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Dan’s Daily: Torts’ Bold Scratch, Islanders Criticism, & Penguins Buckle



John Tortorella, Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguinsa analysis, NHL news

The Pittsburgh Penguins had one of their worst starts of the season but rebounded with a genuine chance to win the game before collapsing in the third period against the New Jersey Devils in a 5-2 loss. Sidney Crosby lamented his missed chance, while coach Mike Sullivan criticized his team’s defensive effort. Elsewhere in the Daily, John Tortorella took aim at his captain, Sean Couturier, and scratched him amidst a two-game streak. The Islanders are fumbling it all away, coach Patrick Roy ripped his goalie, and the NHL will have some minor rules changes for next season.

The Penguins game was one of the most disappointing of the season. I’m quite curious if Penguins coach Mike Sullivan sees what Tortorella is doing in Philadelphia and is tempted to take a more “iron fist” approach, as he did in the beginning.

I was struck by Sullivan’s postgame comments when he called out one specific goal but not two others, which were every bit as egregious, if not worse. Cue the organ music…

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Incredibly sad news was our lead story Tuesday morning. Former Penguins winger and current KHL assistant coach Konstantin Koltsov died at 42. We updated the story to include the cause of death as it was ruled a suicide.

Dave Molinari went one-on-one with Sidney Crosby, who let his guard down just a little bit about tying one of Wayne Gretzky’s records. It was a rare moment for the Penguins captain.

If you missed the game, here is Molinari’s Penguins recap.

**New Jersey Hockey Now: For the flip side, Jake Allen was special. Get the takeaways from behind enemy lines and the New Jersey Devils analysis.

The report card was scathing, especially regarding the defense, the effort, and the need for repeated criticism of each. There was some good, too. Get the Penguins’ grades.

PHN+: Crosby’s lament, Sullivan’s blunt assessment, and Marcus Pettersson the truth-teller. For subscribers, the story and the raw video of inside the Penguins locker room.

Use code Dan10 to save 10 bucks and join this media rebellion with inside coverage of teams across the league, Pirates and Steelers, too.

More from New Jersey — Dave’s takeaways from the barn in Newark. From the blue line stench to brotherly crime, the Penguins six-pack.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Coaches in the Metro Division took center stage…

Philly Hockey Now: Bold move. Tortorella scratched captain Sean Couturier against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It worked. More from the Philadelphia Flyers’ resounding win.

NYI Hockey Now: Things getting ugly on Long Island. Five straight losses. Coach Patrick Roy let it be known he’s not happy with his goalie. Then the Islanders lost their fifth straight. Rough times for the New York Islanders.

Detroit Hockey Now: The Red Wings enjoyed a comeback win and lept back into a playoff spot. “It looked like they quit.” Keeping tabs on the Detroit Red Wings.

ESPN: The NHL made a few rules tweaks and expanded the coach’s challenge when it comes to pucks over the glass. If a team thinks the puck was deflected and the ref got it wrong, they can challenge the call, BUT it would result in a 5v3. Here’s all of the changes.

Sportsnet: Take a look at the top NCAA free agents of the 2024 class.

Colorado Hockey Now: It was not a good day for the hockey world. In addition to Koltsov, news broke that tough guy Chris Simon also passed away. The big guy won the 1996 Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche.