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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You’d think the reaction to taking a skate to the face would be something like “Not coming back to that game, getting some ice and maybe do some soul-searching.”
Nope, not in the NHL, at least.
In this league, the real reaction is almost always to come back to the same game … and barely miss a beat.
Ottawa Senators Mark Stone provides the latest example of hockey toughness, as he bounced back almost immediately from this.
What did he do? He scored a nice goal in the Senators’ 6-1 blowout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.
(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)
As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.
Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.