NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 18, 2021

by | Feb 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 27 comments

Recaps of Wednesday’s action, including Connor McDavid tallying his 500th career point, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid collected two assists to pick up his 500th career NHL point as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. McDavid accomplished the feat in his 369th NHL game, tying Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby as the eighth fastest player to reach that milestone. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers, who’ve won four of their last five.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Earlier in the day, the Jets placed center Pierre-Luc Dubois on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Dubois could return to action on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 14th goal as his club nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1. Matthews also extended his points streak to 14 games. Alex Kerfoot tallied the game-winner in the third period. Brady Tkachuk replied for the Senators. Earlier in the day, the Leafs announced defenseman Rasmus Sandin is out indefinitely with an injured foot.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice (including the game-winner in overtime) and collected an assist in the Florida Panthers 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit but Vincent Trocheck tied the game for the Hurricanes to force the extra frame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau (20 points) sits among the NHL’s top-10 scorers. He’s among the key factors behind the Panthers’ strong performance this season.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie goaltender Kevin Lankinen made 29 shots for his first career NHL shutout to blank the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Philipp Kurashev and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks in their third straight victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have 22 points and sit in second place behind the Panthers in the Central Division. Neither club was expected to be in those positions when the season began. The Panthers were coming off an offseason of numerous roster changes while the Blackhawks began the season without an established starting goalie and three key players (Jonathan Toews, Kirby Dach and Brent Seabrook) sidelined by illness and injuries.

Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists as the Vancouver Canucks rolled to a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Braden Holtby made 35 saves while J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Ongoing power outages related to recent winter storms in Texas have forced the postponement of tonight’s game between the Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a broken thumb suffered during Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Sidelined winger Artemi Panarin and defenseman K’Andre Miller are expected to return to action tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: For the first time since Feb. 1 the Buffalo Sabres no longer have players on the COVID-19 protocol list. Casey Mittelstadt became the ninth Sabre to come off the list yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The number of players on the list has steadily declined in recent days. Eighteen players were still on the list yesterday, seven of those members of the Philadelphia Flyers.


  1. 500 points and no closer to lifting the Cup than when he first started playing … how not to build around a future superstar 101 … by Peter Chiarelli . Foreword by Ken Holland.

    • I guess the first 9 games (3-6) carry a lot more weight that the last 9 (7-2) . Do you work for the Toronto media by chance ? They are a goalie away right now from being able to compete . Without there number 1 defenceman and a prospect pool as promising as I ever remember it .

      • “A prospect pool as promising as I remember it”

        Edmonton…promising prospects? Never heard that one before.

      • Toronto guy FD ? Let me guess sandin is a star lying in wait and in Edmonton Bouchard , Broberg , jones , bear , lagesson , samorukov will be lucky to to produce an nhl d man between them ?

      • Craig I completely agree with you about Edmonton defensive prospect pool. The biggest problem I have with the way they are built though is there’s no help for McDavid or Drasaitl. R.N.H. is just ok and should be more the 3rd person on the line. Where’s Jari Kurt, Jagr, Anderson, Knuble ect… They don’t even have to be stars as long as they can find amazing chemistry with the star centers. Mcdavid and Drasitl would turn them into 50 goal guys. If I were the gm my entire focus besides goaltending would be to get my 2 star players help. I was talking with my son and we were trying to figure out where the Oilers spent there money to be up against the cap. They have McDavid and a bargain in Draisaitl. I might be missing something but this tema was heavily miss managed. I really hope they don’t leave McDavid to fend for himself his entire career. He is the best player in the world and I love watching him play but get him some real help.

      • Craig FD used to be named shticky yes everyone else sucks except the leafs in his eyes

      • Craig, there are some who are clinging to the thought that McDavid is just waiting for the chance to jump ship and head to Toronto. But as I said to Old Blue Dog yesterday, he just does not come across like that type of player. So he’s from the GTA – so was Stamkos and that thought also fell flat. That alone means nothing.

        Holland has a good D prospect pool now with the kids you mention, will find the goalie he needs before next season while waiting for Konovolov, and many are still high on C prospects Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod and especially Raphael Lavoie, along with LW Tyler Benson.

      • George, 2020 1st rd pick Dylan Holloway is having a great year so far in Wisconsin. Little early to be throwing him on McDavid’s line, but he is lighting it up so far this season.
        AB Boy, so even better.

      • George , Toronto media again mainly . Why a guy would sign a max term extension when he was calling all the shots is beyond me if his intentions are to leave ASAP . Chiarelli openly admitted after the deal mcdavid camp was calling the shots and it could have went higher dollar and less term . A guy itching to get out would sign the long term deal why ? I’m not as high on a couple of the guys you mentioned , Marody and benson . I think they will be career tweeners. McLeod and lavoie I think can help down the road , and like ray B said , Holloway looked great at WJC and is absolutely rolling this year , tearing it up , love his overall game and he can fly .
        Roger , how do you view Yamamoto and Jesse ? Yamo has been stellar since Christmas last year and wins more battles and pucks back for Leon than any winger ever has for Connor . He gets his stick on everything . Is almost a ppg game player and about +25 ish since that time . Jesse has 4 in the last 6 and really looking like he’s putting things together . I take it you disagree

    • Holland’s first real opportunity for bigger changes is this summer , when he will have the cap space and flexibility to act on what he has learned since taking over .

