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.
Pittsburgh was perfect against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum during the regular season, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma warned that beating the Islanders at home will be an entirely different story in the playoffs. “It’s going to be loud and it’s going to be a pretty crazy building,” Bylsma predicted. (Newsday)
21-year-old rookie Vladimir Tarasenko remains upbeat despite being a healthy scratch for the St. Louis Blues’ first three playoff contests. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
James Neal (lower body) only joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ practice for a few minutes on Saturday. (Penguins.nhl.com)
Roberto Luongo praised Brent Burns’ efforts in the San Jose Sharks’ game-winning goal on Friday. Luongo and his Vancouver Canucks are now down 2-0 in the first-round series. (CSN Bay Area)
Speaking of the Vancouver-San Jose series, Sharks coach Todd McLellan wants to make sure his team doesn’t lose their sense of urgency. He knows Vancouver is more than capable of battling back. (San Jose Mercury News)
Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom (lower body) practice with the Wild on Saturday. He’s questionable for today’s game. (Wild.nhl.com)
Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba maintains that he delievered a “shoulder-to-shoulder body check” on Montreal’s Lars Eller. Gryba is “disappointed” with his two-game suspension. (Ottawa Citizen)
Highlights from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday:
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.