Author: James O'Brien


Video: Mike Green sends Kyle Clifford into Caps’ bench


If you needed to summarize the Washington Capitals’ 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, you could throw out various stats or just point to the score.

Then again, you could also just say the game was a lot like defenseman Mike Green’s check on Kyle Clifford, which sent the big forward crashing into John Carlson’s lap on the Caps’ bench:

Green collected his 27th assist (and 32nd point) of the 2014-15 season and was credited with three hits last night. One obviously stood out the most.

PHT Morning Skate: Jets have their critics and/or Muppets

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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.

After making Evander Kane a healthy scratch, is it time to make a change? (The Hockey News)

Ted Nolan thinks some Buffalo Sabres could help playoff contenders. (Sportsnet)

Ryan Getzlaf with your generic quote of the day:

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Wednesday at 8pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Did the New York Islanders also serve tartar sauce before last night’s game?

Is this the Green Men bringing their act to a new level? Is there a specific reason these Muppets would be Winnipeg Jets fans … maybe because they’re critical of a losing streak? Perhaps it’s a sweatier version of wearing a paper bag on your head?

So many questions.

NHL on NBCSN: Wild test turnaround against Blackhawks

Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center at 8:00 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Minnesota Wild have been showing serious promise lately, but that progress will be tested on Tuesday as they face the Chicago Blackhawks.

A challenge amid a promising start

Assuming he gets the nod, the Blackhawks will test Devan Dubnyk, who is 5-1-0 as a member of the Wild since being traded from the Arizona Coyotes. For all the impressive work the 28-year-old goalie has done in his short stay with Minnesota, it’s worth noting that his wins have come against borderline playoff teams (Calgary, Vancouver) and squads that have often been downright dismal (Edmonton, Arizona).

What happens when Dubnyk and the Wild face one of the best teams (not to mention scoring attacks) in the NHL?

Blackhawks may not be at their best

Chicago is in the middle of a six-game road trip (seven if you count the game before the All-Star break) and (uh oh) just spent two days “bonding” in Las Vegas, so perhaps the Blackhawks are a little more vulnerable than usual. Going 6-7-0 in January argues that they’re not at their absolute best.

That’s good news for Minnesota, as Chicago has handled the season series so far, winning the first three games between these teams by a combined score of 13-6. Niklas Backstrom was in net for all those defeats, so the ‘Hawks will probably get a different look assuming Dubnyk starts this time around.

Daniel Carcillo is eligible to return from his latest suspension in this game. Ultimately, one would assume that the contest is more likely to come down to what stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter can accomplish.

Suter, for one, has been pretty banged up lately.


After some tough times, the Wild have at least a glimpse of optimism, but the Blackhawks serve as a useful measuring stick for how realistic their ambitions might be. It should be an intriguing game to watch on NBCSN tonight, then.

Gordie Howe’s family raves about his ‘fantastic’ progress

Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe’s son Dr. Murray Howe told NHL Live that his father’s recovery from a stroke – aided by stem cell treatments – is unlike anything he’s seen in 28 years of practicing medicine.

“He’s doing very, very well,” Dr. Murray Howe said. “He has good days and bad days like anybody who’s 86 [years old], but overall he’s heading in the right direction really every day, a little bit better. He had his stem cell treatment Dec. 8 and really since that time he’s just been doing fantastic.”

He even notes that Gordie’s sons having been able to play hockey, throw a football and kick a soccer ball with him, which must be stunning considering the fact that he was bedridden not that long ago.

This week marks a significant step forward beyond “Mr. Hockey” putting on some needed weight since those health issues cropped up: he’s expected to make a public appearance at a fundraiser involving Wayne Gretzky.

“Mr. Hockey will be in Saskatoon as of Thursday afternoon,” Dr. Murray Howe said. “We’re looking forward to reconnecting with Wayne. We’re trying to raise some money for Alzheimer’s research. It should be a great event.

“Even before my dad’s stroke, we never thought he would make another appearance again. The fact that he will be there is incredible in of itself.”

Check out the full NHL Live appearance below:

PHT Morning Skate: Kings give Bettman grief for his ‘tough shoes’

Gary Bettman

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 sounds like Sam Bennett is making some nice progress toward a return for the Calgary Flames. (Calgary Sun)

Former Colorado Avalanche GM Francois Giguere is focusing on helping players handle their finances. (Denver Post)

Five coaching blunders that may or may not compare to Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s disastrous play call. (The Hockey News)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Tuesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
It might be best for the Columbus Blue Jackets to “focus on the future” rather than this season. (Columbus Dispatch)
As festive as it must have been when the Los Angeles Kings visited the White House, the most memorable thing to come from the photo op was probably Marian Gaborik giving Gary Bettman a hard time for his foot wear on Instagram.

Here’s the photo:



Gaborik’s caption reads: “Tough shoes Mr. Bettman at the White House @nhl @nhlpa.”

Drew Doughty brings it back to labor unrest: