Author: James O'Brien


PHT Morning Skate: An interstellar Panthers fan


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.

You may find it hard to believe, but Daniel Winnik has been the Toronto Maple Leafs’ leading scorer at even-strength since Peter Horachek took over with 10 points. Great find by the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle. (Mirtle’s Tweet)

Should the New York Islanders be thankful that Thomas Vanek opted against sticking around because they’re moving to Brooklyn? Adam Proteau says yes. (The Hockey News)

Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 8:00pm ET. Enter Now!

A hockey historian makes an argument that retired NBA great Steve Nash is Canada’s greatest athlete, not a hockey player. See if you can read this in seven seconds or less. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Hope you have your hockey/Florida Panthers + space travel puns ready. (Note: some in the comments believe he might actually be a Tampa Bay Lightning fan …)

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts are always worth absorbing and considering. (Sportsnet)

Goalie nods: Markstrom tries to get on track

Jacob Markstrom
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All the latest from the blue paint …

Markstrom hopes to make his … well, mark

There was a time when Jacob Markstrom seemed like the goalie of the future for the Florida Panthers. He was once regularly labeled as “the best goalie not in the NHL” (or at least the best goalie in the AHL).

Those thoughts feel a little distant for a netminder who is still only 25.

One thought that Ryan Miller’s injury might give Markstrom another opportunity to redeem himself, but Eddie Lack’s been so solid that his opportunities have been few and far between. Sunday stands as a big moment in the big Swede’s career, then.

On the bright side, he’s remained an impressive goalie at the AHL level. He’s currently 19-7-2 with a .932 save percentage for the Utica Comets, doing about all that can be asked of him in that regard.

These are the type of games that can make an impression one way or the other, however, so he aims for a strong showing against Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes.

As a bonus for those who kept reading, here’s a really random photo of Markstrom:

Jacob Markstrom
Source: AP

Almost feel like we’re seeing a hockey game from the perspective of HAL, huh?

Elsewhere …

Bruins at Lightning: Tuukka Rask (probably) vs. Ben Bishop (almost certain).

Ducks at Rangers: Expected to be Frederik Andersen vs. Cam Talbot, yet neither are confirmed.

NHL fines Craig Smith $5K for high-sticking Jerry D’Amigo


The NHL handed Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith a $5K fine for high-sticking Jerry D’Amigo of the Buffalo Sabres. Smith received a double-minor penalty during the game for that infraction.

Video of the infraction isn’t immediately available, although TV Sports did manage a freeze-frame of the moment:

Onlookers described it as a bloody scene:

It appears that D’Amigo donned a full cage after taking that stick up high:

Smith, 25, receives a $2 million salary this season. Even as an RFA, he’ll likely get a healthy raise this summer, so maybe he’ll ask the Predators to throw in an extra grand or five for good measure?