You can admit it because I thought it, too. The Pittsburgh Penguins seemed to solve the New York Islanders in Games 2 and 3, and despite the over-the-top physicality and adversity, the Penguins still managed to win Game 3 for a series lead. It would be just a matter of time before breaking the New York Islanders, right? Oops. Also, in the Daily, Marc-Andre Fleury was again brilliant in his 16th career playoff shutout. Patric Hornqvist and the Florida Panthers lost but got rough with Tampa Bay, and the Boston Bruins could put the Washington Capitals season to bed.
It was tough sledding for the Penguins on Saturday afternoon, but they compounded their uphill battle with a lack of urgency, bad penalties, and a lack of shots between the dots. Evgeni Malkin not only took three penalties, but he had zero shots.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Malkin faced the media after the bad game and took responsibility.
PHN+: We broke down what went wrong for the Penguins in Game 4. Kris Letang had a rough go but was one of several players and several factors in the Penguins’ loss.
If you need a respite from screaming blame games, cannibalizing players or each other, but want smart content that shoots straight, please consider PHN+ We cost more than a dollar per month because we’re the local David taking on a Goliath which is burning through tens of millions of dollars (And we’re on the most solid ground that we’ve ever been! Thanks!)
From the NYI Side–if you dare:
The Islanders Dominating effort in Game 4 was too much for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
NHL & National Hockey Now:
Vegas: Marc-Andre Fleury got a little help from Toronto, and Minnesota’s lone “goal” was overturned. He was otherwise brilliant in his Game 4 shutout win.
Fleury’s 16th career playoff shutout tied him with Curtis Joseph (CuJo!) for third all-time behind two guys named Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.
Montreal Gazette: One of my favorite stories of the week–After Corey Perry had to fight following John Tavares’ scary injury, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette just took hockey’s “Code” about fighting to the woodshed.
Sportsnet: Tampa Bay beat Florida 6-2, so Florida gooned it up midway through the second period, including Patric Hornqvist, who got a good clean-ish hit on Mikhail Sergachev. Other Panthers weren’t so clean. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper lit into officials for the nonsense.
Boston: The Bruins have a chance to end the suddenly dysfunctional Washington Capitals season. “Mindset” is what it takes.
Philly: Speaking of “The Code,” the Philadelphia Flyers Sam Morin wants to be the Flyers enforcer and one of the league’s tough guys.
Colorado: Momma Newhook was over the moon after her son, Alex Newhook, scored his first NHL goal. Here’s a cool human story, and exclusive, from Colorado.