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 might not make the playoffs, but for the first time for a lot of their young stars, they’re playing in games that matter late into the season. (Edmonton Journal)
For the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring goals is rarely an issue, but lately they’ve been sound defensively too. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray would like to add a top-six forward, but it won’t be easy. (Ottawa Sun)
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is largely in the same boat as Murray and Cheveldayoff conceded that he’s hardly alone in his desire to add a skilled forward. “But we’ve positioned ourselves well,” Cheveldayoff added. “We do have the assets that if the right deal comes along we can pounce on it.” (Winnipeg Sun)
After a couple seasons in the NHL, 22-year-old Marcus Kruger has gotten comfortable with the Chicago Blackhawks. (Chicago Tribune)
Dallas Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (broken foot) has been skating recently, but he’ll miss at least two more games. (Dallas Morning News)
Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell spent half of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on the fourth game after he spent two minutes in the sin bin for roughing. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has a few issues with Mikhail Grabovski’s play. (Toronto Sun)
You can watch the highlights from Tampa Bay’s 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers below:
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Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.
The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.
McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.
Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.
Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”
A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.
“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.
Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.
Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA