February 3 — Women’s Olympic Tournament & Black Pioneers

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

CAN’T SPELL COVID WITHOUT “OVI”: The NHL All-Star Game suffered another blow on Wednesday, as Alex Ovechkin entered COVID protocols and will miss the upcoming All-Star Weekend festivities. The league’s fourth-highest all-time goal scorer also missed last night’s contest between his Washington Capitals and the Edmonton Oilers.

WILLY THE WHIP HEADS TO VEGAS: Tom Wilson will serve as Ovechkin’s replacement on the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend Roster. He is one of 21 players making their All-Star debut in Las Vegas. This season, he has 13 goals and 31 points in 43 games with the Capitals and will be joined in Vegas by teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov.

FLYING THE FLAG: Women’s hockey superstar Marie-Philip Poulin has been named, along with speed skater Charles Hamelin, one of the flag-bearers for Team Canada ahead of the Opening Ceremonies of the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Poulin joins Danielle Goyette (2006) and Hayley Wickenheiser (2014) as Canadian women’s hockey players to have received the honor.

PUCK DROPPED IN BEIJING: Women’s hockey has officially begun in Beijing, as two games kicked off the 2022 Winter Olympics late last night. The Czech Republic defeated China 3-1, while Canada opened its tournament by dominating Switzerland 12-1. 

KRAKEN THE HISTORY BOOK: Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves to record the first shutout in Seattle Kraken history, as the NHL’s newest team beat the New York Islanders 3-0. However, the Islanders weren’t the only team to disappoint their fans last night, as every home team failed to earn a point on Wednesday.

Top-Shelf Thursday – Best All-Star Moments

The NHL All-Star Weekend is finally here! We can all agree that the Skills Competition is the best part of the weekend. The top players around the league will travel to Las Vegas to showcase their best individual skills in competitions like the Dunkin’ NHL Save Streak, Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting, and EA NHL Hardest Shot. Ahead of the weekend, let’s take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some of the best moments from recent All-Star events.

Barzal Out Skates McDavid

Before COVID turned the world upside down in 2020, St. Louis hosted the NHL and its All-Star Weekend. The biggest upset of the night happened when New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal took home first place in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater competition, beating three-time defending champion Connor McDavid by 0.04 seconds. 

Coyne Schofield Breaks Barrier

In 2019, Nathan MacKinnon had a bruised left foot and couldn’t compete in the Fastest Skater competition, allowing Kendall Coyne Schofield to fill in. She was the first woman to participate in the event and completed her lap faster than Zach Werenski, Noah Hanifin, and Josh Bailey. 

Ovechkin Leads the Pack

When fans think of the NHL Hardest Shot competition, two names will most likely come to mind—Shea Weber and Zdeno Chára. in 2018, both players were unavailable, so the participants included defensemen John Klingberg, Brent Burns, and P.K. Subban. However, it was Alex Ovechkin who won with a 101.3 MPH shot. He was the first forward to win the award since Sergei Fedorov did so in 2002. 

Hockey History – Black Pioneers

In honor of the start of Black History Month, it seems fitting to use this space to look back at some of hockey’s trailblazers and their complicated, challenging journeys through pro hockey:

Willie O’Ree

Willie O’Ree of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck in a 1961 game against the New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

The first black player in the NHL almost didn’t make it to the league—for reasons that had nothing to do with his skin color. Two years before making his debut with the Boston Bruins, O’Ree became blinded in the right eye after being hit with an errant puck. O’Ree wouldn’t have been able to play had he not kept his eye condition a secret from the Bruins’ doctors.

Herb Carnegie

Herb Carnegie is possibly the best player to never play in the NHL. (THW Archive)

Before O’Ree, there was Herb Carnegie. A star in the Quebec semi-pro leagues during the 1940s, Carnegie had NHL-caliber talent, but the league wasn’t ready to welcome its first black player. While Jackie Robinson had already broken baseball’s color barrier, the NHL didn’t boast the same progressive vision. Even at the prospect of adding a richly talented player, racist team owners balked, as then-Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe allegedly said that he would “give $10,000 to anyone who can turn Herbert Carnegie white.”

