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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. (CSNNE.com)

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)

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