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.
File this away under “Things You’d Never Expect”: Flyers forward Scott Hartnell wrote a children’s book and it has a lot to do with him falling down. (Courier Post, Hartnell Down)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Are they still splitting starts between Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider in New Jersey? Not exactly. (Fire & Ice)
Maple Leafs rookie Jerry D’Amigo is thriving against top competition. Did you know he was matched up against Jonathan Toews’ line on Saturday? Go get ’em kid! (Globe And Mail)
What’s the key to David Booth’s game? Skating, apparently. (The Province)
Remember when the Capitals didn’t want to play Dmitry Orlov and he demanded a trade? Now he’s thriving. Who knew that playing games would be a good thing? (CSNWashington.com)
The AHL had their outdoor game on Friday night in Rochester and it was a thriller as the Rochester Americans beat the Lake Erie Monsters in a shootout in a wintry, snowy affair. (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
Things are getting better for Phoenix’s Mike Smith:
Is Jason LaBarbera getting to Chicago soon?
The Los Angeles Kings will have to try and wrangle the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center tonight without defenseman Willie Mitchell.
According to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Mitchell will miss Sunday’s game with an illness. This likely means Matt Greene will return to action on the blue line.
Greene was activated off injured reserve last week but has yet to draw into the lineup. With Mitchell out, the path is clear for Greene to play.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said recently he wouldn’t put Greene into the lineup just to put him in. Now he’ll have reason enough to do just that.
The New Jersey Devils have been getting outstanding play from a pair of rookie defensemen this season. Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill have jumped into the NHL and done so seamlessly. They’ve also been paired up together since arriving from Albany.
That is they were paired up together. Devils coach Peter DeBoer broke up the pair in the Devils’ 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but as Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares, breakups aren’t forever.
“I thought we got what we wanted (in the last two periods Friday) night and I thought our defense group was good again (Saturday) night,” DeBoer said. “When I say (I) split them up, I’m sure they’re going to play together again. It just might not be in the next game or two.”
Gelinas is third amongst Devils defensemen in points with 13, trailing only Andy Greene and Marek Zidlicky. Those two veterans average more ice time per game than the rookie, as you’d expect, but Gelinas’ play has impressed this season.
Merrill has averaged over 17 minutes per game in his 12 games of action this year. He has one assist and has a minus-5 rating.