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PHT Morning Skate: Where hockey turns into pinball

May 10, 2012, 7:30 AM EDT

Chuck Kobasew, Gabriel Landeskog, Kyle Quincey, Jason Garrison AP

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.

“Neutral zone trap” used to be the catch-all phrase to describe hockey that was passive, bland and annoyingly successful to people not rooting for those passive, bland and annoyingly successful teams. Now it seems that shot-blocking is the new buzzword; The Globe & Mail’s Eric Duhatschek studies how hockey is “turning into pinball” because of the practice. (Does that make the Washington Capitals pinball wizards?)

The third overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft might be a tough draw for the Montreal Canadiens. (Montreal Gazette)

Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk is on the verge of hiring the guy who brought him into Dallas years ago: former Stars GM Bob Gainey. Mike Heika reports he’ll be an “important voice,” although the official title will probably be something like consultant. (Dallas Morning News)

San Jose Sharks-centric blog Fear the Fin has an interesting perspective on the Western Conference finals being that fellow Pacific Division teams Phoenix and Los Angeles will duke it out. With that in mind, they provide a rather interesting breakdown. (Fear the Fin)

The Coyotes and Kings’ season series and recent rivalry creates some serious baggage, but the victorious team could very well be the one that can put that aside. (

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts focuses on the rumors of “strife” behind the scenes revolving around the Chicago Blackhawks’ power play struggles. (CBC)

Stanley Cup of Chowder poses perhaps the biggest question of the Boston Bruins’ off-season: Tuukka Rask or Tim Thomas? (SCoC)

The Phoenix Coyotes must balance “rest versus preparation.” (AZ Central)

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello believes that his team has “evolved into something special.” (Fire & Ice)

Behind Jeff Halpern‘s “difficult” return after 19 games as a Washington Capitals healthy scratch. (

Sure, Tom Stillman inherits a promising team in the St. Louis Blues, but the new owner also inherits money headaches. (St. Louis Today)

  1. govtminion - May 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Simple answer: Rask. Nothing against Thomas- let’s be honest, he’ll never have to buy a drink in Boston again for life- but he’s also pushing 40. Rask… well, isn’t. Thinking long term, it would be foolish to let Rask go as a free agent- but would he re-sign to ride the bench another year behind Thomas?

    Sign Rask to a three or four year deal, see if you can trade Thomas at the deadline to Western team seeking a goaltender (Hi Sharks!) for a decent pick, and move forward with the future.

  2. lesleyvissersfacelift - May 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I totally agree with every point and idea in Duhatschek’s column. Bring back firewagon hockey any way you can.

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