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.
Flames rookie Sean Monahan scored his 20th goal of the season on Sunday. He’s the first Flames rookie forward to do that since Jarome Iginla in 1996-1997. He’s the first Flames rookie at all to do it since Dion Phaneuf in 2005-06. (Flames)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $200. Starts Monday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Brooks Orpik’s hit on Jonathan Toews during Pittsburgh’s win against Chicago Sunday night is still talk of the town. Patrick Sharp has a thought on what went down there:
March was a tough month for Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. He didn’t score any even-strength points. Everything he got came on the power play and it’s not the first time that’s happened. (Adam Vignan via Twitter)
Sabres youngster Mikhail Grigorenko is headed to AHL Rochester after the Quebec Remparts were eliminated from the QMJHL playoffs. (Sabres)
Flyers owner Ed Snider is doing some outstanding charitable work in Philadelphia that’s also helping grow the game there. (NHL.com)
Finally, if you missed this on Saturday night you’re not alone. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had one of the most acrobatic saves of the season to deny Jets forward Blake Wheeler a goal. Just call him “The Scorpion King.”
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.