SUNRISE, Fla — A couple of sudsy mugs with Florida colleague George Richards could not help the digestion of the Penguins’ fourth straight loss. The night belonged to two-time Stanley Cup champ Patric Hornqvist, who was honored by the Penguins and Florida Panthers before the game. Plenty of Penguins teammates had stories to share. Elsewhere in the Daily, Flyers and Flames dominated TSN’s first big NHL trade bait board. The Islanders picked up a former Penguins defenseman on the trade market, and Pierre LeBrun listed the earlier-than-usual rumblings for defensemen and goalies on the trade block.
I took an extra hour to write the “report card” Friday night. I just couldn’t tie it all together without being over-the-top negative. It took more massaging than an NFL trainers’ room after a Thursday night game.
I think I got to where I wanted, noting the good Penguins’ performances and the arrows that point up, but the undeniable fact that results have not followed. Oh, those pesky results.
For some reason, our postgame Q&A video wasn’t loading last night, so after the final southern Florida schooner was washed away, I tried again to no avail. We’ll see if I can figure out why it’s not uploading and get the video up this AM. I thought I was dynamic, brilliant, captivating, and a bag of chips (not).
You can check out the Patric Hornqvist press conference–raw video and teasing him after the 90-second mark here.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Bring up the young players! So, the Penguins did en masses on Friday, and in the process, they sent Alex Nylander back to the AHL. Friday, we had one NHL debut and two NHL returns, including Valtteri Puustinen.
I’m far from perfect, but usually, on player analysis and projections, I’m pretty good. I wonder if all of the folks who banged on me last March for tempering the potential of Alex Nylander will say, “Oh all right, Kingerski, you got one. Sorry for calling you all of those names.”
It’s a big jump from the AHL to the NHL. I noticed one thing with Nylander — he was trying to score with easy shots. A soft tap in front when he needed a hard redirect or shot, A shot outside the dots. NHL goalies eat those up.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: You can get the Penguins recap here. The analysis was a bit different on Friday. I didn’t do a tactical breakdown or in-depth look at the game. Friday wasn’t the night for that. Instead, it was a full examination of the team and what is going wrong. Kyle Dubas said the trip was a test. You know the results. Here’s the Penguins analysis.
Florida Hockey Now: Oh boy. George Richards did some trolling with his headline, “Yinz Good?” Here’s the other side of the Florida Panthers win.
And I think you may like this from the Florida guys. Hornqvist really changed the culture in Florida. To a man, he’s the player credited with lifting them from talented spuds to a hungry team. Here’s what Patric Hornqvist did for them.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
TSN: Let the NHL trade season begin. The first TSN trade bait board is up, and it’s filled with Flames and Flyers.
The Athletic ($): It’s trade season earlier than usual, and goalies and defensemen dominate it. There are some sellers, but are there buyers for what’s available?
NYI Hockey Now: Remember Robert Bortuzzo? He’d better like fish sticks because he was the “get” in the New York Islanders trade.
Boston Hockey Now: Noah Hanafin? Here we go with more defenseman talk. Perhaps Hanfin fits, but he will cost a pretty penny. Jimmy Murphy lays out cheaper options for the Boston Bruins on the NHL trade block.
Colorado Hockey Now: Coach Jared Bednar called out his star players. Cale Makar called out himself. It’s a little rough patch, but I thought you might like to see the accountability with the Colorado Avalanche.