NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 11, 2022

by | Feb 11, 2022 | News, NHL | 34 comments

Avalanche retake first overall, my reaction to the Oilers firing head coach Dave Tippett, plus the latest on Tomas Hertl’s contract talks and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche (70 points) retook first place in the overall standings by holding off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring to reach the 20-goal plateau for the ninth time in his career while Devon Toews had a goal and an assist. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves and teammate Braydon Point had a goal and an assist. With 66 points, the Bolts sit three points behind the first-place Florida Panthers in the Atlantic Division.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen turned aside 34 points in a 6-0 shutout of the Boston Bruins. Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and two assists, Teuvo Teravainen had three assists and Sebastian Aho scored twice for the Hurricanes, who sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 67 points. The Bruins (55 points) maintain their hold on the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 55 points.

The Washington Capitals (61 points) widened their lead over the Bruins for the first wild-card spot by downing the Montreal Canadiens 5-2, spoiling the coaching debut of Canadiens bench boss Martin St. Louis. Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov made 42 saves while teammate Joe Snively scored his first two NHL goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens put forth a better effort in this game but weak goaltending and a lack of scoring depth were their undoing. That’s something a coaching change won’t fix. It’ll require a lot of work by management leading up to the trade deadline and during the offseason to address some of their issues.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith turned in a 26-save shutout to blank the Ottawa Senators 2-0. Jeff Carter and Bryan Rust were the goal scorers. Senators goalie Matt Murray allowed just one goal on 43 shots in his first game against his former team since being traded to the Senators in 2020. The Penguins (66 points) remain one back of the Hurricanes in the Metro Division.

The Calgary Flames down the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. Jacob Markstrom stopped 46 shots while Flames defensemen Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin each had a goal and an assist. Leafs forward Mitch Marner’s goal streak ended at eight games. The Flames (56 points) vaulted into second place in the Pacific Division while the Leafs remain in third place in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Leafs forward Ondrej Kase left the game in the first period following a big hit by Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

A five-goal third period carried the New Jersey Devils to a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Nico Hischier scored twice and collected an assist while Yegor Sherangovich had a goal and two assists. Blues forward Brayden Schenn replied with two goals as the Blues (57 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

An overtime goal by Jakub Voracek lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday fired head coach Dave Tippett and assistant coach Jim Playfair, replacing them on an interim basis with now-former Bakersfield Condor coaches Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers general manager Ken Holland had to do something as his club sits six points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. While a coaching change can’t hurt, it probably won’t be enough to overcome their porous goaltending and defensive depth and lack of reliable secondary scoring. That’s on Holland, who will face considerable grilling by Edmonton fans and pundits if they miss the postseason.

This is the 11th coaching change by the Oilers since 2008. It’s the first under Holland’s watch but this revolving door of bench bosses was supposed to have come to an end by now. This move also raises concerns about the long-term futures of Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and it’s not just coming from the Toronto media.

Speaking of the Oilers, they also announced winger Zack Kassian will miss the next four to eight weeks with a fractured jaw while defenseman Duncan Keith is out for two to four weeks with a concussion.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Joe Will, the Sharks acting general manager, is in discussions with agent Craig Oster regarding a long-term contract extension for Tomas Hertl. The 28-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word if the two sides are closing in on a deal but the fact they’re talking over a month before the March 21 trade deadline appears a positive sign for his future in San Jose.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Lowry in the head during a scuffle in a game on Tuesday.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is listed as day-to-day following their game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois and defenseman Neal Pionk have emerged from COVID protocol and will play against the Dallas Stars on Friday.

GOPHNX.COM: The Arizona Board of Regents approved a plan that will allow the Coyotes to play games at Arizona State University for the next three seasons and perhaps beyond if needed. The Coyotes’ lease at Gila River Arena is being terminated by the city of Glendale at the end of this season, forcing the club to seek a temporary home while it seeks approval to construct a new arena in Tempe.


