The Pittsburgh Penguins had another Saturday off, so the schedule makers could cram three games in four days to make sure the Penguins don’t get comfortable, but the rest of the league is picking up the slack. Things may get uncomfortable in Toronto quickly. Montreal could add a pile of NHL Trade Rumors this week and may make Ilya Kovalchuk and Marco Scandella available (again). And, Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Kassian who ragdolled Matthew Tkachuk last week, is about to get paid.
It’s usually not a good idea for goalies to rip their team unless he or she wants to wear a few pucks around the mask at practice or be on the bottom of a pile in the first period. Freddy Andersen did just that as the Toronto Maple Leafs begin their bye week. Andersen called Toronto “immature” (Sportsnet)
Zack Kassian has found a home in Edmonton. The 2009 first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (13th overall) is about to set a career-high in goals (15) and points (29). He’s also about to get paid. A contract extension is forthcoming. (Mark Spector)
Elliot Friedman dove into it on Hockey Night in Canada (I still miss Grapes). Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin will decide the Canadiens fate this week. Here are the likely players on the trade block, including Ilya Kovalchuk (THW)
The Penguins missed Kovalchuk once, they shouldn’t again…unless the price jumps higher than a mid-round pick.
One column I haven’t yet written but need to get on my horse is about Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. The Penguins had two radically different games on Thursday and Friday, yet tactically Sullivan made the right moves as each team attacked them in different ways. For hockey lovers, check out the Detroit Report Card which broke down the tactical shift which allowed the Penguins to dominate the third period (PHN+)
The Penguins power play was also flawless against Detroit. Check out the two goals and how they pulled the PK out of position (Pittsburgh Hockey Now).
The New York Rangers have an emerging blue-chip trade prospect with goalie Alexandar Georgiev. Toronto has inquired (The Athletic)
And lastly for the NHL trade rumors, Edmonton and Calgary are both looking for a Top-Six forward, say Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger (TSN)