Dan’s Daily: Sullivan Critical of Penguins Effort, Florida Catching Pens
NEW YORK — The Pittsburgh Penguins simultaneously had a chance to win and looked miles behind the New York Rangers Thursday. The Penguins lost 4-2 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and coach Mike Sullivan flatly asserted that too few players brought their best in the critical game. And don’t look now, the Florida Panthers are within striking distance after a crazy win over Montreal. Some big names are bidding big dollars for the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota openly ripped Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, and Sportsnet’s three sentences on the Penguins showed outsiders are as confused by them as insiders.
I’m probably as disappointed as many of you in the Penguins’ effort but in different ways. Our communication last night before the postgame Q&A was unlike anything I’ve experienced since returning to cover this team in 2014.
It should scare the daylights out of ownership. Negative inertia is real, and there is a genuine apathetic decline happening among fans. I can’t say the team looked invested on the ice, either. Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby had powerful games, but the supporting cast wasn’t so supportive.
Yet, the game-winning goal was clearly high-sticking or interference on Chris Kreider. The Penguins did not get a power play on Thursday. 0-for-0. Mike Sullivan dryly quipped, “It was the cleanest game all year.”
I’ll have more to say about the Penguins’ week of failure later today.
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Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang were on their toes. Tristan Jarry was good. Yet the rest of the team was asleep at the wheel. The Penguins recap.
It was not an angry room. Disappointed? Sad? But not angry. Mike Sullivan cracked his team for lack of urgency and too many players who didn’t bring it. Those are called passengers, and the Penguins had a busload. Go inside the Penguins’ locker room.
Watch the video Q&A from MSG. I didn’t spare feelings — A lethargic effort from too many players. How does that happen?! Penguins postgame.
ILB overhaul. Miles Jack is set to be given his walking papers by the Steelers.
The Steelers have a new guard. Nathan Herbig made a big impression yesterday.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
John Perrotto takes the Pirates to task for renewing Oneil Cruz’s contract at the league minimum. Why would the Pittsburgh Pirates risk alienating him?
PBN+: How the positional battles are shaping up two weeks before the opener. Pirates roster.
Penguins Playoff Chase, NHL News & National Hockey Now:
Florida Hockey Now: Ok, here’s the scoop. The Panthers are now only three points back of the Penguins with the same number of games played. Florida had a wild — and I mean insanely wild — win over Montreal Thursday. They scored seven goals in the first period. Seven?! Get the story from Sunrise. A big night for the Florida Panthers.
Montreal Hockey Now: The final was 9-5. The folks in Montreal seemed to enjoy the spectacle, too. Our boys in Montreal called it a “goal festival.” Montreal Canadiens take.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals are five points back with one more game played than the Penguins and one fewer than the Islanders. Despite the uphill battle, despite selling at the NHL trade deadline, and the potential for a lottery pick, the Washington Capitals are not giving up the fight.
TSN: It’s not playoff-related, but the Ottawa Senators sale is going swimmingly. Some big names are interested.
Colorado Hockey Now: The Avalanche probably ended any longshot playoff hopes for the Ottawa Senators with a bizarre game-winner. The Colorado Avalanche are rolling.
Sportsnet: Three sentences on every playoff-bound team. Justin Bourne probably hit the nail on the head with the Penguins, “the most confusing team in the NHL.”
San Jose Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins were rumored to be interested, but Finnish defenseman Valtteri Pulli.
Jordan Binnington was suspended for two games for his part in the Blues-Wild melee. The Wild openly criticized him as “doing that stuff for years.” Here’s the awesome follow-up to Marc-Andre Fleury trying to fight Binnington. The on-ice audio!
Great stuff. He really wanted to go. But he was also worried about his hair. Flower rules. https://t.co/CZXSu2ms6O
— Shelly Anderson (@_ShellyAnderson) March 16, 2023
Dan—–why is it we can’t message/contact you with questions ? i am not a fan of everything needing to be asked by commenting.
I think he gets most of his stuff from twitter. Commenting here is no different than emailing him.
no…….sometimes it’s nice to actually have a “conversation” with the writer/owner….i have done and still do this with other writers and i don’t like that we can have this contact….
Dude only has so much time in the day can you imagine if even 10 people thought like you do?
Not sure how he would ever write Carter blame pieces (relax, Im half kidding) if he had to do Q&As all day with fans in his emails.
i do not mean Q&A…….i have questions re the site and some issues that i would like to have answered and i don’t want to use a public forum to do so. and i have been very fortunate over many years to be able to do this and these writers have always answered…..
Hey coach, how about calling players out in public for their lack of passion or overall bad play? They’re professionals and should be able to take the criticism. Maybe get them to take an honest look in the mirror about their performance. What you’ve done for 3/4 of the season hasn’t worked.
I might be mistaken but didn’t one of the other coaches with several Cups recently, oh, I don’t know, bench his entire top line for an entire period? Hmmm… maybe I’m wrong.
Fleury can’t fight or play the puck when he’s out of the net. Stay in the crease!
Sid was on his toes?? Listen, don’t get me wrong, Sid is the GOAT and everything. And it is hard to ever say he plays BAD.. But if you are a -1 and have two even strength points, that means you got burned for all of their goals against and the first line CANT do that….this town has complete blinders on when he and his line are playing poorly outside of the offensive zone. He continues to struggle with D zone faceoffs, and the chances against and the amount of time spend in the D zone when his line is… Read more »
Think 82 games is a bit to much! What has Sid played in 1500 games? Think they all fear getting hurt before the playoffs! Malkin, Sid, Carter and others never hit anyone! Just like to see one of them make a clean hit that states they mean business!
I don’t think they are going to make the playoffs. At least they will avoid the embarassment of another first round exit. And they will get to be in the draft lottery.