James Sheppard #15 of the San Jose Sharks gets an assist passing the puck by Greg Zanon #4 of the Colorado Avalanche to teammate TJ Galiardi #21 who scored on the play in the second period at HP Pavilion on February 26, 2013 in San Jose, California.
(February 25, 2013 - Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where James Sheppard’s a Masterton nominee

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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.

Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown largely declined to talk about his questionable elbow on Minnesota’s Jason Pominville. “I haven’t seen it,” Brown said. (LA Kings Insider)

The Winnipeg Jets need help if they’re going to make the playoffs. (Winnipeg Sun)

Jordan Staal’s first season with the Carolina Hurricanes hasn’t exactly been picture perfect. (The News & Observer)

The New Jersey Devils got a scare on Tuesday when Ilya Kovalchuk crashed into the end boards and hit his shoulder towards the end of the third period. It was very similar to the play that recently sidelined him for 11 games, but fortunately he appears to be fine this time around. “I hit with my other shoulder, so it’s good,” Kovalchuk explained. (Bergen Record)

James Sheppard, who has fought hard to get back to the NHL after his career was derailed in 2010 due to a knee injury, is the San Jose Sharks’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy. (CSN Bay Area)

Chris Stewart had a big night against Colorado. He scored his 100th goal and recorded his 100th career assist in St. Louis’ 3-1 victory. (NHL.com)

Defenseman Dion Phaneuf has been a polarizing figure, but the team captain has played a role in the Maple Leafs finally making the playoffs. (Toronto Sun)

Without any chance of advancing to the postseason, the New Jersey Devils just want to head into the summer on a winning streak. (The Star-Ledger)

Highlights from Philadelphia’s 5-2 victory over Boston:

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Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
The Canadian Press via AP

The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.