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.
Matt Nieto has a pretty cool looking Stormtrooper:
Chris Johnston is predicting that Toronto will be getting an extremely motivated Jonathan Bernier. (Sportsnet)
Is getting Marcus Johansson at $3.75 million for the 2015-16 campaign a good deal for the Washington Capitals? (CSN Washington)
While we’re on the subject of the Capitals, is the Johansson signing the last significant move they’ll make this summer? (CSN Washington)
Former University of New Hampshire standout Kevin Goumas has inked an AHL deal with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. (AHL.com)
It’s not too early to start talking about the 2016 draft class, is it? (Last Word on Sports)
The San Jose Sharks and especially the Pittsburgh Penguins created some great scoring chances on Monday, yet Antti Niemi and Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show.
It makes sense that the increasingly thrilling contest needed eight shootout rounds to wrap up, then, but the bottom line is that Niemi and the Sharks ultimately earned a significant 2-1 win.
Matt Nieto opened up the scoring with a 1-0 goal late in the first period. Despite some muscle-flexing from both sides (Pittsburgh fired 40 shots on goal to San Jose’s 30), Sidney Crosby was the only other player to find the net in regulation.
At least it was a standout goal for Crosby, who netted his first-ever tally against the Sharks:
The Penguins fell just short of sweeping their California stretch. Overall, they went 2-1-1 on a challenging four-game road trip. As much as they would have preferred to win, they probably feel at least somewhat content with their overall effort.
San Jose leaned on Niemi pretty heavily at times, yet they found a way to win, keeping their playoff hopes alive. They still need some breaks to go their way, but losing a game like this would have made the Sharks’ outlook quite a bit bleaker.
While it’s true that these teams rarely face each other, fans of tonight’s game can look forward to another bout between the Sharks and Penguins in Pittsburgh on March 29.
San Jose has to hope that its chances haven’t faded by then.
With just two wins in their last nine, the San Jose Sharks are shaking up their lines for tonight’s game in Dallas.
From CSN Bay Area:
Against the Stars, indications are Logan Couture will center Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels on the (top?) line, while Joe Thornton skates between Patrick Marleau and Melker Karlsson on another line. Tyler Kennedy will get bumped up to a third line role with center James Sheppard and Matt Nieto, while rookie Chris Tierney will be between Tomas Hertl and Andrew Desjardins on the fourth line.
Couture has spent most of the season skating with Marleau, while Thornton has most often been with Pavelski.
Of the four, it’s Marleau the Sharks could use more from. The 35-year-old has just 11 goals in 59 games. He finished last season with 33 goals.
Five-on-five, Marleau and Thornton haven’t skated regularly together since 2011-12.
Related: Sharks risking ‘national embarrassment’ in outdoor game: columnist