  1. Leafs-Flames:

    Certainly a tale of two goalies. Markstrom was spectacular and Soupy not near his early season success. I’m hoping this is just a dry spell for Soupy (season 919 but last 5 games…. 835; last 8 games…. 865. Even if we trace last two months …. Since Dec 7th… he’s 888. Is it fatigue? Nagging injury that he’s playing through? I’m not convinced for sure even at his best, that he could have outduelled Markstrom last night . Markstrom was lights out.


    Very good game DeSmith….. I realize that he wasn’t peppered and many shots were not high quality but this was a very good and uplifting performance for him. A couple of similar performances by him (or Domingue) like that talk re back up upgrade will subside; and Pens can focus on D upgrade.

    excellent game Murray! Many 10 bellers…. 977 last night. Looks like he has turned the corner (966 last 5 games; 3 wins [including a shutout] and 1 OTL!

    Re Yotes announcement:

    Playing in a 5,000 seat arena, that has so many broadcast and other NHL logistical issues for 3 years (likely 4 , maybe 5…..no new arena plans even been finalized yet; and there is always building delays) …. and TSN’s quote of Bettman…. “we are delighted that the Coyotes’ passionate fans will get to experience ASU’s on-campus energy while the Club’s new arena is being built.” …. I hear Marlon Brando from the grave …. “the Horror”.

    Call in to Robert Englund to host broadcasts …. Branding the broadcasts “Nightmare on South Packard Drive”. Note: current schedule for completion of that arena is “targeted” for early December. Where will the Yotes open the 22-23 season? The best place for them to open (and finish) next season is on Polk St. In Houston

    • And the only goal on Murray came off a giveaway by Chabot. Senators sure could have used Batherson and Norris last night.

    • The Arizona arena plan is a shambles. It’s an embarrassment to the whole league. I understand it’s enraged the owners, too, since they are subsidizing this team that apparently has no interest in fans or ticket sales.

      I feel bad for Coyotes fans and players.

  2. If the Oilers and/or Bruins miss the playoffs I don’t see how Holland and/or Sweeney keep their respective jobs. And Fletcher in Philly, he has done a horrible job which isn’t very surprising, look what Guerin has done in Minnesota, cleaning up after him and Paul Fenton.

    • If I may ….Neely along with Sweeney has a Big say in the day to day decisions made by the Bruins…..

    • Time for the Bruins to hit the reset button and get 1st round picks out of Bergy and March or wait another year and maybe get nothing or half their value. If you think a #2 center and a healthy Bergy would help this team get out of the first round you’re kidding yourself as you can’t fix old and slow.

      • Hmmmm, Brad Marchand would look interesting in an Oilers uniform. LOL

      • I would think every team in the league would want Brad Marchand

      • I sure wish there was some way Ottawa could swing a deal for him … but what he’d cost in returns to make it worthwhile for Boston would unfortunately gut them in other places (even assuming Marchand would want to come here)

      • Please god no as far as the pens are concerned!

  3. I didn’t think at this time I would be posting this, but it’s time to sell, If you’re gonna put your trust in Sweeney to mold and shape this team for the future, that’d be like letting the Sweat hogs loose in the Taj Mahal. If we get bona fide top d, if Krecji comes back, if Bergy’s healthy and If Swayman starts playing like he should the bruins might surprise some teams. But those are a lot of ifs I’ve given up on this club now Sell, but first get rid of Sweeney, Sea Bass, and Bruce.

  4. Anyone here know where the Bruins D went this season ? there’s #73 & that’s it

  5. Definitely a much better game by the Habs – probably deserved to win. The weak goaltending obviously stems from injuries to both Price and Allen. At this point, Primeau needs to play in Laval but there is no choice. That may work itself out. Other issues, such as scoring depth and problems on D, will need time and patience. The work will begin this offseason but certainly won’t end there.

