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.
Carolina’s Jeff Skinner has nine goals in his last nine games. You might say he’s in the zone. (News & Observer)
Editor’s Note: Pro Football Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter has some fascinating ideas for what to do with the penalty box. Wonder what he’d say about this after Dustin Brown’s kneeing incident against San Jose. (L.A. Kings Insider)
Need something to lift you up today? Check out one Red Wings fan’s story about how hockey saved her life. (manhandles)
Kudos to Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen for winning his 100th game with the Stars. (Stars)
The Blackhawks called up Jason LaBarbera from the AHL. Fare thee well, Kent Simpson. (Blackhawks)
Dylan McIlrath’s time with the Rangers is at an end for now, he and Arron Asham were sent down while J.T. Miller was recalled. (Blueshirts United)
Finally, Buffalo’s Ville Leino drew a tripping call on Boston’s Milan Lucic during the Sabres’ 4-2 win over the Bruins. He… May have embellished a bit. (Josh Gold-Smith)
The mighty Chicago Blackhawks came into Saturday with a three-game winning streak while the unpredictable Toronto Maple Leafs had lost three in a row. You can cue Chris Berman’s go-to “That’s why they play the game” line, as the Maple Leafs blew the Blackhawks out 7-3 tonight.
Don’t act like you saw that one coming …
Much was made about the Maple Leafs’ uneven scoring coming into this contest, yet The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle captures the turnaround quite well:
One other stat that shows how unexpected this outcome was for many: it’s been almost a decade since the Leafs beat Chicago, as their last win against the ‘Hawks came on Feb. 12, 2003, according to Mirtle.
While the Maple Leafs enjoyed contributions from a variety of players, the Blackhawks probably feel better about acquiring Jason LaBarbera after tonight’s action. Antti Raanta was pulled after two periods of play, giving way to Kent Simpson, whose NHL debut didn’t go swimmingly.
It’s a long season, so upsets can happen. The Maple Leafs showed that tonight, and face a chance to build momentum, as seven of their next 10 games take place in Toronto.