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Dan’s Daily: Sabres Will be Buyers, Are the Penguins Good Enough?



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter; NHL trade talk

The NHL trade deadline is just a bit over a month away. The Buffalo Sabres are only two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, and signs point to Buffalo moving from sellers to buyers at the NHL trade deadline. Like all players, Timo Meier has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Penguins fans might have heard this one before, Toronto goalie Matt Murray missed a start after suffering an injury in warmup. The New York Islanders ended their losing streak and pulled closer to the wild card spot, the Pacific Division is now controlled by the Seattle Kraken, and the Penguins played hard on Thursday, but are they good enough?

I must confess, I am limping to the bye week. The first half of the season has been insane; from managing NHN and draining personnel decisions to writing and traveling, I bit off quite a bit. I’ve been reading my stuff lately, and I apologize — it’s been dryer than burnt toast and had all the personality of an earthworm.

I’m working on it. Or rather, I’ll not be working to work on it. Of course, I’ll be doing the daily columns. We’ll be doing some roundtable debates and trade deadline analysis, but I’ll also take a few days, so you’ll get my very best in the second half.

I indeed received some praise and criticism for my column on Friday (and a few readers took me to task for not being more combative with coach Mike Sullivan). Certainly, I stand behind my critiques of the team and its construction, and it is there for all to read, but arguing with Sullivan in a postgame presser to provide a fan’s catharsis ain’t gonna happen. I ask more hockey questions and others borrow them, but if I want a respectful dialogue (or any dialogue), I have to maintain that respect. This isn’t the White House press corps dominated by pushing agendas. Aight?

Pittsburgh Hockey Now:

Several Penguins haven’t scored since the eighth-grade picnic, including the entirety of the third line. The Penguins earned a “hard-fought” point and put their best foot forward, but was it good enough? No, not really. Pittsburgh Penguins opinion.

Washington Hockey Now — Scooped by my colleague! Just as I joined the Sidney Crosby scrum, I heard something about the officials, but it seemed innocuous. Actually, Crosby took a little dig at the refs after the Washington Capitals win

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NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now:

Sportsnet: Timo Meier to Toronto? The Buffalo Sabres could be buyers, not sellers, at the NHL trade deadline. Yep, the Sabres are looking to add.

TSN: The Penguins had a scout in attendance for the Maple Leafs vs. Senators on Friday, but stop me if you’ve heard this before — goalie Matt Murray missed his start after suffering an injury in the pregame warmup.

NYI: The Sabres are nipping at the Penguins’ heels. With a well-timed 2-0 win over Detroit, the New York Islanders are four points back.

Defenseman John Carlson returned to the ice after that scary incident when a slapshot rearranged the side of his face. Capitals injury update.

Colorado Hockey Now: There was some talk that Colorado would “Kucherov” their captain Gabe Landeskog. So, here’s the plan for Landeskog and the Colorado Avalanche.

San Jose Hockey Now: The Sharks didn’t give the Penguins any help. The headline says it all — HOW?? San Jose had a two-goal lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with less than two minutes remaining. Yet, Carolina beat the San Jose Sharks in OT.

HOW?? Indeed.

Montreal Hockey Now: Cole Caufield is done for the season (torn labrum). Trainers removed his sticks and skates from the locker room because they knew he’d try to go back on the ice, but they couldn’t keep him from showing up at practice and goofing off with Montreal Canadiens teammates.