John Tavares

PHT Morning Skate: Where we respect John Tavares


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 Islanders play-by-play man on MSG really likes John Tavares—and really dislikes a blogger. (Islanders Point Blank)

Steve Yzerman said from the beginning that he has a long-term plan for the Lightning. Just because their struggling this year, it doesn’t mean he’s going to lose sight of the plan. (Tampa Tribune)

Remember Mark Bell? Well, he’s back in the NHL—and he’s appreciating every minute of it this time. (LA Times)

Olli Jokinen wants to retire as a member of the Calgary Flames. But will they want to re-sign him at the end of the season? (QMI Agency)

Minnesota Wild fans enjoy it when their team scores three goals in 59 seconds. Who knew? (Hockey Wilderness)

Speaking of the Minnesota/Dallas game, Steve Ott probably won’t be happy to hear that the Wild thought he was their MVP on Saturday night. (Dallas Morning News)

There will be plenty of rumors and moves between now and the trade deadline. But maybe it would be in the Avs’ best interest to avoid the silly season altogether. (Denver Post)

Logan Couture is good at hockey. (CSN Bay Area)

The Hawks were dominated, Corey Crawford was pulled, and Jonathan Toews was forced to leave the game early in Nashville. All in all, it was an awful night for the Blackhawks in Nashville. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Despite the loss, this is a pretty sweet goal from Marian Hossa. But when you realize it’s Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne that he’s abusing in this highlight, it makes it all the more impressive. (NHL)

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?