PHT’s Morning Skate: That Pekka Rinne guy is really good

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.

Pekka Rinne had a big night in Nashville last night. Not only did he earn his 100th victory, but he did so in record breaking fashion. (Section 303)

Francois Beauchemin may end up hearing from the league offices, but he insists that his hit on Mike Fisher was a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit (OC Register)

The Blues have been one of the most schizophrenic teams over the first month of the season. Maybe if their top scorers starting acting like it, they’d be able to put together a little consistency (Post-Dispatch)

Looks like Maple Leafs’ head coach Ron Wilson is content pumping the tires of his own team nowadays. After Toronto’s win against the Penguins, he said Dion Phaneuf is the best defenseman in the league. The word you’re looking for is “hyperbole.” (The Hockey News)

We all know that Sidney Crosby is going to come back at some point this season. But when he comes back, just how good will he be for the Penguins? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Could Ken Hitchcock be back behind the Blue Jackets bench? Could Craig Button be their new GM? Yes and yes—and it all could be done by Monday. (Puck-Rakers)

Newsflash: the Philly media can be tough; and they love going to a guy who is a great quote. Now we hear the goalie coach say that Ilya Bryzgalov needs to ignore the off-ice stuff and focus on his game. Sounds like this could be a theme for the next nine years. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Remember when the Montreal Canadiens were the worst team in the Eastern Conference? Oh how things can change in only a few short days. (Hockey Inside/Out)

Yes, the NBA should have learned from the NHL when hockey lost the entire 2004-05 season. But while basketball is dealing with their own labor problems this fall, the NHL should take a look and learn a lesson from the NBA. (Tampa Tribune)

Visors. Need to be mandatory. You may have heard this before. (Buffalo News)

Same crap, different day for the Bruins. A nicer way to say that is the Bruins season has been like Groundhog’s Day. (CSN New England)

The Islanders played one of their best games of the season on Saturday night, only to have a questionable call help seal their fate in overtime. Frustrating was the word most used. (Islanders Official)

We’ve been tough on Roberto Luongo lately. But on the day after he only gave up 4 goals for a 7-4 win, we thought we’d take the opportunity for a little tire pumping. Watch and enjoy Canucks fans:

For Tuukka Rask and the Bruins, a ‘bad goal’ at the worst possible time

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The growing ranks of Tuukka Rask detractors gained some serious ammunition during last night’s loss to Tampa Bay.

The deciding goal in the 6-3 defeat was a “bad one,” according to Rask and most anyone else who was watching.

It may have been a hard shot by Jonathan Drouin, unleashed at the top of the circle, but it still should’ve been stopped.

After the game, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that Rask “needed to be better tonight.”

In fact, Rask hasn’t been very good the past few months. Since Jan. 1, his save percentage is just .888. But with nobody trustworthy behind him, he’s had to just play through his struggles.

It’s impossible to say if Rask’s numbers would be better if the Bruins had a more capable backup. He’d be more rested, though. And when he was struggling, the coach would at least have another option to consider. With an .897 save percentage on the season, Anton Khudobin simply hasn’t been reliable enough to garner that consideration.

Don’t expect Rask to get the next game off. Saturday in Brooklyn, the Bruins — losers of four straight in regulation, and suddenly on the verge of falling out of the playoff picture — face the Islanders in arguably the biggest game of both teams’ seasons.

Bolts recall Koekkoek, putting Garrison’s status into doubt

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The Tampa Bay Lightning, after earning a big win last night in Boston, may not have defenseman Jason Garrison tonight in Detroit.

The Bolts recalled d-man Slater Koekkoek from AHL Syracuse this morning — a move that would seem to put Garrison’s status into doubt against the Red Wings.

Garrison was forced to leave the Bruins game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Koekkoek has played 29 games for the Lightning this season, recording no goals and four assists.

Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash

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Sidney Crosby won’t face a disciplinary hearing for his slash on Ottawa d-man Marc Methot, an NHL spokesman confirmed — news that won’t be welcomed by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.

The incident occurred during Ottawa’s 2-1 win on Thursday night, and forced Methot from the game with a bloodied, lacerated finger. The club later announced that Methot would be “out for weeks” with the injury.

Crosby’s slash came two nights after he speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt. It should be noted that neither the O’Reilly spear or Methot slash resulted in penalty calls, and neither was subjected to supplementary discipline.

One individual that’s guaranteed to be upset with today’s news is Melynk. He appeared on TSN 1200 radio this morning and seemed to suggest the league was looking into the Crosby-Methot incident.

He also had a few choice words for No. 87:

Sens, Avs to play pair of regular-season games in Sweden

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NEW YORK (AP) The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two regular-season games in Sweden next season.

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Friday announced their new Global Series games Nov. 10 and 11 in Stockholm.

The Avalanche and Senators will play the NHL’s first regular-season games in Europe since 2011. It’s the NHL’s sixth trip to Europe and the seventh and eighth games played in Sweden.

Colorado’s captain is 24-year-old Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog. Ottawa’s captain is 26-year-old Swedish defenseman Erik Karlsson, winner of the 2012 and 2015 Norris Trophy.

Other Swedes currently playing for the two clubs include Ottawa’s Frederik Claesson (Stockholm) and Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg), and Colorado’s Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea) and Carl Soderberg (Malmo).

Commissioner Gary Bettman says with more Swedish players than ever, it’s a good chance to showcase the game there. Eighty-four Swedes have played in the NHL this season, roughly 9 percent of the league.

“We have more Swedish players than ever in the NHL, and we are extremely pleased that the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series will allow us to showcase a number of those players, with their NHL teams, in their homeland,” Bettman said. “The return of regular-season NHL games to the international stage will provide yet another highlight for our Centennial celebration.”