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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Cling to Playoff Lead, Hockey World Cup Closer?



NHL Trade, Pittsburgh Penguins Tristan Jarry

DALLAS — The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers lost in regulation Thursday. Florida was trounced while the Penguins deserved better, but the games were losses just the same. The playoff standings remained the same, the Penguins one point ahead, one game closer to their 17th consecutive trip to Lord Stanley’s dance. MLB’s World Baseball Classic has tongues wagging in the hockey world for a similar World Cup or a USA vs. Canada summit series. Vegas may have dealt the Calgary Flames’ playoff hopes a mortal blow, and there is another Pride jersey controversy.

Please don’t make me spend hours moderating comments today. No one ever changed their opinion based on a comments section, but it surely hardens many and repels more.

And I pondered being involved in a mid-air “incident” on Thursday. A full Southwest flight is never a good thing. I must have a sign that invites weirdos to sit beside me. It’s like a neon sign only they can see. A smaller woman was eyeing our middle seat, and I wouldn’t have minded if you know what I mean. But Captain Goober, just one person in front of her, jumped into the middle seat with a monstrous hiking backpack as his “personal item.” (C’mon Southwest, make him check that!!). He dropped it on the floor between us and then spread his legs around it. Yet that wasn’t the worst.

He bounced his leg like John Bonham for the entire damned three-hour flight. Not even my obvious turn and glare could make him stop. I planned to use the flight for sleep but instead spent at least two hours plotting his well-deserved introduction to skydiving without a parachute.

These people just find me.

My mother said there’s always one weirdo on the bus. I couldn’t find him. — Geechy Guy

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A solid effort and a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.

Tristan Jarry suffered a lower-body injury and is out.

PHN+: The report card includes what Dallas did to attack the Penguins and coach Mike Sullivan’s response that sprung the Penguins’ rush game. The breakdown and the Penguins player report card.

One comment or question you can answer for me — if you don’t already, what would make you subscribe to PHN+?

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The locker room was somewhat upbeat after playing well. Casey DeSmith had high praise for his team, though Bryan Rust took himself to the woodshed for not scoring on a glorious third-period chance. “That’s pathetic,” he said. Go inside the Penguins’ locker room.

Check out the PHN YouTube page. We’re at over 2100 subscribers. I put our live Penguins chats, locker room videos, and more there. Here is the Q&A and more pointed questions after the Penguins game.

Penguins Playoff Chase, NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Florida Hockey Now: It was terrible timing for Florida but good timing for the Penguins. The Toronto Maple Leafs rolled the Florida Panthers 6-2.

It was Pride night in Florida, but the headlines were the Staal brothers sitting out the warmup. A public kerfuffle engulfed Marc and Eric Staal, and the Panthers’ Pride Night.

RMNB: The Capitals won to stay four points back (one more game played) and John Carlson’s return to the lineup was a success.

TSN Insiders: The WBC has people clamoring for hockey to do the same. There are still big challenges. Darren Dreger polled GMs on the matter. Don’t bet on it. It all sounded good until the end.

Montreal Hockey Now: Defenseman Lane Hutson, whom the Penguins passed over to select Owen Pickering at the 2022 NHL Draft, is breaking NCAA records. He became a Montreal Canadiens prospect.

Canes Country: The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the New York Rangers but gained a loser point and clinched a playoff berth.

Boston Hockey Now: Canadiens forward Rem Pitlick delivered a headshot to Bruins stalwart Patrice Bergeron. So, Brad Marchand went after Pitlick, and mayhem ensued in the Bruins’ win. Check out the Boston Bruins’ response.

Calgary Hockey Now: It seems bleak. Another loss and the playoffs are farther away. Ouch — Milan Lucic says more accountability would have helped the Calgary Flames.