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PHT Morning Skate: Surging Islanders; resting Matthews

Liam McHugh, Patrick Sharp and Anson Carter run through the new NHL Power Rankings, discussing how lineup changes have unlocked the Florida Panthers’ best hockey and why the Minnesota Wild are leaping up the ranks.

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 Islanders continue chugging along and picking up points as they rest comfortably atop the East Division. [ESPN]

• Resting Auston Matthews and his nagging wrist will go a long way towards helping the Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup hopes. [National Post]

• A brief dip in results has decreased Toronto’s lead in the North Division. [Sportsnet]

• Why rental deals should be all the rage at next month’s NHL trade deadline. [Zone Coverage]

• Give your fantasy hockey team a boost this week by adding Scott Laughton and Paul Stastny. [NBC Sports Edge]

• Check out this save by the son of NBC Sports’ A.J. Mleczko:

• Carter Verhaeghe, Artem Zub, and Pius Suter are a few NHLers playing their way onto people’s radars this season. [The Score]

• Goaltending and utilizing cap space are some of the questions facing the Senators going forward. [TSN]

• “The San Jose Sharks will wear special warmup jerseys before their game against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Saturday. The jerseys will represent a call for unity, celebrating diversity and inclusion and paying homage to Terry Smith, the Northern California artist who designed the jerseys and created the iconic Sharks logo 30 years ago.” []

• Erik Karlsson on GM Doug Wilson labeling the Sharks as in the middle of a “reset": “Obviously, I did not sign here to go through a rebuild or go through what I did for 10 years in Ottawa. But it is what it is. I think that we need to find a way to build with a core group that we have here and figure out a way how to be competitive here in the upcoming years.” []

• Cody Ceci has been one of the big surprises for the Penguins in 2021. [Pensburgh]


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