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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Tough Decisions, New Maple Leafs ‘Built Differently’



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kyle Dubas, NHL trade talk and news.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Penguins cannot move forward with caution as president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas tried to do this season. It’s courage vs. patience. The Penguins have a truckload of prospects arriving in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week for the Round One playoff series that begins tonight. We’re working on a few features, but we’ve got one name that’s been under the radar you should watch for next season.

Elsewhere in the Daily, the Penguins’ playoff competition probably got a little stiffer Tuesday when the Buffalo Sabres hired a new coach, Casey DeSmith faltered in Game 2 for the Canucks, Florida is money in overtime, and the Capitals couldn’t hang with the Rangers in New York.

Yes, I am here in the lovely Motel 6 and celebrity resort in Wilkes-Barre. It’s in the shadow of the arena, so I can walk over. I also checked out the town yesterday. It’s in rough shape, but there is a pizza place that sells by the slice in the Walmart plaza next door and a Chic-Fil-A, so I’m going to survive just fine.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Marcus Pettersson just makes good plays. The lanky defenseman was the Penguins’ most reliable and trustworthy defenseman this season, but he’s also entering the final year of his contract. Is he part of the Penguins future?

Caution and patience might have gotten the better of Dubas this season. The path forward this offseason will be even tougher as the Penguins lack draft capital. So, it’s time to admit the real problems and mark hard choices for the Penguins roster.

PHN+: More than 30 players were on the ice for practice on Tuesday. Some prospects are here to get extra work, and a few are here to play. And one name you should start to know. The WBS Penguins notebook.

Use code Dan10 to get $10 off PHN+. Your support makes these extra trips possible. We’ll be here, in Vegas for the draft, and all over free agency as we were last year. We are the hockey media rebels the big guys hate, and others try to imitate.

NHL News, Stanley Cup Playoffs, & National Hockey Now

Florida Hockey Now: A pair of powerhouse teams and a slobberknocker series. The Cats have a 2-0 series lead. If it goes to overtime, and Game 2 did, you can bet the house payment on the Florida Panthers.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have gotten to OT. Sergei Bobrovsky made one of the best saves you’ll ever see. Check out this Panthers highlight. Water is wet. Dog bites man. The sky is blue. The New York Rangers controlled most of the game and are keeping Alex Ovechkinin check for a 2-0 series lead.

Nashville Hockey Now: It’s Casey DeSmith’s net in Vancouver, as Thatcher Demko hurt himself on that incredible split save near the end of Game 1. It wasn’t smooth sailing for DeSmith in Game 2. A couple of soft goals propelled the Nashville Predators to a Game 2 win and a 1-1 series.

Buffalo Hockey Now: I don’t think this is good news for the Penguins. Next season’s wild-card race is going to be a much higher-quality run than this year’s gong show. Takeaways from the first press conference: Lindy Ruff is the new (again) coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

Colorado Hockey Now: The first period in Winnipeg was the same helter-skelter, wildly exciting mess that Game 1 was, but the Avs eventually settled down, but not until an even wilder second period. This is the most fun series in years. Rapid reaction — praise for Alexandr Georgiev as he beat the whiteout, and the Colorado Avalanche survived Game 2.

Sportsnet: I didn’t know if I should make a big deal out of this, so make of it what you will. Brad Marchand gave the Maple Leafs some major league credit, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect well on Kyle Dubas.

“They’re built differently this year,” Marchand said.