this talk about trading for Gibson

    What about Keumper?

    Both Ducks and Yotes have a best expectation of 1 round and 3 home dates…. that’s it…. they both have no chance against Knights; Avs; Blues

    Keumper only has 1 yr left after this at extremely fair $4.5 M Cap hit

    There are a few teams that would seriously benefit from a goalie upgrade …. Oil for one

    Keumper can certainly stem the tide and has the ability to win a tight series with key saves

    Would Armstrong move him? What’s the ask?

    • The Leafs likely didn’t claim Galchenyuk off waivers because they were close to the 50 player limit though it’s Not what they needed…another floater.

      Tavares and Nylander looked awful last night. Way too many turnovers. The whole team took their foot off the gas after Matthews made it 5-1.

      • Hi Daryl

        Sorry only reading your post now; didn’t mean to duplicate your thoughts in my post response to Iowa Prince

        Agree on number of contracts rationale; my contention is that they shouldn’t have(didn’t need to) acquired him by any means

        Yep… JT & WW looked bad last night; and Freddy; and D; and , and , and

        They need to rebound short term… they need a change (from 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds) long term; or no cup before June ‘24 (AM leaving as soon as doors open on 1/7/24)

        Krakken (same tax adv as FLA, Texas, Tenn, Nev) will offer AM $14 M and Captaincy

        Leafs won’t be able to go beyond $13 M

        $14M on Krakken …. take home a hair under ~ $9M; great city, upstart franchise on the rise, captaincy

        $13 M on Leafs…. take home ; a tad over $6M ; no Captaincy; no Cup since he’s been there

        So… closing in on an extra $3M take home (per year); Captaincy; new and rising franchise; great city; great fans…. why would he not leave Leafs?

  4. George O you mentioned yesterday when you were corrected about a goaltender trade not getting you a first round pick. You said Boston didn’t do much with the pick.

    Boston fans are quite happy to have Trent Frederic in their lineup. He adds a physical element that was missing. Stood up and fought Tom Wilson.

    You are correct he has 0 goals but they will come. The kid can skate, has good size and no fear. I’ll keep him.

    • Agreed Caper. He hasn’t been what most expect out of a 1st round pick but he brings a lot to a team. I expect he’ll develop into a guy who puts up 10-15 goals, somewhere around 30 points as a 3rd line center. He’ll be a solid penalty killer, and as you said he’s not afraid to drop the gloves when needed. That fight with Wilson sparked the Bruins in that game and Boston came back to win.

      Also, there’s this from last year….Tanev asked for this I bet he doesn’t do it again (my apologies for the Jack Edwards commentary). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GsRbKluIxg

      • Nice clip DM

        Hadn’t seen that one

        At first I thought that it was Doug Flutie in the crowd cheering (clip went too fast to tell)… then saw the label as Frederic’s dad

    • Haven’t watched much of the other “divisions” – or should I say “leagues” because they only play within their groupings – so I’ll go by your word that he’s turning out to be a useful gritty F. As for goalies bringing a 1st round pick, have to admit I was rudely awakened – concentrating too much on the deals involving the “big boys.” Hey, who knows, if Murray decides to deal Gibson he might very well garner a 1st rounder among the returns. Or at least a prospect taken in the 1st round – recently – otherwise someone might try to peddle him Galchenyuk!

  5. The North Division or as some call it the Canadian Division. It’s kind of like Canada National Defense; Non Existing.

    • The other divisions haven’t looked great either, the cup is up for grabs this year

      • Hi BBB

        Here I disagree

        To me… 95% chance that the cup goes to one of (in no particular order) …. Knights, Avs, Bruins, Bolts

        I just have trouble seeing any other team having a reasonable chance

        Yes anything can happen… that’s why I only put 95% chance

        The key comes down to the semis matchups

        Has NHL said they would do

        Central winner vs West winner; and

        East winner vs North winner

        In other words… to basically get to a “usual” East v West SCF?

        Or top (points) Div winner vs 4th; 2nd v 3rd

        If it’s the former…. QFs are highly likely Avs v Knights; then winner v Bolts…. top 3 Cup favs fighting it out in QFs and semi’s while Bruins have easier path to Cup

        I would prefer 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 as there is a chance for a

        Bolts v Knights or Bolts v Avs final; the other way (traditional E v W cup) nixes guarantee of either Knights or Avs in cup

        Can’t see at all, winner of CanDiv getting to SCF…. no team there , IMHO, is in the “league” of Knights, Avs, Bolts, Bruins, and Blues.

        Just my candid view on it…. but I suspect my views are not shared by many (any ??) here

      • Pengy, you’re as bad with the Leafs and Pens as I am with the Bruins. So I get the extra critical eye.
        Bottom line is the Leafs have a really good team and they are better than average vs the rest of the league in GA/per game. Not outstanding, but OK and they are going to get theirs. They seem to have a greater commitment to the D side of the game and will get better in that regard I think.

        Leafs will be a tough out and are playing really well. Like really well. Bad way to lose last night, but whatever, they will learn from it. WPG blew a 4-1 lead last night too but ended up getting the last one and winning. It happens.

        They have as good a chance as anybody IMO as long as they stay healthy and get some saves.

