The Pittsburgh Penguins spent more than 30 minutes on their ailing power play at practice Wednesday. The team stayed behind for an extra day in Nashville to get the practice, but there remains an oddity for which they have no explanation. Also in the Daily, the questions are swirling around the Chicago Blackhawks and Corey Perry, but we are thus far without answers. The Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly made Morgan Frost available on the NHL trade block. Why is Alex Ovechkin struggling, and can he still catch Gretzky?
Sorry, I have no weird diner stories or fun travel stories today. Dave is on the Penguins’ road trip, and I’m working feverishly on a few expansion plans, also working with our new writers in Calgary, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
The Hockey Now formula isn’t for everyone. The national mag that is following our path is learning how difficult it is to fill enough interesting content. It’s really tough–we don’t just want professional writers; we want professionals who LOVE hockey, love covering it, love writing, and love analyzing it. Popping out a few stories a week doesn’t cut it in this Google-owned world unless you’ve got tens of thousands of subscribers.
But working with Jonathan Bailey in Philly and our newest hire, Trevor Neufield, in Calgary has been a treat. Both were brave enough to cross over from fan blogs but are adapting quickly, and their passion is contagious. James Nichols in New Jersey is becoming a big dog on the beat and has been an instant success. Send me a few dozen of these young writers!
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Alas, Alex Nylander, we barely knew each other. After a few games and no offensive production, the Penguins sent Nylander back to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
PHN Video: It’s time to get the weekly Penguins live chats going again. I’ve been derelict in my duties as the host. The barebones, down-and-dirty production value is superseded only by my lack of effervescent wit and charm. Settle in, put it on in the background, and (hopefully) enjoy the Penguins’ live chat.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari astutely notes the Penguins’ power play is suffering from one more undiagnosed problem, for which even coach Mike Sullivan does not have an answer. More on the Penguins power play outage.
Steelers Now: The next-gen stats from the Bengals game show just how dominant the Steelers’ offense was.
The Steelers finally began to use an advantage they’ve been ignoring. The 13 personnel. Here’s what it means and why Kenny Pickett liked it.
Patriots Football Now: Next week, the Steelers get the beleaguered New England Patriots. Bill Belichick was his usual repressive, mum self on Wednesday, but it appears there’s a Patriots quarterback change.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Ottawa Sun: Bruce Garrioch of the hard-hitting analysis and NHL trade rumor fame dropped a few nuggets in his latest piece, including the Oilers goalie search and the Flyers are listening on Morgan Frost.
I am generally intrigued by young players like Frost, but if you can’t play for John Tortorella, you probably can’t play for Mike Sullivan. The Flyers are in third place for a few reasons, and one is not the abundance of Hall of Fame talent.
Philly Hockey Now: Speaking of those hated Flyers, they’ve been hitting the Russian prospect market pretty well. They snagged Matvei Michkov in the 2023 Draft, and they have some goalies in the land of Vlad Putin who are tearing it up. Here are the deets on the Philadelphia Flyers prospects.
It’s all fun and games until one of those goalies has the guts to stop Putin on a breakaway.
TSN Video: Why is Alex Ovechkin struggling? Will he still be able to catch Wayne Gretzky? Jamie McLennan didn’t hold back and had some damning answers.
Calgary Hockey Now: A little love for our newbie. The Flames hit rock bottom and rallied. They’re inching to .500. Trevor Neufield dishes some first-quarter grades for the Calgary Flames.
Vegas Hockey Now: It’s not a tumor! Oh, wait, sorry, wrong quote. It’s not a slump! Chris Gawlik is adamant the Vegas Golden Knights are not slumping.
32 Thoughts: So many questions, so many ugly rumors, but so little answers. Everyone is asking what happened with Corey Perry, but the Blackhawks are thus far silent. It’s a big deal for the NHL and possibly the NHLPA.