New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Five

PHT’s Morning Skate: Sean Avery is back and Daniel Carcillo’s a sniper

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.

The fans at Madison Square Garden that have been chanting for Sean Avery will get their wish on Saturday night: Avery will be in the lineup against the Habs. (NY Daily News)

The Stars and Avalanche had a pretty wild night at the American Airlines Center last night. Observations from the always insightful Mike Heika. (Dallas Morning News)

Brian Elliott got the nod for last night’s game against the Canucks over Jaroslav Halak—a game he ended up winning. But if you ask head coach Davis Payne, there’s no goaltender controversy whatsoever in St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)

Is Pens’ GM Ray Shero looking to make a trade to make room for all of the players that are about to come off of IR? Could Mark Letestu be available for a team that wants to add a young offensive forward? (Post-Gazette)

Just like the team as a whole, Henrik Zetterberg is off to a rough start this season. Unfortunately, everyone keeps reminding him. (The Detroit News)

Speaking of the Red Wings, what in the world is wrong with the perennial power from Motown? (Yahoo Sports)

Finding the right chemistry can be tricky for linemates. In Montreal, it looks like they may have things figured out in the short-term. (Canadiens Official)

The Oilers are off to an unbelievably (and unpredictably) good start this season. But this is NOT the start that defenseman Ryan Whitney envisioned when the season started. (QMI)

Boston head coach Claude Julien on Phil Kessel: “Phil’s matured. “When I say he’s matured, it’s as a person and I’m sure as a player…” He’ll get an upclose and personal look at Kessel when the Leafs and B’s faceoff again on Saturday night. (Boston Herald)

Finally, Daniel Carcillo shows that he’s capable of more than just stirring the pot and growing a creepy pornstache. He’s also a sniper. (NHL)

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?