NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2021

by | Feb 4, 2021 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Recaps of Wednesday’s action, more game postponements, plus the latest on Henrik Lundqvist, Petr Mrazek, Blake Wheeler and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Patrice Bergeron. David Pastrnak tallied a hat trick, including the Bruins’ final two goals in regulation to force the extra frame. He also had an assist on Bergeron’s winner while the Bruins’ captain also collected three assists.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Pastrnak is quickly returning to game shape following his recovery from offseason hip surgery. That was an impressive performance on his part in the third period. Penalties proved costly for the Flyers as the Bruins’ final three goals all came on the power play.

Three goals within the first five minutes of the first period power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Victor Hedman and Blake Coleman each had two points. The Red Wings are winless in their last seven contests.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild’s schedule is on pause to at least next Tuesday after five more players were added to their COVID-19 protocol list. Nick Bjugstad, Nick Bonino, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Johansson and Jared Spurgeon joined Marcus Foligno on the list.

THE DENVER POST: One of the postponed Wild games involved Thursday’s contest with the Colorado Avalanche, who placed forward Tyson Jost on the COVID-19 protocol list.

WGR 550: Tobias Rieder and Brandon Montour have joined Taylor Hall and Rasmus Ristolainen on the Buffalo Sabres COVID-19 protocol list. The Sabres schedule is paused until at least Feb. 8 with four games postponed.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Defenseman John Marino is the first member of the Penguins to be placed on the COVID-19 protocol list.

NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist is in good spirits and said he’s feeling well a month after undergoing open-heart surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to King Henrik in his ongoing recovery.

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek has undergone surgery on his right thumb. A timetable for his return is expected in the next several days.

THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice ripped into critics of captain Blake Wheeler’s defensive play. “He’s got f*****g 11 points in 10 games,” said Maurice. While he doesn’t have a problem with criticism of Wheeler’s play, he claims he wants it to be accurate. “You’ll do your deep dives and analytics, and god, they do a horses**t job of telling you what five guys do.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler has been on the ice for more five-on-five goals against the Jets than the rest of his teammates. It’s fair to note that point but Maurice is right to say it doesn’t tell the whole story of his overall performance.

CBS SPORTS: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Walker is expected to be sidelined two-to-four weeks after undergoing surgery on his nose. He took a slapshot to the face during a recent game against the Minnesota Wild.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators placed defenseman Braydon Coburn on waivers.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers assistant general manager Chris Drury has taken himself out of the running for the vacant position of Pittsburgh Penguins GM.

TSN: Hockey Canada announced St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has been named GM of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey Team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Joining him will be Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland, Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney and Florida Panthers executive Roberto Luongo.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators will make a limited number of tickets available for six February home games beginning Friday.


  1. Ottawa has done a good job banking picks and prospects for the future, only question is if Melnyk dumps them when they want a bit of money.

    The pro scouting on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired.

    Two pylons in Gudbranson and Coburn signed to shore up the defense? They can waive both without worry of losing them.

  2. Re Bruins…. all you need to say…. Pasta…. he’s back!

    Great come from behind victory

    I posted before…. don’t be surprised if there is a Bruins/Habs series … and depending on how the eventual Div playoff winners end up and how league seeds those final 4… that Habs/Bruins match-up could be in the SCF. Just sayin’

    Pens D… with Marino now on Covid protocols…. only one DMan left who played in season opener… Ceci

    I’m guessing that unless Matheson can play next game; that Reilly will get to play his first NHL game

    I don’t think Pens go after Coburn but who knows?

    • I’ve been praying for a Bos vs MTL Stanley Cup Final since the divisions were finalized. That would be a dream come true.

      • I thought Wendel had you convinced that the Habs would never make it.

    • I am a little more pessimistic on the B’s.
      Not saying they aren’t a playoff team, they obviously are and are a contender if healthy.
      All I am suggesting is they have been kinda lucky so far.
      7 of 10 games have been tied after regulation, so by no means have they been dominant. They are winning way more of those than they are losing.
      As normal, special teams have been the difference. Usually there are fewer penalties called in the playoffs so 5 vs 5 is a much bigger factor.
      Have only been so so in that regard.
      If they keep falling behind every game to quality teams like WSH and PHI they will start losing significantly more of those than they win.

      Or maybe I am just a paranoid B’s fan.

      • Don’t take this from me, Ray!

        Although you are absolutely spot on with your assessment, we are also benefiting from some puck luck and cashing in on our timely chances. We both know that goes both ways depending on the mood of the Hockey Gods. As for now I’ll take it.

        Probably wouldn’t be behind entering the 3rd if Rask could hold the fort on less than 26 shots faced per game.
        The rallies and comebacks are a testament to the never say die attitude forced on the rest of the team by Bergy, Marchy, Krech and Pasta.
        Although I predicted they’d be a playoff team from the get go, I really couldn’t be happier with their start. I enjoy exciting games.

      • Give you that SOP. Don’t change the channel if they are losing by a few in the 3rd!

        So what you’re saying is I am just a paranoid Bruins fan and sit back and enjoy the ride.
        Fair enough.

  3. The emotional outburst by Paul Maurice in support of Blake Wheeler is being called a great thing, the right thing.

    For me with the emotion Maurice shown after a game were Wheeler only had 13 minutes of ice time and has not been very good in coverage. Tell me all i need to know.

    Maurice went out of his way to protect his captain, all well and good; unfortunately he wouldn’t do that for anyone else.

    This is Wheeler team and everything and one run thru him.

    • Agree with most of that Caper.
      The ice time # is what a coach actually thinks.
      Unless Wheeler got hurt along the way.

      I think Maurice would stand up for any he player he thought was being treated unfairly by a reporter.
      Seems like good coach to me.

      Jets have been good so far considering they haven’t had Laine or his replacement since the first game. Their D has hung in pretty good, and when they have a full team their top 6 will be as good as anybody’s in the NHL. Solid tender.

  4. Ray, he hasn’t that the point. Wheeler is part of the reason Laine is not in Winnipeg. He did not stand up and support Laine.

    He said players need to change to fit in. Again full support of Wheeler everyone else…. you need to change to Wheelers way.

    Have no respect for Maurice, he picks his favorites.

  5. I like referring to the conventional statistics the NHL site uses on its player search, so It’s easy for me to go along with Paul Maurice when he says that analytics “do a horses**t job of telling you what five guys do.” The conundrum as I see it is to find any set of numbers that indicate what five guys are doing. Or even what one guy is doing.

    Blake Wheeler has 11 points in 10 games, but is minus-9. On the other hand, we have Victor Mete, whose trade availability made me look up his numbers. He scored nary a goal in his first 150 games over 2 seasons, with 20 assists. Yet, he was plus-22. His third season saw him score 4 goals in 51 games, over which he was plus-5.

    We know from the stats that Wheeler is a prolific scorer, but the stats don’t explain what is going on now with him and his 5-guy unit that’s causing it to be so vastly outscored by an opposing unit. The stats tell us also that Mete can’t score. Then, what is going on that makes any 5-guy unit Mete plays on consistently outscore the unit it plays against?

    Mete is plus-27 for his first 3 seasons, Wheeler is plus-14 for his last 3. Is there something Mete does that gives his 5-guy unit an advantage, despite his pedestrian scoring stats? If there is, neither analytical nor conventional stats have revealed it to the Canadiens. Otherwise, he’d be on the ice more often.