World Series

Gallant Red Wings Yzerman
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PHT Morning Skate: Why Gallant was fired; Will Yzerman bring him to Red Wings?

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.

• Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon explains why the team fired Gerard Gallant. The vague “underperforming” explanation cements something, to me: this is a defining decision by McCrimmon. It’s striking how many players said that they loved playing for Gallant, by the way. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• Gallant developed a friendship with Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman over the years. (Witness that in that glorious main image from Getty Images/Sports Illustrated’s George Tiedemann from 1988.) Things already seemed shaky for Jeff Blashill beyond 2019-20. What happens now that Gallant is available? (Detroit Free-Press)

• Frank Seravalli breaks down a brutal, stunning season for NHL coaches. (TSN)

• Ilya Kovalchuk discusses why things didn’t work with the Kings, and the fit in Montreal. Kovalchuk explains to Eric Engels that he’s “useless” playing 7-10 minutes per night. (Sportsnet)

• Playing in (and winning) a World Series must have been nerve-wracking for Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals. Then again, his thought on suiting up during a Capitals practice was “I hope I don’t die.” Good stuff. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

David Perron provides some fascinating insight on how he looks at certain hockey analytics. He also explains some of the stats the Blues emphasize. (The Point)

• More on the Blues: how the team shakes off injuries. (St. Louis Game Time)

• The Lightning are red-hot right now, and critics are wrong: their defense is strong. (Raw Charge)

• Key tactical adjustments make for an improved New York Rangers. (Blue Seat)

• The Blue Jackets aren’t just surviving in net post-Sergei Bobrovsky, they’re thriving. It sets up something unexpected: a potential goalie battle between two netminders who are playing well. (The Hockey News)

• Gus Katsaros does a deep analytics dive on the Devils. (Rotoworld)

• Need a sign that things are odd in 2020? How about this: the Capitals power play is struggling. (Nova Caps)

• Scotty Wazz shares news on TV coverage for “3 Ice,” a 3-on-3 summer league. If it can be anywhere near as cool as a similar basketball league, sign me up. Bonus points if it includes barely-retired players akin to Joe Johnson tearing it up. It’s starting up in June 2021.(Scotty Wazz)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Jason Varitek talks Bruins, 2004 World Series

Former Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek had a chance to chat with the NHL Live crew before Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final (airing on NBC; stream here).

Varitek looked back at memories of his two World Series wins, particularly his first one in 2004, when the Red Sox rallied to break an 86-year “curse.” Varitek also won a WS in 2007 during his 15-year MLB career, all with the Red Sox.

Jeremy Roenick asked Varitek what it felt like to spend his entire career with the Red Sox, and the domino effect of Boston sports teams winning championship after championship. You can watch it all in the video above.

MORE BLUES-BRUINS:
• Bruins get Chara for Game 5
• Three keys to Game 5

• Blues fans’ baby was in Stanley Cup 20 minutes after birth
• Laila Anderson bobblehead created to benefit St. Louis Hospital
• Bruins confident they can overcome injuries
• Blues defense benefiting from HOFer Larry Robinson’s experience

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Chris Carpenter is also good at hockey

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You know those guys that are naturally good at sports? They’re just like me and you…except they’re tall, in shape, super coordinated and rarely trip while walking.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is one of those guys. At 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, he’s blessed with the type of physique and natural athletic ability to make it far in baseball, which he has.

And he might’ve made it far in hockey as well.

Carpenter skated with the St. Louis Blues this afternoon, just six days after being the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.

According to NHL.com, Carpenter has a pretty rich hockey history:

When he was 16, Carpenter was an all-state defenseman for Trinity High School in Manchester, N.H. He was an all-stater his last three seasons in high school, and scouts from the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins were checking to see if he had an interest in pursuing hockey on a full-time basis.

Carpenter chose baseball instead.

“It was always a dream to do that (play hockey), but I think I chose the right route,” said Carpenter, who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays with the No. 15 pick in 1993. “Hockey made you much tougher, I know that. Growing up playing hockey made me much tougher than baseball would have. It’s a tougher sport, funner sport. I enjoy it a lot.”

The Blues certainly enjoyed having Carpenter at practice. Injured forward David Perron was tweeting up a storm, informing followers that Carpenter was “snapping pucks around” and that “his baseball skills came out when he batted one out of the air in the net.”

Here’s video of Carpenter during today’s skate:

So yeah, Chris Carpenter is pretty good at baseball and hockey. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled not being good at any sports.