It was Exit Day for a handful of teams across the NHL on Wednesday. After eight teams were sent home from the NHL bubble on Saturday and Sunday, coaches and GMs have talked, and GMs and coaches have faced the media. The Pittsburgh Penguins dismissed three assistant coaches, Toronto appears to be in denial, and Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25,000 for his blunt comments following the Carolina Game 1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
First, we’ll start with the Penguins whirlwind. GM Jim Rutherford dismissed Mark Recchi, Jacques Martin, and Sergei Gonchar. Head coach Mike Sullivan admitted it was a tough day for him because they were his friends (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Sullivan also said he didn’t know if he would change any decisions he made in the Qualifying Round series against Montreal.
PHN dished what we’ve been told behind the scenes about the Pittsburgh Penguins coaches. (PHN+)
Compare the Boston Bruins top line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak) to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston beat the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1, 3-2 in OT. The game-winner was a filthy five-pass breakout and rush by the top line that culminated in a Grade-A scoring chance. It was perfection. And we broke it down (Boston Hockey Now)
The NHL fined Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour for his blistering comments in which he called the NHL “a joke” and the review ruling, “horseshit.” (Boston Hockey Now)
Brind’Amour is correct that the call was incorrect. The officials denied the handpass because the goalie covered the puck, but didn’t rule goalie interference for knocking the puck out of Peter Mrazek’s mitt. Officials upheld the goal on video review because Brind’Amour challenged the handpass since officials didn’t tell him their ruling on the ice.
Brind’Amour said officials forced him “to pick one.” It should have been the officials who picked one, first.
We’ll see that replay rule changed soon. Carolina got the shaft.
Toronto GM Kyle Dubas has built a talented team, but Toronto has lost in the first round four straight seasons. We’ll split hairs over the Qualifying Round series and Round One vs. first round later. Dubas still believes in his “core-four” (Sportsnet)
National Hockey Now
The New York Islanders. Head coach Barry Trotz builds playoff teams. New York scored four unanswered goals to beat Washington in Game 1, 4-2. The gritty Islanders answered the bell after Washington started swinging, literally. Game 1 insights (NYI Hockey Now)
Imagine not being able to watch Penguins games because AT&T Sports, the Penguins, and Xfinity were at war. Colorado Avalanche fans have not had games on TV all season. Blessedly, the local cable channel which owns the rights lifted the blackout so fans can watch games on NBCsn (Colorado Hockey Now)
Remember Stefan Noesen? He began to resurrect his career with the WBS Penguins this season, then chipped in some offense with the Pittsburgh Penguins before the San Jose Sharks snagged him off the waiver wire. Noesen was a bright spot for San Jose.
And Joe Thornton may end up in Toronto? (San Jose Hockey Now)