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.
Jason Spezza is ready to return from a hip injury. The Senators have been doing great in his absence, but forward Erik Condra hopes that the rest of the team doesn’t rely too much on Spezza too much now that he’s back. (Ottawa Sun)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday night’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Mark Streit thinks that Switzerland’s silver medal showing in the 2013 World Championship will give them some added momentum going into the Winter Olympics. (CSN Philly)
The New Jersey Devils had every intention of letting defenseman Eric Gelinas stay in AHL Albany for a while so that he could work on his game. It was only injury concerns that led to him being recalled on Monday. (The Star-Ledger)
Defenseman Erik Gustafsson is back to practicing with the Philadelphia Flyers. He hasn’t played since Dec. 21 due to a knee injury, but there’s an outside chance that he’ll return Sunday. (CSN Philly)
The Anaheim Ducks credited the passionate crowds at their home games for their success at the Honda Center this season. Anaheim is 17-0-2 at home. (Ducks.nhl.com)
The argument for Sidney Crosby being regarded as the frontrunner for the Hart Trophy with half the season in the books. (NHL.com)
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.