Phoenix Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings

PHT Morning Skate: “A mug’s game”

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.

All of a sudden, the Washington Capitals have  a good conundrum going on in net as both Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun are playing well. (The Washington Times)

SI’s Michael Farber backs up how I’ve been feeling for years, although with a strange choice of words in that handing costly long-term contracts to goalies is “a mug’s game.” Pretty sure that doesn’t mean that they hold hot and cold drinks, but feel free to correct me there. (Sports Illustrated)

Earlier this week, The Contrarian Goaltender took a look at trends in how the Vezina Trophy winner has been chosen. (Brodeur is a Fraud)

The Islanders beat the Flyers in Philadelphia after 13 consecutive failed attempts. (

Martin Hanzal (pictured) had a successful return to the Phoenix Coyotes’ lineup on Thursday. (AZ Central)

Sure, it wasn’t good enough to secure the Coyotes the shootout win, but kudos to Mike Smith for stopping this ridiculous Pavel Datsyuk attempt:

If you want to equate the “Sutter Bowl” to a staring contest, then you could say that Brent avoided dozing off in a 2-1 shootout snoozer between Calgary and Los Angeles. (Calgary Herald)

The Bruins and Rangers are looking forward to a showdown between the Eastern Conference’s top two teams on Saturday. (

The Blackhawks are loving all the young energy from Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw – they must have been really getting worn out by old men like Jonathan Toews before those rookies came along. (

Let’s finish this off with this beauty of a backhand goal by Evgeni Malkin.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.