Barry Trotz

PHT Morning Skate: Where Barry Trotz pushes the right buttons

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.

There’s a reason why the Predators keep winning year after year and it’s because coach Barry Trotz knows when to bench guys to motivate them. (Tennessean)

The Kings are raising the price of season tickets by as much as 11-percent next year and that’s going over about as well as you’d think it is. (Los Angeles Times)

The Ducks’ winning ways of late sees them winning in ways they haven’t done yet this year. For example: Winning after being down after two periods like they did against the Wild last night. (OC Register)

So… The Jets might really need to make a move to try and secure a playoff spot. Like really, really. (Winnipeg Sun)

Speaking of the Jets, Evander Kane is becoming as well liked as Dale Hawerchuk, Teemu Selanne, and Bobby Hull in Winnipeg? Lofty company. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Ilya Kovalchuk was surprised to get passed to for his empty-net goal to secure his first hat trick as a New Jersey Devil. That Zach Parise is an all right guy. (Star-Ledger)

Know who’s playing like a No.1 center this year? Olli Jokinen. (Calgary Sun)

Johnny Boychuk was more than happy to stick around in Boston. That sweet new contract sure helped a lot too. (

Finally, speaking of hat tricks, check out Jason Spezza’s trick against the Lightning in a 4-0 Senators win. (NHL)

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT

1 Comment

Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
Leave a comment

You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

Leave a comment

So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
1 Comment

There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)