Nicklas Lidstrom

PHT Morning Skate: Where size doesn’t matter


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.

Bill Barnwell’s one of my favorite football writers when it comes to blending stats with digestible, interesting analysis. It turns out he’s a great fit for hockey, too, as he reveals that bigger teams don’t have an advantage in the playoffs. If anything, smaller ones tend to have a tiny advantage. It’s a great read, unless you hate things that have nice things to say about the Detroit Red Wings. (Grantland)’s Tim Panaccio presents a four-part series on the Jeff Carter/Mike Richards trades, focusing on how the two forwards moved on after their departure from the Philadelphia Flyers’ fold. (Part I, II, III and IV)

The Royal Half recaps Game 1 … of the 1993 Stanley Cup finals. (The Royal Half)

One of Fake Chris Kontos’ point from that recap is that the Los Angeles Kings were up 1-0 in the 1993 Stanley Cup finals only to fall to Patrick Roy & Co. It also should be noted that the New Jersey Devils have become accustomed to dealing with 1-0 deficits in this year’s playoffs, as this story discusses. (

Considering the strong possibility that the next CBA will change how the salary cap is determined, it might be hasty to try to estimate what next year’s cap ceiling will look like. Still, it’s worth noting that another record year of reported revenue would give it every chance to go up – as much as it’s allowed to go up – next season. (The Hockey Writers)

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman discusses the team’s weaknesses heading into the off-season. (

While mainstream writers offer effusive, reverent praise for Martin Brodeur, stat bloggers often hold his good-but-not-great save percentage and other individual numbers against him. Check out this interesting bit, which weighs some of the arguments for and against the future Hall of Famer. (NHL Numbers)

Joe Haggerty’s 15 thoughts from Game 1. (

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault
Leave a comment

Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

Cory Schneider, Alex Galchenyuk ,
Leave a comment

Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

Carey Price,
1 Comment

Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury