Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Eugene Melnyk denied rumors that he was selling the Ottawa Senators. “Let me set the record straight. I have no idea how a reporter fabricated a fiction about my selling the team. These stories pop up out of nowhere probably from someone ‘hearing something’.” [Ottawa Sun]
• A fascinating oral history of the inaugural season of these Senators. [Sportsnet]
• The KHL initially announced they would be allowing its players to participate in the PyeongChang Olympics, then retracted it. So for now, we still wait to see what will happen. [NBC Olympics]
• Will the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” hockey team wear new jerseys? That’s still a question that lingers. “There’s a discussion around the [Russia] uniform,” said Roman Rotenberg, the Russian federation’s senior vice president. “It’s been produced already and there are certain technical questions.” [NBC Olympics]
• The board game that NHL players love to play on the road? Risk, just like Kramer and Newman. Ukraine not weak! [Sports Illustrated]
• Read this important story on former NHLer Matt Johnson, who is now homeless and missing. [TSN]
• How a young girl from Barbados became a huge Florida Panthers fan. [Miami Herald]
• A really cool graphical look at the history of Indianapolis hockey jerseys. [The Sin Bin]
• How the PyeongChang Olympics will affect NCAA hockey. [College Hockey News]
Players of the Night:
Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators: It’s been a struggle for Ryan this season. He came into the game with just as single goal in 21 games but left with two in 22 while also adding an assist to help the Senators avoid a six-game losing streak.
Tyler Pitlick, Dallas Stars: Pitlick scored twice, bookending Dallas’s five goals in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders.
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators: If you continue reading (and you should) you will see Subban’s goal that came from quite a distance. The defenseman notched two in a ___ win against the Vancouver Canucks, powering the Preds to their ninth win in their past 12 games.
Highlights of the Night:
Dylan Larkin. Breakway. Shorthanded. Backhand.
Blunder of the Night:
Yikes, Anders Nilsson. Bravo, P.K.
Factoids of the Night:
Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday:
Filip Forsberg accomplished an impressive feat for the second time in his career.
- Stars forward Alexander Radulov left Wednesday’s game against the Islanders in the third period and didn’t return due to a lower-body injury. His status is unknown.
- Henrik Sedin reached 800 career assists on Wednesday night.
- This man won a car in Vancouver.
- Darren Dreger dropped by the NBCSN studios and talked the KHL back-and-forth on letting its players compete in the Olympics, leaving countries hanging.
- Dreger also talked about Seattle being in the paperwork phase of landing an NHL team in the future.
Senators 3, Rangers 2
Stars 5, Islanders 2
Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)
Predators 7, Canucks 1
Has anyone ever remained so calm after winning a car?
This Vancouver Canucks fan, introduced as Aaron, won a brand new Toyota tonight, hitting a shot from center ice through a hole barely wider enough to fit the puck.
We should have seen this coming.
Aaron’s stone-cold demeanour reared its head long before he took his first shot.
“Do you like to drive?” Canucks in-game and TV host Hannah Bernard asked.
“Of course,” Aaron said.
“Could you use a new car?” Bernard followed.
“Always,” he replied, stoically.
“Are you nervous?” Bernard asked.
“Yeah,” Aaron said, presumably lying.
Aaron, again presumably, began to troll those at Rogers Arena. He missed wide left on his first attempt, then wide right on his second.
Then he calmly sent the third arrow-straight down the middle.
“I said I’d win it,” Aaron said. “It’ll be a long drive home, but it will be worth it.”
He certainly showed P.K. Subban the way. The Predators defenseman scored his own goal from center ice in the same game.
Bravo, Aaron. Simply incredible.
The Boston Bruins mounted two successful comebacks in the third period on their way to a 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
The Bruins, who have been surging as of late, won for the 10th time in their past 12.
The Red Wings, in quite the opposite scenario, lost their third straight and for the 11th time in their past 12 contests.
By all accounts, the Red Wings deserved a better fate, at least until the third period.
They limited the high-flying Bruins to just two shots in the first period and clawed out a 1-0 lead midway through the second frame, with Tomas Tatar‘s wrist shot finding twine after a perfect screen from Justin Abdelkader.
Boston found the equalizer they needed early in the third frame, and from an unlikely source.
Detroit took the lead for a second time, this time short-handed after David Pastrnak got caught pinching, allowing Dylan Larkin to get behind the Bruins rearguard, scoring a beauty on a breakaway to make it 2-1.
Scoring for Boston had been a strength coming into the game.
David Pastrnak, Boston’s top point-getter, came into the game sporting an eight-game point streak. Brad Marchand, sitting just behind Pastrnak in terms of points, have a five-game heater of his own going.
The dynamic duo wouldn’t be denied; the streaks would continue.
Marchand picked out Pastrnak with a perfect back-door feed to tie the game 2-2 with 1:26 remaining in regulation, forcing overtime.
Tuukka Rask extended his win streak to five games. Rask, who struggled out the gate to start the season, stopped 31 shots and continues to look like the goalie of years past.