PHT Morning Skate: Matthews ready to bounce back; Kings need culture change

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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 New York Islanders need Mathew Barzal to step up his game if they’re going to upset the Penguins. (The Sports Daily)

• How did the Pens and Isles do in their head-to-head matchups during the regular season? (Pensburgh)

• In order to have postseason success, the Dallas Stars will need to find some secondary scoring. (Defending Big D)

• The Predators are hoping that trade acquisitions Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle play their best hockey in the playoffs. (NHL.com/Predators)

• The Columbus Blue Jackets should relax because no one expects them to win in the first round. (Dark Blue Jacket)

Nikita Kucherov will likely win the Hart Trophy even though he shouldn’t, according to Raw Charge.

• Blues GM Doug Armstrong and forward Ryan O'Reilly had a long discussion about trust. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Patrik Laine has to be a difference maker for the Winnipeg Jets this postseason. (Jets Nation)

• Brando Carlo is finally going to make his postseason debut for the Boston Bruins. (Bruins Daily)

• The Leafs need to win the special teams battle if they’re going to have a chance to take down the Bruins. (Leafs Nation)

Auston Matthews is ready to bounce back after a tough playoff series against the Bruins last year. (TSN)

Ryan Reaves feels like his game is perfectly suited for the playoffs. (Sinbin.Vegas)

• How did a San Jose Sharks t-shirt end up in the “Mighty Ducks” movie? NBC Sports Bay Area found out. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

• Everyone has a story to share about “Jumbo” Joe Thornton. (The Score)

• The Blackhawks could have a very different offseason in 2019. (NBC Sports Chicago)

• Will Jeff Carter be a Los Angeles King next season? (Mayor’s Manor)

• In order for the Kings to get better, GM Rob Blake believes they need to improve the culture around the team and their practice habits. (NHL)

• Now that Joel Quenneville is no longer available, Scott Gordon remains a serious candidate for the head coaching job in Philadelphia. (Courier-Post)

• Finally, episode two of “Puckland” features the Maine Mariners prepping for their inaugural season:

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