There are not many off-days this season in which we can spend doing analysis or breakdowns. It’s a nice rhythm. Gameday. Practice. Gameday. PHN took the Penguins off day on Wednesday to delve into the two most discussed and perhaps pressing issues surrounding the Penguins middling results. Also in the Daily, there are plenty of rumblings the Nashville Predators are about the become sellers on the NHL trade market, and Auston Mathews is having a hardware-type season.
PHN: Should the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to push Kris Letang for over 25 minutes per game? It’s time to adjust Letang’s role.
PHN: Why is the Penguins’ second line struggling? From Evgeni Malkin to Jason Zucker and the wingers’ speed, we laid out why the Malkin line isn’t producing.
TSN: Could Erik Haula and Michael Granlund be on the NHL trade market? The free agents signed team-friendly deals, but Nashville is sinking fast, and both Haula and Granlund could soon be available.
31 Thoughts: Elliotte Friedman also reports the pair could be available, but Friedman also upped the ante to suggest a potential rebuild in the near future. That would include putting Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene on the NHL trade block.
The Athletic: If you haven’t seen it yet, The Athletic sure did a number on the Arizona Coyotes. The organization has had more than a few issues, including the John Chayka debacle and the rancorous parting with Steve Sullivan. The feature story went as far as exposing questions about the validity of the Coyotes’ financials submitted to the NHL.
Just when it seems the Arizona franchise has a chance to become viable…
Sportsnet: Before the season, PHN opined the NHL awards would have a heavy Canadian flavor because of the closed-off North Division and Canadian writers seeing only Canadian teams. Luke Fox at Sportsnet writes that Auston Mathews is an early favorite for the Rocket, Hart, and Selke trophies.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
Vegas Hockey Now: Marc-Andre Fleury as the Vezina. Outdoor games in Lake Tahoe. All great. But Keegan Kolesar dropped the mitts, and it was a pretty good scrap.
Philly Hockey Now: Due to COVID protocols, on Thursday night, the Philadelphia Flyers will not have seven players available, including some big names like Claude Giroux. The Flyers will have a shorthanded lineup.
San Jose Hockey Now: Erik Karlsson is under scrutiny. The Sharks are paying him a lot of money, and they have not been successful. There is some suggestion that the team should limit his minutes and reduce his PK time. Sounds familiar? Karlsson struck a defiant tone on Wednesday.
Colorado Hockey Now: In Adrian Dater’s latest mailbag, he addressed if the Avalanche needs a badass. And, could the Avalanche go swimming in the NHL trade waters for a backup goalie?
And why would Dater EVER think purple pants could work?
NYI Hockey Now: J-G Pageau has been a blessing for the Islanders. Since New York acquired him from Ottawa, he’s been filling the net. This season, Pageau is really on a heater.
Florida Hockey Now: In a matchup of former friends, including Vincent Trocheck, Florida beat Carolina in a shootout.
Boston Hockey Now: Because the NHL trade market is again heating up, will the Boston Bruins start dealing?