NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2021

by | Feb 7, 2021 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Recaps of Saturday’s games, more changes to the schedule, the Stars scratch Anton Khudobin scratched for disciplinary reasons, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens held on to edge the Ottawa Senators 2-1 as Josh Anderson snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third period. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 34 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen’s been sharp for the Habs, winning four of his five starts with a 1.81 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. That’s caused some pundits to suggest a “goalie controversy” as Allen has better stats than starter Carey Price. We shouldn’t read too much into that unless Allen receives more starts than Price in the coming weeks.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their first series sweep of the season by downing the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Jakob Chychrun scored twice while Clayton Keller added a goal and an assist. The Blues also lost forward Robert Thomas after he exited the game with what appeared to be an injured left wrist. Defenseman Marco Scandella also missed the game with an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Blues revealed center Tyler Bozak was placed on injured reserve.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves in his 500th career NHL game as his club nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Jordan Eberle had two goals and Anders Lee snapped a 3-3 tie in the third. Penguins rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph tallied his first career NHL goal. Teammate Jared McCann left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Auston Matthews scored twice to extend his goals streak to seven games as the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their points streak to seven games by thumping the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Wayne Simmonds also scored twice but left the game in the third period with an apparent hand injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved win by the Leafs over a floundering Canucks team who’ve suffered four straight lopsided defeats. Something’s got to give for the Canucks if they don’t soon snap out of this tailspin.

Shootout goals by Troy Terry and Max Comtois lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Ryan Miller made 28 saves for the win while Ducks center Isac Lundestrom netted his first career NHL goal. Logan Couture tallied for the Sharks.

The Calgary Flames drew first blood against the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-4 victory in the opening game of this season’s version of The Battle of Alberta. Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists while Sam Bennett tallied his first goal of the season. Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his multiple-point game streak to seven with a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Kings reclaimed Oilers goalie Troy Grosenick off waivers.


NHL.COM: The league announced 27 games have been rescheduled.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most involve the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. Both clubs recently had games postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin has been scratched from today’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks over what head coach Rick Bowness called “an internal issue that we’ll deal with internally.” Asked if this would extend beyond today’s game, Bowness said they’ll address it “one day at a time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowness shed little light on the issue other than to suggest Khudobin may have broken one of the coach’s rules. “I have very few rules, but you damn well better follow them,” he said.

It must be a serious transgression for Bowness to scratch Khudobin, who backstopped the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final last year. He’s taken over the starter’s job while Ben Bishop continues his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski was placed on injured reserve for one-to-two weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Werenski and defense partner Seth Jones are off to slow starts this season. He suffered this injury during Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Stars.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins expect to have sidelined defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and winger Jake DeBrusk back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas is sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour expects he’ll return to the lineup soon.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals added forward Jakub Vrana to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.


  1. Somebody needs to convince Mario that the Penguins window with their aging stars has closed and this team needs to be blown up … there is no disgrace in that.

  2. Does Gudbranson get a hearing and suspension from DOPS for yet another blatant head shot?

    Hits to the head/face on Armia and Kotkaniemi were overlooked and the hit on Evans yesterday wasn’t even penalised.

    Considering this has occurred within only 12 games it appears that players have noticed the apparent free pass they are getting.

    This isn’t about the traditional net front battles and the ensuing hacking and cross checking that players expect if they rent space near the blue paint.

    Cue the enforcers if DOPS keeps turning a blind eye.

    • This clip puts it all in more perspective.
      Kadri and Debrusk were running around.
      Along with everybody else.
      Kadri went sideways.


  3. As I’m sitting here having my Black Rifle coffee I’m wondering if Jake Debrusk is one of those players that will be injured a lot thru out his career ……

    • I do believe he will be one of those oft injured players of whom you speak.
      The kid hasn’t been the same since he was attacked by Kadri, but that hip check by Sid was wicked and clean.

      • Geez SP…..I wonder if Sweeney & Neely can see what we see

      • Sop I’ve been saying that for awhile. Unfortunately Debrusk isn’t skilled enough not to drive the net or get physically involved, if he soon doesn’t get out of his own head his career will have a downwards spiral.

        Remember Te Donato use to drive the net and hang around there, then one game Hunter cheapshot him and Donato never played the same way again.

        Confidence is great until fear takes it away.

      • Dirty hit from Kadri after him watching Jake try to intentionally slam Marleau into the glass partition to cause injury.

      • “After him watching Jake try to intentionally slam Marleau into the glass partition to cause injury ”

        Strong take FD. Totally biased and wrong, but strong nonetheless.
        Jake Debrusk is a sweetie pie. Why, I’d bet he removes spiders from his home as opposed to swatting them.
        He didn’t try to intentionally hurt Marleau (who jumped right back up again) like Kadri tried to hurt him. To say otherwise is ignorant.

      • Intentionally slam Marleau into the glass………good one shticky

  4. Just maybe the Oilers would like to have another DeBrusk on their team I know one person connected to the team that would like it

    • SOP, you are correct…Marleau did jump right back up again. The thing is, Jake missed what he was trying to do and Kadri knew this. Why would NK have gone after him In the first place if he thought it was so innocent?

      Biased? Of course…your not a leaf fan.

      Btw, I am not saying what Kadri did was right. All I am saying is that there was a legitimate reason to go after Jake…just not the way Kadri should have.

      • Not many legitimate reasons to blatantly and purposely crosscheck an opponent in the head, FD. Especially as a reactionary response to a clean check delivered by one Jake Debrusk.

      • SOP, after 2011, Bruins fans should never point the finger.

      • What transpired in 2011 has nothing to do with Jake Debrusk and his lack of courage, BCLeafFan? I don’t believe I was pointing a finger, just pointing out to where I believe the change happened with Debrusk.

      • Curious, FD. What do you think Kadri was thinking while he was reading Debrusks mind?
        What exactly was Jake trying to do. You know guven his nonexistent dirty history and all.

      • Bcleaffan that’s one of the D#$best thing you could say.

        What ever you are referring to has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Kadri and Debrusk incident.

        Just so we are clear we are talking about when Debrusk game changed.

        It wasn’t so much the cross checking itself it was the concussion that followed. I believe the concussion has had a profound effect on Debrusk game.

        I would imagine life after hockey comes into play.

      • Here’s my recollection of 2011 final vs Canucks.
        Canucks diving and embarrassing refs. Talikin’ sh** in every scrum. All that.
        B’s in the box, lose first 2.
        Burrows bites Bergeron in a scrum. Him and rest of Nucks keep diving and embarrassing refs. Talikin’ more smack.
        Ref’s have enough of the cheating/diving so decide they can’t know what a penalty is. Fair enough, seems logical, let them play.
        Bruins catch on and do.
        ‘Nucks turtle once they realize it’s on now.
        Bruins hoist cup.

      • Eye of the beholder, I guess. I surely don’t wish Debrusk any health problems and I surely wish Kadri hadn’t done what he did.
        Just watched Caps/Flyers – looked a lot like the North division today.

      • My memory of 2011 final was Marchand routinely punching the Sedins in the head and never being called for it. Aaron Rome being suspended for a clean hard hit for the time (not now) on Horton – further depleting a decimated Canuck’s D. I remember the Boston goons (on the ice and off) loving the fact they could pretty much get away with anything but spearing and slashing the opposition with their skates. I remember a gassed Canucks short of too many key players not having enough left in Game 7 to make it a contest.

      • The best save % in any division is 904! Remember it’s early with no training camp there is always more scoring at the start of the year

  5. The goaltender ‘controversy’ in Mtl is total media/fan fiction until and unless Price is a healthy scratch in the playoffs and sits in favour of Allen. Ignore it.

  6. Surprise surprise, Gudbranson doesn’t get a call from DOPS for his shoulder to the face of Evans.

    Do you think a shoulder to Leaf and Oiler face will go unpenalised and no DOPS punishment in the next two hab games?

    • How about the 5 or 6 cheap shots on Stutzle? Chiarrot cross checked him in the back of the head with 2 seconds left in the game when he didn’t have the puck. Glass houses.

      • Van, go look at those cheap shots……they were all penalised, even the one that Stutzle lifted Kulak’s stick into his own face

        Chiarot hit Stutzle on the upper back and rode up as he ducked…..and as mentioned he got a penalty for it.

        About those glass houses….

  7. without Daddy Campbell running the DPS the Bruins were dead in the water in 11.reference shanahans instruction video to start the next season.Since Shanie left the DPS’s cajones have shrunk 2 sizes.

    • That is an asinine take, jorge. I honestly can’t believe people hang onto that ridiculous conspiracy theory. I had a bigger impact from my couch than Gregory’s dad did during that series. Vancouver didn’t show up in game seven. Plain and simple. Tim Thomas shut the door and St. Patrice hammered it shut.

  8. Shore if u take the time to review the DPS instructional video to commence 11[ 12 season all will become clear the evidence is irrefutable. Shanahan brought some cajones

    • Hey Jorge, Boston won the cup! Boston won the cup! seem like you can’t move on from Boston winning the Cup!