Grant Fuhr

Grant Fuhr (NHL.com)

Most people know Grant Fuhr as the goalie of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty and the first black player to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Fuhr’s storied career also comes complete with a pretty wild urban legend: The five-time Stanley Cup champion is such an avid golfer that he played 54 holes the day before Game 7 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Final. Naturally, he stopped 19 of 20 shots against the Philadelphia Flyers to secure Edmonton its third of five Cups.

Dirk Graham

Dirk Graham (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Dirk Graham was a pioneer in more ways than one, first as the league’s first black captain for the Chicago Blackhawks and then, after his playing days were over, being hired by Chicago as the first black head coach. But, for as unprecedented achievement as his hiring was, Graham lasted only 59 games behind the Blackhawks’ bench before being fired. When asked what he would change about the experience, he didn’t mince words: “Our win-loss record.”

Women’s Olympic Hockey Primer

On Wednesday, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics began with women’s hockey being one of the first events on the schedule. We at Morning Skate have you covered with a primer of the tournament, including who’s participating, when they’re playing, and how you can watch them.

The women’s tournament consists of 10 teams split into two groups. All five teams for Group A and the top three teams from Group B will advance to the knockout rounds, with games taking place at the Wukesong Sports Centre and National Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

Canada, ranked second in the world by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), is the favorite heading into the tournament, followed closely by the top-ranked Americans. A historically wide gap exists between those two teams and the rest of the field, with the U.S. and Canada competing for the gold in every Winter Olympics except the 2006 Tourin Games. Team USA will begin its gold medal defense against Finland this morning on USA Network.


Group A:Group B:
USA (Ranked 1st in the world)Japan (6th)
Canada (2nd)China (20th)
Finland (3rd)Czech Republic (7th)
Russian Olympic Committee (4th)Denmark (11th)
Switzerland (5th)Sweden (9th)


Listed times in Eastern Time Zone. All games can also be watched on Peacock and NBCOlympics.com

Wednesday, Feb. 2: Czech Republic vs. China (3-1) | Canada vs. Switzerland (12-1)

Thursday, Feb. 3: Sweden vs Japan (3:40 AM, USA Network) | USA vs. Finland (8:10 AM, USA Network) | Switzerland vs. ROC (11:10 PM, USA Network) | China vs. Denmark (11:10 PM)

Friday, Feb. 4: Finland vs. Canada (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Saturday, Feb. 5: Sweden vs. Czech Republic (3:40 AM) | Japan vs. Denmark (3:40 AM) | ROC vs. USA (8:10 AM, USA Network)

Sunday, Feb. 6: Japan vs. China (3:40 AM) | USA vs. Switzerland (8:10 AM, USA Network) | ROC vs. Canada (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Monday, Feb. 7: Denmark vs. Czech Republic (3:40 AM) | Switzerland vs. Finland (8:10 AM) | China vs. Sweden (8:10 AM) | Canada vs. USA (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Tuesday, Feb. 8: Czech Republic vs. Japan (3:40 AM) | Finland vs ROC (8:10 AM) | Denmark vs. Sweden (8:10 AM)

Thursday, Feb. 10: Quarterfinal #1 (11:10 PM)

Friday, Feb. 11: Quarterfinal #2 (3:40 AM) | Quarterfinal #3 (11:10 PM)

Saturday, Feb.12: Quarterfinal #4 (3:40 AM)

Sunday, Feb. 13: Semifinal #1 (11:10 PM)

Monday, Feb. 14: Semifinal #2 (8:10 AM)

Wednesday, Feb. 16: Bronze Medal Game (6:30 AM) | Gold Medal Game (11:10 PM)

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers