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.
Dallas Stars forward Derek Roy returned from a groin injury on Feb. 4, but he only recently told coach Glen Gulutzan that he’s finally feeling 100% healthy. It’s probably not coincidental that Roy has five points in his last three games. (Dallas Morning News)
Ryan O’Reilly beat himself up for accidentally scoring on his own net in his first game with the Colorado Avalanche since holding out as a restricted free agent. However, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco wasn’t particularly harsh in his assessment of O’Reilly’s play. (Denver Post)
Patrick Kane double-shifted in Chicago’s 2-1 shootout victory over Detroit on Sunday and consequently led all Blackhawks forwards with 23:29 minutes on the ice, but Kane never says no to more playing time. (Chicago Tribune)
40-year-old goaltender Martin Brodeur will miss at least two more games due to his sore back. He hasn’t played for the New Jersey Devils since Feb. 21. (New Jersey Online)
If the Calgary Flames decide to put Jarome Iginla on the market, will he end up playing with Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh? (Ottawa Sun)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have called up 21-year-old forward Ondrej Palat from the minors on Sunday. He was taken with the 208th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but has been excelling in the AHL and might make his NHL debut on Monday. (Lightning.nhl.com)
Legendary coach Scotty Bowman thinks teams should spend time practicing shootouts. Devils coach Pete DeBoer might follow his advice, given New Jersey’s 0-3 record in shootouts this season. (New Jersey Online)
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall missed Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild due to a strain in his leg. It would have been his first contest against the Wild since his hit on Cal Clutterbuck put the Wild forward on the injured reserve list with a thigh contusion. Hall served a two-game suspension for kneeing. (Edmonton Sun)
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins exchanged in a fierce and close battle on Sunday as they both sought to claim sole possession of the Northeast Division lead. If you want to check out the highlights, you can do so below:
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.