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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Collapse, Washington Wastes Chance to Pass

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Pittsburgh Penguins. Mike Sullivan

The Pittsburgh Penguins collapsed on Tuesday night, but it was only part of a more significant season collapse. The Washington Capitals wasted their chance to pass the Penguins and claim third place in the Metro Division, thus avoiding the Florida Panthers in Round One. The Carolina Hurricanes clinched the Metro by beating the New York Rangers. The Vegas Golden Knights needed a regulation win to control their playoff fate, but their shootout loss to Dallas means their longshot bid remains dependent on others. And Auston Matthews became the first American-born player to pop 60 goals.

It’s not a coincidence the Metro Division old guard–the Penguins and Capitals–are at the bottom. It shows how far the other teams have come and the inevitable slippage of teams with core players well past their 30th birthday. Welcome to the last phase. We knew it was here, but to watch it is another thing and no less shocking.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: You know the rule, no one reads the postgame after a bad loss. So, here are the notes. Jason Zucker suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. Andy Saucier was the Penguins’ best player. He overturned two goals with offsides reviews. Connor McDavid had four points (1-3-4), and the Penguins were in the game until a third period collapse.

Video: The postgame comments said more than the words, and their words said a lot. They’re lost. Pittsburgh Penguins video postgame.

PHN+: More than words, the body language and the implications were yelling. Head coach Mike Sullivan said a mouthful, not in an angry, defiant way, but in a genuine way. The big question–are the Pittsburgh Penguins toast?

The Penguins canceled practice and media availability today.

Washington Hockey Now: Takeaways–The Capitals had a chance to claim third place. They faceplanted, too. WIthout Alex Ovechkin, the Islanders squashed the Washington Capitals 4-1.

NYI: Check out this ridiculous shortie by Casey Czikas against Washington. New York Islanders highlight.

The Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-3 in regulation to win the Metro Division.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Vegas: Staying Alive. It wasn’t a regulation win that would have put control in their hands. Dallas needs just one more point in the remaining two games, but the Vegas Golden Knights lived to fight another day.

NHL.com: Auston Matthews became the first American-born player to hit 60 goals in a season. 60?! That’s an amazing season.

Colorado Hockey Now: The Western Conference favorite has a few essential players on the injury list, but getting Gabriel Landeskog back for Game 1 looks pretty good. Colorado Avalanche injury update.

Vancouver: With the Dallas win, the Canucks chances are done, but they beat Seattle 5-2. Vancouver Canucks –30–

And…from Sportsnet–How Wayne Gretzky was almost traded to the Detroit Red Wings instead of the LA Kings. I didn’t know this story. Wow.

Subscribe to PHN+

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Deb DAmico
Deb DAmico
5 months ago

So they are horrible and need work on the PP. etc., but he cancelled practice today? 🙄

AnthonyB
AnthonyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Deb DAmico

I would cancel practice also… nobody wants to play hockey.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Deb DAmico

They had all season to work on that stuff. If it isn’t fixed by now, it probably won’t be. What they need now is to out work opponents and get some lucky bounces for some wins. That is how you get confidence and can beat opponents that are better.

Frank
Frank
5 months ago

It is hard to decide what was worse . .. the game performance . .. or the post game remarks. You know you are in trouble with Kaspari Kapanen . . . Kaspari Kapanen . .. is offering his thoughts on team lack of confidence and push back. He is the poster child for both. Essentially it would be like Lizzo offering nutrition tips. They may be cooked. . . or divine intervention . . make turn them around in the next five days but one thing for sure there is no reason for fans to get ready for an… Read more »

William Maloni
William Maloni
5 months ago

Let Letang and Geno go, along with Dumo and Pettersson, add Kappy to that group. Pay up for Rust and Rakell.

Rebuild with whatever FAs the team can afford, plus any young guys coming in trades

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
5 months ago
Reply to  William Maloni

JMR wanted to make changes the owner voted no now we get nothing for these guys they are free agents sadly it is over if Sullivan was smart he would also leave.

Zachary
Zachary
5 months ago
Reply to  Chase Cranson

JR is the reason the Penguins are in this predicament now. His constantly making trades to make trades, and trading draft picks has finally caught up with them. With all do respect, with JR’s trade track record after the 2nd cup, I wouldn’t be too confident in what deal he had lined up for Letang.

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
5 months ago
Reply to  Zachary

2 Cups he was getting several first round choices but owner wasn’t letting core move on so you like Hextall God help us

Zachary
Zachary
5 months ago
Reply to  Chase Cranson

I will take Hextall over JR any day.

Zachary
Zachary
5 months ago
Reply to  Chase Cranson

Hextall has patience and needs to do what JR should have done, start rebuilding the draft

Last edited 5 months ago by Zachary
Rob
Rob
5 months ago

They played well, but were inconsistent the majority of the season. Making the playoffs is a win in my opinion. I think having this season’s mvp injured right now is too much for them to overcome. Its not a knock on DeSmith, but Jarry was THAT good all season. Most of the wins were his doing. Such a shame that the injury bug struck at the most terrible time possible. Don’t worry all you negative Nellie’s, the season is over with 4 losses once the playoffs start so then you will be put out of your misery. For me, the… Read more »

Wasnt
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob

” Making the playoffs is a win” couldn’t agree more. At the beginning of the season Pens fans wanted Jarry out, had no money to get anyone, Sid needs surgery, and McCann and Tanev go to Seattle. I really thought Buffalo or Pens would be the worst. Islanders got a healthy Anders Lee back, Philly buys everyone, Rangers get bigger, Hurricanes get more D, Craps get better with Maata. Oh the poor Pens, Geno goes down and Zucker….poor Zucker. Sully some how gets what’s left out of Boyle and Carter and all the sudden Pens were battling for first and… Read more »

Zachary
Zachary
5 months ago

JR put the Penguins in this predicament. Constantly making trades to just make trades, trading first round picks. It catches up.

Prisms Holland
Prisms Holland
5 months ago

Lack of readiness I will agree with. ‘Play the game our way’ isn’t working. Adjustments have to be made with each team we play against. This isn’t being done. Crosby can’t carry the team any longer, when the team doesn’t show up to play. They might just as well have forfeited the game as to try to finish it. I think the team needs to hold a closed meeting and address in the strongest terms all that is going wrong and hold those accountable for them. Lack of confidence? That’s an excuse, not a reason. It’s going to be a… Read more »

Uros
Uros
5 months ago

The VGK game was a prime example of the importance of goalies in a playoff game. Oettinger, who is a young goalie, bailed out the Stars. But young goalies have won cups just to disappear after. Murray and Binnington come to mind. And there was an article about nothing changing in the league when Pens and Caps were near the top. It was early days. There was this turnaround where at one point everybody thought we had a chance to today’s the end is nigh. We all know how this team can play so why don’t they? No one can… Read more »

Pete Hoffman
Pete Hoffman
5 months ago

Pens fan for life. Lets Go Pens!