Jonathan Toews shining, on defense and offense

When the 2010 Selke Trophy  finalists were announced — Pavel
Datsyuk, Jordan Staal and Ryan Kesler — many felt that the one player
who was shorted the most was Jonathan Toews. A lot of the focus on the
Blackhawks is on their stellar blue line and their high-powered offense,
but one big key to their success this past season has been the
incredible defensive play of Toews.

Now that the three finalists are out of the playoffs — not that it
matters in the voting — we’re are truly getting a good taste for just
how important Toews is to this team. Not only has he put up incredible
numbers (7-16-23 in 14 games) but he’s riding a 11-game point streak,
which has tied a franchise record. Toews says that it’s great to be
productive, but scoring isn’t exactly his focus.

“I don’t even really think about scoring, getting on the board going
into some of these games,” Toews said after being named the number one
star of the game. “You know, you want to kill penalties, you want to
play with energy and create as much as you can in the offensive zone
when that happens to be your role.”

“I’ve gone into some of these games, focused on working hard. A lot
of offense has just clicked. Buff has been great on our line with
Patrick and I since he’s been playing with us. Whether it’s on the
power-play or five-on-five, we’re working hard.”

The key words above are “working hard”, something that the Blackhawks
have done almost to perfection so far in the playoffs. They’ve done a
great job of doing exactly what is needed to really throw a goaltender
off his game and what worked against Roberto Luongo is working against
Evgeni Nabokov as well. Toews talked about how he and Dustin Byfuglien
have been able to create chaos in front of the net.

“It’s great. Buff is a big body. You know, it’s nice to go to the
net, have that success when he’s creating, you know, a lot of traffic
and good screens in front of the goaltender.”

“Kane is out in the
open ice dangling around while we’re in front picking up the garbage
(smiles). It’s nice. We’ll take them any way we can. Tonight we got a
couple ugly ones in front of the net.”

You have to love a
reference to The Mighty Ducks during the 2010 NHL Conference finals.

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    PHT Morning Skate: What superstition? Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz grab the Prince of Wales Trophy

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    Sidney Crosby decided to buck the trend and touch the Prince of Wales Trophy. (Top)

    –Former NHLers look back at their Game 7 battles. (Sports Illustrated)

    –A Q&A with the newest Panther Jared McCann. (NHL)

    –Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Penguins and Lightning:

    Joe Pavelski went from not being able to skate and not being big enough to becoming a Conn Smythe Trophy favorite. (TSN)

    Bryan Rust accomplished something pretty rare this postseason:

    –Some teams still need to sign some of their prospects or risk losing them.

    World Championship standout Shipachev named to Team Russia’s World Cup roster

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 21: Tomi Sallinen #51 of Finland and Vadim Shipachyov #87 of Russia battle for the puck at Ice Palace on May 21, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. Finland defeated Russia 3-1. (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)
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    Team Russia filled out the remaining seven spots on their World Cup of Hockey roster earlier today.

    Vadim Shipachev, who was fantastic in Russia’s Bronze Medal effort at the World Championships this month, was added to the team. The other additions to the roster are Ivan Telegin (CSKA Moscow), Evgenii Dadonov (SKA Saint Petersburg), Slava Voynov (SKA Saint Petersburg), Nikita Zaitsev (Toronto), Alexey Marchenko (Detroit) and Alexei Emelin (Montreal) were also added to the roster.

    Shipachev was the leading scorer at the 2016 worlds. He finished the tournament with six goals and 18 points in 10 games. A number of teams are reportedly interested in bringing the 29-year-old over to the NHL for the upcoming season.

    Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (yes, that Slava Voynov) also won bronze with Shipachev at the World Championship earlier this month. The 26-year-old had no goals and seven assists in 23 games in the KHL in 2015-16. He was forced to go back to Russia after spending time behind bars because of a domestic dispute with his wife. There is some doubt as to whether or not Voynov is eligible for the tournament.

    As always, Russia will have some serious firepower up front.

    Here’s the full roster:

    G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
    G Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
    G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

    D Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens 
    D Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers
    D Alexey Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings 
    D Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
    D Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
    D Slava Voynov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) 
    D Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs 

    F Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks
    F Evgenii Dadonov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) 
    F Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
    F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
    F Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders
    F Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals
    F Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
    F Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
    F Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
    F Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
    F Vadim Shipachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) 
    F Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
    F Ivan Telegin, CSKA Moscow (KHL) 

    It’s no surprise that Oilers forward Nail Yakupov isn’t on the roster. After their Bronze Medal win at the worlds, Russia’s head coach Oleg Znarok said not having Yakupov on the team was “addition by subtraction”.

