ANAHEIM — The Pittsburgh Penguins enjoyed an off day after a thumping win, but is it one they should forget? Things are getting tense in Edmonton as the Oilers cannot find the on switch. The flat and lackadaisical team is 2-7-1. Reports from up north suggest “everything” is on the table, which should send the NHL trade rumors into overdrive beginning today. This is the big week for Patrick Kane regarding where he will sign, and Tony DeAngelo is again on the block. And in a tribute that is reminiscent of NASCAR fans honoring Dale Earnhardt, Nottingham FC fans honored Adam Johnson over the weekend.
I think we’re all still coming to grips with losing a player. No matter the level or league, it’s shocking. We go to the arena expecting fun. We assume the players are living or chasing a dream of a game that God has blessed them with the skills to play. We accept injuries as part of the sport. A knee here, a shoulder there. That’s the price for the dream.
No one believed death was a professional risk.
The EIHL paid tribute with a guest book, black armbands, and wreaths at center ice. But as Nottingham FC battled Aston Villa in a Premier League soccer match, fans used the 47th minute to pay tribute:
Powerful & poignant scene as the City Ground remembers Adam Johnson, an American hockey player tragically killed in an on-ice accident playing for Nottingham Panthers. ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/WVzttnXU7E
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) November 5, 2023
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: From another roller coaster week with tough losses and big questions to Erik Karlsson returning “home” and Sidney Crosby hitting another impressive milestone, it’s Dave Molinari’s Penguins Wrap.
Should the players forget their 10-2 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks? Dave tackled that subject on Sunday as well. It’s hard to celebrate a win over a team that has a -43 goal differential already, but it was also a needed catharsis. Here’s the scoop on the Penguins win.
I took a little harder approach to the Penguins win. If you read the report card, I didn’t pay much attention to the scoreboard but instead the process and performances. I turned the page to ask a big-picture question that I posed over the summer, and I’ll ask again. Are the Penguins too much for their own good? Here’s the Penguins column.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: Ryan O’Reilly had a hat trick, and the Nashville Predators further humbled the 2-7-1 Edmonton Oilers. If you think things are bad for the Penguins, Edmonton is befuddled. Mark Spector reports, “Everything is on the table” to fix the Oilers before it’s too late.
If you care, having covered Edmonton in Round Two last year, I got a good look at them. The roster construction was spotty. I thought Jay Woodcroft was significantly outcoached–and he held onto Stuart Skinner in net for far too long. But the biggest fault lies with GM Ken Holland. That forward crew is built to score, but has been missing key ingredients for a while.
Chicago Tribune: Another former Blackhawks player has come forward as a victim of sexual assault and is suing the team for not properly handling his complaint. The complaint is thus far anonymous but alleges the player told a secretary and president, John McDonough. Disgraced former video coach Brad Aldrich sent illicit pictures and threatened the player’s career. The Chicago Tribune got the exclusive on many of the details.
This second accusation might permanently prevent Stan Bowman or Joel Quenneville from getting back in the game. Multiple accusations mean there are probably more, too.
Boston Hockey Now: Ryan Reaves is talking tough and laying down the law should anyone harm the Toronto Maple Leafs star players, including Brad Marchand. However, as Jimmy Murphy writes, it’s just talk. Marchand and the Boston Bruins can ignore it.
San Jose Hockey Now: It’s a real question very quickly. The Sharks are an absolute mess. Sheng Peng has the locker room story after their loss to the Penguins, including coach David Quinn addressing his job security. The San Jose Sharks are sinking.
HNIC: Elliotte Friedman reports this is the big week for Patrick Kane as the winger gets closer and closer to being able to return.
I can’t help but wonder if Nick Backstrom’s situation will scare away teams or drive down Kane’s value.
Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers are skidding. A few issues with the young and scrappy team are reading their ugly head, but the Flyers’ next game is against … wait for it … the San Jose Sharks. That should be some help for the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington Hockey Now: Tom Wilson is more than a fighter, but how is the new “offensive” mindset affecting the team in the nation’s capital? How will they cope without Nick Backstrom? Jared Serra breaks down the up-and-down Washington Capitals‘ start.
NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders left a crucial point on the table and lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in OT this weekend. Worse, Bo Horvat left the game after blocking a shot in the third period. Andrew Fantucchio tries to look at the plans without Horvat in the lineup. Do the New York Islanders even have a plan?
New Jersey Hockey Now: It could have been worse. The New Jersey Devils announced Jack Hughes is out week-to-week.