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.
• For Ducks, getting swept should be a wake-up call (Los Angeles Times)
• Takeaways: an unlikely hero emerges as Sharks sweep Ducks (San Jose Mercury News)
• The Penguins are still too much for the Flyers (SB Nation)
• Hey, Saint Patrick. It’s a sin you missed how Avs refused to quit in 3-2 loss against Nashville. (Denver Post)
• In defying odds, Golden Knights’ success is not so good for sports books (USA Today)
• Bodog: Golden Knights are Cup favourites (TSN.ca)
• Foligno brothers savouring first simultaneous NHL post-season (Toronto Star)
• How a financial advisor became the NHL’s only active black official (Sportsnet)
• Bill Peters has the inside track in Calgary, but there’s a lot of local blood to consider (The Hockey News)
• Von Miller just discovered hockey and he is WAY into it (The Loop)
• Humboldt Broncos tribute concert aims to bring in NHL players, alumni (Sportsnet)
• Town puts ‘giant hockey stick on our porch’ in Humboldt tribute (CBC)
• The case for each Vezina Trophy finalist — and a few snubs (The Hockey News)
• Why the Stanley Cup gets names removed every 13 years (Sportsnet)
• Up top, watch how the Penguins are coming alive in the postseason and the energy being displayed by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should be worrying their opponents.
Almost two weeks after the tragic bus crash that took the lives of 16 players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, the GoFundMe campaign to help the families of the victims and those who survived has ended after raising over $15 million.
Sylvie Kellington, a Humboldt resident whose son played for the Broncos Bantam A team this season, started the fundraiser the night of the April 6 bus crash. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, support for the team spread and reached people all over the world. Eventually, the goal hit $4 million, but that was quickly surpassed and the total money donated skyrocketed.
The campaign ended Wednesday night with $15,185,700 raised from over 142,000 donations.
“We are all blown away,” Kellington told the Toronto Sun Wednesday. “I keep getting kudos for starting this page. I just want it to be clear that the people who opened their hearts with their generosity are the ones who made it successful. We are moving along one day at a time, one moment at a time. I think the outpour of support our community has received this past week is helping us and will continue to help everyone heal.”
Earlier this week, Broncos’ President Kevin Garinger shared the next steps in the process:
The funds donated through the GoFundMe campaign will be transferred to a newly created non-profit corporation known as “Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.” to be allocated for their intended purpose.
An advisory committee is being established to make a recommendation for the allocation of these funds, which will be held in trust until that allocation occurs. Once we have formalized the composition of this committee, we will provide you with an update.
Since the accident, support has poured in for the Broncos. Teams from various leagues, including the NHL, held moments of silence in the days following the crash and made donations to the Broncos’ fund. Driver D.J. Kennington put the Broncos’ logo on his hood for a race at Bristol and will now auction it off for the team. #PutYourStickOut, an idea from a friend of TSN broadcaster Brian Munz, went viral with current and former hockey players ranging from youth to professional taking part.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League resumed play eight days after the crash after a unanimous decision by the board. The Broncos were on their way to Nipawin, Saskatchewan for Game 5 of their series when the crash occurred. The league decided in the aftermath of the accident that Nipawin would play the best-of-seven Canalta Cup Final against the Estevan Bruins. The series is currently tied 2-2 with Game 5 Friday night.
“It really is (theraputic),” said Nipawin captain Carter Doerksen. “It’s getting back to hockey and doing what we love. That’s how we deal with things.”
Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (Penguins lead 3-1):
Pittsburgh dominated from pillar to post in this one. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had three points nights. Matt Murray, meanwhile, grabbed his second shutout of the playoffs in the win, which puts the Flyers on the brink of a playoff exit. Philly has just six goals in four games now and five of those came in Game 2.
