Game 5 of these NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs seems like the moment you think the monster is dead, only to have the big scare and great drama ahead. The Carolina Hurricanes missed their chance to end the New York Islanders. The Edmonton Oilers used Game 4 comeback momentum to crush the Kings in Game 5, and Dallas has Minnesota on the cliff of elimination. Dave Molinari took a good look at the Mikael Granlund situation with the Penguins, and this writer graded Alex Nylander and laid out the possibilities of him sticking around.
I went to a Pirates game last night. It was fun. We sat in right-center field and ate Manny’s BBQ, but I apologize for being the bad luck newb who broke the winning streak.
Nashville fans, say it with me, “It’s all your fault!”
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group)
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: From the desk of Dave Molinari. It’s a hot topic, and the answer isn’t easy — Should the new Penguins GM, whomever he or she may be, dump Mikael Granlund?
Alex Nylander was the most requested song on the Penguins’ radio. Bring up Alex Nylander! We graded his performance and if he could stick around with the Penguins.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
Didn’t see that one coming — $106 million. A new contract for Bryan Reynolds!
Bob Nutting spent the money. John Perrotto writes that it is a refreshing change for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But…the Buccos blew a five-run lead to the Dodgers at PNC last night. It was a tough loss. Some undisciplined swings in hitters’ counts and three errors. Whoops. Pittsburgh Pirates recap.
The NFL Draft is TOMORROW. I know, it’s like Christmas day for Steelers fans.
Alan Saunders lists three potential Steelers’ moves to like … or dislike. Steelers draft scenarios.
There is a sleeper pick no one is talking about who could be a first-round pick tomorrow. More Steelers draft possibilities.
And Kenny Pickett recalled his draft night nerves. “I had no idea.”
NHL Playoffs, News & National Hockey Now:
I tried. I dug. No NHL trade chatter. Zip. You’re stuck with the playoffs.
Colorado Hockey Now: Cale Makar was suspended one game for that late hit on Jared McCann.
Florida Hockey Now: Facing elimination against the Bruins, the debate is growing, but coach Paul Maurice isn’t answering. Alex Lyon? Sergei Bobrovsky? Who is in goal for the Florida Panthers in Game 5?
Boston Hockey Now: All signs point to the return of Patrice Bergeron for the Boston Bruins in Game 5.
I got a note from our new Islanders writer last evening. We haven’t named him yet, because of some contractual entanglements of which he’s soon free, but he had a little mishap during the game. So, we’re using the NHL.com feed until we can update the page.
NHL.com: Facing elimination, the Islanders scored off Sebastian Aho’s face for the winner. The New York Islanders survive and force Game 6.
LA Hockey Now: The headline said it best, “Kings Outsclassed.” The Edmonton Oilers steamrolled LA in Game 5. Nick Bjugstad had a pair of goals, and Edmonton walloped the LA Kings 6-3.
It was tough to find the plusses, but Austin Stanovich dug into the plusses and minuses of the LA Kings game.
Sportsnet: The Dallas Stars are close to advancing. They dominated Minnesota in Game 5.
The Calgary Flames are getting a vastly better deal on a new arena.