TORONTO — The Pittsburgh Penguins did not acquit themselves well on Hockey Night in Canada. It was quite the opposite as the Toronto Maple Leafs tore apart the recent but fragile Penguins’ gains in a 7-0 elbow drop. The Penguins’ locker room ripped itself but also hinted at frustration on the inside. Elsewhere in the Daily, the NHL holiday roster free is fast approaching, and several teams are working the NHL trade market trying to find upgrades or changes.
I’m still processing the Toronto takedown.
You know it had to be horribly embarrassing not just for the team but for Kyle Dubas, as well. It was a somewhat surreal visual from my press box seat. Former Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke was in attendance, too. His pressbox seat was only a few meters to my right, but right above him was the Penguins management box.
To have the Toronto crowd jeering Dubas in a blowout loss was the icing on a rotten cake. I’m not sure there’s a stiff enough drink or meditative trick to take that edge off. By the third period, I felt like an observer of the apocalypse. There was so much to take in.
We’re doing an express version of the Daily today, so I can get on the road and hopefully back in time for practice, line at the border willing. Otherwise, Shelly Anderson has us covered today.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Want to the blow-by-blow gory details? Here you go. I added some spice to the awful Penguins recap.
The report card. No grades on Saturday. Instead, it was as much as I could absorb and report from the game and the aftermath. There are clearly some internal frustrations spilling out. I’d expect some changes, if not today, then in the coming couple of days. Something is deeply wrong. Here’s the Penguins analysis.
PHN+: The raw video from the locker room. Use code Dan10 to save $10 if you aren’t already subscribed to this band of hockey-loving rebels (get the whole network with the same subscription). Erik Karlsson seemed to call out some of his teammates. Coach Mike Sullivan didn’t yet know how to respond. See and hear for yourself in the Penguins locker room.
OK, now a couple of palate cleansers.
John Ludvig landed a few shots after Matthew Knies wanted to go. You can see the Ludvig fight here.
And some genuinely good news – Sam Poulin is back from injury and scored a quick goal for the WBS Penguins.
Click here for ALL of the inside coverage of the Steelers’ embarrassing loss, a nonsensical Mike Tomlin answer, and all of the Steelers coverage.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
Hockey Night in Canada: Headlines. Elliotte Friedman and a spiffy pinstripe suit. From the St. Louis Blues to a few teams chasing goalies, there are always some hot and heavy NHL trade talks before the Dec. 20 holiday roster freeze.
Montreal Hockey Now: The Canadiens are sitting pretty. They won’t make the playoffs, and they don’t care (yet). Further, their salary cap situation provides plenty of Canadiens trade options.
NYI Hockey Now: Perhaps it doesn’t matter to Penguins fans right now, but one of the teams the Penguins are chasing is the Islanders. They got beat on Saturday, too — The instant takeaways from the New York Islanders’ latest loss.
Philly Hockey Now: Russia does what Russia wants. Violate a valid player contract and ignore the IIHF sanctions? Yep. Appeal and most likely ignore the appeal? The latest with the Philadelphia Flyers and Russian goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov.
On the ice, the Flyers were the recipients of good luck as the Detroit Red Wings scored an own goal. The Flyers won 1-0?!
The scrappy Flyers keep winning. Ugly. Scrappy. No matter. Wins are wins.
Calgary Hockey Now: Is there kindling for a trade between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames?