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 can take quite a few positives from their 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago on Saturday, but at 1-3-2, they desperately need more than just moral victories. (Calgary Sun)
The Ottawa Senators have scored just one goal in their last two games without Jason Spezza, but Senators coach Paul MacLean doesn’t seem too worried yet. He argues that the big thing is that they’re still creating scoring chances, even if they haven’t been able to capitalize on them recently. (Sportsnet)
Eric Belanger has been placed on the injured reserve list by the Edmonton Oilers. The 35-year-old enforcer was struck in the foot by a slap shot on Saturday. (Edmonton Sun)
Backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun is enjoying his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Washington Times)
Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews has gotten off to a strong start this season, but he wants to improve off the ice. The 24-year-old captain wants to “stay even-keeled and not get frustrated” and be a positive presence, even when things aren’t going well for his team. (Chicago Tribune)
Forward Andy Miele has been returned to the minors by the Phoenix Coyotes. They have replaced him on the roster with 22-year-old defenseman David Rundblad, who was taken in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. (Coyotes.nhl.com)
How much longer will it take Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel to score his first goal of 2013? (Sportsnet)
Edmonton Oilers Devan Dubnyk has been taking advantage of the opportunity to serve as the team’s undisputed number one goaltender. (Edmonton Journal)
PHT Morning Skate: A beer named after Shayne Gostisbehere
–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took the league by storm last year and obviously, people noticed. Starting on Friday, he’ll have a beer named after him. The Conshohocken Brewery is coming out with the “Ghost Bear Golden Ale”. (Bardown)
–No one expected rookie Brandon Carlo to make the Bruins out of camp, but he’s been terrific in his first NHL season. Thanks to his reach and wingspan, he’s been able to be effective in his own zone. “The one thing is that he’s so long and his stick is so long, it gives him time to recover because as a young kid in the league you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. He has the ability to come back and recover,” said teammate Torey Krug. (CSN New England)
–The Pittsburgh Penguins have an interesting dilemma with the upcoming expansion draft. First, they need to figure out if they’ll keep eight skaters and one goalie or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. Once that’s settled, the team will need to figure what to do with Marc-Andre Fleury and a youngster like Derrick Pouliot. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun takes a closer look at their situation. (ESPN)
–Through 24 games, Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has yet to pick up a single penalty minute. Some people might see that as a positive thing, but others might feel he’s too soft. So, which one is it? We know what MacKinnon thinks: “I’m being aggressive. I’m playing regularly, just not taking any minors. I think it’s a good thing. Usually I’m good for some roughing penalties and I’ve asked a couple guys to fight this year. I’m not trying to have zero penalty minutes,” said MacKinnon. (Denver Post)
–Injuries have hit the Tampa Bay Lightning pretty hard this year, but they have a bargaining chip named Ben Bishop. Is it time for them to trade him? Here are five reasons why they should. (The Hockey News)
–The San Jose Sharks are having some fun on social media. Their latest hilarious video involves players guessing which teammate of theirs is depicted in a young fan’s drawing. It’s pretty funny:
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.