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.
“Neutral zone trap” used to be the catch-all phrase to describe hockey that was passive, bland and annoyingly successful to people not rooting for those passive, bland and annoyingly successful teams. Now it seems that shot-blocking is the new buzzword; The Globe & Mail’s Eric Duhatschek studies how hockey is “turning into pinball” because of the practice. (Does that make the Washington Capitals pinball wizards?)
The third overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft might be a tough draw for the Montreal Canadiens. (Montreal Gazette)
Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk is on the verge of hiring the guy who brought him into Dallas years ago: former Stars GM Bob Gainey. Mike Heika reports he’ll be an “important voice,” although the official title will probably be something like consultant. (Dallas Morning News)
San Jose Sharks-centric blog Fear the Fin has an interesting perspective on the Western Conference finals being that fellow Pacific Division teams Phoenix and Los Angeles will duke it out. With that in mind, they provide a rather interesting breakdown. (Fear the Fin)
The Coyotes and Kings’ season series and recent rivalry creates some serious baggage, but the victorious team could very well be the one that can put that aside. (NHL.com)
Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts focuses on the rumors of “strife” behind the scenes revolving around the Chicago Blackhawks’ power play struggles. (CBC)
Stanley Cup of Chowder poses perhaps the biggest question of the Boston Bruins’ off-season: Tuukka Rask or Tim Thomas? (SCoC)
The Phoenix Coyotes must balance “rest versus preparation.” (AZ Central)
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello believes that his team has “evolved into something special.” (Fire & Ice)
Behind Jeff Halpern’s “difficult” return after 19 games as a Washington Capitals healthy scratch. (CSNWashington.com)
Sure, Tom Stillman inherits a promising team in the St. Louis Blues, but the new owner also inherits money headaches. (St. Louis Today)
OHL goalie undergoes surgery after suffering nasty injury
On Thursday night, the OHL game between the Niagara IceDogs and London Knights was cancelled after IceDogs goalie Tucker Tynan suffered a nasty injury to his leg.
The incident occurred in the opening minute of the second period when Tynan and a Knights player collided resulting in the 17-year-old suffering a nasty gash on his leg. Trainers and paramedics were on the ice for a while before they were able to take Tynan off the ice on a stretcher.
The young netminder was eventually taken to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Thankfully, the IceDogs were able to announce that Tynan’s surgery was a success and that he was in stable condition.
We would like to sincerely thank our training and medical staff, @GoLondonKnights training staff, the parademics onsite, and the medical staff of the Niagara Health System in St. Catharines for their immediate and precise attention in treating Tucker Tynan tonight.
“You never expect an injury like that to occur so your first reaction is just to hope and pray for the player that has been hurt,” said Knights Associate General Manager Rob Simpson, per Global News.
“Right now we are all praying for Tucker and hoping he can have a speedy recovery.”
Similar injuries have occurred in hockey before. Former Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk suffered a horrific gash to his throat in March of 1989. Also, Donald Audette’s wrist was cut by a skate in December of 2001, and Richard Zednik took a skate to the throat from a teammate while with the Florida Panthers. These injuries are all just so frightening and unfortunate.
There’s still no word on how long Tynan will need to stay in hospital or how long his recovery will be, but it’s just encouraging to hear that he’s doing better.
1. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks probably had no business winning this game. They were badly outshot, outplayed, and needed to rely on their goalie to keep them in it. Fortunately for the Canucks, Markstrom was up to the challenge and played one of the best games of his career as he stopped all 43 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime win. He held on just long enough for Elias Pettersson to score the game-winning goal thanks to a fluky assist from an unlikely source. Read all about it here.
2. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers. The Rangers spoiled Bob Boughner’s San Jose coaching debut with a 6-3 win that was highlighted by another huge game for Panarin. He scored three goals and added an assist in the win to continue his incredible 2019-20 performance. His first year with the Rangers has been everything the team could have hoped for as he is now up to 18 goals and 41 total points in 31 games. The Sharks, meanwhile, are now 0-5-1 in their previous six games.
3. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres. His point streak is now up to 15 consecutive games thanks to a two-goal effort in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. It is the second game in a row that Eichel has scored a pair of goals as he continues to climb the NHL’s scoring leaderboard. He is unstoppable right now and trying to carry the Sabres to a playoff spot all by himself.
Other notable performances from Thursday
The Detroit Red Wings’ losing streak has finally come to an end. They were winners for the first time since Nov. 12 thanks to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to snap what had been a 12-game losing streak. Robby Fabbri continued his strong play since joining the team with a pair of goals while Filip Zadina recorded three points.
The Calgary Flames improved to a perfect 7-0-0 under new coach Geoff Ward thanks to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Johnny Gaudreau scored a pair of goals as part of a three-goal third period for the Flames to get the win.
Tristan Jarry recorded his third shutout in his past four starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they were 1-0 winners over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus coach John Tortorella had no words for his team’s lackluster performance. Read about it here.
Clayton Keller scored a pair of goals for the Coyotes in their 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks to put them back in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Panarin’s hat trick on Thursday was the third of his career, all of them coming with different teams. [NHL PR]
Joe Thornton played in career game No. 1,600 on Thursday, making him and Patrick Marleau the first set of teammates to have 1,600 games played in their careers. [NHL PR]
The Islanders’ points percentage of .733 is the second highest in franchise history through the first 31 games of a season. [NHL PR]
Buffalo Sabres 4, Nashville Predators 3
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Boston Bruins 2
New York Islanders 3, Florida Panthers 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 1, Columbus Blue Jackets 0 (OT)
Detroit Red Wings 5, Winnipeg Jets 2
St. Louis Blues 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2
Minnesota Wild 6, Edmonton Oilers 5
Calgary Flames 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Arizona Coyotes 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2
Los Angeles Kings 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
Vancouver Canucks 1, Carolina Hurricanes 0 (OT)
New York Rangers 6, San Jose Sharks 3
Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to win in the NHL.
The Vancouver Canucks received a healthy dose of it on Thursday night.
They were 1-0 winners against the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to an incredible goaltending performance from Jacob Markstrom and an overtime goal from emerging superstar Elias Pettersson. Markstrom’s performance gave them a chance, but it was a stroke of good fortune and a filthy finish from Pettersson that put them in the win column.
While the stat sheet will officially give the assist on Pettersson’s goal to Brock Boeser, the real assist came from an abandoned stick that previously belonged to Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin. As the Canucks controlled play in the offensive zone, Slavin lost his stick in a battle for the puck with Boeser.
It would prove to be costly for the Hurricanes because, well, watch for yourself in the video above.
Maybe Pettersson still ends up collecting the puck and scores the winner anyway if that stick isn’t sitting there. But Slavin’s stick sitting in the exact perfect spot made it significantly easier for him to score the winner.