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.
Phil Kessel isn’t much of a talker, but after the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that officially eliminated them from playoff contention, he was front and center taking the heat for the Leafs’ late-season collapse. (TSN)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $120,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $100 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Speaking of late-season collapses… The St. Louis Blues figured to be the runaway top team in the Western Conference and now they have the Colorado Avalanche two points behind them and the Avs own the tiebreaker. (The Post-Dispatch)
While other teams are booking their spots in the postseason, Winnipeg’s Bryan Little is wondering when his shot at the playoffs will come. (Winnipeg Sun)
Oilers forward Ryan Jones is pretty sure he won’t be in Edmonton again next season. (Edmonton Sun)
Sabres coach Ted Nolan was quite frustrated about Zac Rinaldo only getting four games for his elbow to the head of Chad Ruhwedel. (Buffalo News)
Remember Mario Lemieux? If you don’t, this look back on what he did in Pittsburgh should help you out. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Ryan Jones had an assist for the Edmonton Oilers in a losing cause Friday, then went to bat for the coaches and management team in what has been a disastrous season.
The Oilers lost to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes by a final score of 4-3. They surrendered four goals through the first 23 minutes of the evening, then tried to pull off a third-period comeback that ultimately fell short. The Oilers now have only two wins in their last 10 games.
“I thought we rebounded fairly well but it’s happened all too often. We wait until we get down in order to put the pressure on. It almost seems like we put ourselves in a situation where we have nothing to lose and then we start playing,” Jones told reporters following the game.
“It’s unacceptable. As a player you see the things that are said and written and it’s a pass-the-blame game. These guys in the back room, our coaches, our management, they don’t play the game. They send the guys out. And we play the same system as basically every other team in the NHL and it’s the players that lose and yet they (coaches and management) take the blame.
“It’s about time the guys in this locker room took a little bit of accountability on themselves and stop letting other people take the blame.”
Three days ago, Edmonton’s head coach Dallas Eakins, in his first year with the club after being one of the highly coveted available bench bosses last off-season, is aware that he could soon find himself out of a job given the results the Oilers continue to pile up.
The Edmonton Oilers announced Thursday that they have recalled defenseman Martin Marincin and forward Roman Horak from Oklahoma in the American Hockey League.
The Oilers are on the road Friday against their Alberta rivals, the Calgary Flames, as the National Hockey League’s schedule resumes after a three-day holiday break.
According to Bob Stauffer, the Oilers’ radio analyst and host on 630 CHED radio, there is the possibility forward Mark Arcobello and defenseman Philip Larsen won’t be ready to go due to injury and illness.
As per the Oilers’ online roster, forward Ryan Jones is currently on injured reserve. Last week, Jones was knocked out at a morning skate after a collision with defenseman and team captain Andrew Ference.
“Crazy,” said Edmonton’s head coach Dallas Eakins, as per the Edmonton Journal. “He got hit in the perfect spot and was out cold on the ice.”
Marincin has three goals and seven points in 24 games with the OKC Barons.
Horak, acquired last month from the Calgary Flames in exchange defenseman Ladislav Smid, has seven goals and 18 points in 31 games split between the Barons and the Flames’ AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.