Toronto Maple Leafs defensive prospect Jake Gardiner experienced quite the roller coaster last season, but it sounds like he’s lost much of the ground with what head coach Randy Carlyle views as a mediocre training camp.
When asked if Gardiner, 23, is where he was level of play wise during the 2013 playoffs, Carlyle
simply told TSN’s Mark Masters “no, no he’s not.” He didn’t seem too optimistic about Gardiner “evolving” enough to regain ground, noting that there aren’t many days of camp left.
Could we see another saga like #FreeGardiner from 2013?
the phenomenon grew large enough to force a response from Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins in mid-March, but later that month Carlyle demanded improved defense from the blueliner. That seemed to happen during the playoffs, too, as Carlyle said that Gardiner “elevated his game.”
Perhaps the Leafs believe that he cannot maintain that level of play over the long haul?
Overall, it seems like it’s shaping up to be another interesting storyline to follow with the rarely boring Leafs.
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.
Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. ( BarDown)
–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (
–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (
–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)
–A sad story about how
Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. ( CBC)
–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (
Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without
Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from
Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.