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.
Florida Panthers forward Brandon Pirri scored twice in Thursday night’s 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pirri now has 16 goals in 22 games. However, he may have lost his lucky stick. During the third period Leafs forward Richard Panik flipped Pirri’s stick over the glass (see video below). Panik received a misconduct on the play. A lucky fan five rows up received a nice souvenir as a result.
“That was a weird play,” chuckled Pirri post-game. “It got pretty deep in the crowd.”
Richard Panik wasn't happy about 10-minute misconduct but says "at least the kid got a stick."
Want to have former New York Yankee Derek Jeter as a neighbor? Buy Vincent Lecavalier’s house. Lecavalier’s Florida home, which is a few doors down from Jeter, is currently on the market. (Tampa Bay Times)
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A young Boston Bruins fan received a hockey card Thursday night. Liam Fitzgerald, who was born with Down syndrome and beat a leukemia diagnosis, received the card from Upper Deck.
Connor McDavid had quite an impact on attendance in the Ontario Hockey League this season. Teams entertaining McDavid saw a 20 percent increase in attendance when the Erie Otters were in town. (NHLtoSeattle.com)
Darren Helm’s girlfriend gave birth to the couple’s daughter on a Michigan highway this week. (Detroit Red Wings)
Actor Matthew Perry was on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week and discussed his friendship with L.A. Kings’ forward Anze Kopitar.
Ken Campbell writes the Arizona Coyotes need to win the NHL Draft lottery more than the Buffalo Sabres. (The Hockey News)
In news that could prove fatal to the Flames’ playoff chances, Calgary captain Mark Giordano will have surgery for a torn biceps tendon. The 31-year-old defenseman is “done for the season,” according to GM Brad Treliving.
Giordano was brilliant this season. He finishes with 48 points in 61 games.
The Flames, barely clinging to third place in the Pacific Division, have four games remaining on their seven-game road trip. They’re in Philadelphia to play the Flyers tomorrow, before stops in Boston, Detroit and Ottawa.
According to Sports Club Stats, the Flames need to finish with a record in the neighborhood of 10-8-2 in their final 20 games to give themselves a reasonable chance of qualifying for the postseason.
But considerably more of a challenge without their captain.
Flyers owner: ‘These guys never, ever stop believing in themselves’
The way Ed Snider was talking after this weekend’s pair of Flyers victories, you’d think his team was on one serious roll.
“These guys never, ever stop believing in themselves,” Snider said, per CSN Philly. “They won’t quit. … We’re just playing a tough brand of hockey. It’s hard to play against us.”
To be sure, the two wins Saturday and Sunday over Nashville and Washington were impressive. Those are good teams, and Philadelphia played well against them.
And to be fair, the Flyers are 7-1-4 since the All-Star break. Which is a pretty good record.
Still — and not to be a Debbie Downer here — the two wins over the Preds and Caps were preceded by a four-game stretch in which the Flyers played bottom feeders Columbus and Buffalo twice each and took just four of eight points. Philadelphia’s only win in that four-game stretch — a stretch that represented a prime opportunity to make up even more ground in the standings — was a 2-1 decision over the Sabres.
Per Sports Club Stats, the Flyers still have an 8 percent chance of making the playoffs. Starting tonight versus Carolina (on NBCSN), they’ll need to go in the neighborhood of 14-5-3 in their last 22 games to give themselves a shot.
“It’s pretty wild, when you think about it,” Snider said. “[Steve] Mason has been out and we’ve still been able to accomplish what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
Nothing wrong with a glass-half-full attitude, we suppose.
Seattle Times editorial — ‘Bring a professional hockey team to Seattle area’
“New York investor Ray Bartoszek nearly landed a deal to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to the Seattle area in 2013, and is now aiming for a huge parcel south of Boeing Field owned by Seattle real-estate developer David Sabey,” wrote the newspaper in an editorial. “A second group involves former NBA team executive Jac Sperling and a Bellevue site near the future Sound Transit station.
“Both are more palatable than the effort, led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen, to shoehorn an arena next to Seattle’s working waterfront, with hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from Seattle.”
Hansen’s plan is also reliant on the landing of an NBA franchise to play in the arena. And unfortunately for Hansen, the NBA just doesn’t have any teams available at the moment.
Not that the alternative sites haven’t raised their own doubts. However, the more time passes, the more Hansen’s dream appears to be fading.
“As things stand right now, there’s no building,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told ESPN.com for its story on Seattle.
“I don’t know what speed or not groups are moving at. We’re just listening to expressions of interest. People from three different places in greater Seattle are saying ‘We’re interested and we think we can get a building,’ but nobody has a building.”