      • I agree. The Oilers are closer than most think. When this season ends Holland will have over $24 mil to spend – and you can bet a goalie will be at or near the top of the list. UFAs that won’t be back include Chiasson ($2,150,000), Ennis ($1,000,000), Haas ($915,000), Smith ($1,500,000) and, unless he’s somehow turned his game around, Barrie ($3,750,000).

        The thing with Barrie is, if Holland and the coaching staff think he’s become a useful D-man, is he going to want a raise? If so, I doubt he comes back with an increased cap hit.

      • George , I was very critical of Barrie the first handful of games , since then he has really turned it around . He has been really good imo since then , consistently . With a much heavier workload since bear went down and playing with nurse vs top lines . He still has his moments like all offensive d men but the good have far outweighed the bad since the tough start . 3-8-11 /+ 4 over the last 9 in those extra minutes and tougher assignments .
        An extension will be tough with Bouchard looming . If he continues to impress , yeah he will want and get a raise . I don’t think he will want another short term deal and I don’t think holland would want a long pact . Interesting decision on that one .
        Also, when Ed comes back citing sample size , they were also neck and neck with Vegas last year for the division and ahead of the other Canadian clubs before the shutdown . Really struggled in the bubble , I don’t think you can ignore that OR the season they had before it

      • Agree on Barrie Craig. I guess it depends on Klefbom. I wouldn’t bet the farm on him coming back next year, or coming back ever. This could be a LTIR for the rest of his term, which is too bad. Good player and by all accounts a good guy.
        The good news is that Nurse has been given a big opportunity and has been excellent.

        They need a tender, hopefully taking some of the load off of Koskinen brings him back to last year’s form, where he as actually very good.
        But ya, long term, Oil need a goalie.

        I wonder what they offer Nuge? I can think of a few teams that will buck up if the Oil don’t. BOS and NYR come to mind.

      • Ray
        Hard to say on klefbom , it would certainly impact the thought process with Barrie going forward . Nurse has certainly taken a step.
        Agree on Koskinen , I don’t mind him , feel he’s underrated , but certainly needs a quality backup to lighten his workload for optimal performance. Long term and if they hope to go on a run this year , agree .
        On nuge , I think the reports are fairly accurate, Edmonton doesn’t want to go over 7 and probably haven’t even made that offer yet . Nuge wants to stay , I believe that . I’m guessing they squabble over the term and dollars and come to an agreement in and around 6×6.5 . To your point , other teams can outbid if nuge is looking for more money or term . I see a deal being found .

      • Craig, who said the leaf prospects were any good…Sandin included? In my opinion, they stink.

      • Bigbadbruins…nice of you to join us. You really are a leaf fan…you talk more about them than the CBC.

        Shticky? Maybe, I guess only Lyle knows for sure

      • I don’t get why people would have multiple aliases on this site. It’s odd

  2. Congrats McD on tying Sid

    Mario and Gretzky waaaay ahead, and would be in current times anyway…. but…

    Stastny, Bossy, Lindros, Kurri, Trottier… who reached 500 before their 369th game (Sid/McD) did it when average goalie size much smaller and goalie equipment waaaay smaller

    You want a quick laugh…. take a side by side photo of Mike Palmateer in net or Darren Pang in net next to a photo of Robin Lehner in net

    • McD does things on the ice with regularity that Mario and Gretsky didn’t even dream of, and he does them at top speed.

      Not taking anything away from those guys but players continue to get bigger, stronger and faster so generational greats need to be left in their generation.

      Connor does something that makes you go wow every game. congrats

      • Unfortunately, Gretzky and Mario played in the clutch and grab era…..

      • Have you seen Gretzky and Lemieux play? Gretzky was the greatest in the game because of his vision. Nobody has ever or probably ever will see the game the way Gretzky did. He would still do the same damage today that he did in the 80’s speed and size would have nothing to do with it. Lemieux who I still believe to be the best to have ever played made the game look slow. He just had a ridiculous amount of skill. In my opinion McDavid is the only one to be compared to those 2. He has so much speed and skill it’s mind blowing. Crosby is not even in the conversation.

      • You had me till the crosby thing. Neither he or mcdavid are in the top 2 conversation. But certainly are in the conversation for rounding out the top 5-10. What I marvel at Mario is that with today’s players they train hard day in and day out. They are physical specimens cause they work at it. Mario would spend the intermissions sneaking a smoke and doing the motions in practice then casually skate out and dominate the game. Hard to imagine any other player skipping 2 plus years living it up and then again casually skating out and putting up three points like it was nothing.

      • Chrism I did not say that Crosby isn’t one of the best of all time. I said he doesn’t belong in the same conversation as Gretzky or Lemieux. Mcdavid is the only one that might have a shot if his career keeps going upwards.

      • That’s where I disagree rog. Made the same milestone at the same time. That’s actually really neato. But one thing crosby has over mcdavid is his ability, similar to lemieux, to turn bottom six players into top six players. Mcdavid has yet to do that.

      • Gretzky had vision and a few enforcers to give him space. Nobody to give him any space today and the game is so much faster now that the vision would be seriously degraded.

        Mario had amazing skill but slo-mo compared to McD. He and Lafleur used to smoke during the game…..they’d both be gassed today.

        Goalies are bigger, equipment is bigger, lighter, have their own coaches it’s a different game.

        I repeat, generational comparisons shouldn’t be made.

      • So what is generational then? What are the cutoff years? Minimal goalie equipment and goonism vs clutch and grab vs salary cap era vs covid era…. ????? Problem with your supposition is that most players cross over generations.

    • Agree habfan30. Every player in the NHL can skate now. Well almost every player.
      The quality of competition is way higher, even with more teams.