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.
Alex Ovechkin surprised two fans that lost their house and most prized possessions in a fire by giving them an autographed jersey.
NHL general managers will honor Bryan Murray tonight as all 30 GMs get together in Boca Raton, Florida for the GMs meetings. (Ottawa Sun)
New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang isn’t worried about his critics. (Sportsnet)
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Senators’ goaltender Andrew Hammond, better known these days as “The Hamburglar”, picked up a burger off the ice following Ottawa’s 2-1 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
On Saturday night the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones wore jerseys resembling the famous Iron Man suit. (Puck Daddy)
Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner recently met and signed autographs for a fan who beat him at words with friends. (RMNB)
During a stoppage in play between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders on Saturday night Carey Price posed for a selfie with a fan. You can see the image here.
Time will tell if the Ottawa Senators have enough time to chase down a 2015 playoff spot, but either way, Andrew Hammond is making the most of this run.
Sunday set a new mark as far as fan interaction goes for “The Hamburglar,” as a fan threw a hamburger onto the ice after Hammond powered a 2-1 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers and, well … just look:
Wow. If this thing takes off like plastic rats in Florida, we could see some greasy nights in Ottawa.
Again, it’s been quite the run for the 27-year-old:
Check out a few more Hammond-related stats:
There’s not much to this post, but sometimes, you just want to feast your eyes on some big-time goals.
First, let’s check out Vladimir Tarasenko’s sinister snipe against the Dallas Stars, which served as a game-winner for the St. Louis Blues in a 3-0 decision:
That goal marks Tarasenko’s 34th of 2014-15.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek has had a fantastic season, but he was struggling to score even-strength goals, until he beat Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond with this one:
Voracek still has 21 goals this season anyway, so it’s not like he’s been totally snake-bitten.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Ottawa sticks with Andrew Hammond
Ottawa is seven points back in the battle for a Wild Card spot with just 15 games remaining in its schedule. Under those desperate circumstances, the Senators are putting their fate in the hands of 27-year-old rookie Andrew Hammond. Given that Hammond hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his 11 appearances this season, it’s hard to fault Senators coach Dave Cameron for his desire to ride the hot hand.
The Senators will be challenged by the Philadelphia Flyers, which are coming off of a 7-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday. Steve Mason played in that contest, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see former Senators goalie Ray Emery start to provide Mason with a breather.
Panthers at Rangers: Dan Ellis will probably start for Florida while Cam Talbot has been confirmed for New York.
Canes at Blue Jackets: No word yet on Carolina, but there’s a good chance it will be Anton Khudobin after Cam Ward played Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod for Columbus.
Blues at Stars: Jake Allen will start for St. Louis. Nothing’s confirmed for Dallas, but it will likely be Kari Lehtonen.
Bruins at Capitals: Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t reveal Sunday’s starter, but Braden Holtby will probably play for Washington.
Preds at Ducks: Nothing’s confirmed, but it will likely be starters Pekka Rinne and Frederik Andersen between the pipes.
If there’s a building goaltending narrative in 2014-15, it’s been about netminders unexpectedly redeeming themselves or almost appearing out of the blue.
Devan Dubnyk went from a wayward soul last season to a possible Vezina nominee for the Minnesota Wild. The New York Rangers somehow didn’t miss a beat when Cam Talbot took over for Henrik Lundqvist. The question in Ottawa went from “Who is Andrew Hammond?” to “How do we beat him?”
It’s pretty early to add the man who was the Florida Panthers’ third goalie to the mix, but Dan Ellis certainly made a case that he should be in the argument with another strong performance Saturday.
Ellis stopped all 27 Carolina Hurricanes shots to grab a 2-0 win for Florida. He’s now currently on a three-game winning streak (and is 3-0-1 since taking over) after spending most of his year in the AHL.
Ellis, 34, comes into this situation in a fittingly weird way, as Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya were injured in the same odd game.
He doesn’t fit into the story of many others who were virtually unproven – Ellis now has 208 regular season games under his belt – yet the league soured enough on him that he wasn’t offered one of 60 NHL goaltending jobs to start 2014-15.
The Panthers still face a very, very long shot to get into the postseason, especially as Tuukka Rask really builds back into “totally worth $7 million” form.
If nothing else, it’s a cool story that follows an interesting pattern, though.