NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2021

by | Feb 28, 2021 | News, NHL | 33 comments

Recaps from a busy Saturday night and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Sean Couturier had a goal and an assist as the Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. Brian Elliott made 23 saves for the shutout. The Sabres played without Jack Eichel (day-to-day, lower-body injury) and goaltender Linus Ullmark, who will be sidelined for a month by a lower-body injury. Jeff Skinner, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tobias Rieder returned to the Sabres’ lineup.

A three-goal first period powered the Washington Capitals over the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Devils winger Pavel Zacha scored to extend his points streak to nine games. Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov was a late scratch with an upper-body injury and remains questionable for Sunday’s rematch.

The Calgary Flames downed the Ottawa Senators 6-3 to snap the latter’s three-game win streak. Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while brother Brady scored for the Senators. Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators pulled goaltender Matt Murray after he gave up six goals on 33 shots but this loss cannot be pinned on him. His teammates didn’t play well in front of him and the Flames capitalized.

A two-goal performance by Mattias Ekholm rallied the Nashville Predators past the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Cam Atkinson tallied for the Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have dropped six of their last seven and sit five points out of a playoff spot in the Discover Central Division. A lack of experienced depth at center is part of the problem. Jack Roslovic, Alexandre Texier and Kevin Stenlund are centering three of their four lines.

Mitch Marner and John Tavares each had two points as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. Jack Campbell made 30 saves for the shutout in his first game since being sidelined by a leg injury on Jan. 24. The Leafs played without leading scorer Auston Matthews (wrist injury, day-to-day) and goaltender Frederik Andersen (lower body, day-to-day).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An impressive win by the Leafs without their best player (Matthews) and starting goaltender (Andersen). They also got a boost from the return of winger Joe Thornton and defenseman Jake Muzzin from injuries.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

Kris Letang scored twice, including the game-winner, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the New York Islander 4-3 in overtime. Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck missed the game with an undisclosed injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his second straight shutout backstopping his club to a 5-0 drubbing of the Dallas Stars. Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli each had a goal and an assist. The Lightning have won four straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first game between these two clubs since last year’s Stanley Cup Final. The defending champion Lightning still looks like a Cup contender while the Stars are stuck at the bottom of the Discover Central Division. The good news for the Stars is they’ve got several games in hand over their division rivals because of several postponed games. The bad news is they’ve won only twice in the last 12 contests and face a daunting challenge of getting back into the playoff chase in a compressed schedule.

The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing skid by nipping the Florida Panthers 4-3. Martin Necas tallied the winner in a shootout. Brett Pesce collected two assists for the Hurricanes while Panthers’ winger Patric Hornqvist had a goal and an assist.

Frans Nielsen and Evgeny Svechnikov each had a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves for the win. Earlier in the day, the Wings announced captain Dylan Larkin would sit out this weekend’s games with an upper-body injury.

Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba scored with 0.3 remaining in overtime in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings, who have rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to force the extra frame. Dumba finished with two points while Kings goalie Cal Petersen made 38 saves.

A four-goal third period carried the Colorado Avalanche over the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 6-2. Six different players scored for the Avs, including Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

An overtime goal by William Karlsson lifted the Vegas Golden Knights past the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. It was Karlsson’s second goal of the game while teammate Alex Pietrangelo collected a goal and an assist. The Ducks are winless in six games.

The Winnipeg Jets squeaked past the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on an overtime goal by Paul Stastny. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 41-save performance as the Canadiens are winless in five straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens dominated most of this game but Hellebuyck made the difference. The Habs still need to improve in the faceoff circle and their special teams still need work but this effort was an improvement over their recent play.

Marco Scandella scored twice, including the game-winner, as the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks 7-6. Evander Kane and Timo Meier each scored twice for the Sharks, who welcomed back defensemen Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek from injury. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was pulled after he allowed four goals on 19 shots and went after several Sharks players before finally leaving the game.


TSN: Only five players (Arizona’s John Hayden, NY Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko, Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel, Philadelphia’s Travis Konecny and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl) remain on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins claimed defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers yesterday from the Nashville Predators.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins named Chris Pryor as director of player personnel.

NBC SPORTS: The Seattle Kraken announced Friday it raised $150,000.00 from team and individual investors to save the hockey program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.


  1. as Im sitting her sipping my Freedom Roast Black Rifle Coffee I can’t help but think Sweeney/Neely have quit on the 2020/21 Bruins…..they are a one line team with no middle 6 help at all, the D although being young for the most part aren’t that this season, they have more than a few players that won’t get dirty, but Sweeney pulls a gem out of the hat and picks up Jarred Tinordi who’s been in the league since 2012 and has played a grand total of 88 games …1 goal 10 helpers….if they brought him in for size & toughness check out how he handles himself, hey Sweeney/Neely wake up or just leave

    • So the team you root for is in FIRST place and you’re crying and whining like a baby??? if you ever followed nhl hockey teams go through slumps during a season and right now it’s the Bruins turn … where were you when the B’s recently went on a 9-0-1 streak? have a nerve pill with your Freedom Roast Black Rifle …

      • you really got to go there ? been a Bruin fan since 1970 don’t need you to tell me how I must think go put your mask on

    • Ah the bandwagon is strong here. Since Krejci got injured we have goals from Smith Coyle and Ritchie who took over the second line. Secondary scoring. The team is beat up play 4 games in 5 days then sit in hotels for 4 days then set to play 3 games in 4 days. Any clue how tiring it can be to be on the road that long.there’s one player that when injured the bruins have a losing record regular season and playoffs since he put the B on his chest that’s DK. He’s out that gives teams and clear advantage they can focus on shutting the first line down. Our D is depleted I believe Mac and Carlo are the only D to not miss a game. Yes the last week has been frustrating but they will turn it around. The waiver wire pickup of Tinordi is nothing but a depth move as we obviously are hurting on D. And unless it’s on the cheap and nothing more than a rental don’t expect the bruins to waste assets acquiring a bigger name D and risking losing him to the Kraken in the expansion draft. I like cowboy coffee black and nice and strong 💪

    • Boston will add a 2nd line forward like they do every TDL. I still see them as the favorites in that division still….. Flyers more inconsistent, Caps have questions in net…. the Islanders/Bruins top dogs imho

    • They never said it like the red sox but this is a gap year.Giving 37,46.63 one more kick at the can.When 33 and 47 did not come back they should have started the rebuild then,insteading of piecemealing it.If their goalies weren t so good with the exception of the last 2 games they would be a stretch to make the playoffs.Todays result vs. the Rangers will have a lot to do with their decisions.

      • The Bruins like to use the band aide approach

    • The Bs have done surprisingly well, joe, but I agree they are essentially a one line team. Things fall off pretty quickly after the Perfection Line. And one way to look at Tinordi is as a replacement for Chara — ouch.

    • Thinking that the only person who would know more about coffee than Tim Horton would be some one from Bean Town, I decided to try some Black Rifle coffee. The brand’s website contains film clips showing five ways to make it. It recommends the “Press” way. After studying all the ways, I decided to stay away.

      Either you get up very early, you have retired, or you’re late for work every day. Otherwise, there’s no way you could have the time to make a cup of Black Rifle coffee and read Spector’s Morning Coffee Headlines. I’ll have to make do with my Tasters Choice instant coffee or lose an hour of sleep each day.

      How many cups do you get from a pod (in case I’m tempted again)?

  2. 1st round playoff matches are already set in the North:


    2nd rnd



    Leafs v ? (East winner i hope as that is weakest division.)

    • Hey 17, liking you got the Leafs winning the North. I think the Habs are better than the Flames though. They will play the Leafs much tougher than the Flames especially if CP31 finds his game.

  3. As I said the other day, the Flames would be a very different team than the tired bunch the Senators smoked 2 nights before.

    Chabot – a minus 4 – once again proved that defense is not his strong suit. Dorion needs to find a solid, reliable defense-first D man to skate along with him in that first pairing.

