BOSTON — The Pittsburgh Penguins lineup, especially the blue line, will be a patchwork job for the 2023 Winter Classic. At least one member of the Penguins lineup has been paying attention to the online critics and clapped back. We’ve gone from worrying about rain to too much sun for the game today. The Toronto Maple Leafs may shift from big-game hunting to a few smaller moves before the NHL trade deadline. And Team USA begins knockout rounds at the WJCs vs. Germany.
Let’s chat about Kapanen for a moment.
I really hesitated to run the story as we did. I knew the story below would make a few nod their head but enflame his critics. Probably felt good for Kapanen to say it. So, enjoy.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Practice notebook. No Letang. Chad Ruhwedel’s status is unchanged, and the Winter Classic roster is banged up. Pittsburgh Penguins WC notebook.
Here’s the story. I find the Penguins players giving PHN some real “money” quotes as the season progresses. I think one had a little something to get off his chest on Sunday. Answering a hard question about the third-line struggles, Kasperi Kapanen poked his critics.
However, you feel about outdoor games — blame Sidney Crosby!
And the sun could be a problem today for the Penguins and Boston Bruins.
It’s tough to hate outdoor games when I got to skate on the ice at Fenway, which is hallowed ground to me. As a kid, the Red Sox were my other team. I woke up my family in the wee hours with a yell when David Ortiz, down to his last strike, beat the Yankees in 2004, and the Idiots rallied from a 3-0 series to finally, FINALLY, F-I-N-A-L-L-Y break the Curse of the Bambino. And the Green Monster. C’mon. Great baseball parks are entities. They become organic lifeforms with stories and personalities.
Someday, the Pirates ownership will also put a few stories in PNC Park. So far, all we’ve got is a dropped ball, a bat signal, and the annual parade of unused, unsold tickets.
- WOW. I didn’t think it was going to happen. But the Steelers are still alive for a playoff berth after a dramatic comeback win over Baltimore. Get the full deets — Steelers Win.
- Some good trash-talking by the Steelers. “Always fun to talk (crap),” Najee Harris said.
- Alan Saunders writes — and THAT is how good Kenny Pickett can be.
The Steelers are coming together far too late. They have far too many holes. And far too many head-scratching coaching decisions, but they will face the Browns next Sunday with a chance.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet/HNIC: Chicago might not put Max Domi on the NHL trade block, but the Toronto Maple Leads are on the prowl. However, Elliott Friedman thinks they will downsize their shopping list.
Florida Hockey Now: It’s time we keep close eyes on the Eastern Division powers. Somebody won’t make the playoffs despite 100 or more points. The New York Rangers kept winning, taking care of the Florida Panthers.
Detroit: The Red Wings are on the cusp of being competitive. They’re in the playoff hunt, but there are real questions for 2023. The rise of the Detroit Red Wings.
NYI: Some good news for the Penguins courtesy of the Seattle Kraken, who handily beat the New York Islanders.
Washington: Alex Ovechkin embarrassed the Canadiens on the Habs’ mom trip. He popped the hat trick, then — took pictures with the Canadiens’ moms?! All in good fun, but that’s a baller move, Alex Ovechkin.
Philly: The Flyers had a moment of not losing. Since losing the top pair gig, Rasmus Ristolainen has shined.
Of course, he didn’t embarrass the other team and then take pictures with their moms, but Risto played well.
And what of the Stanley Cup champs? I’m really excited to work with our new beat writer in Colorado, Evan Rawal, who brings a fresh slate and a heavyweight hockey IQ. The 5 things to watch in 2023 for the Colorado Avalanche.