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PHT Morning Skate: Would Hawks be better off if Avs finish ahead of them?

Apr 8, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, left, reaches out with his stick to stop Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as he heads down the ice ith the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 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.

Could it actually be to the Chicago Blackhawks’ advantage if the Colorado Avalanche start their first round series at home? (CSN Chicago)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $120,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $100 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Loui Eriksson, in large part due to concussion problems, hasn’t had the debut season he was looking for with Boston, but he’s been great lately and is set to be a big factor in the playoffs. (CSN New England)

Nathan Horton might become the answer to an odd trivia question. (Sports Illustrated)

Goaltender Cory Schneider felt last night’s 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames served as a nice summation of the New Jersey Devils’ season. (Star-Ledger)

Nathan Gerbe has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary season for the Carolina Hurricanes. (News & Observer)

The Toronto Maple Leafs, which at one point looked like a safe bet to make the playoffs, might be officially eliminated tonight. (Toronto Sun)

  1. nunan - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    People forget how good Eriksson is. They’re quick to judge based on this season alone and ignore the fact that he was a pretty consistent 70 pt player. His coming around makes that third line a huge factor in the postseason…maybe THE difference maker if the Bs make it to the later rounds.

  2. nunan - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    That’s assuming Reilly smith picks it up…if he doesn’t, maybe Eriksson gets bumped up to that second line.

  3. comeonnowguys - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I’m not sure I buy that argument from Hradek. It will take a game or two to get a feel for where Varlamov’s (many) rebounds go, and if Kane and Toews are back for the start, they’re still getting their legs back under them in that thin air.

    I still like their chances in a seven game series, but they could easily be looking at an 0-2 hole. Don’t care where you’re playing 3 and 4, that’s not good.

    The again, I didn’t think their lines against the Wild would work, or that they had a chance against an angry St. Louis team Sunday, so I’ve already shown how little I know.

  4. muckleflugga - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    good on horton … verrrry interesting but

    it is matter of historical record wayne gretzky was awarded an assist in a game in edmonton he was not able play … the old assist by osmosis clause in his contract kicked-in

    during the years when detroit tended to own the puck for ninety percent of games teams like pittsburgh and calgary were awarded a shot on goal for successfully crossing centre ice … the old cheap gratification designed to fool fools into believing their team was actually competitive

    as for schneider and new jersey, it’s better teams start adjusting the soft points mindset when flames come to town … you’re about to witness the biggest swing from laughing-stock to creeping-dread at a punishing night of haranguing pursuit and finished checks ever seen

    inverse of canucks spiral into despair … cricket anyone

    back to jackets you have to like the art in their logo … i get an uncontrollable urge to move tanks into some far away desert principality every time i see it

    • jpelle82 - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      too bad the blue jackets didnt have tanks, the civil war wouldve been over a lot quicker.

  5. wjarvis - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I can understand making the argument that it’s better to rest injured players so they’re healthier to start the playoffs instead of pushing for home ice in one series. But I’m not sure I’ll ever buy the argument that it’s better to not have home ice. There will be pressure on both teams regardless of where the games are being played, however the home team will still get the last change.

  6. chicagobtech - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    I’m not sure why people are still keyed up about a Chicago-Colorado series. Colorado moved up to the #3 seed, San Jose is now the #4 seed with Chicago still in the #5 spot.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Take another look at the playoff format – it changed for this year. Chicago/Colorado is almost a lock

      • chicagobtech - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        *facepalm*

        Yeah, I had forgotten the #2 and #3 within a division play each other. Mea culpa.

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