NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2022
The Avalanche spoil Jack Eichel’s Golden Knights debut, the Flames pick up their eighth straight win, the Panthers down the Hurricanes in a possible playoff preview, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche spoiled Jack Eichel’s debut with the Vegas Golden Knights with a 2-0 victory. Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves for the shutout while Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen scored in the third period. Eichel saw 17:32 of ice time, registered one shot and picked up four PIMs. With 74 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers atop the overall standings while the Golden Knights (59 points) sit three points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel will need time to return fully to game shape after having not played in nearly a year. He will improve as he returns to form in the coming games.
Speaking of the red-hot Flames, they picked up their eighth straight win by thumping the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Elias Lindholm stretched his points streak to six games with two goals and an assist while Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Rasmus Andersson each had three points. The Ducks have 55 points and sit behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Kings also have 55 points but hold two games in hand over the Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors could increase about the Ducks if they fail to halt their current slide. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson and winger Rickard Rakell are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. They’ve already surfaced several times in this season’s rumor mill and we could start hearing more about them as trade candidates.
Aaron Ekblad scored in overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in what could be a preview of a potential playoff series between these two clubs. Panthers winger Sam Reinhart scored at 19:11 of the third period to set the stage for Ekblad’s winning goal while teammates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau each had two points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the most entertaining game of the night. It was a close contest between two potential Stanley Cup contenders.
Mark Scheifele scored a natural hat trick and picked up an assist as the Winnipeg Jets tamed the Minnesota Wild 6-3. Blake Wheeler had four assists for the Jets (50 points), who moved within five points of the final Western wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need a more consistent effort if they hope to gain ground in the playoff race. They’ve won just five of their last 15 games.
TSN: Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens was fined $2,235.42 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking New York Islanders center Brock Nelson on Tuesday.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs claimed forward Adam Brooks off waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights.
This guy Brooks must feel like a ping-pong ball – drafted in the 4th round (92nd overall) by Toronto in 2016, he was lost on waivers to Montreal – played briefly there – then lost on waivers again to Vegas – and now claimed back by Toronto on waivers.
Ralk about living out of a suitcase/
“Eichel will need time to return fully to game shape”
Does Vegas have time? Patrick left game with possibly another concussion. Courtesy of a high hit from Mac. Lerner is out. Whitecloud is out. Stone and Martinez on ltir. Not sure how much cap they’d need to clear to bring either back. Dallas has 54 points. Kings, Oilers, and Ducks all at 55. Vegas at 59. All have various amounts of games played. Is it conceivable that Vegas could miss playoffs?
If Vegas misses the playoffs, will placing those guys on LTIR have been all for naught?
I wouldn’t put any amount of money on vegas missing the playoffs Slick.
If the bruins start Swayman tonight they should win with Bergy back in the lineup if they start Red Light Ullmark automatic loss. Oh and uhhh Sweeney’s working the phones.
Three things are certain in life. 1. Death. 2. Taxes. 3. Marie Philippe Poulin scoring big goals in clutch games.
Congratulations to Canada’s women hockey stars on another gold. And to Team USA for a great tournament. The women’s game ruled the Olympics while the men’s tourney is barely an afterthought.
I will add a 4th.
Rick trashing someone on his “favorite” team.
Every. Single. Day.
Howard very well said ! She is arguably the most clutch player (Men or Woman) the game has ever seen
Swany, I’m certainly not arguing. And I join you in hoping that other hockey countries step up their women’s program.
Good call, Howard. Wouldn’t it be great if two more countries reached the same level?
BC Leaf fan I so agree . To me the gap is getting bigger not smaller between Canada/USA and the rest of the teams
Hey BC I would keep my eye on Sweden becoming a 3rd as they have started to pump money into their women’s program similarly to what they did with their mens team many years ago. Would not surprise me to see them in a medal hunt at the next Olympics.
Congrats to the Canadians, hope the US women’s team uses the loss as motivation for 2026.
USA vs. Canada woman’s hockey games are very underrated in the hockey community. They are very exciting and hard-fought games. I love watching these two teams play each other.
I wish them well but I don’t really like watching womens sports
Congrats to the Canadian woman winning GOLD!!
Does MacKinnon get a hearing for his hit on Nolan Patrick?
As a die hard Hurricanes fan I don’t think this team is built for a cup run this year. If they can get rid of some of the “softer” players perhaps they will have a chance. Every time they play a team with some grit they just don’t seem to do very well. As we all know the playoffs are a different style of play than regular season. That’s just the way it is. If it wasn’t for Andersen in goal we would have lost more games. I hope management doesn’t sit back and say “we like our team” because I don’t think “our team” will make it past the second round. Oh ye of little faith.
Hey snuffy, who are some of the softer players you’re mentioning? As a Leafs fan, it peaks my curiosity since soft is just another spelling of Leafs in here.
No names required just my humble opinion. However….Jesperi Kotkaniemi is 1st on the list. What a waste of 6.1 million dollars. There are about 3 more that I am thinking of but one of them isn’t about being soft but about being the captain and only has 3 goals. I will just leave it at that. I am just shocked that someone even asked since the Hurricanes never get much press. You know….we are not Toronto or Montreal or Pittsburgh or Boston. That seems to be all I ever see on here…..so thanks for asking.
I think the general consensus around here is we all think the canes are pretty good team. The only problem is we don’t hear enough of it from fans or press. But I don’t expect that to be for long anyway.