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.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian (groin) is back on the ice, but is still week-to-week. (Winnipeg Sun)
After scoring twice in Toronto’s 3-2 overtime win, Nazem Kadri’s thoughts turned to his late grandfather. (NHL.com)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Martin Jones reflects on his NHL debut. (LA Kings Insider)
With Ryan Reaves still hurting, the St. Louis Blues shifted Maxim Lapierre to the right wing. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn has felt comfortable serving as a center while Vinny Lecavalier is sidelined. (CSN Philly)
Montreal’s Max Pacioretty said that he wasn’t even trying to deliver a hit when he pushed Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk into the end boards last night. Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher while the 25-year-old forward received two minutes for boarding. “I’ve been in that situation before,” Pacioretty said. “As you could tell in my game right after that it definitely rattled me a lot.” (Montreal Gazette)
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.
Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.
So far, it shows, too.
The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.
There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:
Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week
Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.
WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry
A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.
As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.
While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.
Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.
It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.