Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Flying V isn’t just wonderful Disney fiction

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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.

From the “ohmygodohmygod” files: Neate Sager of Buzzing the Net details how junior hockey team the Victoriaville Tigers turned to the “Flying V” for inspiration. Unfortunately, it did not lead them to victory so it probably will be best left to our goofy Emilio Estevez movie memories. Bummer. (Buzzing the Net)

It only makes sense that the New York Islanders – a team run by a former goalie turned GM wasting money on an injury prone goalie – is once again dealing with a weird situation in net. In this case, John Grahame looks to help out while Evgeni Nabokov is on the mend. The best part is that if the experiment fails, the Islanders actually win – with better draft odds. (Newsday)

Mike Chambers captures Colorado Avalanche players’ reactions to head coach Joe Sacco receiving a contract extension. (Denver Post)

Not enough Avalanche fun? Chambers also furthers the Gabriel Landeskog for Calder Trophy argument. (Denver Post)

Quick shmwick, Darryl Sutter is still a big fan of Miikka Kiprusoff. It’s unclear if he’s just trying to push the talented Los Angeles Kings netminder (and single season shutout record leader) or if he’s serious about there being “no comparison.” You decide. (Calgary Herald)

I’m not going to lie; I think the New Jersey Devils would benefit in the future on the ice – though probably not in the box office – by cutting ties with a goalie they cannot judge objectively in Martin Brodeur. If you ask Peter DeBoer, the “Brodeur plan” has worked, though. (Fire & Ice)

Jose Theodore must find somehow, some way, to contain his emotions as he returns to Minnesota as the Florida Panthers’ starter after one season as the Wild’s backup. Expect at least a 15 minute video tribute, mixed emotions and definitely no sarcasm. (On Frozen Pond)

Ilya Bryzgalov isn’t the only expensive Philadelphia Flyers goalie. Apparently Sergei Bobrovsky could cost the team a healthy fine if he doesn’t speak with the media soon. (CSNPhilly.com)

Erik Cole seems optimistic about the Montreal Canadiens’ future. Click on the link to find out if there were any details about him keeping a straight face. (Montreal Gazette)

Oh, Vancouver. Sure, the Canucks managed to win, but Tony Gallagher demands entertainment and victory. (Vancouver Province)

Tomas Vokoun wants “the ball” as the Washington Capitals enter the stretch run. By “the ball” he means “to play,” by the way. Unless he really likes pre-game soccer rituals or something … (CSNWashington.com)

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”