PHT Morning Skate: Where Ryan Miller’s one game away from 500

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.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by how 23-year-old forward Drew LeBlanc did in his NHL debut on Wednesday. “He got better every shift,” Quenneville commented. (CSN Chicago)

Ryan Miller will play in his 500th career game on Friday. His agent Mike Liut, who played between the pipes in 664 NHL contests, reflected on Miller’s upcoming milestone. (Buffalo News)

19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton is the winner of NESN’s Seventh Player Award. Past winners include Tyler Seguin and Tuukka Rask. (Boston Globe)

Adam Burish talked about how goaltender Antti Niemi has changed and what’s stayed the same since the two were members of the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. (CSN Bay Area)

Daniel Alfredsson plans on making a Twitter account. The 40-year-old Ottawa Senators captain is concerned about it from a privacy perspective but at the same time he said, “it would be good for me to get involved in today’s high speed world.” (Ottawa Sun)

The Boston Bruins’ nominee for the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is Adam McQuaid. The 26-year-old defenseman dealt with blood clots and required two emergency surgeries that derailed his offseason routine. All the same, he made a full recovery and took part in the Bruins’ season opener. (Bruins.nhl.com)

After a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 30th place Florida Panthers are mercifully just one game away from finishing their season. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said there’s been some “hard lessons learned” and “it’s going to be a long summer.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Is San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture a major contender for the Selke Trophy and/or Lady Byng Trophy? (San Jose Mercury News)

Highlights from the New Jersey Devils’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.