Some days, you can only shake your head at the amount of crazy news. It comes in bunches. There are GMs on the hot seat, the Canucks’ players know the tidal wave of NHL trade rumors begins next week, a linesman shoved Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting, it’s a full-on dumpster fire in Philly, and the Pittsburgh Penguins waited almost two periods before they flipped the switch and beat the New York Rangers.
Then with big smiles, the Penguins started chirping each other. Well, Jason Zucker dropped a little on his buddy Bryan Rust.
I don’t recall a team that had more fun just busting on each other. Zucker even teased the Penguins’ PR for letting us media schmucks near him. He was in rare form — you can see the raw video, but on many nights it’s been a joy to cover this team. Someone will give you a headline quote or cut through the noise with an honest answer, or a goalie will give you a three-minute dissertation on the reverse VH and bouncy boards.
**Just before publishing on Wednesday morning, the news broke that former Steelers running back, Hall of Famer, and Pittsburgh icon Franco Harris passed away at 72.
On behalf of the Sports Now Group, I’d like to send our deepest condolences to the Harris Family and the many who will feel his loss.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (The Sports Now Group):
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins beat the Rangers 3-2. Get the ever-entertaining, always scintillating, and just a little sexy Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.
Go inside the Penguins’ locker room. Rockstar Jason Zucker made sure to look Bryan Rust’s way as he delivered maybe the best chirp of the season. Fighting pillows? Check out the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room.
PHN+: It was the worst of times, then it was the best of times. It was the period of darkness before the period of light. The Penguins found their stride and took it to the Rangers in the final 25 minutes. Get the Penguins chalkboard but also the honest Penguins player grades.
- Kenny! Cleared from his concussion, Kenny Pickett will be the Steelers starting QB.
- Marcus Allen. Terrible penalty Sunday. As Alan Saunders writes, Allen is not good enough to be stupid. Steelers analysis.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now
- From John Perrotto (the best there is, the best there was, the best there will be) — The top free agent eight pitchers who would look good beneath the Pittsburgh Pirates Christmas tree.
- The Pirates 40: So, what about the best player on the team? Will the Pirates retain Brian Reynolds?
NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: Four potential destinations and trade proposals for Bo Horvat.
TSN: The Canucks players know it’s coming. The tidal wave of NHL trade rumors is coming straight for them.
Sportsnet: “No big deal.” A linesman shoved Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting off the ice. That’s kind of funny but also a bit ridiculous.
Montreal Hockey Now: It seems like a very good fit to me, but that’s up for debate. NHL trade rumors have linked Bo Horvat to the Montreal Canadiens.
Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins are a team to keep an eye on. They’re old, like the Penguins. They had a historically good start, but bad things and cracks are creeping into the Boston Bruins game.
Philly Hockey Now: He knows it’s coming. There’s no way around it. James van Riemsdyk knows his Flyers trade is imminent.
Check it out — There is a TON of coverage at Philly Hockey Now of the emerging tire fire that is the Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington Hockey Now: He’s out long-term, AGAIN. The Capitals are and have been feeling the loss of T.J. Oshie.
Vegas: Three men enter, one man leaves. I also think one could be on the NHL trade block, too. There’s a goalie decision looming for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Sportsnet Edmonton: GM Ken Holland’s seat is getting hot. He’s got the preeminent superstar, but again the team is struggling for a playoff spot in the 10-ply soft Western Conference.
And that is why I didn’t put Connor McDavid in my top three for mid-season Hart candidates. I was skewered on some chat boards, but team success should be a top priority.
Colorado Hockey Now: The hockey gods and injury bug have not made life easy for the defending Stanley Cup champs. However, Nathan MacKinnon is back on skates for the Colorado Avalanche.