    And what the Hell was Pecca doing in the line-up while Logan Brown gets splinters in his ass in the press box? We KNOW what Pecca brings t the table – nothing. The only way to find out if Brown is an NHLer is to bloody well PLAY him – and not just 4 frikken minutes in one game. It’s not like they have designs on a playoff spot.

    I’m starting to wonder if Smith was part of the problem in Toronto, along with Babcock.

    • Of course he was a part of the problem, George. I knew it the moment in one game when one the talentless slugs they favored flattened someone with a big hit and DJ turned to Babcock and said: What’s the Corsi on that?

      No hockey IQ balance between eye test and analytics.

      • Well if that is indeed the case Wendell, one can only hope his shelf-life is shorter than that of Boucher’s

  4. Joe Sweeney and Neely are both very competitive people and both want to win every game the reality is that’s not going to happen. The season and all seasons have highs and lows just get into playoffs healthy and see what happens I like their chances as much as anyone’s.

    • Preach it, brother!

  5. Leafs to weak and soft Jets are my pick to come out of North the weakest division in hockey. Playoffs are a different animal Toronto does not have the size or strength to compete.

    • I agree with Obe here. They are way too soft for the playoffs but with the divisions different this year…I don’t see the Bruins getting out of the first round either. I mean they won’t have the luxury of playing the leafs.

      Good thing they’re toughness is not in question this year.

    • Please explain your contention that the North division is the weakest? Is it just because the Leafs are in first place?
      Look at all the divisions towards the bottom of the standings. They’re ALL very similar.

      The Jets have some good forwards but they’re going to need reinforcements on D if they want to go anywhere. Same could be said for the Leafs as well…their D has been okay so far but they could use a couple good depth defenceman.

  6. You are entitled to be wrong Obe.

    • Isn’t everyone?

      • Yes George they are so entitled….but when you can tell who they cheer for by what they say they think….you know they are going to maximize their right to be wrong…..there are not many here compared to other sites…thank God

        Symptomology of this disorder….tendencies to use terms like Senaturds, Spoilers Laffs as an indication of their maturity, to believe the referees favour one team, to conclude to quickly the coach does not know the game was well as they do,

  7. The Habs are the better team, and lose.

    Whipped cream on dog poop.

  8. Look at division how many playoff wins in last 5 years from North division and compare to East Division like night and day.

    • Look at the CUPS won by North vs East. The past is the past FULL STOP.

      • If the past is the past how’s comes you named after two has beens?

      • Chrisms I believe I speak for everyone when I say: huh?

    • Obe…not sure you can base this year’s performance based on previous seasons? Teams have player turnover so it’s not a direct comparison.

      To say the Leafs are in first because they play in a weak division is false.

      Look at BOS or TB. They have very weak teams in their division too. Tell me you picked NSH to be a bottom feeder this year based on previous years? BOS has three weak sisters in their division NYR, NJ, and BUF.

      Look at the Leafs team. Lots of high first round picks on that roster.

  9. Lol players parents weren’t born last time Leafs won cup -wake up Wendel your Leafs worst professional team in sports last five years is better gage than first 20 games of one year. Lol you crack me up never leave this site your a hoot.

    • Hey Obe, is it a sense of pride when you constantly put down the Leafs, fans, etc.? You do it so often I’m just curious how and why you still have the need.

  10. East – 25 cups

    Boston : 2011, prior to that 1972

    1 Cup in 49 years

    North – 54 cups

    Toronto : 1967, prior to that 1964

    0 Cups in 54 years

    That’s pretty hurting on the leafs part. I guess 1 cup in almost 50 years for the Bruins is swell?

    • It’s not much, but I’ll take it.

  11. My best friend is a Leaf fan I do not put down Leaf fans.Leaf fans who for the last 15 years keeping targeting other teams and now that their team is winning a few games think they are cheering for the greatest team on earth are annoying Wendel constantly disrespects all of us and all teams he is a bully I’m not a fan he can give it out but can’t take it back classic bully. Go Bruins Go three Stanley cup finals in last 10 years Leafs zip