PHT Morning Skate: Stumbling Sabres; Connor’s finishing for Jets

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

• Things are continuing to snowball for the Sabres. Said Rasmus Dahlin after another shutout loss to the Flyers on Sunday: “It all comes down to competing. Work for each other, be a good teammate. Right now, we have nothing to lose so we have to work our balls off every game.” [Buffalo Hockey Beat]

Semyon Varlamov and Marc-Andre Fleury have been helping fantasy teams all season long. [Rotoworld]

• Fleury? Andrei Vasilevskiy? Who has the early edge in the Vezina Trophy race? [The Score]

• Is the Hart Trophy race down to Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid? [Featurd]

• A good sign: Matthews and Frederik Andersen were back at practice for the Maple Leafs on Sunday. [TSN]

• Looking at Mika Zibanejad‘s slow start to the 2020-21 NHL season. [PHT]

• How Kyle Connor has turned himself into one of the NHL’s best finishers. [Sportsnet]

• John Tortorella on job security following another Blue Jackets loss: “You know what … I never worry about that. I do my job the best I can. If people want to make decisions on me, that’s their decision. I never worry about that. I go about my business, and I’m going to coach this team the best way I possibly can.” []

• No surprise here: Chris Pryor, who previously worked with Ron Hextall in Philadelphia, has been hired by the Penguins as director of player personnel. [Tribune-Review]

• A healthy roster is leading to more complete efforts for the Flyers. [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

• If there’s a deal to be had between the Predators and Flyers for Mattias Ekholm, the scouting of prospects has begun. [On the Forecheck]

• Speaking of trades, the Ducks and Canucks have been working away at a Jake Virtanen for Danton Heinen swap. [Canucks Army]

• “The Vegas Golden Knights have terminated a brief partnership with UpickTrade, a company based in Mexico that sells sports betting picks, including on the NHL.” [ESPN]

Matt Dumba launched his inaugural Hockey Without Limits Camp on Saturday as part of Hockey Day Minnesota 2021. [Star Tribune]

• Anthony Burns of Pittsburgh is the first of three Most Valuable Teachers of the Month winners as part of this year’s NHL and NHLPA Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher Program. He received a $10,000 check for technology equipment for his school district as part of the award. []


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

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