Caps warn Tom Wilson about developing lazy habits

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Washington Capitals prospect Tom Wilson got a taste of the big time when he played three playoff games in 2013 – you may recall his broken skate incident – but it seems like the large forward is still something of a project.

Many believe that the team drafted him 16th overall in 2012 because of his 6-foot-4 frame, but even so, head coach Adam Oates expressed concern to the Washington Post that Wilson would rely on his size alone.

“Where he plays he’s such a big man, the one thing that we don’t want is for him to get in lazy habits because he dwarfs everybody over there [in the OHL],” Oates said. “I mentioned Troy Brouwer’s stick – he’s a big man like him and he’s figured it out — so just experiment with it and try to maximize a little bit more.”

While the 19-year-old’s size should still be an asset, there are plenty of big defensemen in the NHL, so Oates believes that Wilson needs to do more than bull his way through competition – whether he joins the big club full-time next season or not.

“It’s very difficult. Not trying to compare but a little bit like Eric Lindros, he was so much bigger than everybody in junior he was just cruising around out there,” Oates said. “Tom has that capability, although everyone’s getting a little bigger. We want to make sure he’s on track and any little habit that can help will be great.”

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.