There is a lot of NHL news in the Daily, but most of it is heavy, and none of it is good. On the hockey side, Dave Molinari took a pessimistic look at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff hopes. Erik Karlsson is hopeful things will turn around, and the Rangers and Islanders won on Monday. In real-life serious matters, a defense attorney on TSN laid out the process and timeline for the five charged players of the alleged 2018 Hockey Canada sexual assault. The NHL granted salary cap space for the Devils, Flyers, and Flames for the players facing charges in that incident. And, Evgeny Kuznetsov checked into the NHL Player Assistance Program.
I warned you. There’s no good news in the Daily.
I did a story about Reilly Smith that I thought was worth a read on the lines and between them. I’ve got a meaty story later this morning from the Penguins locker room that is more blunt. Lars Eller didn’t criticize his team as much as he did admit what was wrong. The implications are worth chewing on.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: From Dave Molinari — Six reasons the Penguins will miss the 2024 NHL playoffs.
Reilly Smith went ice cold before he suffered an injury last month. And I thought coach Mike Sullivan said something a little bit cryptic. The Penguins need goals and more from Reilly Smith.
Penguins notebook: Sullivan will hit a hefty milestone tonight. Coaching 800 games is no small feat. And Erik Karlsson’s formula for success.
PHN+: There’s no place like home. So why have the Penguins struggled so much at PPG Paints Arena?
I hope you’re enjoying the increased PHN+ content. Our web developer took a big step forward on Monday. We’ll be unveiling even more features soon, including the ability for you and me to communicate directly, get breaking news before it’s on Twitter, and maybe some business coupons. Don’t worry, it will be optional. You won’t have to hear from me, Dave, or Shelly at practice if you don’t want to.
NHL Trade Talk, News, & National Hockey Now
The heavy news…
TSN: I think this is the best layout of what comes next for the five charged players involved in the 2018 Hockey Canada scandal. A defense attorney specializing in these matters described the process and timelines.
London police issued an apology to the alleged victim. TSN has extensive coverage of the entire matter, but the apology was unusual and probably well-deserved. How and why did it take five years to get here?
Philly Hockey Now: The NHL issued commensurate salary cap space, and here’s what it means for the New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, and Philadelphia Flyers.
New Jersey Hockey Now: Michael McLeod will face a second charge, and police detailed it and the reasons for it.
This very well might be the worst story to ever hit hockey. Now comes the due process. Hopefully, the truth will emerge, and justice, whatever that may be, is served.
ESPN: Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has struggled this season. Monday, he entered the NHL Player Assistance Program. He won’t be available until cleared by administrators.
To the ice and the NHL trade talk…
NYI Hockey Now. Islanders win. A late goal by former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall delivered a win for the New York Islanders.
Colorado Hockey Now: Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak. Alexandar Georgiev feels refreshed, but the Rangers earned two points, beating the Colorado Avalanche in OT.
Sportsnet: The Oilers know the Penguins’ all-time record for consecutive wins is within their grasp, but they’re trying not to focus on it.
Bleacher Report: A nice piece here by Adam Herman. From Nick Seeler to Daniel Sprong. The under-the-radar trade candidates.
Lastly, Pittsburgh Hockey Now would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Jason Spezza and family.
Statement from Jason Spezza on the passing of his brother Matthew. pic.twitter.com/h8SYY1rkWT
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 5, 2024