PHT Morning Skate: Surging Islanders; resting Matthews

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.

• The Islanders continue chugging along and picking up points as they rest comfortably atop the East Division. [ESPN]

• Resting Auston Matthews and his nagging wrist will go a long way towards helping the Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup hopes. [National Post]

• A brief dip in results has decreased Toronto’s lead in the North Division. [Sportsnet]

• Why rental deals should be all the rage at next month’s NHL trade deadline. [Zone Coverage]

• Give your fantasy hockey team a boost this week by adding Scott Laughton and Paul Stastny. [NBC Sports Edge]

• Check out this save by the son of NBC Sports’ A.J. Mleczko:

Carter Verhaeghe, Artem Zub, and Pius Suter are a few NHLers playing their way onto people’s radars this season. [The Score]

• Goaltending and utilizing cap space are some of the questions facing the Senators going forward. [TSN]

• “The San Jose Sharks will wear special warmup jerseys before their game against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Saturday. The jerseys will represent a call for unity, celebrating diversity and inclusion and paying homage to Terry Smith, the Northern California artist who designed the jerseys and created the iconic Sharks logo 30 years ago.” [NHL.com]

Erik Karlsson on GM Doug Wilson labeling the Sharks as in the middle of a “reset”: “Obviously, I did not sign here to go through a rebuild or go through what I did for 10 years in Ottawa. But it is what it is. I think that we need to find a way to build with a core group that we have here and figure out a way how to be competitive here in the upcoming years.” [NHL.com]

Cody Ceci has been one of the big surprises for the Penguins in 2021. [Pensburgh]

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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.

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