PHT Morning Skate: Maple Leafs outside of NHL’s elite, playoffs in Denver?

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Elite? Maple Leafs still outside of NHL’s best at the midway mark. (Sportsnet)

• Playoffs? Playoffs?! Is it a possibility for the Colorado Avalanche this season? (Mile High Hockey)

• If the line ain’t broke in Anaheim, don’t fix it. (OC Register)

• Will Olympic participation be a big hurdle in future CBA talks? (Spector’s Hockey)

• A renewed David Backes is helping drive the Boston Bruins forward (Fanrag)

• Is Mikkel Boedker about to turn his season around? (NBC Bay Area)

• Returning from injury, where does Marc Methot fit on a crowded blue line in Dallas? (Blackout Dallas)

• Permanent shrine to display hat trick hats to be built in Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• Arizona State’s journey from nothing to NCAA powerhouse. (NCAA.com)

• Elliotte Friedman’s 31 thoughts. (Sportsnet)

• Maple Leafs celebrate the life of Johnny Bower (The Sporting News)

• This fan finally made it to the NHL – as an equipment manager. (CBC.ca)

• Had they have gone: What Olympic rosters would look like if the NHL was involved in PyeongChang. (ESPN)

• That feeling when you’re headed to the Olympics. (TMJ4)


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck