Facing disaster, the Pittsburgh Penguins pushed back in the third period and avoided what could have been a mortally wounding loss. Sidney Crosby came to the rescue. The New York Rangers are on the NHL trade market for a center, perhaps Montreal Canadiens’ pivot Sean Monahan. The Metro Division teams lost, but the wild card leaders won, keeping the Penguins at arm’s length. And the Edmonton Oilers are on the heels of the 1992-93 record-setting Penguins.
So, I took a lot of flak for writing that Penguins fans have flipped. Fans recently only wanted the positive. Now it seems many have changed to want the bad and are pained by the good. I wondered if I might be wrong, but then Twitter exploded Saturday with angst, further demands to rebuild, and some genuine vitriol after the Penguins WON.
I think you and I should have a talk this week about the Penguins’ future and the real context of the situation. For everyone who demands a nuclear rebuild they should be forced to buy season tickets for three years hence. Shockingly, despite the vocal calls for a teardown, attendance and interest go to hell during rebuilds.
In the playoff race, the Penguins are six points back with three games in hand on Detroit for a wild card and five back with four games in hand on Philadelphia for third place.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It didn’t look good. A bad start and a sloppy second period, but a big finish and a 3-2 OT win over the Montreal Canadiens. Get the Penguins recap.
On the flip side– Montreal wasn’t terribly unhappy with their performance. They had a few shining performances as the Penguins beat the Montreal Canadiens.
Before Sullivan juggled the power play units with some success and some failure, there was one idea not tried but might be the easiest to fix the Penguins’ power play.
The report card had the tactical wrinkles, the enormity of the situation, and some rough player grades, including a breakdown of Ryan Graves and Erik Karlsson. The Penguins grades.
PHN video: A little more blunt on the bad performances. And we hit the necessity of the result. Watch the Penguins postgame.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
HNIC Headlines: There’s not much news on the 2018 Team Canada investigation, but Elliotte Friedman did have some NHL trade chatter from the Rangers and Senators.
NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders lost their final game before the break, but Oliver Wahlstrom is getting another chance under new coach Patrick Roy. A new chance and maybe the last chance with the New York Islanders.
Philly Hockey Now: Oh no. Can you imagine the horror as the third-place team lost? The Bruins walloped the Philadelphia Flyers.
Detroit Hockey Now: A solid payoff spot and plenty of wins this season. Are these the read Detroit Red Wings?
New Jersey Hockey Now: Tampa Bay Beat NJD 6-3. It’s been a bit of a skid for New Jersey, who have not asserted themselves. Nico Hishcier isn’t happy, either, “We need to be pissed off.” The New Jersey Devils latest.
Sportsnet: The Edmonton Oilers have won 16 in a row. It’s been 40 days since the team lost, and they’re ready to tie the 1992-93 Penguins team.
The Athletic: Oh those Vancouver Canucks. If it’s not Jake Guentzel, then who or what type of player might Jim Rutherford and Patrick Allvin pursue?