Tag: Brendan Mikkelson

Peter DeBoer

PHT Morning Skate: Where Devils credit DeBoer’s system for success

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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.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane gained a lot of respect for the San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton when they played together for HC Davos during the lockout. They’re back to being rivals though and will face each other on Friday. (Chicago Tribune)

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson spent parts of six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, but he’s not getting emotional over his latest game against the Kings on Friday. “I’ve already played these guys a couple of times,” Johnson said. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary now.” (LA Kings Insider)

After the loss of Erik Karlsson, is it possible that the Edmonton Oilers will trade defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Ottawa Senators? (Edmonton Journal)

The New Jersey Devils’ players are crediting coach Peter DeBoer’s system for their early success. (The Globe and Mail)

To avoid more injuries like Karlsson’s season-ending Achilles laceration, should more NHL players go into games with cut-proof Kevlar socks? (Sportsnet)

The demotion of 20-year-old defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is about allowing him to get more playing time. The 2011 first-round pick averaged 15:40 minutes of ice time in six games with the Dallas Stars. (Dallas Morning News)

Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis admitted that telling 32-year-old forward Manny Malhotra, who was attempting to come back from an eye injury, that his playing days in Vancouver were over was the “the hardest thing I have done in this job.” (Vancouver Sun)

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson and forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie are both heading to the AHL on conditioning assignments. (Lightning.nhl.com)

NHL on NBCSN: Can Flyers handle Lightning’s overwhelming attack?

Braydon Coburn #5 of the Philadelphia Flyers hits Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning along the boards at the Wells Fargo Center on March 26, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(March 25, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Going into the season, the Philadelphia Flyers’ and Tampa Bay Lightning’s biggest question mark was their goaltending and defense. In the case of Philadelphia, that hasn’t been the major issue so far while the jury is still out on Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Anders Lindback.

And yet, it’s the Lightning that lead their division while the Flyers sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have overwhelmed opponents this season between the two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos, well established elite forwards Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, and 23-year-old rookie sensation Cory Conacher. When it comes to their core of forwards this season, everyone on the Lightning has been either meeting or surpassing expectations.

Philadelphia saw that first hand in its 5-1 loss to the Lightning on Jan. 27.

They weren’t able to match them blow-for-blow and a general lack of offense has been an ongoing problem for the Flyers this season. After recording 93 points last season, Claude Giroux has just six points in nine games and that still makes him one of the Flyers’ top contributors. On the Lightning that’d put him in a tie for sixth place with former Flyers defenseman Matt Carle.

The Flyers managed to stop the bleeding on Saturday when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes, but they are still in a 3-6-0 hole. That represents just under 19% of the shortened season gone without much to show for it. They need to get on a winning streak, but the Lightning will not be an easy adversary.

Probable goaltenders: PHI – Ilya Bryzgalov (3-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .920 SV%) | TBL – Anders Lindback (2-1-0, 2.41 GAA, .919 SV%)

Top scorers: PHI – Matt Read (3-4-7, 9 GP) | TBL – Steven Stamkos (7-9-16, 8 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Philadelphia – Forwards: Wayne Simmonds (concussion), Scott Hartnell (foot) Defensemen: Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Chris Pronger (concussion)
Tampa Bay – Defensemen: Brendan Mikkelson (upper body), Mattias Ohlund (knee)

Bolts coach Boucher: Salo, Carle have made “huge impact” on team


The Tampa Bay Lightning have won four straight and are off to one of the best starts in franchise history.

Most will point to the play of the “Big Three” — Steve Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, recently named the NHL’s third star of the week — as the reason for said success.

But according to head coach Guy Boucher, it’s a pair of free agent defensemen: Matt Carle and Sami Salo.

“A huge impact,” he told the Tampa Bay Times in describing the additions of Salo and Carle. “What they do is solidify pairings, not what they do individually.

The two were acquired by GM Steve Yzerman in July, and cost a pretty penny.

Carle, 28, inked a six-year, $33 million deal while Salo, 38, signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal — one that comes with additional risk of being a guaranteed cap hit, because of his over-35 designation.

Salo currently leads the NHL in plus-minus (+10) and all Tampa blueliners with five points through six games.

Carle leads the team in time on ice (23:01) and has 1G-2A-3PTS through six games.

Yet individual statistics don’t tell the whole story. By bringing the two aboard, other defensemen have been put in positions to succeed — most notably Victor Hedman.

Salo is Hedman’s new defense partner, providing the young Swede with a veteran presence on the back end. As a result, Hedman is now second to Salo in d-man scoring.

“When you look at Heddy,” Boucher said, “he needed an older guy to give him a chance to go on offense without having to worry what’s going to happen back [on defense.]”

Tampa can now confidently go eight deep on defense — Keith Aulie, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Brendan Mikkelson and Brian Lee have all played this season — and primed to replicate its success of two years ago, when the Bolts were one win away from the Stanley Cup final.