New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Five

PHT Morning Skate: Ilya Kovalchuk is getting good at silencing critics

1 Comment

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 days of ripping Ilya Kovalchuk for not being a superstar invested in his team are over. (

Jordan Nolan isn’t the only guy in the Nolan family having fun these days. His dad Ted is busy with Team Latvia at Worlds. (L.A. Times)

Bet you didn’t know this: Ray Whitney used to be a stick boy for the Edmonton Oilers. (Edmonton Journal)

Jaroslav Halak says the Blues “didn’t accomplish anything” in the playoffs. Ouch. (Post-Dispatch)

On the positive side, Tom Stillman was approved by the Board of Governors to purchase the Blues. (Post-Dispatch)

Predators GM David Poile would sure love to keep the band together next season. Good luck with that. (Tennessean)

Contract talks with Erik Karlsson are going to take plenty of time to get sorted out. (Ottawa Sun)

Dan Cleary’s knee surgery went well and he should be ready to go next season. (Detroit Free Press)

Former Lightning head coach Steve Ludzik is battling Parkinson’s. (Tampa Tribune)

Former Red Wings and Lightning forward Shawn Burr is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant in his battle with acute myeloid leukemia. (London Free Press)

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.