James O'Brien

PHT Morning Skate: On that Fabbri-Crawford fight, the latest Drouin spin

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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.

Mark Spector believes that the Chicago Blackhawks’ lack of depth is being exposed. (Sportsnet)

“Bad Philly fan behavior explained.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

From the department of revisionist history: Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper claims that they “never gave up” on Jonathan Drouin.

This probably captures the general reaction to Cooper’s comments:

Stats back up the rather obvious: Drouin is playing well, regardless of spin. (TSN)

Want a little more context on that unusual brawl between Corey Crawford and Robby Fabbri from Tuesday?

Fabbri said he did his best to avoid Crawford:

Crawford felt like he got hit in the head:

Ken Hitchcock’s latest old-timer-sounding reference:

The Blues accomplished something rare in winning the past two games in Chicago:

Agreed, CM Punk. Agreed.

Brown does it for Kings: Los Angeles edges Sharks in Game 3

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Dustin Brown drew a lot of attention for some hits throughout Game 3. You could argue that he created enough of a ruckus for the Los Angeles Kings to grab a huge overtime win.

Brown made a big hit moments before Tanner Pearson took advantage of some open space to score the clincher. The Kings captain’s hit on Joonas Donskoi really paved the way for Pearson to beat Martin Jones.

The Kings ended up winning 2-1 via OT, and now the Sharks’ series lead shrinks to 2-1.

Some attention may trickle over to the narrative of the Sharks struggling in San Jose. The easier issue to understand is that special teams didn’t do it for the Sharks.

While the Kings went 1-for-3 on the power play, the Sharks failed on all five of their chances. The Sharks may bristle particularly at two missed chances when things were tied 1-1 in the third period.

Joe Thornton gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the game, continuing a curious Monday pattern. Anze Kopitar knotted it up minutes later, and the two teams grappled in a defensive struggle from there on in.

San Jose faced some chances to put this one away, yet they couldn’t quite land the knockout blow. Now this battle of California is a lot more interesting.

Did anyone really feel like this was going to be easy?

Untamed: Wild fight out of early rut to beat Stars in Game 3

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The Minnesota Wild could have wallowed in self-pity early in Game 3.

Patrick Sharp scored two quick goals to give the Dallas Stars a 2-0 lead in the first period, leaving many to wonder if the Wild would roll over and fall behind in the series by 3-0.

This Minnesota bunch keeps showing that it is tough to keep down,* especially when the odds go long. The Wild dominated much of Game 3 (scoring four unanswered goals at one point), ultimately flipping a 2-0 deficit to a 5-3 win.

With that, the Stars’ series lead shrinks to 2-1.

Again, this wasn’t out of sheer luck. The Wild limited the Stars to just 17 shots on goal, really dominating the affair after Sharp scored those two goals.

One intriguing development is the possible wake-up call for Jason Pominville. He scored two goals and an assist to end a six-game scoring drought with aplomb. If Minnesota can gain offense from a variety of forwards, this series gets that much more interesting.

Speaking of future contests, it’s more than reasonable to wonder how much the Stars need Tyler Seguin back in the mix … and how close he really is to returning.

Really, it just stacks on top of an array of other questions after Game 3 made this first-round feud a lot more fascinating.

* – The Wild could have come unhinged when a challenged 4-3 goal gave the Stars a shot late in the third.

They stood tall against the Stars instead, and now they’re very much in this series.

Disgust, embarrassment: Fallout from Bellemare hit, Flyers fans’ actions

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From the hit itself to the controversial reaction from Flyers fans, the third period of the Caps – Flyers Game 3 generated a lot of drama on Monday night.

This isn’t by any means a comprehensive breakdown – that would be pretty tough to pull off – but hopefully it’s thorough enough to give you a taste for what’s being said.

First, in the video above: Jeremy Roenick was fixated on the hit that really got the ball rolling. As you can see, he believes that the NHL should throw the book at Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for that check from behind on Dmitry Orlov.

It sounds like the league will at least discuss supplemental discipline:

Let’s face it, though; the biggest fireworks came with the crowd reaction that followed.

A refresher on what happened (more here): fans threw wristbands after game misconducts were being handed out, prompting the PA announcer to ask them to stop.

… It didn’t really work, even with the threat of delay of game penalties against the Flyers.

This much seems true:

It might be more interesting to hear how parties involved felt. Well, for one thing, Philly residents and/or fans seem unhappy to be associated with the wristband-throwers:

(People on social media indicated that Wayne Simmonds and Dave Hakstol showed signs of being upset about the reactions.)

Remarkably, at least one Flyer shrugged his shoulders at the whole outrage:

From the Capitals side, it’s no surprise that there was disapproval.

Jason Chimera found some silver lining:

Hey, at least there’s that.

PHT will keep an eye out for details on that hit and, if applicable, any ways the league may respond to that ugly scene.

Bullied: Capitals push Flyers to brink via Game 3 blowout

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Things started off really well for the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3.

They honored late owner Ed Snider in a truly classy, touching fashion. The Flyers then managed a precious, early lead when they made it 1-0 against the Washington Capitals less than a minute into the contest.

The first shoe dropped when the Capitals’ power play really started to take over Game 3. After that, basically an entire department store of shoes dropped and the Flyers were humiliated on their way to a 6-1 defeat and 3-0 series score.

The 6-1 margin could probably be described as a “Name your own score.” The third period really went out of control as a questionable hit made Flyers fans restless. White wristbands were hurled onto the ice, resulting in multiple penalties against their own team. The Capitals ultimately made it a blowout by punching in a few of those opportunities.

(Read this post for more on the ugliness.)

Ultimately, the Capitals are up 3-0 for the first time. They’re generally making history left and right, even after their fantastic regular season.

Meanwhile, the Flyers stare down the possibility of being swept. If Game 4 follows this trend, they’d likely lose most of the goodwill they generated from their improbable run to the playoffs.

There’s a long list of things that need to go differently, but special teams stick out like a sore thumb: