February 9 — Men’s Olympic Tournament & the Metro Divide

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BIG RIG SIGNS: Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Patrick Maroon to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value (AAV) of $1 million. Maroon has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 45 games this season and has won the Stanley Cup the last three consecutive seasons, twice with Tampa and once with the St. Louis Blues. 

RASK OUT REST OF THE WEEK: Goaltender Tuukka Rask is dealing with “body issues for his age with the comeback” and will miss the rest of the week. At 34 years old, Rask left a game early before the All-Star Weekend due to a lower-body injury. Since signing with the Boston Bruins, he has a record of 2-2-0 with a save percentage of .844.

FULL CONTACT JACK: Jack Eichel took another big step toward making his NHL return and Vegas Golden Knights’ debut, practicing with his new team while sporting a full-contact jersey on Monday. Acquired in a blockbuster trade in early November and has since undergone neck surgery, Eichel still has no timetable to return to game action.

ASSISTANT (TO THE) GENERAL MANAGER: On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers named Daniel Brière special assistant to the general manager, Chuck Fletcher. Brière, who interviewed for the GM job in Montreal earlier this season, has been involved in meetings with scouts and watching games with Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr. 

SEVENS ON THE EIGHTH: Feb. 8 saw seven games played across the NHL, highlighted by the New Jersey Devils ending their seven-game losing streak. In the process, the Devils handed the Montreal Canadiens their seventh consecutive loss, getting outscored 40-17 during the skid. 

Who Said It

1) ”I’m really excited to be part of it all. It should be an amazing experience and it’s something that I will remember for a long long time.”

A. Jack Hughes
B. Jack Campbell
C. Tom Wilson

2) “Keep the bars open – we’re coming home!”

A. Alex Ovechkin
B. Anže Kopitar
C. Jonathan Toews

3) “My teeth weren’t that good to begin with, so hopefully I can get some better ones.”

A. Drew Doughty
B. Brent Burns
C. Duncan Keith

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Second Half Preview: Metropolitan Division

Yesterday, we kicked off our second half preview series with a look at the widely divided Atlantic Division. Somehow, the Metropolitan Division features even more of a gap between the contenders and the pretenders. With all the talented teams here, there were always going to be some disappointed fan bases, but that doesn’t fully explain how the New York Islanders went from one win shy of the Stanley Cup Final to 16-17-6 or how the Philadelphia Flyers went 1-10-2 in January.

Let’s see where we’re at in the Metro:

The Top Dogs

A revitalized Frederik Andersen and a dynamic Sebastian Aho have the Metropolitan-leading Carolina Hurricanes boasting the league’s second-highest points percentage (.739). The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are just a point behind in what remains a very tight race, although the Canes have games in hand on their two chief division foes at the moment.

The Contenders

Boone Jenner’s game-winner in the final minute of the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals offered a nice, feel-good moment for Columbus, winners of three of its last four. That said, it doesn’t change that the Caps, now with Alex Ovechkin back in the lineup, still hold a whopping 16-point edge on Columbus. This middle pack features a pretty massive chasm between the likely playoff-bound teams and those outside.

The Also-Rans

Injuries, underperformance, and an absolute nightmare in January have torpedoed the hopes of the Flyers this year after a retooling that included the additions of Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Cam Atkinson. And speaking of ambitious off-season moves gone wrong, the New Jersey Devils, who snapped a seven-game losing streak last night, haven’t found the success they had hoped for with prized free agent Dougie Hamilton, while the team he was signed away from, Carolina, reigns supreme.

Men’s Olympic Hockey Primer

The men’s hockey portion of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics started this morning, and like with the women’s tournament, we at Morning Skate have you covered with information about the event, including who’s participating, when they’re playing, and how you can watch them.

Each of the 12 teams in the men’s tournament will advance to the knockout stage, with the three group winners and the top second-place team receiving byes to the Quarterfinal round. Unlike the women’s tournament, where Canada and the United States are the clear favorites, some mystery surrounds the men’s competition this year, especially since the NHL did not send players to compete. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), who won gold at the 2018 Olympics, is the favorite, followed by Finland.

Since the world rankings for these countries reflect them at full strength (with NHL players), we’ll use an Olympic power ranking of the 12 teams provided by the IIHF, which is in charge of the world rankings.


Group A:Group B:Group C:
Canada (Ranked 3rd)ROC (1st)Finland (2nd)
USA (6th)Czech Republic (5th)Sweden (4th)
Germany (7th)Switzerland (8th)Slovakia (9th)
China (12th)Denmark (11th)Latvia (10th)


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

Wednesday, Feb. 9: ROC vs. Switzerland (3:50 AM, USA Network) | Czech Republic vs. Denmark (8:30 AM, USA Network) | Sweden vs. Latvia (11:10 PM, CNBC)

Thursday, Feb. 10: Finland vs. Slovakia (3:40 AM, USA Network) | USA vs. China (8:10 AM, USA Network) | Canada vs. Germany (8:10 AM) | Denmark vs. ROC (11:10 PM, CNBC)

Friday, Feb, 11: Czech Republic vs. Switzerland (3:40 AM, USA Network) | Sweden vs. Slovakia (3:40 AM) | Latvia vs. Finland (8:10 AM) | Canada vs. USA (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Saturday, Feb. 12: Germany vs. China (3:40 AM) | ROC vs. Czech Republic (8:10 AM) | Switzerland vs. Denmark (12:00 PM, USA Network) | Slovakia vs. Latvia (11:10 PM, CNBC)

Sunday, Feb. 13: Finland vs. Sweden (4:40 AM, USA Network) | China vs. Canada (8:10 AM) | USA vs. Germany (8:10 AM, USA Network)

Monday, Feb. 14: Qualification Playoff 1 (11:10 PM, CNBC) | Qualification Playoff 2 (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Tuesday, Feb. 15: Qualification Playoff 3 (3:40 AM) | Qualification Playoff 4 (8:10 AM) | Quarterfinal 1 (11:00 PM, USA Network)

Wednesday, Feb. 16: Quarterfinal 2 (1:30 AM, USA Network) | Quarterfinal 3 (3:40 AM, USA Network) | Quarterfinal 4 (8:30 AM, USA Network)

Thursday, Feb. 17: Semifinal 1 (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Friday, Feb. 18: Semifinal 2 (8:45 AM, USA Network)

Saturday, Feb. 19: Bronze Medal Game (8:10 AM, CNBC) | Gold Medal Game (11:10 PM, USA Network)

Who Said It Answers

1) Jack Campbell
2) Jonathan Toews
3) Duncan Keith

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule

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