PHT Morning Skate: Schedule impact; hitting the rookie wall

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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.

• The always youthful Youppi! recently celebrated his 40th birthday. [NHL]

• How schedule strength will play a huge role in playoff races over the final three months. [TSN]

• On Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray’s statement backing head coach Randy Carlyle: “This statement does many things. It deflects blame from himself, like he always has. It deflects blame from the coach, like he always has. It implies that Murray would like to make the playoffs and that his team should be playing better, but there’s no admission that the roster is his own doing.” [Anaheim Calling]

• NHL bye weeks begin next week. Here’s the full list. [NHL.com]

• History tells us that Ryan Dzingel, Mark Stone and Matt Duchene likely won’t be Ottawa Senators for much longer. [Featurd]

• Why the “not announcing starting goalie before game” trick is a silly one played by NHL head coaches. [Mile High Hockey]

• The longest trip of the season helped the Nashville Predators turn around their road woes. [Tennessean]

• Why the San Jose Sharks would be an ideal opponent for the Dallas Stars in next year’s Winter Classic. [Defending Big D]

Alex Tuch is really making a name for himself with the Vegas Golden Knights. [Vegas Hockey Knight]

• Has Andrei Svechinkov hit the rookie wall for the Carolina Hurricanes? [News and Observer]

• The Vancouver Canucks are thinking playoffs. [Province]

• On Sergei Bobrovsky’s inevitable departure from the Columbus Blue Jackets. [My NHL Trade Rumors]

• Looking back at some of the top moments in Rick Nash’s career.  [1st Ohio Battery]

• Finally, Tie Domi is having a blast cheering on his son Max, even though he’s wearing a Canadiens uniform:

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.