The Pittsburgh Penguins never had their legs and were never in the game on Friday night as the burgeoning New York Rangers waxed them. We’ll take you inside the Penguins’ effort. The Eastern Conference is undergoing a playoff shift that could make for several incredible Round One matchups. The Montreal Canadiens had a deal in place involving Jeff Petry at the NHL trade deadline, but it fell through. And TSN dared to ask the unanswerable question about Toronto Maple Leafs fans.
We’ll start with the Penguins and their egg in New York. Some of John Gotti’s enemies had a better time on Mulberry St. than the Penguins had in MSG on Friday night.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Evgeni Malkin missed the game due to a non-Covid illness. And Jason Zucker began skating with the team on Friday morning. Pittsburgh Penguins news.
I’m just going to assume you don’t want or need the recap of the no-show loss. They stunk.
PHN+: We go inside the Penguins loss. Captain Sidney Crosby was blunt. Head coach Mike Sullivan was unvarnished and not a happy guy. The Penguins could have taken a big lead for second place and home ice in Round One. Instead, it was an unpleasant effort. Penguins report card and reaction.
Just check the NHL standings. The Tampa Bay Lightning are now a wild card, and if the playoffs started today, they would be in the Metro Division. Talk about a shark in the water.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
Montreal Hockey Now: Now, this is a bit of a bombshell. GM Kent Hughes admitted he thought he had a trade involving Jeff Petry at the NHL trade deadline, but it didn’t get to the finish line. An offseason deal sounds likely. Montreal Canadiens trade chatter.
I cannot say that news has Kris Letang implications, but the dots are there to be connected. We’ll do more poking around to confirm a few whispers about both. With Montreal Hockey Now doing so well, more Canadian sources are opening up. We’ve got quite a pipeline to a lot more info. Jimmy Murphy and Marco D’Amico are mining it with a bucket loader.
TSN: Ok, here’s the eternal question that has no answer. If you have fun wasting time, is it wasted time? Where do all of the missing socks go? And, what will make Toronto Maple Leafs fans happy?
Vegas Hockey Now: The trade was voided. The NHL is pushing to change the No-Trade-Clause process (like easily accessible paperwork?). Still, as Owen Krepps writes, the nullified deal at the NHL trade deadline might be the best thing that happened to Evgenii Dadonov.
Sportsnet: For you fantasy hockey players coming down the stretch, hunting for players after the NHL trade deadline, Sportsnet says to check the Panthers’ depth.
Florida Hockey Now: Speaking of the sunshine state. Remember when Sam Reinhart was languishing in Buffalo? Reinhart and a handful of others are thriving with the Florida Panthers.
Detroit Hockey Now: The Red Wings visit Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon (Is 5 p.m. late afternoon or early evening). Rookies have been recalled, the flu bug is running rampant, and Tomas Greiss is injured. Detroit Red Wings wrap.
Colorado: Artturi Lehkonen is caught in red tape, wrapped tightly, around his immigration status. He was traded but still hasn’t arrived for the Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver: Jim Rutherford is back from his 12-day COVID spell, and he’s calling it the biggest game of the year. It’s make or break for the Vancouver Canucks.
Shelly Anderson and I have Pittsburgh Penguins practice coverage today. That should be interesting, even for a spring Saturday.