PHT Morning Skate: 5 facts about the 92-93 Pens team that set the NHL winning streak record

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–The Columbus Blue Jackets are one game away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in NHL history. That Penguins team was obviously loaded with talent, but that record was set many years ago, which makes it a little hard to remember. BarDown shares five facts about that run. (BarDown)

–Many people thought shipping Shea Weber for P.K. Subban was the right call for the Preds, but a few months later, it appears as though Nashville might be lacking an identity and some leadership. “If there’s one word that describes our almost first half of the season it’s ‘inconsistency,'” general manager David Poile said. “In October we were not very good. In November we were one of the best teams in the league. In December we faltered. The question remains — are we October or are we November?” (ESPN)

–Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t appear to be himself last year, and it was ultimately one of the reasons why his team was terrible in 2015-16. This year, he’s one of the leading candidates for the Vezina and Hart trophies. “You look at his body last year and the body composition, and all his body fats and all that, you’d say it was impossible,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “But he did it. He basically sculpted his body into a different form in the off-season, and it wasn’t fat that was coming off his body, I can tell you that. That just tells you about his dedication and how serious he is about his professionalism and how he approaches every day.” (The Hockey News)

–After suffering an ugly loss to the Sabres on Tuesday night, the Rangers bounced back with a big 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–After former Bruin Milt Schmidt passed away yesterday, Sportsnet shared a terrific 2015 piece on how tough hockey players in Schmidt’s era were. Here’s an except from the article: Remembering his playing days, (Schmidt) curled back his upper lip, pointed to his front teeth and said: “These are not mine. These are Rocket Richard’s.” Story went that Richard broke Schmidt’s nose and teeth with his stick. The team doctor put Schmidt’s face back together, then Schmidt got on the ice again and drilled Richard. (Sportsnet)

Auston Matthews grabs most of the headlines in Toronto, but Rotoworld’s Gus Katsaros explains how important William Nylander‘s been for their improved power play. Nylander’s contributed to 92.3 percent of his team’s on-ice goals on the man-advantage. (Rotoworld)

–Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly visited the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto over the Christmas break and he brought plenty of holiday cheer with him. “I think that when you get time off it’s important that you try to do stuff that you might not have time for during the season regularly and it’s my first Christmas here in Toronto,” Rielly said. “You get the day off, come make a difference and just have some fun with the kids.” You can watch the video on NHL.com.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.