NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2021

by | Oct 20, 2021 | News, NHL | 33 comments

Leon Draisaitl reaches a milestone goal, Joel Eriksson Ek pots his first career hat trick, Alex Ovechkin keeps rising up the all-time goal leaders board, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice and assisted on two others to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Draisaitl also tallied his 200th career goal as the Oilers have won their first three games of the season. Connor McDavid had three points and Zack Kassian scored twice. Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves for the Oilers after Mike Smith left the game with an apparent leg injury in the second period. Kevin Shattenkirk and Sam Steel each tallied twice for the Ducks, who placed forwards Max Jones and Mason McTavish on injured reserve earlier in the day.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek’s scored in overtime to complete his first career hat trick in a 6-5 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and set up two others and Kirill Kaprizov collected three helpers. Andrew Copp had a goal and two assists for the Jets, who picked up their first point in three games.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 734th career goal into an empty net in a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and added an assist and Tom Wilson had three helpers for the Capitals. Ovechkin sits seven goals behind Brett Hull (741) for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list.

Florida Panthers rookie goaltender Spencer Knight extended his regular-season win streak to five games stretching back to last season in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Bay Lightning. Knight kicked out 30 shots, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each collected two points and rookie Anton Lundell tallied his first career NHL goal. The Lightning played without Nikita Kucherov, who was placed on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The All-Star winger missed the entirety of the 2020-21 regular season recovering from offseason hip surgery. It’s uncertain if his current ailment is tied to that.

The Buffalo Sabres stretching their season-opening record to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008 by dropping the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist while Craig Anderson picked up the win with 32 saves. Canucks winger Brock Boeser was held scoreless in his season debut while defenseman Quinn Hughes missed the game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed Nic Petan on waivers.

A 4-2 victory by the New Jersey Devils over the Seattle Kraken was overshadowed by Devils center Jack Hughes leaving the game in the first period with an injured left shoulder. Hughes is listed as day-to-day. Ryan Graves collected two assists for the Devils and rookie Dawson Mercer scored his first career goal. The Kraken lost their third straight game despite the season debut of center Yanni Gourde.

Ilya Sorokin’s 39-save performance carried the New York Islanders to their first win of the season as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1, leaving the latter winless in four games. Oliver Wahlstrom tallied twice for the Isles.

Alexander Radulov scored in a shootout as the Dallas Stars downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Braden Holtby picked up the win with 27 saves. Michael Raffl also scored for the Stars while John Marino replied for the Penguins.

Two third-period goals gave the Nashville Predators their first win of the season as they nipped the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Juuse Saros made 25 saves for the Predators as Tanner Jeannot potted the game-winner in the third period. Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings.

The San Jose Sharks blanked the Montreal Canadiens 5-0, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Rookie Jonathan Dahlen scored his first two NHL goals, Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists while Adin Hill turned in a 21-save shutout.

Rookie Lucas Raymond netted his first career NHL goal and added an assist as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Thomas Greiss made 22 saves for the win and captain Dylan Larkin collected two assists.


VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights received some good news as team captain Mark Stone won’t require surgery for an undisclosed injury. Coach Peter DeBoer said Stone was between “day-to-day and week-to-week.” There’s no timetable for his return.

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich received a two-game suspension for headbutting Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse on Monday.

SI/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is stepping away from his broadcasting duties with TVA Sports after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Bossy makes a swift and full recovery.


  1. To Mike Bossy…. Hope you can beat this and recover quickly

    Panthers…. Are the real deal

    Sabres…. Don’t expect this success to continue

    Jarry and Holtby…. Was exciting to watch…. Great saves by both…. Both nearing 970 save percentage last night…. Shame one of them gets tagged with a loss. Very happy as a Pens fan for how well they have done so far (6 of possible 8 points) with Sid, Gino out all 4 games, and Rust and Guentzel have missed a game in those 4(Rust still out)

    Oil… love the high scoring games… keep it up

    • Pengy, no doubt the Panthers look good … but as you well know we should never put too much stock into October/November hockey (like, who would have marked the Sabres down for a 3-0 start?).

      To me it’s akin to April/May baseball – lots of early HRs and bloated batting averages – until the pitchers start throwing less fastballs and more breaking stuff.

      • Hi George

        No challenge on the bias perception of October hockey results

        That said, I’ve been very pro on Panthers for a few months now

        I’ve said before and I’ll say again… barring major injuries… if Bobo can play even at a $6M value and the youngster can perform like he’s capable of…Panthers have pretty fair shot of winning Atl and possibly the East

        Zito for GM of the year…. I’m still gobsmacked that Lou won last year tho….

