PHT Morning Skate: Darling delivers a belt-worthy performance


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

After a 42-save performance in relief of Corey Crawford in Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators, goaltender Scott Darling received the team’s player of the game belt from captain Jonathan Toews.

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The Hockey News looks at who on each of the 16-playoff teams deserves the Stanley Cup first after commissioner Gary Bettman hands it to their respective captain. (THN)

During Wednesday night’s Binghamton Senators’ 6-5 overtime victory against the Utica Comets, Jacob Markstrom and Peter Mannino squared off in a good old goalie fight. The two combined for 36 minutes in penalties.

Patrick Kane delivers pizzas to a local Chicago fire hall as part of the Blackhawks’ “What’s your goal” contest.

Thrashers goalie Chris Mason out with MCL sprain

If Thrashers fans are worried about Ondrej Pavelec getting overworked, they might want to start stressing out a bit more now. Pavelec’s backup Chris Mason, who left his start Saturday night with injury, will be out for an undetermined amount of time with a sprained MCL.

Before the season started, Mason was penciled in to be the Thrashers starting goalie but the play of youngster Pavelec in training camp and throughout this season has cemented him in as the top goalie. Mason was getting a rare start against the Stars on Saturday when he was bumped into by a teammate and went down.

Taking Mason’s spot as Pavelec’s caddy will be former standout at Denver University Peter Mannino. Mannino has been holding things down in the AHL for a couple years now in the Atlanta organization. He’s played in four career NHL games, three with the Isles and one with Atlanta.

Atlanta Thrashers activate Ondrej Pavelec from IR

While this afternoon brought about its fair share of bad news, there are at least a couple pockets of sunshine.

Take, for instance, the fact that the Atlanta Thrashers activated Ondrej Pavelec from the injured reserve (and sent backup Peter Mannino to the minors) today. As you may remember, Pavelec suffered a concussion after a scary fainting incident during the team’s season opener against the Washington Capitals.

Last we heard, doctors were unable to target the exact reason he fainted, as they apparently didn’t detect any defects (such as the heart problems that ended former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer’s career) after extensive testing.

The Thrashers have big hopes for the 23-year-old Pavelec. He showed flashes of brilliance during the 2009-10 season, although his 42 game stats were pretty pedestrian: he posted a 14-18-7 record, 3.29 GAA and 90.6 save percentage.

Aside from one brief relief appearance after Chris Mason was shelled in an October 22 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mannino was more or less on the roster so the Thrashers could dress the minimum two goalies. He did stop 15 out of 16 shots in a little more than 38 minutes in net, though.

It’s unclear exactly when Pavelec will start again, but it might even happen this week.

Ondrej Pavelec collapsed due to fainting spell


With Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec out of the hospital, the question about why he collapsed to the ice in Atlanta on Friday night has finally been answered. The Thrashers released this update as to what happened to Pavelec and what his immediate future holds.

Ondrej Pavelec was released from the hospital yesterday following two days of testing.  Preliminary results indicate Ondrej had a neurocardiogenic syncope episode (a type of fainting spell), which caused him to fall and hit his head on the ice, leading to the subsequent concussion and loss of consciousness.  He was cleared to return home following a battery of testing on his heart and brain.   For precautionary measures, he is undergoing further tests on his heart as well as blood and genetic testing this week.  If all goes as expected, he will be medically cleared following those results and will be available to resume playing at the conclusion of any symptoms from his concussion.

While many are still worried that there could be something else wrong with Pavelec, to hear that it was just a fainting spell is a bit of a relief. We won’t know for sure if Pavelec is out of danger until other tests are completed, but if this is all he’s got to deal with that’s great news. Unfortunately, Pavelec also suffered a concussion thanks to his fall to the ice and that could prove to be more of an issue later on.

In roster moves, the Thrashers sent Drew McIntyre back to Chicago in the AHL and have recalled former Denver University star goalie Peter Mannino to take his spot. Mannino was due to be called up initially but was feeling under the weather at the time. As for when Pavelec could return to the lineup, his agent Allan Walsh is feeling confident that he could be back soon.