Morning Skate: Lightning's Cup window still open


Morning Skate: Lightning's Cup window still open

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while really enjoying watching “Justice League Action” on Cartoon Network every Saturday morning with my 4-year-old son. It’s just like the old days with the Super Friends on Saturday mornings.

*The window is still open for the Tampa Bay Lightning to win a Stanley Cup or at the very least make the playoffs. It’s teams like the Lightning and their expected improvement that are going to make it a much tougher road to hoe for the Black and Gold to get back into the Stanley Cup playoffs this coming season. I don’t see how the Bolts don’t make it in.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shooting down Nassau Coliseum as a viable choice to again house the New York Islanders. I don’t blame him given what an outdated dump that place is these days when compared to state-of-the-art NHL arenas, but the Barclays Center in Brooklyn isn’t a long time workable solution either.

*It sounds like things could get a little contentious with a worker’s compensation lawsuit from former NHL player Mike Peluso against the league, and possible subpoenas for Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Lou Lamoriello.

*It’s cool that the NHL is getting the Star Wars/Superhero treatment with their first official round of “Funko Pops!” dolls that essentially look like bobbleheads.

*It’s a contract year for Rick Nash and the New York Rangers in the kind of situation he’s never found himself in during his NHL career.

*For something completely different: Congrats to Rebecca Lobo and the rest of the inductees to the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class.


Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself


Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.


Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.


Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: