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PHT Morning Skate: Fans approved to attend Game 7; Sorokin or Varlamov?

With a unique combination of size, speed and competitiveness, Nathan MacKinnon has taken the NHL by storm this season -- and led the Avalanche to a dominant start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• The provincial government has signed off on having 550 fully vaccinated frontline health-care workers in the Scotiabank Arena crowd in Toronto tonight., [National Post]

• “Nothing really sums up the Leafs and their history quite like this quote, as the futility of this franchise seems to be entirely of its own making, and inability to get past itself.” [The Leafs Nation]

• Toronto’s core stars need to show up if they want to have a chance to win Game 7. [TSN]

• Ryan Reaves earned an automatic suspension pending review for attempt to injure during Game 1’s blowout. [PHT]

• Mark Stone is moving on from Game 1: “You just can’t get down like that. But we’ll flush this one. We’ll see what we did wrong. There’s a few areas that we were actually not bad at, but there’s a lot of things we need to improve going forward.” [Knights on Ice]

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]

• Should Barry Trotz go back to Semyon Varlamov for Game 2 against the Bruins? [NY Hockey Now]

• Resilience will be needed if the Hurricanes are going to even up their series with the Lightning. [News and Observer]

• There’s only one player in these playoffs going for his third consecutive Stanley Cup, and that player is Patrick Maroon. [Tampa Bay Times]

• Looking at the Bruins’ chances to reach the Stanley Cup Final. [NBC Sports Edge]

• What will be Blue Jackets have to deal with following the news that Seth Jones reportedly will not re-sign. [1st Ohio Battery]

• The Canucks have signed 2019 10th overall pick Vasily Podkolzin to a three-year entry-level contract. [Sportsnet]


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy