ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 28: Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild controls the puck during the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 28, 2013 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota.

PHT Morning Skate: Strong positional play helps Suter log absurd minutes

1 Comment

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.

Ryan Suter credits his ability to position himself correctly as one of the big reasons he has been able to average nearly 30 minutes per game this season. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Dallas Stars defenseman Jordie Benn can understand why some people would wonder if he feels jealous of the success that his younger brother, Jamie Benn, has enjoyed, but Jordie insists that’s not the case. (Dallas Morning News)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Monday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the link.

Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is hoping that their win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday will mark a turning point. The Oilers are certainly desperate for a winning streak given their 5-15-2 record. (Edmonton Sun)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have summoned defenseman Tim Erixon. The 22-year-old was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. (

With New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov sideline, 23-year-old Kevin Poulin is being given a big opportunity. (Newsday)

Despite suffering some significant injuries along the way, the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t looking bad through 20 games. (Toronto Sun)

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

1 Comment

For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.