  2. Congrats, Leon

  3. Mike Bossy – truly a class act. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Habs look truly pitiful. Fire the GM, the coach, and trade all the players away. While you are at it, get rid of Youppi!
    Ok, tantrum over. I’m better now.
    Looks like it’s going to be a long season.

    • Don’t worry, remember they are built for the playoffs as many are so fond of saying.

      • Maybe so, but first they have to GET there. And while I often say not to put too much stock into Oct-Nov hockey, if you dig too deep a hole for yourself in those months it can put too many teams to climb over in order to reach a playoff position. Last season’s 2-12-1 start for the Senators is a classic example. While they then assembled a record the rest of the way that was as good as – or better – than some of the teams making the playoffs, the hole was simply to deep.

      • Like they say on the PGA Tour George, you can’t win the tourney in RD 1, but you can lose it.

      • But, but but…I thought the way the season goes was pretty much decided in the first few games?

    • We don’t know what the season’s going to be like after all the Habs were the best team out o the gate last year, most goals, most short handed goals, everything they did was gold.

      We never expected it to last long and kept waiting for the shoe to drop and boy did it ever.

      Every point counts and we look back to fast and slow starts but in truth we know there are winning and losing streaks throughout the year.

      This Habs team is better than last year and it will play out in the long run but they seem to be somnambulists on ice.

      The over-all malaise made Kyle Okposo seem like a speed demon in the Buffalo game.

      Wings and Sabres are at the top of the table with the Panthers and does anybody think it will be the same in a few weeks?

      • Of course no one thinks the wings and sabres will stay on top, just like other teams dynamics will change. That’s why we are joking about it.

      • Win loss record for the first 10 games doesn’t really matter as much as how they won or loss.

        Right now, some of these teams have fundamental flaws that if they don’t overcome, either will be sitting out or booted quickly in the post season for both the “good looking” teams and not.

      • Hi HF30

        Wings/Sabres at Atl top come mid Nov… me thinks highly highly unlikely

        Panthers winning Atl and maybe even East…. that is not a stretch IMHO

        I really like the roster make-up of Panthers.

        This will very likely come down to (barring major injuries); how Bobo plays this year.

      • The Habs shooting percentage is 2.59% in all situations, last year they were below average but still maintained a 9.05%.

        That can be called a fundamental flaw or an aberration, or in more common parlance no puck luck.

        Pengy, though I didn’t specify it, my intention was to point out Wings and Sabres being out of place.

        Florida should be in the running for the reasons you have been pointing out.
        Spencer Knight has to prove he’s the real deal and the Panthers are confident he is.

      • HabsFan30, “This Habs team is better than last year and it will play out in the long run”

        “We don’t know what the season’s going to be like”

        Contradict yourself often? SMH.

      • Mike Babcock used a “6 for 5” system when he was the Leaf coach. Earn six points or more in every five game section and chances are you’re in the playoffs. That projection seems to work over 82 games.
        Montreal and others are making it tough on themselves but a five game win streak solves a lot of problems. Let’s check back in a couple of weeks.

      • Ya, way too early BCLeafFan, but in a hockey market, especially Canada, and especially Montreal, start out 0 and 5, and out come the knives.
        HF30 I didn’t think MTL would get in with the losses of Danault, Weber and now Price for at least a few weeks. I will go with a wash on KK and Dvorak short term.
        Savard isn’t Weber, and no replacement for Danault. No offence to Paquette.
        Why did you think they would be better? Some scoring help on the wings, but key positions took a hit IMO.

      • Randino,

        First quote refers to changes in the off season that I think have improved the Habs as compared to last year.

        Second quote refers to the season being long and we have no idea how it will all play out when its over.

        Finding contradictions that don’t exist, is what happens when you take lines out of context, whether deliberately or not, might be the rattling up there.

      • Ray Bark,
        As compared to last year, regular season was very different from the playoffs after game 4.

        Weber had a terrible regular season and in Montreal we were wondering what was wrong with him. frequent giveaways, he was unable to turn back, his shot wasn’t getting through.

        Danault was not visible the entire regular season, offensively or defensively. You need to get some goals and he didn’t get any for half the season.

        I liked Tatar but his game fell off a cliff last year.
        I liked KK and his potential not his actual in season performance.

