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.
Wayne Gretzky thinks very highly of captains Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Toews. With regards to Toews, Gretzky made comparisons to Mark Messier. (ESPN)
The satirical news organization, The Onion, outlined their keys to the Stanley Cup Final. (The Onion)
The AHL will be streaming the entire 2015 Calder Cup Final for free. (AHL.com)
NBC Sports Group’s documentary Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson will premiere on NBCSN on Monday following Game 3 of the playoffs. You can read more about that here and check out the trailer below:
Joseph and Marion San Jose, while in Rome for their honeymoon, were able to give Pope Francis a Canucks jersey with his name on it. (Global News)
Here are the top beards of the Stanley Cup Final. (Puck Daddy)
Here are the highlights from Chicago’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 1:
Before the Stanley Cup Final started, former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell reflected on his time with Toews, who Campbell called the “greatest captain I’ve ever played for.” (CSN Chicago)
Joe Starkey argues that no matter what Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle decide to do with their stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins, they can do so knowing that they’ve accomplished their mission. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
A general manager publicly throwing his support behind his bench boss, even during difficult times, is fairly common, so it stands out when one passes on the opportunity. That was the case when Ducks GM Bob Murray had the chance to commit to keeping coach Bruce Boudreau.
“Far too early to tell you what I’m thinking. I’ve got lots of thoughts in my mind and I’ve got to sort them out,” Murray told the Los Angeles Times.
The Ducks made it all the way to the Western Conference Final before finally losing to the Chicago Blackhawks, so obviously it’s not hard to find positives. Still, Murray was left bothered by Anaheim’s play, starting with the second period of Game 6 when they allowed three goals.
“We did not react properly whatsoever. All structure — all everything — went right out the window,” Murray said. “Wasn’t impressed by it at all. The unanswered question is still the structure when we get under stressful periods. When you’re not playing well, you have to fall back on your structure. It failed us in a critical moment. That’s what I’m evaluating.”
Intentionally or not — or for that matter, deservingly or not — that plays into the concerns about Boudreau when it comes to high stakes situations. The bench boss has lost more Game 7s (six) than any other coach in NHL history. Anaheim has also been eliminated in that fashion for three straight years.
For his part, Boudreau argued that the record isn’t reflective of anything. As far as he’s concerned, he’s not the one winning or losing those games.
He also suggested that Chicago’s edge in experience was a factor and that’s something Anaheim gained through this run. So to an extent, Anaheim’s issues could be addressed organically. After all, while the Ducks keep losing Game 7s, it’s not as if they’ve been stagnant. They’ve gotten a round further each of the last three years, so an argument could be made that they’re on the right track, even if how the season is tough to swallow.
It would be shocking if the Edmonton Oilers moved the first overall selection, but they have five other picks in the first three rounds, including the 16th overall from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The topic of what new Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli’s plans are for the 16th, 33rd, and 57th overall picks specifically was raised on 630 CHED.
“I certainly would look at moving any of those picks for… something that would help us right now, but also that could grow with our organization, so relatively speaking a younger player. It’s good to have a lot of picks and develop players, but we also want to hit the ground running with some more game-ready players,” Chiarelli said, as transcribed by the Edmonton Journal.
He noted that discussions have been picking up and that should continue in the lead up to the June 26 draft.
Chiarelli is also be looking to bolster the team through the free agent market, even implying that he was prepared to overspend if it meant bolster the team. Given that Edmonton’s cap situation is favorable, there’s also the possibility that they could work with a team like Chicago, which will need to make some moves to get under the ceiling.
His predecessor, Craig MacTavish, was promising a “busy summer” in Edmonton. The Oilers have already had that in ways that MacTavish likely didn’t envision by getting a new bench boss in Todd McLellan and a new general manager. They might still end up seeing a significant amount of change in terms of their players as well.