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PHT Morning Skate: Thomas Vanek explains his hot start

Feb 9, 2013, 9:22 AM EDT

Thomas Vanek 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.

Thomas Vanek‘s explanation for his hot start? A return trip home to Austria during the lockout. (AP via Sportsnet)

Ondrej Pavelec has had a less-than great start to the season and now he’s got the flu. (Winnipeg Sun)

It’s a good thing the Edmonton Oilers signed Justin Schultz in the offseason because Ryan Whitney has really struggled. (Edmonton Journal)

After one whole game off, Jimmy Howard is back in goal today for the Red Wings. (Detroit Free Press)

Things are getting weird in Columbus. Derick Brassard has a four-game point streak and was benched during their last game. Meanwhile, R.J. Umberger is pointless in 11 games and played on. This is where Yoda says, “This is why you fail.” (Columbus Dispatch)

Good news goal-lovers, penalties are on the rise in the new season. Power plays for all! (New York Times)

The Wild didn’t think they’d struggle with scoring goals but boy are they ever. (Star-Tribune)

Trade rumors are swirling, swirling, swirling around Phil Kessel in Toronto. (Globe & Mail)

David Krejci‘s search for consistency is paying off. (

Milan Michalek is under the gun to score goals with Jason Spezza out. (Ottawa Sun)

Oilers prospect Brandon Davidson is back playing hockey in the AHL after battling cancer. (Oilers)

While Team USA and Canada are dreaming up their rosters for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Slovenia has qualified in hockey for the first time. Anze Kopitar and Jan Mursak are heading for Sochi. (L.A. Kings Insider)

  1. 8man - Feb 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    This guy is just sick. He single handedly lit up the Bruins while catapulting the Sabres back from 2 down to a convincing rout. I haven’t seen that kind of capability from a guy to carry his team in a long time.

    • chicagobtech - Feb 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Take a look at Patrick Kane’s numbers as well. Either lighting the lamp himself or getting the assist on another one. Not too bad for a second line player.

      • thomasvanek - Feb 9, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        A Sabre and Kane who is from Buffalo are both lighting up the charts.

  2. drewzducks - Feb 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Beast mode !

  3. rsl22 - Feb 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Vanek has always had the skills to dominate, but it seems he’s finally got it all clicking. It would be tough to keep his pace up, but he’s on track to score 100 points in this shortened season….that’d be nuts.

    Also, am glad he sat out against the Caps so we could get a W.

  4. steelers4385 - Feb 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Explain why in gods name lindy ruff has a job?

    • rabidbillsfan - Feb 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      He has a job because he gets the most out of guys with low ceilings. Sulzer, Pardy, Foligno, Pominville, Gerbe, Gaustad, Ellis the list goes on. The problem is he has a hard time getting guys with unlimited potential to turn the corner. That list also goes on as well, Connelly, Stafford, Myers, Max Af, and so on and so forth. If he can get something, anything out of the other 2 lines, this team can be extremely dangerous. Miller has a habit of getting scoching hot at times and if 1 other line heats up, and it porbably will be the Ennis line as they are trending up, they can flip the standings quickly in the NE, ecspecially since we have 2 games in 5 days against the Bruins, at home. The Playoffs will save his job this seson I’m sure, but anything less and I think it’s time to move on. And I am probably the biggest Ruff backer there is. Something I will always admire Ruff for though is his ability to get alot of production from a team without a true playmaker besides somebody between the pipes. It always seemed like when a line cooled down, one heated up, and it didn’t matter who it was. The Kaleta, Gerbe, Gaustad line was probably the most fun line to watch in recent memory.

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