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PHT Morning Skate: Maple Leafs’ collapse fallout; Varlamov’s big Game 2

Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar dominated in the Avalanche's 7-1 pasting of the Golden Knights in Game 1, exhibiting speed and physicality that Kathryn Tappen, Anson Carter and Colby Armstrong haven't seen before.

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.

• “This organization has brought a new meaning to the phrase physical distancing, at least when it comes to the Stanley Cup.” [Montreal Gazette]

• “This is a franchise built on too many almost weres the past half-century or more. This was to be the year where everything changed. Only it didn’t.” [Toronto Sun]

• Does Mitch Marner have a future in Toronto? [Pension Plan Puppets]

• Ryan Reaves has been suspended two games for his actions in Game 1 against the Avalanche. [PHT]

• Gary Bettman has upheld Nazem Kadri’s eight-game suspension. The Avalanche forward will now appeal to an independent arbitrator, whose ruling will be binding. [PHT]

• Semyon Varlamov came up big for the Islanders in Game 2. [NY Hockey Now]

• That Capitals Stanley Cup window? It’s closing very quickly. [Bleacher Report]

• The U.S. men improved to 5-0-0-1 with a 2-0 win over Germany at the IIHF World Championship. The Americans take on Italy Tuesday in its final preliminary round game. [USA Hockey]

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

• “Isn’t it time the NHL treated those who create offense and score goals and put people in the seats are protected as vigorously as those who are paid to stop them?” [The Hockey News]

• What’s gone wrong with Jake Guentzel in the playoffs? [Pensburgh]

• The Kings have signed Vladimir Tkachyov from the KHL. Is he the next big thing? [Mayor’s Manor]

• Zach Parise’s future with the Wild won’t be up to the player. [Hockey Wilderness]

• Why getting bigger and more physical will be key for the Rangers this off-season. [The Hockey Writers]


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