It took exactly two days to feel at home again. After the Pittsburgh Penguins Qualifying Round flameout, I arrived back in Pittsburgh on Sunday night sans a dresser full of T-shirts I left in Toronto and began to watch hockey on Tuesday afternoon. But, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning began the NHL playoffs and decided to keep playing. And playing. Teams are threatening changes, including the Penguins, but four days after the great bubble purge of 2020, there has been only one major change in the NHL.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford expressed his dismay and disgust at the Penguins’ result. Changes are coming, the GM sternly warned (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The National Hockey Now family, including PHN, got a lengthy sitdown with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. How cool is that? We made the deputy commish defend the round-robin, two-tiered draft lottery and had a lot of fun (PHN)
And for our subscribers, we saved this juicy nugget. Expect a Pittsburgh Penguins coaching change, or two (PHN+)
Now to the never-ending story in Toronto…
Tampa Bay won in five overtimes, 3-2. Here’s the game story (Sportsnet)
Believe in miracles? The Toronto media storm is not yet raging over the Toronto Maple Leafs buckling against Columbus. Instead–there’s optimism? Eight reasons to be optimistic about the Leafs future (Sportsnet)
2020 is truly a Bizzaro world.
The Dallas Stars are another team with a burgeoning goalie controversy. Ben Bishop was benched but Calgary beat Dallas 3-2 in Game 1 (TSN)
Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t start Game 1 for Vegas, either. Robin Lehner got the start, and the win (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
National Hockey Now
The New York Rangers won the NHL Draft Lottery, part deux. One team which was never given the top overall pick was the San Jose Sharks. Sheng Peng explains, with a pretty good trade story, too (San Jose Hockey Now)
Andy Greene is making New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz’s decision difficult. The long-time New Jersey defenseman is playing very well, but the Isles blue line is full (NYI Hockey Now)
If you’re the podcast sort, Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now talked the round-robin mess and Colorado’s shot for the Cup (Colorado Hockey Now)
The Florida Panthers were bounced in four games, too. GM Dale Tallon, who’s had a rocky decade with the franchise and loaded it with talent, got the boot (Florida Hockey Now)
Because of the marathon game, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes faceoff at 11am today. Do I hear 6OT? (Boston Hockey Now)