The Pittsburgh Penguins trade was minor but curious, and the locker room admitted they have played too many horse(bleep) games. The Penguins’ playoff drive is still mathematically in their hands because they have between two and five games in hand on their rivals, and they got some help with losses by the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. The Montreal Canadiens honored Patrick Roy, then beat the New York Islanders. And the Ottawa Senators have outlined their plans for the NHL trade market and deadline.
The drive back from Wilkes-Barre is oddly faster than the drive up. There was a little airline making weekly flights from Pittsburgh to Wilkes-Barre, but darned if I could remember who or find them online. I’d like to thank the dozen new subscribers who joined us. I’ll be heading back up there during the bye week for an updated look at Jesse Puljujarvi, Sam Poulin, and maybe a better look at Joel Blomqvist. And I’ll have a few more in-depth conversations, too. I don’t think Puljujarvi liked my question about his health. Or maybe it was the language barrier. But it was a fair question. Get an ad-free experience and exclusive content on all Now sites by joining here.
Since my column, which laid out the real issues on the Penguins and didn’t throw coach Mike Sullivan under the bus, it seems PHN and my Twitter replies have become obsessively anti-Mike Sullivan.
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and can’t change the subject” — Winston Churchill.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Evgeni Malkin has new linemates for tonight’s game against Florida. He’s got the defensive conscience and the facilitator. A look inside the new Penguins’ lines.
And this is why we like Bryan Rust. The Penguins gritty winger admitted the Penguins have played horsesh*t hockey. More inside the Penguins locker room.
A curious little development. A day after I had some praise for Will Butcher, the Penguins dealt Butcher for an ECHL player. Here’s the Penguins trade.
PHN+: Wednesday, we broke down the state and status of Jesse Puljujarvi’s game after the WBS Penguins beat the Hartford Wolfpack. I delivered more analysis of the Penguins’ prospects, including Sam Poulin and a physical defenseman whose name you might start hearing pretty soon. Penguins prospects analysis.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: They’re not quite ready to sell, but the recent uptick in play is putting the Ottawa Senators in a position of strength. GM Steve Staios outlined his team’s plans for the NHL trade deadline and what he wants.
Montreal Hockey Now: Good news for the Penguins. The Islanders trailed 3-1 in the third but came back to tie it late, BUT Sean Monahan whistled a bouncing puck over Ilya Sorokin, and the Canadiens win, the Canadiens win.
Gotta see it: Montreal fans went nuts for new Islanders coach and Canadiens legend Patrick Roy.
Philly Hockey Now: In their first game without Carter Hart, the Red Wings pummeled the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0
New Jersey Hockey Now: More help for the Penguins. The Carolina Hurricanes took down the Michael McLeod-less New Jersey Devils.
TSN Insiders: The Columbus Blue Jackets are taking calls on Patrik Laine, the LA Kings are unhappy but staying the course for now, and the NHL trade market is jammed up because of the muddled standings.
Chicago Hockey Now: Two incredible streaks. The Edmonton Oilers won their 15th in a row, and the Chicago Blackhawks lost their 19th road game in a row.
Sportsnet: An interesting story. A scout’s look at prospects on six teams that are buying at the NHL trade deadline.