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.
22-year-old forward Adam Henrique isn’t having any problems with his surgically-repaired thumb. He has two goals and an assist in four games with New Jersey this season. (New Jersey Online)
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers and Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson were taken close together in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Both have plenty of promise and have made a name for themselves, but their careers have also taken very different paths. (Ottawa Citizen)
Goals weren’t terribly hard to come by earlier this season, but teams are starting to tighten up their defenses as players shake off some post-lockout rust. (Chicago Tribune)
The Edmonton Oilers are missing centers Eric Belanger and Shawn Horcoff due to injuries, but there are still some interesting candidates on the free agent market. Should the Oilers sign 38-year-old forward Jason Arnott? (Edmonton Journal)
33-year-old forward Mike Rupp talks about how the Minnesota Wild’s acquisition of him from the New York Rangers impacted his family. He has four kids he won’t be seeing for a few months, but he’s looking forward to working his former coach and the Wild’s current bench boss, Mike Yeo. (Star Tribune)
The New Jersey Devils plan to honor goaltending coach Jacques Caron before they face the Montreal Canadiens on March 16. Caron is in the middle of his 20th campaign with New Jersey, making him the franchise’s all-time longest serving coach. (New Jersey Online)
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman doesn’t see “any glaring weaknesses” with his club. (Chicago Tribune)
Pittsburgh Penguins fans got a scare on Tuesday when Sidney Crosby was he took a puck to the face during their contest against the Islanders. In the end, he returned and logged 16:09 minutes. (Sportsnet)
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style