James O'Brien

PHT Morning Skate: Vinik ‘absolutely’ thinks Bolts will sign Stamkos

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.

Evander Kane played as he wished on Monday, but he was robbed by a great Braden Holtby save and took a puck to the face. You can see that latter moment in the video above.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik seems pretty confident that Steven Stamkos will eventually sign a long-term contract with the team. (Tampa Bay Times)

Advanced stats apparently smile upon the Penguins and Panthers. (The Hockey News)

Does Edmonton represent Zack Kassian‘s last chance in the NHL? (Sportsnet)

Ranking the top 10 players in World Juniors history. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

The Los Angeles Kings had a little fun with this one.

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    Toffoli, Kopitar, Quick shine as Kings blast Canucks

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    The Los Angeles Kings enjoyed enough standout performances on Monday that it’s tough to single out one player.

    So, instead, let’s list the most outstanding outputs in the Kings’ 5-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks.

    (The highlights clip above hits the high notes nicely, by the way.)

    • Tyler Toffoli earned the second hat trick of his NHL career. He also generated the game-winner via his opening tally. He now has 17 goals in 2015-16.

    • Anze Kopitar may have enjoyed the best overall night of any Kings skater, as he generated four assists and was quite the all-around performer:

    • Jonathan Quick didn’t just generate a shutout, he made a little bit of history along the way.

    As great as the Kings were, this was at times an embarrassing night for the Canucks. Sven Baertschi‘s upper-body ailment adds injury to all the insults.

    Video: Matt Duchene’s nifty goal, Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick

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    It’s been a season of hot and cold streaks for Matt Duchene a few months in, so the Colorado Avalanche must hope that this is a sign of another torrid run.

    Either way, it’s a burst of genius, as Duchene spun and then put his 17th goal of the season by bouncing it off of San Jose Sharks defenseman Paul Martin.

    You can see the goal in the video above, while My Regular Face provides a helpful angle on this GIF.

    That’s a heck of a way to end a four-game scoring drought.

    Update: Nathan MacKinnon generated a hat trick in stealing the show from Duchene as Colorado beat San Jose 6-3.

    Rehabbed? Montreal breaks six-game slump, regains Atlantic lead

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    For a while there, it looked like the Montreal Canadiens were going to lose another game in another painful way.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead during a staggering 21-second span, but the Canadiens ultimately shook off the shock to win 4-3 via a shootout.

    No, this isn’t the prettiest win, but standings points are more important than style points.

    With this desperately needed win – ending a losing streak of six games – Montreal keeps the revolving door atop the Atlantic Division moving, as they’re back at No. 1. And, hey, it might help them shake Tampa Bay’s recent mental edge to boot:

    The gap is small enough that this might be a short-lived advantage, but Montreal needed this … badly.

    Here’s what the Atlantic’s top six looks like as of this writing.

    Montreal: 21-14-3, 45 points, 38 games played
    Florida: 20-12-4, 44 points, 36 GP
    Detroit: 18-11-7, 43 points, 36 GP
    Boston: 19-12-4, 42 points, 35 GP
    Ottawa: 18-12-6, 42 points, 36 GP
    Tampa Bay: 18-15-4, 40 points, 37 GP

    This loss stings for the Lightning, yet it was also a statement that they might not fade away so easily.

    More on Carter’s absence, Muzzin’s in for Kings

    There’s a mix of good and bad/murky news for the Los Angeles Kings as they face the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

    The good: Remember Jake Muzzin‘s match penalty from Sunday? It put the Kings in a bind against the Arizona Coyotes there, but Los Angeles won, and they’ll get the valuable defenseman in the lineup tonight.

    His debatable match penalty was rescinded.

    The bad/murky: It seems like Jeff Carter may be dealing with a vague mix of injury and personal issues.

    Los Angeles Kings Insider shares the full details here, but the bottom line is that he’s considered day-to-day and is not playing against Vancouver. The injury itself may be a lower-body issue.

    Perhaps we’ll get a better idea regarding his future beyond this game sometime soon?