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.
It’s no secret Teemu Selanne has been unhappy recently with his playing time and how he’s been used in Anaheim. Now that he’s playing on the team’s top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, it’s paying off and he’s loving life. (Ducks)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
How bad are things for the Maple Leafs right now? They’ve lost five in a row and have given up a nine point lead in the standings on the competition. (Sportsnet)
Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after beating the Leafs last night that if they keep getting strong goaltending they can win every night. They might have to do that to make the playoffs. (Fire & Ice)
Speaking of the Devils, if they do miss the playoffs could that mean Jaromir Jagr finds a new place to play next season? (NJ.com)
Dmitry Kulikov is an impending RFA and the Panthers haven’t started negotiating with him. (George Richards)
Darren Helm’s speed hasn’t come all the way back now that he’s healthy, but it’s getting there. (Detroit Free Press)
Things are bad enough in Ottawa and now the question is whether or not Jason Spezza will stay with the team after all this. (Ottawa Sun)
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.