Justin Schultz #19 of the Edmonton Oilers side steps a hit delivered by Dale Weise #32 of the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of NHL action on January 20, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
(January 19, 2013 - Source: Rich Lam/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Schultz might make history by winning AHL, NHL rookie honors

6 Comments

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 Calgary Flames haven’t been involved in a single fight this season. As forward Tim Jackman, who was engaged in 14 scraps last season, put it, “We’re trying to play to our strengths and we don’t believe our strength is being a bunch of bullies.” (Calgary Sun)

The Nashville Predators early season struggles might lead to them calling up former 2010 first-round pick Austin Watson for his NHL debut. (The Tennessean)

Will the Florida Panthers trade forward Stephen Weiss before the April 3 trade deadline? (The Hockey News)

20-year-old forward Michael Sgarbossa has been called up by the Colorado Avalanche. He might make his NHL debut on Wednesday. (Denver Post)

Calgary Flames forward Alex Tanguay, 33, is just one assist away from becoming the 126th player in NHL history to reach the 500 mark. (Calgary Sun)

19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton reminds Bruins coach Claude Julien of Hall of Famer Larry Robinson. (New Jersey Online)

Predators coach Barry Trotz likes to stay three games ahead when it comes to his planning, but that’s particularly difficult to do in the shortened season. (The Tennessean)

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz is still eligible to be the AHL’s rookie of the year. During the lockout, the 22-year-old scored 18 goals and 48 points in 34 AHL contests. It’s within the realm of possibilities that he’ll become the first player ever to win with both the AHL’s rookie honors and the Calder Trophy in the same year. (Edmonton Sun)

Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

1 Comment

The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

Here’s the goal:

Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

1 Comment

It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

12 Comments

You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

Related:

Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

Brooks Orpik suspended three games for hit on Olli Maatta

82 Comments

Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.

Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.

Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:

“Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”

To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.

This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.