Well, at least fans didn’t chant “Fire Matt Canada.” The Pittsburgh Penguins were dynamite for six minutes, then imploded for the next 54 in a 5-2 loss to their decimated division rival New Jersey Devils. The Penguins locker room didn’t sugarcoat it, nor did we in the report card or postgame video. However, there’s a palate cleanser, and you can find out which Penguins player went nuts when a former team’s pregame meal didn’t include cookies and his teammates couldn’t stop laughing. Also in the Daily, William Nylander talks are ongoing, goalies are coming off the NHL trade market, and the NHL wants a lot of international tournaments, including the Olympics.
I hate to say I knew the Penguins would faceplant on Thursday, but … I knew. I’ve been with the team every day for a few weeks, and on Thursday, I had a massive case of “I need a day off.” I could feel it coming with the team, too.
Yes, the Penguins were garconanokin. Google it. You’re welcome.
Also, Sam Poulin was in attendance on Thursday. The club hasn’t made any announcements.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: OK, many fans just stop reading after a loss (I think that’s the opposite way to go, but that’s me). So, here is a palate cleanser. The Penguins Notebook — Why Oreos are important for the pregame meal, nicknames, and coming Penguins lineup decisions.
OK, if you missed the game and want the actual details, get Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.
**New Jersey Hockey Now: For some fun, here’s the Devils’ perspective from colleague James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now. The Devils’ takeaways.
I didn’t spare feelings, but I didn’t go overboard, either. The biggest loss was the wasted opportunity to beat the Devils, who were shorthanded. Teams only get a few cracks at division rivals this season. Here’s the deeper breakdown — The Penguins report card.
What did the boys have to say about it? They weren’t flipping tables, but there were no smiles. Here’s the raw video, unedited and not made up by a Fox Sports sideline reporter. The Penguins locker room speaks.
If written words aren’t your thing, I was on my game last night. Watch the 5-minute Penguins postgame.
Seriously, who else gives you that much Penguins content on a Thursday?
The ESPN Sportsbook folks are making a splash this week. The $250 bonus is the best we’ve seen. If you want to put a few beans on the Steelers vs. a rookie QB this weekend, click here. Please make sure to use code PHN so we get credit for your signup.
NHL Trade Rumors, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportnet: Gary Bettman and Bill Daly spoke at the NHL game in Sweden between the Red Wings and Senators. The big takeaway is how much international play the league wants.
I’m in favor of the Olympics and the World Cup, but shorten the season by a few games in those seasons, play more divisional games, and, for gosh sake, don’t try to run the players into the ground with a compressed schedule and onerous back-to-backs to make up for lost time.
New Jersey Hockey Now: The Devils have been casually shopping for a goalie for some time. However, take one big target off the NHL trade block.
Philly Hockey Now: This summer, the Philly Flyers filled the NHL trade rumors, but little came of it. Sam Carchidi is correct–here’s the best Flyers trade they didn’t make.
There was a cacophony of NHL trade chatter on Thursday but almost none on Friday. Go figure.
TSN: The William Nylander-Toronto Maple Leafs talks are ongoing, but nothing is imminent. The latest from TSN insiders.
I remain convinced at least one of the Maple Leafs core will wind up in Pittsburgh. I have no evidence, no whispers, but I’ll lay a few matchsticks on it.