NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2021

by | Feb 6, 2021 | News, NHL | 16 comments

Recaps of Friday’s action, the league faces criticism as it looks at rapid testing, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Third-period goals 27 seconds apart by Brad Marchand and Sean Kuraly lifted the Boston Bruins over the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. James van Riemsdyk was the lone scorer for the Flyers, who played without goaltender Carter Hart (back spasms, day-to-day) and defenseman Philippe Myers, who has an upper-body injury. Forward Oskar Lindblom left the game in the third period following a hit from Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton.

The Detroit Red Wings’ winless skid stretched to eight games (0-6-2) after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Barclay Goodrow tallied twice for the Lightning, including the game-winner.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov (NHL Images).

Second-period goals by Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe gave the Florida Panthers a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Panthers extended their points streak to eight games (6-0-2) as they’re the only team that hasn’t lost in regulation. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made 34 saves.

The Vegas Golden Knights scored five straight goals in the opening 27 minutes to beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2. Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson and Nicolas Hague each collected three points for the Golden Knights, who were playing their first game since their schedule was paused on Jan. 26 by COVID-19.

Shootout goals by Ryan Donato and Kevin Labanc lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Anaheim Ducks 5-4. The Sharks overcame a 3-1 deficit on third-period goals by Logan Couture, Evander Kane and Brent Burns but Max Comtois tied it for the Ducks.


TSN: The NHL and NHLPA are investigating rapid testing for players and team staff on game days to flatten the COVID-19 curve after five teams had their schedules paused and games postponed over the past two weeks. A total of 26 games have been postponed, 17 in February alone.

The Buffalo Sabres were among those teams. They were reportedly furious that they were apparently forced to play games last weekend against a New Jersey Devils team that was going through an outbreak of COVID-19. Five Sabres players have since wound up on the NHL’s COVID protocol list while Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger has tested positive. The Sabres had no players on the protocol list prior to the series against the Devils.

THE ATHLETIC: John Vogl reports Eric County executive Mark Poloncarz believes the NHL should have taken greater action to ensure the safety of the Sabres and Devils and everyone around them. “It seemed they were more interested in playing a game,” he said.

League commissioner Bill Daly said there were no concerns expressed regarding last Sunday’s games between the Sabres and Devils. An NHLPA representative said league and union medical advisors determined the game could go on based on the information available to them at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league announced on Thursday they were taking steps to reduce player-to-player transmission of the coronavirus, including removing the glass behind the benches to increase airflow, increasing the distance between players in dressing rooms, and limiting the time spent at the arena by players and coaches.

The recent postponements and reschedulings aren’t surprising. There’s a greater risk of exposure and transmissions because the players aren’t under the strict quarantine conditions they played under during the 2020 playoffs. Doing more to limit transmission at the arena is one thing but there’s little the league can do to prevent players from exposure when they have greater access to the general public away from the rink.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins defenseman John Marino returned to practice yesterday after being placed on the COVID-19 protocol list on Wednesday. Sidelined blueliners Kris Letang and Mike Matheson also skated yesterday.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott (leg injury) will not play today against the Vancouver Canucks.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov required stitches after being struck in the face with a puck during practice on Friday. Canadiens coach Claude Julien said Romanov will travel with the club for today’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

CBS SPORTS: Calgary Flames forward Derek Ryan has been referred to a specialist after injuring a finger during Thursday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

NEWSDAY: The New York Rangers promoted Chris Drury to associate general manager.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Justin Williams is returning to the Carolina Hurricanes as a special advisor to the general manager.


  1. Sidelined blueliners Kris Letang and Mike Matheson also skated yesterday.

    And that’s supposed to be good news????

    Broad Street Bully fans have to be embarrassed how easily the Flyers get pushed around these days … the only softer team in the league are the Penguins …

    • I don’t believe I called it “good news”, ed…;)

      • No, no, I was being sarcastic at the fact that they were both back skating and seemed poised to be back in the lineup … it’s actually “bad” news for us Penguin fans and wasn’t meant as a negative towards you at all. Hope that makes sense?

      • Understood, thanks for the clarification, ed. Cheers!

    • Embarrassed seems a little strong Ed.
      Was a good tight game yesterday IMO, with Philly losing on a bad goal against by Elliott.
      B’s out hit them by a bit because PHI had the puck a bit more, and more chances.
      Game before other way around. PHI out hit BOS because BOS had puck more.

      Ed, here is a hint – according to the rules you are only allowed to hit the player who has the puck. So logic would suggest….?

