PHT Morning Skate: Where Rangers stay the course

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 ninth place New York Islanders are about to start a four-game stint at home. While most teams in their situation might see that as an opportunity to gain some ground in the battle for a playoff spot, the Islanders have been pretty bad at home this season. (New York Newsday)

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur (back) might start practicing again on Monday. (The Star-Ledger)

The Vancouver Canucks haven’t scored a power-play goal in their last 34 opportunities. Overall, they’ve been among the worst teams in the league with the man advantage this season. (Ottawa Citizen)

After their third straight loss, the New York Rangers aren’t likely to make any roster moves before their critical games against the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils on Monday and Tuesday respectively. (New York Newsday)

Meanwhile, the similarly struggling San Jose Sharks will alter their lineup before tonight’s contest against Anaheim. (CSN Bay Area)

Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks was involved in two fights against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, but in general coach Adam Oates doesn’t want him to drop the gloves. (Washington Times)

The Chicago Blackhawks are rested and clearly back on track after slaughtering the Dallas Stars Saturday night. Now they look to get revenge on the team that ended their 24-game points streak: The Colorado Avalanche. (CSN Chicago)

Recently acquired 23-year-old defenseman T.J. Brennan made a great first impression in his debut with Florida Panthers. (Sun Sentinel)

You can watch the highlights of the Washington Capitals 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres below:

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Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.