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 Edmonton Oilers have made Ryan Whitney a healthy scratch for two straight games. Given that he’s in the last season of his contract anyways, is it reasonable to assume that the 29-year-old defenseman will be on the trade market in the coming weeks? (Sportsnet)
Evidently, Apple’s Siri thinks Daniel Alfredsson is God. (Ottawa Sun)
Did the Colorado Avalanche go after Edmonton Oilers rookie defenseman Justin Schultz when he was an unrestricted free agent? Given the Avalanche’s lack of offensive output from their defensemen, they could certainly use a guy like Schultz right now. (Denver Post)
28-year-old forward Daniel Carcillo (knee) is getting close to returning to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup, but will he go back to playing on the top line when he’s healthy? (Chicago Sun-Times)
The British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame has added retired stars Mark Recchi and Paul Kariya to its ranks. (NHL.com)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are having trouble finding a suitable linemate for forwards Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
22-year-old defenseman Jake Gardiner had seven goals and 30 points in 75 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. However, he’s still in the minors after recovering from a concussion and it’s not clear when the Maple Leafs will summon him. (Sportsnet)
19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton has no points and a minus-three rating in the Boston Bruins’ last six contests. That slump might be disappointing after his hot start, but Bruins coach Claude Julien expected the rookie blueliner to go through this process. (CSN New England)
These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.
Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.
It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Marcus Johansson scored to tie it 1-1.
Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.
It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.
His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.
Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.
He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.
And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.
Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:
As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.
Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?
It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.
Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).
There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.
Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.
The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)
For more on the three finalists, click here.