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PHT Morning Skate: Matthews ready to bounce back; Kings need culture change

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 23: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a puck drop against the Montreal Canadiens in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 23, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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

• The New York Islanders need Mathew Barzal to step up his game if they’re going to upset the Penguins. (The Sports Daily)

• How did the Pens and Isles do in their head-to-head matchups during the regular season? (Pensburgh)

• In order to have postseason success, the Dallas Stars will need to find some secondary scoring. (Defending Big D)

• The Predators are hoping that trade acquisitions Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle play their best hockey in the playoffs. (

• The Columbus Blue Jackets should relax because no one expects them to win in the first round. (Dark Blue Jacket)

• Nikita Kucherov will likely win the Hart Trophy even though he shouldn’t, according to Raw Charge.

• Blues GM Doug Armstrong and forward Ryan O’Reilly had a long discussion about trust. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• Patrik Laine has to be a difference maker for the Winnipeg Jets this postseason. (Jets Nation)

• Brando Carlo is finally going to make his postseason debut for the Boston Bruins. (Bruins Daily)

• The Leafs need to win the special teams battle if they’re going to have a chance to take down the Bruins. (Leafs Nation)

• Auston Matthews is ready to bounce back after a tough playoff series against the Bruins last year. (TSN)

• Ryan Reaves feels like his game is perfectly suited for the playoffs. (Sinbin.Vegas)

• How did a San Jose Sharks t-shirt end up in the “Mighty Ducks” movie? NBC Sports Bay Area found out. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

• Everyone has a story to share about “Jumbo” Joe Thornton. (The Score)

• The Blackhawks could have a very different offseason in 2019. (NBC Sports Chicago)

• Will Jeff Carter be a Los Angeles King next season? (Mayor’s Manor)

• In order for the Kings to get better, GM Rob Blake believes they need to improve the culture around the team and their practice habits. (NHL)

• Now that Joel Quenneville is no longer available, Scott Gordon remains a serious candidate for the head coaching job in Philadelphia. (Courier-Post)

• Finally, episode two of “Puckland” features the Maine Mariners prepping for their inaugural season:


Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.