        Montreal fan base frequently thought Allen was the 1G last year and he carried the team till Price got his mojo back, I see no reason to think he can’t do it again.

        Savard is a solid physical D ( Tampa gave up a 1st round pick for him) blocks shots , good first pass, he’s as good if not better than last year regular season Weber. He’s a Weber Lite

        I think Paquette and Perreault easily replace Danault, both of them strong defensively while having more jam and able to score a few.

        I think Hoffman and Dvorak are heads and hands more productive than Tatar and Kotkaniemi.

        The Habs powerplay was a black hole last year but Hoffman, Dvorak and Caufield should make it much more productive and put W’s up instead of OT points.

        The outgoing players scored 26G

        The incoming players scored 52G

        I like Danault but he is insanely over-hyped with the Montreal media comparing him to Patrice Bergeron when he couldn’t hold his jockstrap.

      • Obviously, no one expects the Wings and Sabres to stay on top, but I have and still maintain that neither will be epically bad, and both will be a tougher out than has been predicted.

      • That is a detailed response and makes sense.
        My concerns if I was a Habs fan would be:
        Not every 1B is able to be the guy when the 1A isn’t around. Pressure isn’t for everyone.

        Weber is a beast to deal with, but to be fair to your argument I only watched him closely in the playoffs. Likely getting the needle then.
        I have a soft spot for C’s that sacrifice stats to defend and think it is more difficult and valuable than most. I understand that I am in the minority.

        Perhaps this is just a tired team that needs to get used to a bunch of new faces. Long playoff, short off season, key leaders not playing requires an adjustment one would think.

      • habfan30,

        Those quotes were clearly not taken out of context. You supporting your argument after the fact and providing context is exactly what what’s happened here.

        I can understand. Your team has come out of the gate slow. At this point last year they were in the midst of a winning streak and were on their way to the cup final You’re concerned, at rightly so, that maybe they won’t make the cup finals this year. I mean, statistically speaking, the team that loses the cup rarely gets back there and wins the next year.

      • Habfan30. Before Danault signed with the Kings you asserted Danault’s line, over the last few seasons, outscored the leagues top scoring lines. When repeatedly asked to substantiate that claim, you spewed many words, none with substance. Now, you claim, “Danault was not visible the entire regular season, offensively or defensively.”
        As Randino said, contradict yourself often?
        I await your attack and evasion.

      • Randino,
        i stated you quoting out of context and I explained it.
        I can’t help if it doesn’t fit your narrative.

        I am not concerned that the Habs won’t make the playoffs on account of a slow start any more than I was touting their fortunes at the fast start last year.

        You may recall:

        “We never expected it to last long and kept waiting for the shoe to drop and boy did it ever.”

        The rattling up there is confusing you.

        The Danault line had Gallagher and Tatar on it, 20 and 30 goal scorers in previous years, and as a line they had very high possession numbers.

        Last year Gallagher played 35 games and was injured for many of them and neither Tatar or Danault were visible.

        I said all last year that Danault was overrated and in fact was suggesting a trade with the Wild for Joel Eriksson Ek before the start of the season.

      • The Habs will not make the playoffs.

      • Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2021

        “The past few years of watching Tatar/Danault/Gallagher as one of the top lines in hockey, facing and outscoring the top scoring lines in the league….”

  4. Incredible rivalry game last night between the Wild and Jets. Even though Talbot was shaky in net, he made a huge save in OT right before the wild scored to win. Great fight early in the game. Marcus Foligno threw a superman punch (although it was a grazing blow). Both teams had a goal overturned. Man I am happy to have a “normal” schedule and games to go to again!

    • It is good isn’t it Freddy. Can’t wait to see B’s vs Habs, or vs Leafs.
      Plus they come to EDM again.
      Heck the Ducks hadn’t been in EDM since March 2019. Different team today than back then.
      Zegras is a player.

    • The sooner Maurice is gone the better chance we can be the St. Louis Blues of 2021/22.

  5. Sharks are off to a decent start. Wonder what they’ll be like when they get their top goal scorer back…

    • I’ll bet my fake vaccine card that Kane don’t bankrupt their chances at assaulting the standings.

      • You’re on chrisms. I’ll take that bet!

        Not because i need the fake vaccine card. Because i actually think Kane, when not acting like a total dingus, is a pretty decent player. Though, i wouldn’t want him on my team.

  6. If Kucherov misses the rest of the regular season again, he’s ineligible for the playoffs, right? Right???