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, New Jersey Devils 1 (Lightning lead 3-1):
Nikita Kucherov was a force in this one, scoring the twice and adding an assist while laying a massive (and controversial) hit on Devils’ defenseman Sami Vatanen, which knocked the latter out of the game. J.T. Miller tied the game in the first period and assisted on both of Kucherov’s goals for a three-point night of his own. Andrei Vasilevskiy, up for the Vezina this year, turned aside 27-of-28 shots.
Nashville Predators 3, Colorado Avalanche 2 (Predators lead 3-1):
The Predators held off a late comeback attempt by the Avalanche to take a 3-1 series lead back to Nashville. Colton Sissons and Craig Smith scored in the second period, following Filip Forsberg‘s highlight-reel first-period marker to give the Preds a 3-0 advantage going into the third. Gabriel Landeskog and Alexander Kerfoot brought the Avs back to within one, but that was as far as they’d get. The Avs lost more than just the game as goalie Jonathan Bernier left after the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.
San Jose Sharks 2, Anaheim Ducks (Sharks win 4-0):
Tomas Hertl scored 1:16 after Andrew Cogliano tied the game 1-1 in the third period to give the Sharks their second sweep in franchise history (they previous swept the Vancouver Canucks in 2013). The Ducks looked better than their Game 3 effort (just showing up would likely do that), but still only managed a single goal (and just four in the series). Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. The Sharks will face the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round after Vegas swept the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Matt Murray, Penguins: Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby each had three-point nights, but Murray’s 26 saves made sure the Flyers came nowhere near the Penguins as he picked up his second shutout of the series, sixth playoff shutout of his career and fourth in his past six playoff games. Those are some ridiculous numbers from the Pens’ No. 1.
Nikita Kucherov, Lightning: Two goals — the game-winner and the dagger into the empty net to ensure victory — capped off a big night for Kucherov, who has scored in all four of the series’ games thus far. Kucherov added an assist on the game-tying goal in the first period and laid a massive hit on Sami Vatanen (which could earn him a call from the league).
Filip Forsberg, Predators: Got the Predators off on the right foot with his first-period marker which, as you will see below, was from another world. He also assisted on Colton Sisson’s tally that gave the Preds a 2-0 lead in the second period. Forsberg now has five points through four games in the series.
Highlights of the Night
Jones was a huge problem for the Ducks, as seen here:
Man deposited into bench:
Factoids of the Night
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN) — Bruins lead series 2-1
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. ET (USA, NBCSWA) — Blue Jackets let series 2-1
Few figured the San Jose Sharks would have had it this easy against the Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim came roaring into the postseason, winners of five straight and eight of their past 10 as they worked their way into second place in the Pacific Division
Perhaps they just ran out of gas or, perhaps, the Sharks are quite good at Duck Hunt. Either way, the Sharks made quick work of their California rivals, recording the sweep after a 2-1 win on Wednesday in Game 4.
The truth is the Sharks were far and away the better team in the series and the Ducks — outside of John Gibson — were horribly inept offensively and couldn’t handle the Sharks’ offensive attack, or solve Martin Jones.
After being shutout in Game 1, the Ducks lost a close 3-2 decision in Game 2 only to follow that up with an incredibly embarrassing effort in an 8-1 loss in Game 3.
In Game 4, and on the cusp of being swept, the Ducks managed just a single goal as they went crashing out of the playoffs.
That’s four goals in four games.
Poor John Gibson. The Ducks’ No. 1 faced a combined 69 shots in Games 1 and 2 and then 24 in Game 3 before being pulled, mercifully, in favor of Ryan Miller. In Game 4, Gibson faced a further 24 shots and once again received next to no run support.
The Sharks were very much the opposite.
And then there was Marcus Sorensen, who in 32 regular season games only scored five times but had three goals and an assist in four games in the series.
Jones got all the run support Gibson didn’t and was equally as good, turning aside 131 of the 135 shots he faced during the four game.
The Sharks will play the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round after Vegas swept the Los Angeles Kings in four games on Tuesday.