PHT Morning Skate: Mike Smith obliterates stick after allowing five goals

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–It was a tough night at the office for Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. He allowed five goals on 31 shots in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. After Matt Puempel scored the Rangers’ sixth goal, Smith took his frustration out on his stick. (Top)

–ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun sat down with former Maple Leaf Wendel Clark, who will be suiting up in Saturday’s Centennial Classic alumni game at BMO Field. “Well, it’s a lot of fun,” Clarke said of playing outdoors. “You get back to the roots of it [when you’re] outside playing. This one is a little fancier than the weeds growing on the side of the ponds where we started. But it’s always a great reminder — and a spectacle and fun for the players as well as the fans.” (ESPN)

–If you haven’t heard of Rasmus Dahlin yet, I’m sure that’s going to change in the near future. The 16-year-old is currently playing with Sweden at the World Junior Hockey Championship and despite his young age, he’s been terrific. Dahlin is expected to be the first overall pick in the 2018 draft and he’s drawing comparisons to players like Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman. (WorldJunior2017.com)

–With so much parity in the league, the NHL has become incredibly unpredictable. Any team can win on any given night. Who thought the Devils could go into Washington with their backup goalie and come out on top? Here are the highlights from New Jersey’s shootout win:

–When he was 11, Devils rookie Miles Wood sent Alex Ovechkin a letter asking for an autograph. Wood warned Ovechkin that if he didn’t send a signature back, he’d have to bodycheck him when they met in the NHL. Ovechkin didn’t reply at the time, but Wood finally got that autograph last night. “When I was in warmups, I looked over at him and we smiled at each other type of thing. It was good to see him out there. He’s huge in person. That’s something I learned,” said Wood. (Bergen Record)

Brandon Saad wrote a fantastic piece for The Players’ Tribune. He talked about growing up in Pittsburgh, winning two Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and he discussed the incredible run the Blue Jackets are on right now. “As tempting as it is to look at the standings, or to try to picture where this team is going, we can’t do that. We really are taking it slow. We’re just trying to improve on what we’ve started here. Torts makes sure we run a very professional locker room, and that we don’t get too high or too low,” Saad said of his current team. (The Players’ Tribune)

–After being traded from the Canadiens to the Predators, P.K. Subban performed a standup routine during Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival over the summer. The show was a success, as he had everyone cracking up throughout his set. But Subban admitted that making people laugh in that setting isn’t easy. “Remember, I did it in a city where everybody knows me, where I played hockey and everybody there was a hockey fan. They go to cities where maybe some people aren’t as familiar with them where they have to kind of earn the respect of the room and that’s really tough,” said Subban. (CBC)