Joel Ward, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom

PHT Morning Skate: Where unsung heroes tilt the scales

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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.

The Nashville Predators-Phoenix Coyotes series might just be determined by lesser-known players. Shocking, because there are … so many stars between these two teams. *cough* (

What’s the best way to get fans back on the Buffalo Sabres’ side after a high-promise, low-delivery season? Why, of course it’s all about raising ticket prices by about 18.2 percent. (John Vogl)

Perhaps the San Jose Sharks don’t have as many no-trade clauses on their roster as originally indicated. (

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman acknowledged his team’s questions about goaltending and special teams. (The Associated Press)

Local announcers are the best, Exhibit XVIII (Puck Daddy)

Can Corey Crawford bounce back from basically being the reason why the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t advance in the second round? (

The Royal Half provides an introduction to the St. Louis Blues for Los Angeles Kings fans via a bunch of inappropriate photos. (The Royal Half)

Martin Brodeur hopes he won’t forget tonight’s Game 7. He might be want to be more specific, though, because deeply scarring memories are just as – if not more – difficult to shake than the good ones. (Fire & Ice)

Ken Hitchcock and Darryl Sutter reportedly have a lot in common. Pretty sure that every bullet point isn’t about “not smiling,” by the way. (Los Angeles Times)

Apparently this will be the first Game 7 for the “Bank Atlantic Center,” aka the Florida Panthers’ home. I imagine you could put together an incredibly selective list of firsts for this game related to the Panthers since they’ve been incompetent for at least a decade-plus, though. (Miami Herald)

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis believes that there’s “a lot of work left to do.” (

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.