      • Hi Ray

        You have a point … I am tough on Leafs…. Jaded ; as I’ve been waiting for them to “repeat” as champs for but a mere 54 years… I was 6 and remember sitting on my late father’s knees watching

        My subjective bias , I believe, has sound logic though

        Leafs are in first… yet just look at the first game v Habs…. completely blown missed call…. instead of Habs up 4-3 and on PP… in 3rd… Vesey scores… goes to OT… Leafs win

        There was also a later missed call against Leafs in the third , but certainly not as flagrant… let’s put that aside

        If the call was made against Leafs…. Vesey doesn’t score…. almost assuredly Habs win in reg

        If that happened…

        Leafs would have 22 points in 16 games (.688); Habs would be 21 in 15 games… that’s .700

        Let’s also not lose sight of the Flames game a week or so after that…. tied 3-3 in 3rd… another blown call (missed against Leafs) … instead of killing a Penalty, Marner scores only seconds after the missed call

        Just comparing Leafs to Habs

        Habs are massively massively better in net

        Habs are superior on D

        Leafs top 4 are far better than Habs top 4; and top two lines on Leafs better than Habs top 6; but not Leaps and bounds

        Habs overall 4 lines have far better balance; and IMHO; overall; slightly better than Leafs

        For that reason… I am not confident in Leafs winning a series against Habs. Would be a tough series that could be easily decided by the superior Goalies and D *as many playoff series are) on the Habs

        Helebuck is far better than Freddy …. and Helebuck does have the ability to steal a series

        With that in mind…. I’m not sure Leafs come out of CanDiv to the semis; certainly by no stretch is Leafs in semis a given

        Even if they do; they are just not in the “league” of Knights who have the benefit of two #1 goalies; far far far superior D; and better over-all forwards than Leafs

        Avs far superior to Leafs in all aspects save possibly goaltending (not consistent)

        Blues D and goaltending better than Leafs; over-coming Leafs forward advantage

        Bruins goaltending leaps and bounds ahead of Leafs. Top lines are a saw off. D a saw off. Over-all 4 lines a saw off… goaltending would get Bruins past Leafs

        Lightning could only lose to Leafs with a Vazy injury; and even then it’s not guaranteed

        So … yep ,I’m hard on Leafs…. but I have just cause in being skeptical of any cup in the next 2-3 years. I truly believe they have extremely close to zero chance this year…. it would require utter collapse of all 4 of Bolts; Bruins; Avs, Knights and possibly Blues (if they somehow beat out Knights and Avs) …. just not happening

        Their (Leafs) make-up (1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds ) is not a formula for success

        Next year (with flat Cap) other than the low end ($1M or less) players coming off the books…. Freddy and Hyman (or their equivalent replacements) are not coming in cheaper than what they are on the Cap for this year

        And still at that, Leafs don’t have a Cup winning D…, so that has to improve… more needed to spend in Cap… which they don’t have

        Alas… I sit and wait for the “repeat”. 😡🤬😢😭

      • That is a detailed perspective Pengy, and you know the Leafs better than I.
        I think they have one of the best forward groups in the league. Kerfoot doesn’t get much love, but in reality he is OK for a 3C and the old guys can move up if required even if not ideal. The big 4 will ensure they will get 3 goals more often than not, which means you usually win if you have a decent structure which they seem committed to building with Keefe.
        Their top 4 D are all legit top 4 guys. Holl is a good player and under rated. Muzzin is too. My concern is the depth on D if they get an injury to the top 4. But true for many teams.
        I have no idea how any goaltender will play in the playoffs, it’s voodoo.
        Price ain’t all that anymore and I can’t see the Habs leaving him on the bench come playoff time. I’ll take the Leafs.
        If the Oil had a tender I would give them a chance, but that seems to be a question mark. Still.
        Can’t wait for the playoffs!

  6. If they claimed Galchenyuk off waivers “for free” they have to keep him on the NHL roster for minimum 10 games before waiving him for taxi squad or AHL.

    Since he has cleared waivers all ready he can be assigned directly to the AHL or the taxi squad now.

    • Good point Habfan 30. But as Pengy says, they likely have at least one or two in their system just as good if not better. Same as the Sens when they signed him in the first place. He’ll be joining Yakopov in the KHL next season.

      • George O

        Dubas dumped 2 contracts $1.625 m for $1.05m, non-roster this way. It was a strictly cap move.

        The Sens on the other hand took a cheap gamble and quickly cut bait, I’m surprised they didn’t nab Byron though.

      • someone should have put yakapov and galchenyuk together like the sarnia sting–when they lit up the league but nope

        toronto also should go for dvorak since marner lit it up with him on the london knights but for some reason this is overlooked

      • Jeff, that’s what I’ve always felt about MacKinnon and Drouin – the latter is certainly not doing much offensively to this point in the shortened season. They were magic together in Halifax – but then again, that was junior.

  7. toronto needs dvorak to play on marner line like london knights

    • Jeff…keep in mind Marner and Dvorak lit up a bunch of kids who could only dream of playing pro…big difference playing against an NHL team.

      The Leafs would have been better off getting in on Paquette…much more of what they need.

      Engvall scored last night but hasn’t looked good all year. 6’5” and doesn’t use it to his advantage.

      Vesey isn’t doing much either.

      Boys has looked good as a 4th line player. Give Petan a shot. Call up Agostino or Brooks.

      Nylander can be a healthy scratch…might wake him up?

      • the whole 3rd line or vesey-aka feces—mikeyev–poop not soup—and kerfoot—trash can on skates—need to go—get truculence on 3rd line —you can’t expect 900000 players to score much—they can atleast do something for coin–ie. shutdown opposition till top 2 run

      • Leaf Nation:
        ‘OMG Auston deserves a Selke for the one shift he backchecked’

        JT and Muzzin have their work cutout for them with the rich kids in the locker room