NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2022

by | Feb 2, 2022 | News, NHL | 21 comments

The Avalanche’s home win streak ends at 18 games, the top rookie and the three stars for January are revealed, Willie O’Ree will receive the U.S. Congress’ highest honor, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche’s home winning streak ended at 18 games as the Arizona Coyotes nipped them 3-2. Alex Galchenyuk scored his first goal of the season and tallied the winning goal in the shootout. Coyotes goaltender Scott Wedgewood picked up the win with a 38-save performance. The loss left the Avalanche (68 points) one point behind the first-overall Florida Panthers in the overall standings.

Speaking of the Panthers, they blew a 2-1 lead to drop a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers. Chris Kreider scored twice and set up another goal while Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists. The Rangers (64 points) are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes but the latter holds first in the Metropolitan Division with five games in hand.

The Tampa Bay Lightning (63 points) gained some ground on the Panthers by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on an overtime goal by Victor Hedman. With the win, the Lightning are three points back of the Panthers. Logan Couture had a goal and an assist for the Sharks (48 points), who sit two points out of the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his goal streak to seven games by tallying twice and adding two assists in a 7-1 thrashing of the New Jersey Devils. Auston Matthews netted his 29th goal of the season as the Leafs remain in third place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points.

Filip Forsberg scored twice and Juuse Saros kicked out 30 shots for his 100th career NHL win to double up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. The Predators sit in second place in the Central Division with 60 points while the Canucks (56 points) are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

David Pastrnak’s two power-play carried the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 55 points.

The Calgary Flames overcame a 3-1 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals to drop the Dallas Stars 4-3. Dan Vladar replaced Flames starter Jacob Markstrom after he gave up three goals on 23 shots. Oliver Kylington tallied the winning goal late in the third. The Flames hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 50 points while the Stars sit two points back.

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov scored twice, including the winner in overtime in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov made 43 saves after Vitek Vanecek left the game following a first-period collision with Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen. The Capitals hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 59 points while the Penguins (62 points) hold third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights (57 points) opened a two-point lead over the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Golden Knights forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone each had a goal and an assist while Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored in his first game in Vegas against his former club.

New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin stopped 26 shots in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock returned to the lineup after missing 25 games with a lower-body injury.

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their second straight win following a 13-game losing skid by downing the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. James van Riemsdyk and Oskar Lindblom tallied two unanswered third-period goals for the Flyers. Jets winger Kyle Connor potted his 25th goal of the season.


NHL.COM: The bill to present Willie O’Ree the Congressional Gold Medal was signed into law Monday by U.S. President Joe Biden. It is the U.S. Congress’ highest honor and commemorates O’Ree’s achievements as a hockey pioneer and his ongoing contributions to the game. O’Ree became the first black player in NHL history when he took to the ice for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 18, 1958.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to O’Ree, who will receive the award in a ceremony at a future date.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau, Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros, and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust are the NHL’s three stars for January 2022 while Panthers winger Anton Lundell was named rookie of the month.

THE ATHLETIC: Sean Shapiro reports several NHL executives are frustrated over the Arizona Coyotes plan to spend the next three seasons playing at a 5,000-seat arena at Arizona State University while the franchise attempts to construct a new arena in Tempe. The Coyotes must vacate the Gila River Arena at the end of this season after the city of Glendale opted out of it lease agreement with the club. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Shapiro the Coyotes’ plan is under serious consideration by the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those executives told Shapiro they’re concerned over what that move into such a small venue will have upon hockey-related revenue at a time when HRR has already been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re also upset by the prospect of the Coyotes receiving more money under the league’s revenue-sharing plan. Whether those concerns carry any weight in the league’s decision remains to be seen.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports former NHL star Ralph Backstrom had a severe form of the degenerative brain disease CTE. Backstrom died in Feb. 2021 and had his brain donated for research. His wife revealed the posthumous diagnosis. What was notable was Backstrom was a skill player rather than one who engaged in belligerent physical play. CTE is often diagnosed in athletes with a history of repeated blows to the head.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Westhead observes, Backstrom’s CTE may have come not from fights but from body checks that occur during a game.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Reid Boucher was sentenced to four years of probation with one year of suspended jail time if he successfully completes his probation in his 2011 sexual assault case. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to third-degree sexual criminal sexual conduct against a minor.


  1. Congrats Willie đź‘Ťđź‘Ťđź‘Ťđź‘Ť

    I think all here knew how good a player CK, and that he was going to score lots of goals…. But did anybody here (as at before season started) have him in the Rocket Richard lead at All-Star break? and on an 82 game pace of 58 goals? Good on ya Chris👍👍👍

    Re Rangers over Panthers…. Shesterkin had quite a Knight …. Sorry just had to…. LOL….That was the difference IMHO…. Shesterkin out-duelled Knight

    Leafs…. Now that’s how to come out of the starting gates….. and much better performance. Soupy, are you back?

    Pens…. Yes a point is a point…. But losses in a row piling up. Yes I know that Eller did a full contact pick (non call) on Dumo; that allowed a goal; but other than top line; things weren’t gelling well. Jarry had some spectacular saves but also let in at least one salable goal…. is he getting tired…. Back up acquisition time?