      Not many teams both out hit and outscore their opponents.
      St Louis and WSH come to mind.

      • C’mon Ray, compared to past Flyer teams this one couldn’t outhit a girl scout group … they are weak and soft like most Chuck Fletcher teams have been before and as currently constructed will struggle to make the playoffs. You mentioned both St. Louis and Washington … haven’t they both won Cups recently??? Give me a heavy team any day of the week over a soft fast skating one. Bergy brought in Josh Anderson and Joel Edmundson for a reason. In my opinion I am hoping that the trend goes back towards a mix of skill and heavy hitting and I don’t necessarily mean gooning it up and fighting. Even though I don’t openly root for them I enjoy watching St. Louis, Washington, Las Vegas, Calgary & Winnipeg play hockey. The team I root for gets pushed around and has consistently let it skill players get roughed up and when they finally get a player like Ryan Reaves the coach doesn’t know how to use him, he falls in the doghouse and eventually gets shipped out of town after giving up a #1 pick to get him. Time for breakfast, I think I’ll have a few rusty nails and wash them down with vinegar.

      • I like heavy teams too Ed. We can agree on that. If 2 players equal in skill, take the big guy. And ya, they are way different today than the Broad Street Bully days.
        The game has changed and if you can’t skate and handle the puck, you aren’t playing because you will lose. No offence to the Hammer, but he never sees the NHL today.

        Look at Marchand’s goal last night. Little bugger got in there and whacked it home. Skilled with guts more so than brawn. That’s the new tough in the NHL.

        Game has changed, so have the players and how they are coached.
        Caps and Blues have speed and skill and size. TBay does too, but a little less physical.
        PHI has the skill, aren’t little and have some jam. I just wouldn’t call them soft for today’s NHL.

      • Ed i agree with you. It’s easy to say the time with more puck possession will have less in hits. Sound right in theory.

        Not if your team is soft and don’t hit when the dont have the puck.

        I dont get to caught up in the hit totals because they classify a rub out as a hit, or a little nudge.

        The actual number of real hits is much lower then the numbers the NHL post or track.

      • Ed and Ray–Just for conjecture, does anybody think the Broad Street Bullies would be bullies in today’s game? Clarke was 5’10” and 185. Nineteen of his teammates wee 6’0″ or under.

        Bones today are made of the same material as they were in 1975, but players are bigger and stronger, and thus can hit harder. Could that be why players have become “gentle” with one another?

        The present Flyers roster lists only one player at 5’10’, Travis Konecny. The Bruins have 4 players shorter than 6′.0″. Yet, neither team is a big team in 2021..

      • Good point Francis, bigger, faster, stronger hit harder because of that.
        What we now know about concussions has removed more of the big shots as guys don’t want to send guys to the hospital or end careers. Don’t blame them.
        A guy like Pronger would still be a valuable D man as he could move, but he wouldn’t be as dominant as he can’t can open guys going to the net without the puck.
        We were coached to do that, now you ride the bench as you take penalties.
        Now cycles and net front is the only place you can really be physical for the most part.

  2. If The NHL is wanting to play they best continue and even strengthen a proactive approach towards the covid response. It’s one thing to risk the spread of this virus it’s another to do nothing while their is a likely good of it spreading. It’s not just about the players and staff. They go home to families. Members of which who may not fair to well once infected.

    Fortunately I am receiving my second shot of the vaccine on Monday. Hopefully as more and more get vaccinated we can put this pandemic behind us.

    Vaccines are safe all. Get we done the moment your eligible. My public message. Haha

    • Jeff, good to hear and thanks for what you do.

  3. Not many Brad Marchand,s in the league Gallagher is a close second heart of a lion. When Bruins won cup in 2011 they could beat any team up and physically dominate their opponents. Doesn’t seem to work this day and age anytime someone gets knocked down it’s a penalty.

    • Obe i would like to see a line of:

      Gallagher Kadri Marchand

      That would be fun to watch

    • Obe…. that was probably my most favorite team and I’m going back to the very early 70’s….just liked that teams all around game ….they probably should’ve beaten Chicago too…. don’t know what year it was after that they lost to the Canadians who just stated circles around the Bruins but the B’s did hit like 10 goalposts in that series …. Bruins decided the Big skating team wasn’t going to get the job done so they went lightweight and that continues to this day even though Sweeney says ever year they want to get bigger,tougher and harder on the puck …. don’t know if league is changing back last few years with the bigger hitting teams winning the SC

      • Let’s face it, guys, the rules change in the playoffs and regular season penalties don’t get called.
        Same as rugby – play the ref, not the rules.