PHT Morning Skate: Stamkos, Tavares no fans of playoff format; Brind’Amour for Jack Adams?

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• It would mean the world to the city of Toronto if the Maple Leafs were able to end that long Stanley-Cup drought. (Sports Illustrated)

• The Chicago Blackhawks are fighting for their playoff lives (NHL)

John Tavares and Steven Stamkos aren’t fans of the current NHL playoff format. (Toronto Star)

• There’s no doubt that Nikita Kucherov deserves to be the Hart Trophy winner in 2018-19. (The Score)

• Fatherhood has helped some Canadiens players push through difficult parts of an NHL. (Montreal Gazette)

• The Ottawa Senators are terrible, while their AHL affiliate is killing it in the minors. So what do they do with their top prospects? (Ottawa Citizen)

• The Guardian argues that hockey has always been about white machismo. How much can that change over the next few years? (The Guardian)

Erik Gustafsson has found a way to make an impact with the Chicago Blackhawks this season. (Chicago Sun-Times)

• Which NCAA free agents might interest the Vegas Golden Knights? (Sinbin Vegas)

• The Montreal Canadiens made an 11-year-old’s wish come true. “Going in there and seeing him sign the contract was probably the biggest piece to this whole puzzle. That was probably the most important to Samuel. For that to happen first thing was very humbling,” explained Clark. “It’s been a rough year and it’s moments like these for us that are important. I will be Habs fan for the rest of my life now. When I go home, I may even have my car painted blue and red.” (

Dylan Larkin will miss another week because of a strained neck. (Detroit Free Press)

• The Hurricanes are expecting Calvin de Haan to recover from his eye injury. (News & Observer)

Andrei Vasilevskiy and Frederik Andersen have been the two best goalies in the NHL this season. (The Point Hockey)

Matthew Tkachuk is one of the unique players in the league and the Flames will have to shell out some good coin to lock him up. (The Hockey News)

• The Sens need Brady Tkachuk to fill the void left by Mark Stone. (TSN)

Jonathan Drouin is a young veteran, but he’s still not a finished product. (Sportsnet)

• Former NHL defenseman Nathan Dempsey isn’t going to let his Parkinson’s diagnosis keep him off the ice. (CBC)

• The Canucks are expecting Quinn Hughes to be a difference-maker on the blue line. (Vancouver Province)

• How do you fix the Buffalo Sabres? Travis Yost takes a deeper look. (Buffalo News)

Jason Pominville‘s contribution to the Sabres has been pretty underrated. (Die by the Blade)

Casey Cizikas has been a valuable contributor on the Islanders fourth line. (The Sports Daily)

• The Pittsburgh Penguins’ third line seems to have found some nice chemistry. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

• It’s rare to see a trade work out for both teams, but Strome-for-Schmaltz swap has been good for both the Coyotes and Blackhawks. (NBC Sports Chicago)

• The Elmira Enforcers have been fined $25,000 because their owner pushed an official. (Bus League Hockey)

• Jaden Lindo just continues winning different hockey titles. (Color of Hockey)

• Why Rod Brind’Amour should be a Jack Adams Award candidate. (Cardiac Cane)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.