Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates onto the ice during player introductions before taking on the Minnesota Wild in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 9, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1 to win the series.
(May 8, 2013 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Winnipeg native Toews excited for MTS Centre game


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.

On Saturday, Winnipeg-native Jonathan Toews will get to play in his hometown in a regular season game for the first time in his career. (Winnipeg Sun)

Speaking of interesting weekend matchups, the Vancouver Canucks and goaltender Roberto Luongo will play against Toronto tomorrow. It wasn’t that long ago that Luongo was pretty sure he would end up with the Maple Leafs. (Toronto Sun)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $3,000 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Friday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $600. Starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the link.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ new defensive system has created a welcome challenge for their goaltenders. “He laughed, but I told (Marc-Andre Fleury) that I’ll spray myself with the water bottle just to wake myself up,” backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is averaging 25:10 minutes per game, but as far as he’s concerned, the extra ice time is making him play better. (Newsday)

Hall of Famer Denis Savard is still competing long after retirement. Only now it’s with thoroughbred horse racing. He has a horse in the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Sprint. (

Columnist Adrian Dater thinks Steve Downie might have been traded in part because coach Patrick Roy was “growing a bit uneasy with Downie’s temper and occasional bad penalties.” (Denver Post)

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: