Joni Pitkanen

PHT Morning Skate: The science of booing

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.

Dan Girardi is the New York Rangers’ 2012 nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy. Hey, it takes a lot of perseverance to block all those shots, right? (

Did Martin Havlat flip Los Angeles Kings fans the bird? CSN Bay Area gets to the bottom of it. (

Behind the Net seemingly has a scientific study of everything hockey-related? Want proof? Check out this breakdown of the impact of fan chants in Winnipeg Jets games. (Behind the Net)

Want a nice collection of news and views on Alexander Radulov’s pending return to the Nashville Predators? Check out this post by Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck. (On the Forecheck)

Mike Green continues to put on a brave face, arguing that he’s fine physically – he’s just trying to adjust to Dale Hunter’s new way of operating in Washington. (

Ryan O’Reilly has a broken nose, but won’t wear a face shield. Is that smart or reckless? That’s your call, but add another entry to “hockey players are tough.” (The Denver Post)

Rich Peverley took a surprising amount of contact in Boston Bruins practice on Wednesday. Considering there have been some tough times for the B’s, getting the versatile forward back would be a nice boost. (

Rich Hammond looks back at the Kings’ decision to roll the dice with Willie Mitchell with a two-year contract in 2010, as he was dealing with some serious concussion problems. (Kings Insider)

Michael Russo takes a look at Mikko Koivu’s return to the Minnesota Wild lineup and the end of Michael Lundin’s season. (Minnesota Star-Tribune)

Business experts say that Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke’s “head would roll” in their world. Because sports totally follow the normal rules of business, of course. (The Toronto  Star)

San Jose Sharks fans probably wanted their team to go through a grueling bag skate after two listless back-to-back losses in regulation, but head coach Tod McLellan is opting to rest them instead. Probably a good move. (The Mercury News)

Preds still haven’t found their scoring touch

Mike Fisher
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The Nashville Predators got off to a relatively good start this season, but something seems to have happened to their offense over the last six games.

Prior to Nov. 20, the Preds had only been shut out once in their first 17 games. Since then, they’ve been blanked three times and have just six goals in their last six contests.

If you remove Mike Fisher from the equation, the numbers are even more dreadful.

Fisher’s scored three of those six goals, while Filip Forsberg, Shea Weber, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro have none.

After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Buffalo , here’s what coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean: “I thought we could’ve had more gas, to be honest with you. The energy just wasn’t there; maybe the second period had something to do with that or the road trip, which was a long trip. I’m not making any excuses, but I think when we play at a higher tempo that’s when we’re at our best, and we had more to push in that area tonight.”

The first game back home after a long road trip is typically a difficult one for most teams, so we’ll see how the Predators respond on Tuesday night when they host Arizona.

A month to remember: Duchene lighting it up in November

Matt Duchene, Nick Holden
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It wasn’t too long ago that a report surfaced saying that the Avalanche were willing to listen to offers on forward Matt Duchene.

When a player’s struggling and rumors start swirling, one of two things tends to happen.

Either the player involved lets it affect his on-ice performance in a negative way or he’s motivated by the trade talk and turns his struggles around.

Instead of pouting, the 24-year-old rolled up his sleeves and got to work.

In October, Duchene scored a goal and an assist in 10 games, but things changed in a hurry when November rolled around.

The Avs forward has picked up at least one point in 11 of 13 games this month.

Duchene has 11 goals and nine assists in November and he still has a game to go before the calendar flips to December.

“Obviously, things completely flip-flopped,” Duchene told the Denver Post. “That’s the coldest start I’ve ever had and things are good right now. Obviously, I know it could go right back, I could go cold again, that’s just the nature of the game. You just have to work every day to keep it going. The most important thing is to be able to provide offense and help the team win.”

PHT Morning Skate: A bride can have her burger and eat it too

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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.

A woman in a wedding dress was caught eating a burger during Saturday’s game between the Stars and Wild. (Above)

Team Europe has a number of quality goaltending options to chose from ahead of next fall’s World Cup of Hockey. (

Watch as some players on Nashville’s roster try to guess the lyrics to different country songs:

Former goaltender Eddie Johnston sits down for a Q & A with’s Shelly Anderson. (ESPN)

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher got into a “Twitter war” with former NHLer Jim Kyte. (Puck Daddy)

Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference made a generous donation to a Syrian refugee fund. (Huffington Post)

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.