NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2023

by | Feb 1, 2023 | News, NHL | 16 comments

The Hurricanes stage a three-goal rally to defeat the Kings, the Capitals and Senators earn one-goal victories, plus the latest on Carey Price, Rasmus Dahlen and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Sebastian Aho lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. The Hurricanes scored three unanswered third-period goals to set the stage for Aho’s game-winner. Andrei Svechnikov and Brent Burns each had two points for the Hurricanes (33-9-8), who sit seven points behind the first-overall Boston Bruins with 74 points. Adrian Kempe scored twice and Anze Kopitar had three points for the 28-18-7 Kings, who are tied with the first-place Seattle Kraken in the Pacific Division with 63 points.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken holds first in the Pacific with four games in hand. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are riding a six-game win streak as they face off against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

The Washington Capitals nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied twice as the 27-20-6 Capitals enter the All-Star break holding the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 60 points. Johnny Gaudreau scored to send the game into overtime for the Blue Jackets, who remain mired at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 15-32-4.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored in the dying minutes of the third period to down the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Tim Stuzle scored twice and collected two assists while Thomas Chabot had three assists for the Senators (24-23-3) as they moved within six points of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored twice for the Canadiens as they slide to 20-27-4.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, Carey Price and his family have put their Montreal-area home up for sale and are returning to his native British Columbia, where they live during the offseason. It’s being seen as another indication that the 35-year-old goaltender’s playing career is over. He remains sidelined by an ongoing knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t expected to retire as he has three more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million. If this is the end of his playing days, he’ll spend the remainder of his contract on long-term injury reserve, allowing the Canadiens to exceed the cap if necessary to re-sign or add players.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin sent an open letter to the club’s fans expressing his excitement whenever their home arena (KeyBank Center) is full this season as they inch toward playoff contention.

It’s like we are 19,090 strong – 20 of us in uniform, the rest of us in the stand. Together we are going to break the other team mentally. That’s what it feels like,” wrote Dahlin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres fans are sharing Dahlin’s excitement. The energy in their building comes through even on television. This is a promising, exciting young team that is pushing hard to end the club’s 12-year postseason drought and their fans are buying into it.

THE ATHLETIC: Brian Burke, president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins, expressed his disappointment over the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov’s refusal to wear a Pride-themed jersey for a recent pregame warmup followed by a similar move by the New York Rangers.

For someone to say, ‘Well, I’m Orthodox Christian, I’m not wearing a Pride sweater’. Well, I don’t see how one has anything to do with the other,” said Burke. “We want to say, ‘Everyone is welcome here.’And that’s the risk here: The fragmentation, the distraction, losing sight of the message.”

Burke became a leading advocate for LGBTQ+ awareness in hockey after his son Brendan came out during an interview with TSN in 2009. Brendan was killed in a car accident in 2010 at age 21. The Burke family subsequently launched the advocacy group You Can Play.

Despite the recent incidents, Burke still believes things are going in the right direction in the NHL for LGBTQ+ awareness. He said league commissioner Gary Bettman told him he still solidly supports Pride.


    • Sorry Pengy – couldn’t resist above. 🙂

      Re out posts yesterday about the WC points cut-off in the East, if the % pace established to date over 48-52 games played so far (a pretty good sampling) more or less continues over the balance of the schedule, you and Kevjam would be right re the cut-off lowering some from last season’s 100 points.

      Here’s the way the teams would finish in that event:

      Boston – 133
      Carolina – 121
      New Jersey – 114
      Toronto – 113
      Tampa Bay – 111
      NYR – 104
      Pittsburgh – 95
      Buffalo – 94
      Washington – 92
      NYI – 87
      Florida – 85
      Detroit – 85
      Ottawa – 82
      Montreal – 72
      Columbus – 54

      Of course, there will be exceptions – both increased and decreased %s – and, certainly, someone like Horvat could make up the necessary 7/8 point difference and push NYI past Pittsburgh (I think Buffalo will be one of the “increased”) and Washington.

      But let’s not forget that the Capitals recently got Backstrom and Wilson back in the line-up and that they too could be among the busier teams when it comes to strengthening deals in the coming weeks.

      It’s going to be interesting.

      • IMO NYI holds the wild card over the other three teams that are fighting for the two Eastern Wild Card spots (hehe see what I did there?). Potential Vesna Candidate Ilya Sorokin.