    Hemsky, Faksa and the Michalek brothers added to Czech Republic’s World Cup roster

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18:  Ales Hemsky #83 of Czech Republic celebrates after scoring in the first period against Slovakia during the Men's Qualification Playoff Game on day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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    Team Czech Republic announced their full 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

    Like every other team, the Czechs named 16 players to their roster back in March. Joining the likes of Jakub Voracek, Tomas Plekanec, Ondrej Palat and David Krejci are Milan Michalek (Toronto), Dmitrij Jaskin (St. Louis), Ales Hemsky (Dallas), Radek Faksa (Dallas), Jakub Nakladal (Calgary), Zbynek Michalek (Arizona) and Michal Jordan (Carolina).

    Hemsky posted 13 goals and 39 points in 2015-16 and added a goal and four points during the Stars’ postseason run.

    Milan Michalek has represented his country a number of times, including in the last Olympics where he had no points in five contests. The 31-year-old was traded from Ottawa to Toronto as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade, but he didn’t have a good season, as a finger injury derailed his year. He finished the season with seven goals and 16 points in 45 games.

    Milan’s older brother, Zbynek, has also represented his nation a number of times at the international level. He took part in each of the last two Olympics.

    Nakladal completed his first season in the NHL in 2015-16. The 28-year-old had two goals and five points in 27 contests with the Flames.

    Former St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka, who was named to the team back on Mar. 2, is the only player on the roster who isn’t currently in the NHL.

    Here’s the full roster:

    G Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings
    G Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers
    G Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets

    D Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers
    D Michal Jordan, Carolina Hurricanes *
    D Michal Kempny, Chicago Blackhawks
    D Zbynek Michalek, Arizona Coyotes *
    D Jakub Nakladal, Calgary Flames *
    D Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks
    D Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning

    F Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars *
    F Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames
    F Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes
    F Ales Hemsky, Dallas Stars *
    F Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks
    F Dmitrij Jaskin, St. Louis Blues *
    F David Krejci, Boston Bruins
    F Milan Michalek, Toronto Maple Leafs *
    F Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning
    F David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
    F Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens
    F Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL)
    F Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

    Earlier this week, Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr announced that he wouldn’t be taking part in the World Cup event.

    In a surprising move, Jagr’s teammate in Florida, Jiri Hudler, was left off the roster. The 32-year-old had 16 goals and 46 points in 72 games with the Flames and Panthers in 2015-16. Radim Vrbata (Canucks), Tomas Fleischmann and Andrej Nestrasil (Carolina) also didn’t make the cut.

    Laine makes Team Finland for World Cup, Puljujarvi doesn’t

    Patrik Laine of Finland celebrates scoring against Russia during the 2016 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship final match between Finland and Russia in Helsinki, Finland, Tuesday Jan. 5, 2016. (Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP) FINLAND OUT
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    The Finns rounded out their 2016 World Cup of Hockey roster on Friday morning, and two of the country’s brightest young prospects received decidedly different news.

    Patrik Laine, the reigning World Hockey Championship MVP and likely No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft, was named to the squad. Jesse Puljujarvi, the 2016 World Juniors MVP and presumptive No. 3 pick, was left off.

    Puljujarvi, 18, was edged out for a spot at forward by Laine, Minnesota’s Erik Haula and Sebastian Aho, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect that spent last season playing for Karpat of the SM-liiga.

    Aho, another 18-year-old, played alongside Laine for Finland’s silver medal-winning squad at the Worlds and finished the tournament with seven points in 10 games.

    On defense, Finland added three more skaters to the roster: Calgary’s Jyrki Jokipakka, Chicago farmhand Ville Pokka and Sami Lepisto, who plays in the KHL.

    In goal, another KHLer — SKA Saint Petersburgh’s Mikko Koskinen — was selected, and will compete for minutes with Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.

    The Finnish roster, in full:

    G Mikko Koskinen, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) *
    G Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
    G Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

    D Jyrki Jokipakka, Calgary Flames *
    D Sami Lepisto, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL) *
    D Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars
    D Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins
    D Ville Pokka, Rockford IceHogs (AHL) *
    D Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres
    D Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks

    F Sebastian Aho, Karpat Oulu (SM-liiga) *
    F Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
    F Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks
    F Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning
    F Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild
    F Erik Haula, Minnesota Wild *
    F Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers
    F Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
    F Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs
    F Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers
    F Patrik Laine, Tappara Tempere (SM-liiga) *
    F Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues
    F Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks

    * named to roster today

    Among the notable “snubs” for Finland? Detroit’s Teemu Pulkkinen, Vancouver’s Markus Granlund (Mikael’s brother), Winnipeg’s Joel Armia, former Boston Bruin Joonas Kemppainen and Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki.

    In addition to Puljujarvi, it’s also worth noting two of the country’s brightest young prospects failed to make it: Kasperi Kapanen, who made his NHL debut for the Leafs this year, and Mikko Rantanen, the promising Colorado forward taken 10th overall in ’15.