On a day with no NHL games, injuries bulldozed the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins news was not good, and call-ups ensued. Dave Molinari put the Penguins’ second line under the microscope and asked coach Mike Sullivan about the recent lack of production. Elsewhere in the Daily, Patrick Kane is reportedly ready to sign and has multiple offers. The Maple Leafs are bracing for a massive contract number from William Nylander because of his elite-level outburst this season. There’s emerging Hart Trophy talk around Quinn Hughes, and Milan Lucic entered the Player’s Assistance program.
For what it’s worth, I pressed a couple of Penguins players on the reason they seem to play differently against the rest of the league and the Metro Division.
I got absolutely nowhere. Maybe my questions were inartfully phrased, but I got a pretty good lecture from Kris Letang about the systems of Carolina and New Jersey. I pulled the ripcord on the players’ thoughts on the matter. I suppose my opinion on the matter will have to stand on its own without player agreement or disagreement.
Pittsburgh Penguins News
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Skipping to the end of the day, the Penguins’ injuries were severe enough that Rickard Rakell is out longer term, and Chad Ruhwedel is out week-to-week. The Penguins recalled Jansen Harkins and Alex Nylander.
The Penguins also added defense depth. They didn’t activate John Ludvig yet, but they signed a WBS Penguins defenseman to an NHL contract.
So, what happened to the Penguins’ second line? Where has Evgeni Malkin and Reilly Smith’s chemistry gone? Dave Molinari asked. Here’s the scoop on the Penguins line.
Keep today in your memory bank. And remember who has been writing (and will continue writing) one of the Toronto core players will wind up in Pittsburgh.
Yep, the Steelers finally blamed Canada. Before 9 a.m., word spread the Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Here’s the Mike Tomlin presser. Despite reports from team reporters, Tomlin said the decision was his and his alone. The Steelers news was well received.
So, what went wrong with Matt Canada? Everything.
And here’s a bit more news you want — The Steelers permanently installed Broderick Jones at right tackle.
NHL Rumors, News & National Hockey Now
TSN Insiders: The second national take on the mess in Columbus and more on the NHL rumors with Patrick Kane, who is weighing offers and about ready to sign for the rest of the season.
Boston Hockey Now: Milan Lucic pleaded not guilty to the domestic assault and battery charge Tuesday. Then Lucic entered the Players Assistance program– Boston Bruins news.
Sportsnet Video: Quinn Hughes is making a decent argument for the Norris Trophy. Actually, he’s so far in front of that discussion that the rest are fighting for second place. And now the talk is bubbling that it could be a Hughes sweep at the awards show with a Hart Trophy, too.
Toronto Star: William Nylander dominated the NHL Global series. His numbers are eye-popping. And a new contract will come due by July 1. The Toronto Maple Leafs and player were only about a million apart over the summer, but now? Oh boy, Kevin McGrann writes, Nylander may well price himself out of town.
Detroit Hockey Now: Things are going sour in Detroit. They actually have a worse record today than they did a year ago. Now, changes are afoot for the Red Wings lineup.
San Jose Hockey Now: Prince Harry was the guest of honor between the Canucks and Sharks. He dropped the ceremonial first puck, but he didn’t quite understand his role. Watch Tomas Hertl actually tell Harry, “Drop the puck.”
I noticed a new season of The Crown dropped on Netflix. I got through the first episode last night. The woman who is playing Diana, Elizabeth Debicki, absolutely morphs into her. Her look and speech are a perfect match. It’s a little disconcerting how much Debicki looks like Diana.