      • Hi George,
        Great Write up.👍

        Here are who i thinks makes it in the East…?
        Boston – 125.
        Carolina – 121
        New Jersey – 120
        Tampa Bay – 117
        Toronto – 107
        NYR – 107
        Buffalo – 97
        Pittsburgh – 93—–Playoff Cut——💥
        Washington – 92
        NYI – 92… if Lou make a good trade up 4-5 pts
        Ottawa – 85
        Florida – 84
        Detroit – 84
        Montreal – 66
        Columbus – 49

      • willieW – will be interesting to compare at season’s end. To be consistent, here is how the West would finish IF each team finishes their season at the same % established over their first 48-52 gp

        Dallas – 106
        Seattle – 105
        Winnipeg – 102
        Vegas – 100
        Minnesota – 99
        L.A. – 98
        Edmonton – 98
        Colorado – 97
        Calgary – 94
        Nashville – 92
        St. Louis – 79
        Vancouver – 72
        San Jose – 66
        Arizona – 62
        Anaheim – 61
        Chicago – 58

        As with the East, there will no doubt be increased/decreased % performances depending upon a bunch of possible factors (coming trades/injuries etc) and if there’s one team that could explode down the stretch, once their injured are back in the fold, it’s Colorado, who could shoot past a bunch of teams by a huge increase from their current 0.594 % pace to something close to 0.700. Should they accomplish that they’d wind up with 105 points, maybe even displacing Dallas as the top team.

        We’ll see.

  1. Is it just me. Or does Aho have the smallest head in the nhl. 🏒😉

    • Which Aho?
      NYI Sebastian Aho? Or the Caralina Hurricanes Sebastian Aho? LOL

      • In the running MB4, with Fleury.
        If Lyle could post the normal MAF stock photo he usually does we could do a true comparison.

      • Kevjam

        The good Aho in the days article above

    • Hi George,
      Here are my thoughts on the Wild West….🤔

      Reading between the lines, Lots of the teams in the West looking at trades….A number of them need/want to add a top 6 forward’s Every team from 3 through 10 sounds like they are looking for top 6 forward …❓
      look really good, they have about $2.7M in cap space but no 1st or 3rd pick but have prospects.
      is a Hard Read…..? Not sure what Ron Francis will do, he has $5.M in Cap space and 3X2nd rd Picks.
      maybe he adds to the d or a 3rd line shooter…

      Dallas – 104
      Seattle – 104
      Winnipeg – 103
      Edmonton – 102
      L.A. – 100
      Colorado – 100
      Vegas – 96
      Minnesota – 94—💥Playoff Cut line
      Calgary – 92
      Nashville – 89
      St. Louis – 79
      San Jose – 69
      Vancouver – 66
      Arizona – 59
      Anaheim – 57
      Chicago – 49
      The way things look right now we will have lots of 3 team trade’s happing…. many teams will be taking on Salary for a late round pick’s, thats depending on the dollar amount $2-4M could be a 2nd or 3rd round pick or a prospect…⁉️ this is where the cap managers will earn the money.

  2. Cool statement by dahlin. If I was a child fan of Buffalo that would just pump me up.

  3. Re; Buffalo Sabres
    defenseman Rasmus Dahlin sent an open letter to the club’s fans expressing his excitement⁉️

    or is he pushing GM Kevin Adams to makes some trades over the Break to help the team get a playoff spot ….

    • Quite the leap you made there, willie.

      • Hi Lyle,
        Buffalo are a very exciting young team….,
        with $18M. in Cap Space… they could do quite well if Kevin Adams make some moves..🤔
        if the canucks put Demko up on the trade block Im sure they send him East… to where..❓

        A nice write up by George on the Eastern conference…

        What do you think where they finish❓
        2 good teams will miss the playoffs out of these
        4 …..The Caps. Pens,7&8th and NYI & Sabers’ 9&10th could both flip flop places by the end of the year❗️

      • “Buffalo are a very exciting young team….,
        with $18M. in Cap Space… they could do quite well if Kevin Adams make some moves.”

        Perhaps Adams will go that route. However, I doubt that Dahlin’s open letter to Buffalo fans was aimed at his general manager to make trades as you suggested.

  4. Lyle,
    I think its a PR Move Dahlin just getting the fan base stirred up…and a very good one at that👌

    They are more than likly going to name him the next Captain❓