PHT Morning Skate: On Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron’s ‘unlikely’ partnership

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–Bruins linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have developed a strong bond on and off the ice. Away from the rink, they’re great friends and on the ice, there aren’t many duos that are better. “We both like to hound the puck. We’re both strong on it down low. Whenever I was in the corner going after the puck, he just seemed to be able to read and react really well off me. I would do the same off him,” said Marchand. (Boston Globe)

–The relationship between a starting and backup goalie isn’t always strong, but in Nashville, Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros appear to be the best of friends. “I think it comes pretty naturally. Guys always joke around, saying, ‘There’s your daddy’ and ‘There’s your son.’ If there’s something I can pass along to him, I try to do that,” said Rinne. (The Tennessean)

–Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei has played pretty well this season. NY Post writer Larry Brooks argues that Skjei has proven himself as one of the top-six defensemen on the team, but he also defended head coach Alain Vigneault’s decision to bench him before the holiday break. (NY Post)

–There’s a number of reasons why the Canadiens are better this year than they were last year, and one of them has to be Alexander Radulov. Many people raised their eyebrows when the Habs signed him over the summer, but he’s proved to be just what they needed in 2016-17.  (Sports Illustrated)

–With the winter classic less than a week away, Jake Allen showed off his vintage goalie equipment at practice. I have to admit, the color scheme is pretty sweet. (BarDown)

–Here’s an interesting one! If your team was a holiday dessert, what kind of dessert would they be? Some of the answers are hilarious. The Maple Leafs, for example, would be “way under baked molasses cookies that need about 2-3 minutes more in the oven just to be considered edible, and yet everybody refuses to shut up about how good they will be when they’re done.” (Five for Howling)