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.
New York Rangers forward Derek Dorsett, who is recovering from a broken clavicle, is eligible to take part in contact drills. (New York Daily News)
Andrew Ference didn’t want to talk much about the one-game suspension that will keep him out of Game 2 of the Boston Bruins’ series. “You’ve just got to accept it, and move on,” said Ference. (CSN New England)
Adam Lowry was named the Western Hockey League’s player of the year after recording 88 points and 102 penalty minutes in 72 games. He was taken by the Winnipeg Jets in the third round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. (Winnipeg Free Press)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have inked prospect Cedric Paquette to an entry-level deal. He had 27 goals and 83 points in 63 QMJHL contests in 2012-13. (Lightning.nhl.com)
Meanwhile 21-year-old goaltender Marek Mazanec has agreed to terms with the Nashville Predators. Mazanec had a 2.49 GAA and .912 save percentage in 21 Czech league games this season. (The Tennessean)
Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer just wants to put his 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 behind him. (Toronto Star)
Jason Spezza (back surgery) still doesn’t seem close to returning. (Ottawa Sun)
Highlights from San Jose’s 3-2 overtime victory against Vancouver:
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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.