Today is the day the 2020-21 Pittsburgh Penguins officially end. The team will gather for locker clean-out day and have their exit interviews with the Penguins coaches. The team will give some firm handshakes and thanks, others will be given an offseason challenge, and a few, such as Sidney Crosby, will be asked how they can lead the Penguins back to the top of the hockey world.
Also in the Daily–Marc-Andre Fleury will face Game 7 tonight against the Minnesota Wild after a second-straight Vegas Golden Knights lackluster performance in Game 6, John Tavares surprised teammates by taking the ice, did Taylor Hall “force” a trade to the Boston Bruins, and we are set for Round 2.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Sidney Crosby says he won’t play GM. The Penguins’ future is in the hands of others.
Despite the Pittsburgh Penguins youth movement, it’s an old guy–Jeff Carter–who could keep the Penguins core together. Here’s a free preview of PHN+, and Here’s how Carter changes the Penguins equation.
If you missed the news last night, the Penguins have the highest TV ratings of any NHL OR NBA team. And Jim Rutherford hired an agent. It looks like he’ll be job shopping or wants to have choices.
At 10:15 Friday Morning, the Penguins will begin to make players available for their final media interviews. It’s via zoom, so the stories won’t be as in-depth or interesting as they were in years past when we could walk over to their locker stall and have a chat with the player. We may do a Live Blog with running commentary and quotes. What do you think?
NHL & National Hockey Now
Vegas: Marc-Andre Fleury went from the front-page story to afterthought as the team failed to finish Minnesota, and now they face Game 7. Can Max Pacioretty be the spark that actually puts a puck in the net?
And you know Fleury in Game 7s. He does pretty, pretty well. If you’re so inclined to place a bet on Fleury–here’s our friend, MGM. If you create an account and place a bet on tonight, send us the screenshot, and we’ll give you a free year of PHN+:
Florida: The Florida Panthers gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a real series. That Game 1 and 2 battles were absolutely epic, and Florida didn’t quit. Their future is looking very bright, finally.
Spencer Knight is going to be the next great Panthers goalie. Only eight more years of Bobrovsky to go.
Boston: Did Taylor Hall “force” his trade to the Boston Bruins (No, but he really wanted it) and get set for Round Two between the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders from the Boston side.
NYI: The New York Islanders are proving last year wasn’t a fluke.
I’d disagree with that. I think the Bruins are about to wipe the floor with them. Had the Pittsburgh Penguins not experienced a Tristan Jarry meltdown, that series would have been over quickly and not in a good way for the Isles.
Sportsnet: John Tavares suffered an ugly and fluky injury early in the Round One series vs. Montreal. He essentially tangled with Montreal forward Corey Perry, took a knee to the head, and twisted into the board. Controversy erupted as a few Canadian tabloid papers used the worst possible photo on the front page. Toronto promised to win for Tavares.
On Thursday, John Tavares surprised everyone and gave the Leafs a huge emotional boost by skating before practice.
Colorado: A cool off-day look–The Seven Most Educated Hockey Players