The Pittsburgh Penguins earned their statement game with a resounding win over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Still, they had only minutes to enjoy it before hopping a plane to face the first-place Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Those same Hurricanes were blown away by the Washington Capitals. Sportnet delved into the five landing spots for Phil Kessel on the NHL trade market, and will the Vancouver Canucks sell forwards ahead of the NHL trade deadline?
Brady Tkachuk essentially jumped Patric Hornqvist. And, in an exclusive with our colleague, J.T. Miller had some harsh words for the trade rumors.
It was a fun game to cover on Thursday night. I enjoyed the multitude of Penguins storylines, from Evgeni Malkin playing his very best game (which is always worth the price of admission) to Mark Friedman doing his best Rowdy Roddy Piper, to Tristan Jarry outdueling Andrei Vasilevskiy.
And the competition taking shots at me, personally. That’s when you know you’re doing well…and National Hockey Now just keeps growing…
I swore I’d not offer this again, but I enjoy beating the competition. Here you–HALF PRICE PHN+ subscription to read the Report Card and more exclusive stories. CLICK HERE.
PHN+: The full insights of the report card. Player grades and just HOW did the Pittsburgh Penguins dominate Tampa Bay?
It’s been a minute since the Penguins had a full-fledged agitator, who gives pretty great quotes, too. On Thursday, a Penguins defenseman totally got under Tampa Bay’s skin. “Go after the biggest guys…,” Mark Friedman adds a scrappy new element.
The Penguins closed to within three points of the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.
Hockey Fights: Here’s the Kris Letang scrap with Brayden Point to underscore the festivities.
Washington: The Penguins inched closer because the Washington Capitals pounded Carolina on Thursday.
Colorado: File this under the NHL Trade chatter and Metro Division. Flyers captain is on the block, probably. Adrian Dater reporters things are getting serious as Colorado Avalanche AGM Chris MacFarland is scouting him heavily.
Philly: Those poor Philly Flyers can’t get out of their own way. The Pittsburgh Penguins intrastate rival lost again. The gory details of the latest Philadelphia Flyers loss.
It’s OK. You can hate-click the Flyers stories. I won’t tell. Our man Sam Carchidi is doing an extraordinary job covering that debacle.
NYI: More NHL trade deadline chatter in the Metro. Things went south on Long Island and have kept going further south. Who should the New York Islanders consider moving?
NHL Trade Chatter and National Hockey Now:
Vancouver: “BS.” In an exclusive with Vancouver Hockey Now (that’ us), that’s what J.T. Miller calls all of his and the Vancouver Canucks trade rumors.
Montreal Gazette: Is Jeff Petry changing his mind about wanting out of Montreal?
Sportsnet: Here you go. Check the hot dog carts, reinforce the coach’s hairline, swallow hard and have at it. The five landing spots for Phil Kessel.
TSN: It’s unlikely the Vancouver Canucks will move J.T. Miller, but which forwards will they move?
No, I still don’t see Brock Boeser being a good fit for the Penguins.
Florida: It was down and dirty in the Sunshine state. Florida won easily, but Ottawa got chippy, then Florida got chippy. Brady Tkachuk essentially jumped Patric Hornqvist. Florida Panthers postgame and video.
Vegas: Things are getting tense in Vegas. The playoffs are no longer guaranteed and are, in fact, teetering. The Vegas Golden Knights lost badly, AGAIN, this time to the Bruins, 5-2.