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Dan’s Daily: Canucks’ Pittsburgh Hero, Penguins Debates, Trade Scenarios

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Pittsburgh Penguins opinion, NHL trade talk, J.T. MIller wins it for Vancouver.

The seconds were ticking down toward overtime, then in the final 31 seconds, the Vancouver Canucks scored the game-winning goal when Pittsburgh native J.T. Miller capped a great game by burying a rebound goal. Canucks win and have a 3-2 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers. Also in the Daily, we look at unrestricted free agents for the Pittsburgh Penguins to avoid, giving credit and blame to Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas, and the Penguins draft order is set after the Carolina Hurricanes blew a two-goal third-period lead and were eliminated by the New York Rangers. In the NHL trade speculation, Kevin McGran at the Toronto Star put together four deals for Mitch Marner.

It’s rather ironic that the Penguins were denied a first-round pick when a team blew a third-period lead, eh? McGran’s piece is the best we’ve seen on the subject.

I did get on the motorcycle for a few hours yesterday. Actually, it was much longer than that because my planned little ride to Ohiopyle and back was absolute frustration. I took Rt. 88 off of Saw Mill Run Blvd (Rt. 51), and it took about three bloody hours to get there. It took two hours just to get to Charleroi. A pair of lightfooted drivers completely held up traffic. How do you suburbanites put up with that nonsense?! But I finally got there–wrote a story, had a piece of pizza and some chocolate goodness, and rode back.

Also–I booked my hotel for Saginaw to cover the Memorial Cup and scout Brayden Yager. With any luck, I’ll be able to take the bike on that trip, too. Fingers crossed. I want to get my eyes on the kid to see how far he’s come this season. He looks pretty good on video. The content will be behind the paywall. I’d love it if you could support these crazy trips, like the last one in Wilkes-Barre. Use code Dan10 to get 10 bucks off, but please Join PHN+ here.

The sea was angry, my friends. It would have been a good day to go whitewater rafting down there. Here was my view while writing the story:

Pittsburgh Penguins

Lots of content yesterday!

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: New York denied the Penguins not only a first-rounder but also a fifth-rounder as Carolina buckled in the third, and New York flexed its comeback ability. A 3-1 deficit became a 5-3 New York win. So, here is the complete Penguins draft order.

There are easy shutouts, and then there are easy-peasy, take-a-nap-without-trying shutouts. A Penguins goalie earned a shutout for Team USA–but I won’t tell you how many shots he faced. You have to read to find out what a dominating game it was and how ridiculous Alex Nedeljkovic’s shutout was.

Now to the red meat.

First up, Dave Molinari. He delivered some credit with the criticism of Dubas, some praise for Rick Tocchet, and his own version of the Trouba-elbow on Jacob Trouba. Here’s Dave’s Penguins opinion.

Lastly, but hopefully not least, we examined the big-name free agents. Not every big name will improve the team, and here are three that I know you’re going to want—but three UFAs the Penguins should avoid.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

Toronto Star: I like Kevin McGran’s work very much. He’s not the loudest Toronto writer, but he puts out smart articles and keeps his feet on the ground. He’s now the only Toronto writer advocating keeping the Maple Leafs’ core five together, BUT just in case, here’s what a Mitch Marner trade would look like.

Sportsnet: Here’s the highlight with the Canadian broadcasters as J.T. Miller finished off his big night with a goal they’ll talk about for a few days.

The Canucks pushed the Oilers to the brink with Miller’s goal and can eliminate them in Game 6. The city of Vancouver is about to explode if Rick Tocchet’s boys eliminate McDavid and go to the Western Conference Final.

And how will Edmonton keep it all together if they can’t advance to the WCF with McDavid? We’re coming up on a decade with no playoff success. Leon Draisaitl is a UFA next summer, and Edmonton’s lineup has a lot–A LOT–of shortcomings. *Cue the ominous organ music.

The Athletic ($): Murat Ates puts Nikolia Ehlers on the NHL trade block. He put the Penguins near the bottom of his list, but it’s worth noting the big-time changes the Winnipeg Jets might consider.

NYI Hockey Now: Wow. The Russian free agent was sought by several teams, if not many, but Maxim Tsyplakov chose the New York Islanders.

He does know they’re not actually in New York City, right? I’d hate to be the one to tell him it takes 45 minutes to get back and forth to the city … on a good day.

Philly Hockey Now: I say hello, you say goodbye. While the Islanders gained a top Russian, it looks like the Flyers might lose their top goalie prospect, who wants to return to Belarus because he hasn’t adjusted to North America. Here’s the Flyers news.

New Jersey Hockey Now: A Devils coach coming soon? ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes tweeted the same eyeballs that he used two days before the Penguins fired associate coach Todd Reirden. Only this time, it was for the New Jersey Devils.