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.
For years, it’s felt like the Maurice Richard Trophy might as well have been called the Alex Ovechkin Award. Rick Nash is really having an amazing goal-scoring year in 2014-15, however, setting up quite the thrilling race between two of the NHL’s best snipers.
What’s especially cool is that the Capitals and Rangers play on April 11, setting up a potential final showdown. So who gets it? (The Hockey News)
The Avalanche are trying to find the right balance between winning and building. (The Denver Post)
Mike Richards seems to be making lemonade out of AHL lemons so far. (Los Angeles Times)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
TSN notes that Steve Montador was a plaintiff in a concussion case against the NHL. (TSN)
Alexander Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky each scored twice Sunday night as the Washington Capitals defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-3.
Marcus Johansson’s 14th of the season at 3:27 of the second period stood to be the game winner.
Ovechkin, who also assisted on Burakovsky’s two goals, now has a league-leading 36 on the season passing Rangers’ forward Rick Nash.
Not everyone was impressed with Ovechkin’s four-point night.
Ovechkin and Ryan Getzlaf had a run-in on the ice during the first period. Post-game Getzlaf had some choice words for the Washington captain.
“I didn’t know he was going to dive the way he did tonight,” said Getzlaf per the L.A. Times’ Helene Elliott. “All over the [expletive] ice. That part of it is a little embarrassing. Pardon my language. He’s a great player.
“He’s going to score goals and make plays. That other stuff’s embarrassing.”
Trotz has shown no types of tolerance for diving, calling out others for it. Doesn't talk until Tuesday, but curious to hear his response.
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t have felt great about their slim playoff hopes when Steve Mason went down with his knee injury. For better or worse, it’s on Ray Emery, and Sunday is the kind of game he has to win.
Since taking over for Mason in February, Emery’s gone 1-0-2. The 30-year-old’s overall numbers aren’t much to brag about (9-9-3 with a .890 save percentage), but this stretch will probably make a big impact on how the league views the pugnacious puck-stopper going forward.
On the Buffalo side, Michal Neuvirth gets a chance to stretch his legs in the Sabres’ net with Jhonas Enroth shipped off to Dallas.
The situations are quite different, yet both netminders have plenty to prove today.
Blues at Panthers: Brian Elliott vs. Roberto Luongo
Lightning at Sharks: Expected starters are Ben Bishop against Antti Niemi
Capitals at Ducks: Expected starters are Justin Peters vs. John Gibson