    • Agreed. I was very happy with Caufields game. If he can maintain that level, people win understand why folks mention him for the Calder to start the year (No he has zero chance at the Calder, not with his play thus far, does not deserve it). I figured the player who would best respond to St. Louis was Caufield….hope it continues…

  6. Just a thought let me know if I’m wrong …Bruins Forbort is 6’4” and 225 lbs but he plays like he 5’8” 180 and if you haven’t had the opportunity to see him play yet just trust me….. Sweeney had a terrible FA signing class this past offseason and he had a lot of $$$ to use …

    • Joe was thinking the same thing;

      Coyle 6’3″ , Nosek 6’3″, Forbort 6’4″, Carlo 6’6″

      Bruins relying on McAvoy 6’1″ and Clifton 5’11” to do all the hitting.

      Foligno brings a negative value to this team.

      • Caper …. Doing a little math those 4 players have a total of around 240 hits … Gudas the Panthers Dman has 200 himself …. Then you get someone like Tony D going after McAvoy after a clean hit but you get Crosby with a possible interference call taking a player out and nobody got into his face …

      • Foligno’s the biggest con since Charles Ponzi and Bitacoin. He can’t fight anymore one punch to head & he’s out for the entire season, can’t score, can’t skate, can’t hit. The leafs we’re beside themselves with joy once this clowns contract was up.

  7. When Tippett was hired he was advertised as having a great defensive system and having more to work within Edmonton than he did in Arizona. We never saw that. In the last bunch of games, the bottom 6 forward groups have outscored the top 6, and yet Tippett still hasn’t decreased the ice time for McDavid and Draisaitl. Even after the Kane signing, which provided Tippett with the opportunity to put Nuge on the third line.
    Last season it wasn’t goaltending that hurt the Oilers, it was secondary scoring from the bottom 6. Mike Smith finished the season in 7th in save percentage with a .923. Which goalie was available who had better numbers than Smith this offseason? Freddie Anderson was coming off a very poor season and Leafs fans were saying that he was finished. Markstrom was 37th with a .904 save percentage. Yeah, this season Markstrom has 8 shutouts, but still isn’t even close to leading the NHL in save percentage even though he has 5 and 6 more shutouts than the other three goalies ahead of him. He is also very inconsistent. Who could have predicted that after 44 games Smith would have only played in 8 games?
    I’m not one who calls for the coach’s head, but after about a month into this season I was questioning Tippett and why this team was so weak defensively when he is supposed to be a great defensive coach. Also, he was playing the top two lines way too much. Always leaving the top power-play unit out for the whole 2 minutes of the power play.
    He was making some very questionable moves.

    • Well KevJam, I agree with Lyle’s cousin’s article on Sportsnet this AM. I thing it’s time to quit pointing at coaches for the Oilers defensive problems, and look at the players.

      Tippett’s teams in ARI were defensively stout and were less talented than this group.
      McLellan had solid defensive teams in SJ, and has now turned LA into a team that can defend.
      Couldn’t do it here.

      How good defensively are the Ducks this year vs the Oil when Dallas Eakins was here?

      These guys know the systems, and apparently can have the players execute every where else they coach. Things that make you go hmmmm?

      The players in EDM, either can’t or won’t execute, and there have been multiple coaches who have tried.

      Needs to be the best players who lead the way by dedicating themselves to it, and that includes McDavid, because if you can’t defend as a C, you are not the best player in the NHL.

      If you can’t win most of your 3-2 games you aren’t a good NHL team.

      • The Dallas Eakins Oilers were a totally different team. I think Nuge and Nurse, who only played 2 games for as a rookie, are the only two left on the team from when he was the coach. He also had Justin Schultz as his number 1 d-man. He did not have a good group on defence. Plus Hall was not helping him out with his attitude at the time.
        The McLellan years were by far NOT his fault. Peter Chiarelli tore that team apart and made some HUGE mistakes.
        The loss of Larsson this offseason was huge and unexpected. He is who the Oilers are missing on their second pairing.
        Who was available that the Oilers could have signed/traded for to replace him? As far as I can remember most of the d-men available we more of the offensive d-men like Ristolainen.

