PHT Morning Skate: Is Patrick Marleau a hall of famer?


–The NHL will be unveiling their top 100 players tonight, but as Sportsnet’s Sean McIndoe found out, making the list isn’t easy. There are a ton of things to consider when building a list like this. One of the most important things to realize, is that there will definitely be snubs. And for the players that do make it on the list, slotting them is another challenge. (Sportsnet)

–All-Star rookie Auston Matthews has impressed many during his first year in the NHL. The 19-year-old credits a portion of his development to the two years he spent with the U.S. National Development Program. “I really enjoyed my time there, thought I learned a lot, really progressed as a player, as a person. Some of my closest friends kind of come from those two years.” (

–The NHL isn’t always able to get the most popular celebrities to perform at their top events, but this year’s All-Star game is a little different. They were able to land artists like Fifth Harmony that have over three million followers on Twitter, which can only benefit the NHL.  “(Fifth Harmony) have a fan base that will watch anything that they do,” said the NHL’s chief content officer and executive vice president Steve Mayer. “I think the jury’s still out on who is going to come and watch us, but we need the younger fan base.” (Yahoo)

–The St. Louis Blues decided to give Carter Hutton another start after he shut out the Penguins on Tuesday. That decision didn’t exactly pay off, as they fell to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 5-1. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–There’s no denying the on-ice rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. With a little less than half the season left, it’s still entirely possible that these two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. Keeping that in mind,’s Pierre LeBrun points out that the Pens and Caps could look to one-up each other before the trade deadline. That should make things interesting. (ESPN)

–Despite being 37 years old, Patrick Marleau has shown that he can still play hockey at a very high level. The veteran hasn’t won a Stanley Cup, but he’s accomplished so many incredible things during his career. He’s closing in on the 500-goal mark, he owns the 10th-longest iron man streak in league history and he’s won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada. But has he done enough to get into the hall of fame? (Mercury News)

–When hockey fans think of goalies, they think of people who have an uncanny ability to stop pucks. But as Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne show us, they’re also able to fire the puck pretty hard too. (BarDown)

Video: Oilers showed off depth beyond McDavid in beating Sharks

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As the Art Ross winner and Hart Trophy frontrunner, there’s no doubt that Connor McDavid is the catalyst for the Edmonton Oilers.

Still, the scary thing for opponents is that, while he created chances against the San Jose Sharks, McDavid wasn’t exactly lighting them up for points.

Nope, as Mike Rupp and Jeremy Roenick discuss in the video above, the Oilers advanced thanks as much to depth scorers – and deft goaltending from Cam Talbot – as they did because of McDavid’s blistering combination of skill and speed.

Now, the Anaheim Ducks rank as an interesting opponent. While the Sharks could slow McDavid with one of the few blueliners who could really give him trouble – relatively speaking – in Marc-Edouard Vlasic, it remains to be seen if Anaheim can accomplish the same.

(A fully healthy Hampus Lindholm would increase their odds, mind you.)

Either way, the Oilers’ “other guys” deserve some credit, and they get it in the video above.

The West’s next round is now set (and wide-open)


Saturday was a great day for fans of brevity and revenge.

Three of a possible three series ended on this day, with the Rangers dispatching the Canadiens, the Blues eliminating the “better” Wild, and the Oilers knocking off the Sharks in six.

The Rangers await either the Bruins or Senators and the Penguins face the winner of the Leafs – Capitals series out East, but we now know how the West shakes out.

St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators

Both teams provided some of the upsets of this young postseason. Each features a red-hot goalie in Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne. Interesting.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers

There will be a lot of orange. We may also see a ton of goals with Ryan Getzlaf on fire, Oscar Klefbom headlining the list of unhealthy players and Connor McDavid possibly able to really take off against a Ducks defense that is beat up in its own right.

It’s already been a strange season out West, with the Kings missing the playoffs and first-round exits for the Sharks and Blackhawks. Get ready – and giddy – for things to get even weirder as the postseason goes along.

Oilers win first series since 2006 after Sharks fall crossbar short of overtime


After making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Edmonton Oilers weren’t just “happy to be there.” They confirmed as much by eliminating the San Jose Sharks with a 3-1 victory in Game 6, winning the series 4-2.

Yes, those young Oilers just eliminated the team that represented the West in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Wow.

Ultimately, winning the breakaway battle in the second period indeed made the difference. Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev scored on their chances in the middle frame while Patrick Marleau could not; Slepyshev’s 2-0 goal ultimately became the series-clincher.

Now, that’s not to say that Marleau was a drag on San Jose. If this is it for one of the faces of the franchise, he had a great 2016-17, including generating the Sharks’ final goal of the postseason.

The Shark Tank was alive after Marleau reduced the Oilers’ lead to 2-1, and more than a few blood pressures rose – both in Edmonton and San Jose – after the Sharks got this close to tying things up.


With this result, the West is set. The St. Louis Blues will take on the Nashville Predators while the Oilers face the Anaheim Ducks.

As much as people try to put the training wheels on Connor McDavid & Co., the West is wide-open enough that it’s not so outrageous to imagine a big run for Edmonton.

Beating the Sharks is a pretty nice way of adding an exclamation point to that statement win. And hey … they beat the Sharks last time around, too.

Canadiens sound a lot like Wild after playoff exit (without ‘better team’ talk)


Much like the Minnesota Wild earlier on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens are stunned to approach the golf courses so rapidly.

Many of the responses after the New York Rangers eliminated them in Game 6 sound a lot like what the Wild uttered, though there’s no potential bulletin board material like Bruce Boudreau’s line about the better team failing to win four games.

Max Pacioretty viewed this early exit as a “missed opportunity” and never really believed that an elimination was coming.

Claude Julien provided parallel comments to Bruce Boudreau, believing that Montreal generated chances but lacked “finish.”

Brendan Gallagher? He worries that this might have been the Canadiens’ best chance, something the Wild must also worry about with a difficult offseason ahead.

Now, it’s likely that most teams speak about being shocked and expecting better after being booted from the postseason.

Still, these reactions do shine a light on the staggering nature of some of these exits. Will the likes of the Blackhawks, Canadiens and Wild struggle to be in such prime positions in the future? With the Sharks needing a comeback against the Oilers, could the trend continue on Saturday?

The bottom line is that, instead of preparing for a Game 7 after winning the Atlantic Division, the Canadiens are packing up their stuff and worrying about re-signing Carey Price. That’s a pretty stunning turnaround, regardless of the soundbytes available.