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.
Members of the Calgary Flames went to Alberta Children’s Hospital dressed as The Avengers. (Puck Daddy)
Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin is Batman. (NHL.com)
Ex-NHLer Theo Fleury feels Jonathan Toews is “hands down, the greatest player in the game right now.” (Chicago Tribune)
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy isn’t panicking after his struggling squad fell to the previously 0-8 Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. (Denver Post)
Although they lost, James van Riemsdyk sees Saturday’s game against Montreal as something the Maple Leafs can build on. (MapleLeafs.nhl.com)
Penguins coach Mike Johnston isn’t sure if he should have challenged James Neal‘s goal against them Saturday night. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Anaheim Ducks suffered their fourth shutout loss of the season tonight, reducing them to a 1-5-1 record. If there has been a silver lining so far though, it’s been the play of goalie Frederik Andersen.
He has kept the Ducks in games thus far and certainly gave them something to rally around late in the first period when he made this big save on Matt Dumba:
Here’s a closer look:
It was not to be though as Anaheim only managed to fire 15 shots at Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. By contrast, Andersen faced 15 shots in the first period alone.
It was a scary moment in the second period of Philadelphia’s game against the New York Rangers when Michael Raffl collapsed on the bench and needed help getting to the locker room.
Fortunately it sounds like the situation might not be as bad as initially feared.
After the game, Flyers GM Ron Hextall did reiterate that Raffl has an upper-body injury and his availability for Tuesday’s game is still uncertain. However, Raffl didn’t need to go to the hospital and Hextall described the forward as “fine.”
“I just talked to him,” Hextall said. “He’s actually cracking jokes.”
Raffl’s injury is presumably the result of Rangers forward Jarret Stoll accidentally striking him in the head.
You can see Hextall’s full update here:
This isn’t a game that the Vancouver Canucks should have lost.
They were at home, possessed a two-goal lead going into the third period, and were up against a Detroit Red Wings team that is both missing several key players and was in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Nevertheless, Detroit rallied en route to a 3-2 overtime victory.
Teemu Pulkkinen cut the Canucks’ lead in half early in the third period and Tomas Tatar capitalized on a power-play opportunity less than three minutes later. However, it was Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek and Gustav Nyquist that were the heroes tonight.
Mrazek turned aside 30 shots, but he also made an impressive pass to Nyquist in order to set up the game-winning goal:
For Detroit this was a much needed two points, especially seeing as it was earned without the services of Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Green, Kyle Quincey, Brad Richards, and Johan Franzen. At the same time, this was another troubling game for Vancouver.
The Canucks are now 0-2-3 at home. The silver lining is that Vancouver is 3-0-0 on the road, but of course it’s not likely that the Canucks will go far this season if they continue to struggle at the Rogers Arena.
They just have one more chance to earn a victory at home this month … against Montreal.
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the season with such high hopes. Nine games and one coaching change later and at least they are no longer identified as the only team in the league without a point.
Columbus earned its first win of the season in its second game under new bench boss John Tortorella, but it certainly wasn’t easy. The Blue Jackets had to overcome two one-goal deficits and entered the third period trailing, but a late rally led to Columbus earning a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
As was the case in his first game, Tortorella leaned on his former student from their New York Rangers days as Brandon Dubinsky led all Columbus forwards with 19:16 minutes of ice time. This time around, Dubinsky rewarded Tortorella by netting the game-winning goal.
Boone Jenner also played a big role tonight by netting two markers in the first period. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 31 of 34 shots.
Now that the losing streak is finally over, Columbus needs to get right to work at digging itself out of this sizable hole. If Columbus starts another losing streak in the near future or even just treads water in the coming weeks, then that could be devastating. The Blue Jackets, which had a 15-1-1 run to close the 2014-15 campaigns, know better than most that a hot finish doesn’t amount to much if you’ve already essentially buried your playoff chances.
Related: Jackets are far better fit for Torts than Canucks were