Morning Skate: Tuesday, April 24


Morning Skate: Tuesday, April 24

USA Todays Kevin Allen sits down with Brendan Shanahan and picks the brain of the NHL Sheriff on a number of disciplinary topics.

Ryan Kesler may have finished the playoffs with a shoulder injury. No word on whether it was during one of his patented dive roll embellishments looking for a whistle.

David Backes is a candidate for the Selke Trophy along with Patrice Bergeron, and could be a dark horse candidate for the surprising St. Louis Blues.

The Florida Panthers president gets into a battle royale with New Jersey Devils fans on twitter.

Mike Brophy has a nice piece on Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick as he begins to make a name for himself during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Chris Botta says there is little substance to a rumor about asbestos problems at Nassau Coliseum that I actually remember hearing during our last trip to the Island this season.

James Mirtle talks about a changing of the guard with the perennial playoff heavyweights as many of the name teams are already falling by the wayside in the first round.

Mike Gillis actually admits that the Vancouver Canucks were never able to properly prepare themselves mentally after winning the regular season game against the Bruins back in nearly January. Can you say mentally soft hockey club? I knew you could.

For something completely different: Kevin Youkilis and Tom Bradys sister tie the knot last week in a dream match for Boston sports fans.

Report: Patriots RB Lewis expected to return to practice this week


Report: Patriots RB Lewis expected to return to practice this week

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will have a familiar face back on the practice field, it appears. 

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, running back Dion Lewis is expected to begin practicing this week. Lewis has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of the regular season. 

Lewis tore his ACL in a Week 9 win over the Redskins last season, landing him on season-ending injured reserve. He was able to participate on a limited basis during OTAs but then experienced a setback that required surgery before the start of the season. 

Once Lewis hits the practice field, the Patriots have a three-week window to place him on the active roster. The team currently has an open roster spot and could, in theory, activate him as early as this week. 

When healthy last season, Lewis as a dynamic all-purpose back whose quickness allowed him to make defenders miss both in tight spaces between the tackles and in the open field as a receiver. The Patriots have used James White as their primary sub back in Lewis' absence, and he's on pace for a career year, with 27 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns.