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:
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If you didn’t know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be awfully cruel, then the last week or so of action should make it pretty clear.
The Nashville Predators lost top center Ryan Johansen to a scary ailment few would have seen coming. The Anaheim Ducks fell in both games to the Johansen-less Predators, even after dominating significant chunks of Game 6. At least one Ducks player wondered if the better team won.
Much like in life, “fair” and “deserve” only matter so much. Sports have a scoreboard to serve as the ultimate deciding factor.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have similar thoughts after falling 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators tonight, extending the Eastern Conference Final to a decisive Game 7. You can nitpick questionable penalties and missed chances, but really, how negative can you be after Craig Anderson puts forth a blazing 45-save performance (with no overtime)?
Mike Sullivan and others echoed such thoughts.
” … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I don’t think we can get discouraged by that,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got to take the positives from it, and we’ve got to build on it, and we’ve got to become a more determined team for Game 7.
That’s not the sort of take that’s going to make the Senators angry in Game 7. The tone of the Senators’ discussions was likely very different after they lost Game 5 by a 7-0 score, yet maybe there was similar self belief.
Who could blame fans for chanting “Andy” tonight?
The Ottawa Senators said they would choose to fight in Game 6, and Craig Anderson truly battled in this one, refusing to allow this unlikely run to an end on Tuesday. They wouldn’t roll over, even after a 7-0 humiliation in Game 5.
The underrated goalie continued his memorable (and emotional) 2016-17 season with a brilliant performance, making 45 saves to help Ottawa manage a gutsy 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With that, hockey fans get a true treat: the Eastern Conference will go to a Game 7 on Thursday.
The Senators opted for a “bend but don’t break” strategy for much of the contest, possibly to Guy Boucher’s preference. Even so, the Penguins managed to grind their way to a 1-0 win thanks to another hard-work goal from Evgeni Malkin.
Mistakes would come back to haunt the Penguins, however, as Bobby Ryan broke Ottawa’s lengthy power-play drought to tie things up on a 5-on-3.
With their season in question thanks to a 1-1 tie in the third period, Mike Hoffman sent a booming shot by Matt Murray, and that ended up being all the Senators needed to tie the series 3-3.
Anderson was the standout, but Erik Karlsson was a hero in the way his detractors might not expect.
You can watch Game 7 on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports App.
Could one of the most hapless possession teams of this more analytics-leaning era nab arguably the most promising analytics-leaning executive in the NHL?
It’s a reasonable question, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Colorado Avalanche asked for and received permission to speak to Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas.
Current GM Joe Sakic recently got a vote of confidence and also cleaned out some of the coaching staff around Jared Bednar, so this is certainly a time of change for the Avalanche.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role Dubas would receive if he did join the fold in Colorado. Would he still be considered an assistant GM, only with more sway with what would likely be a smaller group of decision-makers? Could we see Sakic move up and give Dubas the full GM title (or eventually transition that role to the young upstart)? Might there be some other factor that would qualify as a more “outside the box” idea?
One thing seems clear: the Avalanche might want to be decisive, as demand could be significant for Dubas if he’s even somewhat on the market.
This could be interesting, especially if you’re a nerd for team-building storylines.
The Ottawa Senators have defied odds during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they’ve done so with what’s often been an ice-cold power play.
They finally struck gold on the man advantage on Tuesday, and at a key moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins were dominating much of the game and pressing for an even bigger edge after Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0.
Maybe the Penguins got overzealous, or maybe officials … finally started making some calls. Either way, the Senators ended up with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute-and-a-half. With that opportunity, Bobby Ryan scored a huge goal for Ottawa on a shot that was both oddly and perfectly placed.
Moments later, Kyle Turris narrowly missed a golden opportunity, so the contest remained tied 1-1.
Despite a late push by the Penguins to finish the second, Game 6 will enter the third period with a 1-1 score.
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Update: Mike Hoffman‘s booming shot gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the third. We’ll see if Pittsburgh can tie it up.