There was something entirely nostalgic and entirely Kurt Russel in “Best of Times” in the NHL playoffs on Saturday night. Marc-Andre Fleury got his first start of the postseason and returned wearing Vegas gold pads. PHN had a wide-ranging chat on 93-7 the Fan, which lasted a full hour and touched on every Pittsburgh Penguins topic from trading defenseman Kris Letang to Matt Murray’s trade value and Mike Sullivan’s job security. And, the shocking story of the NHL playoffs, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask bailed on the bubble to be with his family.
We’ll start with the PHN stuff. Here’s our chat with Jeff Hatthorn on 93-7 the Fan (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Here’s our first Penguins Q&A. Reader questions and more Pittsburgh Penguins trade questions (PHN)
I hope you have a moment for both or either one. If you’re new to PHN or wondering who in the heck we are, the above shows the depth of inside knowledge, professional hockey experience, and hockey perspective we bring to the table.
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask left the team and the NHL bubble to be with his family on Saturday. Bruins GM Don Sweeney said being in the bubble is a mental challenge and Rask wasn’t mentally where he wanted to be, so he chose to go home (Boston Hockey Now)
Rask had every right to do what he did. I will point out if he dug in and embraced the challenge, his family would have been there in a few weeks. The Bruins fully supported his decision.
Storytime: I was in a similar spot with a young family 20 years ago. The three months that I lived alone in an attic apartment with no cable and no AC saved my media career. I parlayed the extra months at a Williamsport radio group to a job with a lovely family run AM station in Latrobe, which I parlayed into a full-time job at a crappy FM station, which I parlayed into a gig as the evening guy at Froggy, which I parlayed into a job with 3WS and that group of stations on Greentree Hill. There, I got my start in sports as a producer on the Penguins radio network, had time to return to college during the day to finish my degree, and the rest is history.
That all happened in a two-and-a-half-year span. I can’t criticize Rask, but I can say you only get a couple or few real chances at the Stanley Cup, and I’m surprised by his decision. But if your heart isn’t in it, it’s not in it. And this is certainly a unique situation and a mental challenge.
Back to hockey…
Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t start the first two games of Round One but got the nod in Game 3. He returned to the ice like a conquering hero, fresh with new golden pads. According to the Vegas Review-Journal, he “flashed the magic” (Vegas Review-Journal)
After failing to make the NHL playoffs, Frederick Andersen’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs is uncertain, at best (Sportsnet)
Carolina Hurricanes star Andrei Svechnikov was injured when he fell awkwardly after a collision in Game 3. Carolina lost to Boston 2-1 (NHL.com)
Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards doesn’t hide his rooting interests, and he can go well over the top at times. He may have gone full “Baghdad Bob” on Saturday when he faulted Svechnikov’s injury on Svechnikov for “poking the bear” that he couldn’t handle when he hit Zdeno Chara.
The Carolina Hurricanes responded to Edwards (The Score)
Rick Tocchet’s gritty, underdog Arizona Coyotes stole Game 3 from the Colorado Avalanche (NHL.com)
Colorado leads 2-1. Here are the Avalanche grades (Colorado Hockey Now)
Damn. Tampa Bay Beat Columbus in Game 3 for a 2-1 series lead (Columbus Post-Dispatch)