    I know that Blueger and Heinen are out …. but those line combos are just not right. ZAR on the 3rd line??? Kappy on the 4th??? Last 4 games only goals are from Gino, Sid, Guentz, Rusty. When Heinen is back… try Gino-Carter- Heinen; then E-Rod Kappy McG for line 3 . Line 4 can be Boyle centering Zoho and ZAR.

    And… Ruhweedel MUST be sat. 2 goals all his fault (Pens lucky that one was called back for goalie interference). He has definitely lost touch with where he is supposed to be on the ice; and giving and taking passes are getting worse every game. Forwards manhandling him in front of Jarry.

  2. Kapanan injures the caps goalie and the relief comes in and wins the game almost single-handedly. Kapanan can’t seem to find any way to help this team. I hope we can recoup some kind of asset for him.

    • Yeah because skating with Brian Boyle and Dominic Simon will straighten your game out right away … you are as delusional as the other guy here, you know who I mean, the guy who uses emojis like a 12 yr old …

      • Really? Cause he was force fed Malkin and still did Jack all. Delusional? You’re negative Nancy about anyone and anything but for some reason you’ve got this man crush on Kapanan. It’s the most delusional thing I’ve read on this site and that includes mr emoji man.

      • 🤓

  3. Curious if Shapiro bothered to ask those execs if they protested Calgary playing in a 7k seat arena for 3 years while their barn was built? Ya know 7kcanadian is what like 4500US.

    • The difference is that, at the time, a new arena was under construction in Calgary for the 1988 Olympics, so it was understood that a new and large capacity home for the Flames was imminent. In Arizona, no one has any idea what will happen.

    • The difference is that in Calgary, back then a large capacity arena was under construction for the 1988 Olympics so it was clear that the Corral was a temporary situation. No one knows what will happen in Arizona.

  4. Re “ Sean Shapiro reports several NHL executives are frustrated”…..”several” can be replaced with “31”

    Of course they’re frustrated…. HRR will go down waaaay more…. Once again Yotes will be drawing from the overall rev pool sharing… and by a substantially larger amount

    Not good

    There is one extremely logical solution….. one word….RELOCATION….

    31 franchises get a nice relo cheque; HRR goes up tremendously (flipping from a complete drainer of the HRR shared pool); to a contributor; average value of NHL franchises goes up; Cap goes up; players “make whole” repayment plan comes sooner; overall # of NHL fans increases dramatically

    Playing in a 5,000 seat arena…. Not set up well for TV camera angles…. TV viewing (even more limited in viewership than already) will be poor quality; luxury boxes….. ummmm…. Me thinks not

    since revs from the already poor franchise will plummet …. the payback (make whole) by players will take longer… more escrow down the road (than currently anticipated) and Cap lower than was forecasted previously

    So…. All players unhappy; 31 franchises unhappy; massive amounts of fans in Houston or QC unhappy; fans in North America unhappy

    NHL head office….. just an educated guess…. Every single staff member (but 1) unhappy

    They MUST relo

  5. Well it took a goal by David P but the bruins took down the Mighty KRAHHHHKIN! Sweeney this team can’t wait til you uncoil from fetal position and finally make a phone call to try and help this team. Please get rid of this pug.

  6. 3 Bruins needs …… LD with size and grit who can play D…..a 2nd line Center ….. a winger again with size to protect the team Star players

  7. When does Willie O’Ree go up on Mount Rushmore? I don’t want to miss the ceremony …

    • The bus for the ceremony departs tomorrow, Ed. Be under it.

      • Burn.

      • Bazinga. But why waste your breath on Mr. Phony. The guy is as hard-ass as a marshmallow. Let him bleat. No one cares.

      • Nice one Lyle

    • Ok Ed, in the past week or so you’ve made a comment on woman in hockey and now a player of color. Am i missing something?

      I get you like to troll but you should be a little more careful of your trolling.

      • Appreciate the attempt to improve the dialog Caper, but your not missing anything. Almost as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning.
        To quote my G Dad, when someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.

        Or another one, from the grizzled old bugger, if you don’t want people to think your stupid, don’t say stupid sh**.

        This is who Ed is.

  8. No rumours today?

  9. Another Bruins game and another liberty to a Bruins player. A dangerous hit from behind. A little scrum from Lazar; better then nothing.

    This teams needs a physical player with a mean streak.

  10. The Reid Boucher case makes me wonder if the billet system, abetted by the NHLs drafting of 18-year-olds, doesn’t intrinsically invite intrigue and wrongdoing to an extent that it should be abolished as a corrupt institution.

    Boucher was the offender in this instance. but he could easily have been a victim. The billet system could place a boy with his character and morality still in their formative stages in the hands of a billet family that may well be the Charles Manson family.

    The Government doesn’t regulate the billet system, so I suppose it is fully controlled by the junior leagues that their boys play for. Those leagues have been shown to make a lot of money by employing teenage boys for below minimum wage. (https://thehockeynews.com/news/turns-out-there-is-big-money-in-junior-hockey-and-it-s-not-going-to-players) The billet system gives them a self-supportive farm system for a pittance.

    Money being the root of all evil, one can’t expect the junior leagues to hold the interest of their players or the families that board them foremost in importance. And you can’t expect a billet family to be as concerned about the development and protection of the child it hosts as it is about whatever compensation it receives for hosting him.