As the Pittsburgh Penguins were slowly bleeding out against the Philadelphia Flyers, and head coach Mike Sullivan said games are won at the net, former Penguins net-crasher Patric Hornqvist was busy creating havoc in another first-place Florida Panthers to another win. The Washington Capitals could hit the NHL trade market for a veteran goalie, and the Calgary Flames canned coach Geoff Ward and reached for a hammer.
We’ll start with the Penguins. Hold your nose, if you must.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins sprinted to a 3-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, then flatlined. “We let our foot off the gas the rest of the game thinking we could get away with it,” Kris Letang said. The Penguins lost 4-3.
PHN+: Get the Report Card with a few Ds, an F, and a few A grades from the Penguins’ latest stinker.
PHN (Free): The Penguins lost, but defenseman Mark Friedman probably had his best 1.5 periods in the NHL. He scored his first NHL goal, dished a few hits, was rattled by a dangerous boarding penalty then almost knocked unconscious. It was a wild night for Mark Friedman.
NHL.com: The Calgary Flames had enough of struggling. They fired head coach Geoff Ward and turned to their former GM, former coach, and disciplinarian Darryl Sutter.
TSN: The TSN Insiders pondered the future of Tanner Pearson, who is actually playing well in Vancouver. They also were the first to say the Washington Capitals could look on the NHL trade market for an experienced backup goalie.
Sportsnet: Wayne Gretzky’s father, Walter, passed away at 82. Walter became a favorite of hockey folk and will be sorely missed.
National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: Adrian Dater got the EXCLUSIVE SCOOP on Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar injuries.
Boston: The Boston Bruins had a tilly with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Bruins forward Trent Frederic dogged Alex Ovechkin all night, then…Ovechkin took his revenge with a wicked below-the-belt shot. The NHL fined Ovechkin the max, which wasn’t much.
I missed this yesterday:
Zdeno Chara had to fight back tears as the Bruins paid tribute before the game against Washington.
Vegas: Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 51 shots on Wednesday night, but Robin Lehner has been absent for a month. Is it time to see what’s behind Fleury in the pipeline?
San Jose: Several San Jose Sharks callups are being pressed into duty this season. And there is a lot of praise for those Sharks.
Florida: Patric Hornqvist is creating havoc and providing energy. Aaron Ekblad had a big night, and Florida keeps winning.
New York: Uh oh, the New York Islanders are rolling. They have points in six straight and smacked the hapless Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Here are the Islanders’ pluses and minuses.
Philly: You may have seen it? The Flyers’ big comeback. Here’s the Philadelphia take on it.