    • Mike Smith is 39 and has lost many games to injury over the years. The fantasy hockey site Dobber’s Hockey has listed him for years as a “Certified Band-Aid Boy” (meaning exercise caution as this player is virtually guaranteed to miss games and is a significant risk to miss 12 or more games in a given season).

      If you asked me before the season about those three as starting goalies, I would have ranked them Markstrom, Andersen, Smith. At this point maybe Andersen, Markstrom, Smith. The 2 years at $2.2 m contract, even if buyout-proof due to age, wasn’t so terrible. The problem was counting on Koskinen / Smith as the duo for a team with playoff aspirations.

  8. Kyle, your still posting Copp got kneed in the head. It was Lowry.

  9. Did anyone watch Anson Carter rant last night?

    He called out a Minnesota reporter who shot back at Carter for laughing at Minny.

    Carter threw down the race card. Grertz tried to change the subject and Carter went right back. “Not this month” and “very white of you.”

    Anson Carter is wrong and owes the reported an apology. It was childish and uncalled for.

    If Anson can’t handle the comments then maybe he should make any.

    • Connor not leaving that reporter is an idiot

    • It was dumb thing to do Caper, and he was wrong.
      But seriously won’t give it another thought after this post because who really gives a crap what some guy says on TV about a hockey reporter, that started as a Twitter feud.

      If you don’t like him don’t watch, and enough people don’t watch or complain they will get somebody else to do it.

      Way more important things that should concern folks these days, hockey should be a break from it.

  10. The game against the Flames last night should show DUBAS that he needs to geet some ummph/meat/grit at least on the backend. Chara would look good on a 3rd pairing beside Hankanpaa and Myers would look good on a 2nd line pairing beside Muzzin…Get some giants that know Pretty doesn’t win everygame. Ugly can help a team battle when the battles occur. Would of been a totally different game with those 3 additions imo.

    • What Sutter has done with that team, and Tre did to get players that play Sutter’s style, is impressive.
      FlamesFan bought in early, I was skeptical, he was right, I was wrong.
      And you are bang on DJ.

  11. av’s cs lightning was a great heavyweight battle last nite…would make for a great final

    • Hi 2001AA

      I think there is a very strong chance that the SCF is played in the State of Florida AND at high elevation; OR in the State of Florida AND in the Desert

      All 4 teams should be very good (Knights once all off LTIR… even more so if they don’t actually trade anybody….. if Stone stays LTIR to EOS)

      Kuemper, Lehner, Bobo, and Vazy are going to be seeing a load of rubber

    • 2001aa watched some of that game last night. Very entertaining hockey.

      Listening to the Av’s broadcasters, they mentioned that the one concern people have with the Av’s is lack of size.

      I dont watch enough to comment, do you see it as an issue?

      • Caper, I don’t see enough of Colorado to talk from observation, but your comment got me curious so I went into CapFriendly to get the various sizes and here’s what I came up with:

        F over 6′
        Rantanen – 6’4″ 215
        Nichushkin – 6’4″ 210
        Burakovsky – 6′ 3″ 201
        Landeskog – 6′ 1″ 215
        MacKinnon – 6′ 0″ 200
        Kadri – 6′ 0″ 192
        Helm – 6’0″ 192
        Compher – 6’0″ 190
        O’Connor – 6’0″ 175

        F under 6′
        Jost – 5′ 11″ 187
        AubéKubel – 5′ 11″ 187
        Sikura – 5’11” 166
        Newhook – 5′ 10″ 192

        D over 6′
        McDermid – 6′ 5″ 233
        Erik Johnson – 6’4″ 225
        Jack Johnson – 6’1″ 227
        Murray – 6′ 1″ 206
        Toews – 6’1″ 191
        Byram – 6′ 0″ 206

        Kuemper – 6′ 5″ 215
        Francouz – – 6’0″ 179

        Not sure where he thinks they lack size. Do some of those guys play “small?” Maybe that’s what he means. here are the Avs guys?

      • And I forgot Makar on D at 5′ 11″ 287 and Girard at 5′ 10″ 170

      • 187 – sheesh