Dan’s Daily: Flyers Help Penguins’ Playoff Push, Petry Status Unknown
NEW YORK — The Pittsburgh Penguins did not help themselves Thursday, but got significant help in the standings Friday, including from the Philadelphia Flyers. The wild-card chase is essentially down to three teams. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan gave Kris Letang a day off, but Jeff Petry is still being evaluated after getting hit by Tyler Motte in the first period against the New York Rangers Thursday. Trevor Zegras’ future in Anaheim is becoming a debated topic, Winnipeg has allowed Calgary and Nashville to climb back into the Western Conference playoff race, and Zach Aston-Reese scored a pair of goals as Toronto beat Carolina.
Watch 11 on the Ice this morning at 7:30 p.m. on WPXI!
Based on checking multiple websites, the Penguins’ magic number remains 26. Any combination of the Penguins winning and Florida losing points decreases that number. Florida is within three points. No games in hand.
I remain shocked at how many Penguins fans are openly rooting for the team to miss the playoffs. I’ll tell you this: A few weeks ago, on the TV show, I predicted the Penguins would draw Carolina and pull the upset. Carolina looks ripe for an upset, and the Devils may pass them for first place. I also like the Penguins in a Round One matchup vs. New Jersey. But we’ll get to all of that another day.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group):
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The news was that Jeff Petry missed practice and is still being evaluated for an upper-body injury. Coach Mike Sullivan kept the same lines that ended the game Thursday. Here’s more from Penguins practice.
The Penguins practiced at the little Chelsea Pier rink. Steel beams were about 15 or 20 feet above the ice and players could look through the full-length windows into the Hudson. It was picturesque. Lighting wasn’t great for photos and there were no locker rooms, so the boys dressed at the hotel and carried their skates like Mom was driving the minivan carpool. It was pretty cool.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The column that went viral. I didn’t criticize anything or anyone. Simply a stark and blunt observation and how it fits into the big picture. Penguins fans aren’t red-faced angry; they’re blue in the face, and they’re checking out. Resigned apathy. And that should scare the daylights out of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ owners.
Yesterday, I held back a rough column dealing with the Penguins’ lines and struggling veterans. I’ll publish that later this morning or tomorrow. My spidey sense said one rough column per day is enough.
**Watch 11 on the Ice on WPXI this morning at 7:30 p.m.!! Note the double exclamation points. That means you must watch it.
Penguins Playoff Chase, NHL News & National Hockey Now:
Philly Hockey Now: Thank you, Flyers? Philly gave the Penguins a nice boost. The Buffalo Sabres could have reinserted themselves into the playoff race with a win, but the Philadelphia Flyers thumped them.
Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals are also just outside the playoff fight. A win would have put them within striking distance, but a sloppy loss to the St. Louis Blues put the Washington Capitals farther back.
TSN: Good on ZAR. Zach Aston-Reese scored a pair in the green Maple Leafs’ unis, and Toronto beat Carolina.
Toronto Star: Trevor Zegras fills highlights and Instagram reels, but his future in Anaheim is in question. Anaheim Ducks skills coach Adam Oates recently told Nick Kypreos that there’s a difference between “Instagram skill and regular skill, and I’m trying to get the Instagram out of there.”
A member of an NHL hockey family that you know DM’d as the Penguins played the Ducks earlier this month. The DM was not kind to Zegras. “No respect for the game” was part of the message. It’s fair to say that Zegras doesn’t have the best rep inside the game.
Calgary Hockey Now: The Flames are within three points. They did something they rarely do — beat Vegas, and they’re right back in it. Calgary Flames hope.
LA Hockey Now: I don’t link to LA enough. The Kings are a tough team and a good team. Drew Doughty praised the Kings’ fourth line and some awesome play elsewhere. Go inside the LA Kings locker room.
Montreal Hockey Now: Could they get younger? Yep. Another major influx of young players is on the way to the Montreal Canadiens next season.
Plus, they’ll have Connor Bedard? I just have a feeling they will win the lottery and start winning Stanley Cups.
Vegas Hockey Now: How about this Round One matchup — The Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights.
Dan, in today’s world, I believe that the media plays a hand in a large group of people’s beliefs and perceptions. Do you believe this to be true about SOME Penguins fans? We don’t want Pittsburgh media to become like Toronto’s, do we? I am just saying, how much of the negative hype about the team is media-driven, and how much of it is earned? Does there need to be a negative article written every day? This is in response to your comment that one rough column per day is enough. I agree. Too many people just fully believe everything… Read more »
Much of the fans reaction toward the Pens is from watching them all season. They don’t need the media to pull them along. The media are seeing the same things as fans.
Or the previous seasons.
I enjoy watching Zegras play. The kid puts up points and does it with style. He brings creativity and originality to the game and tries and does things other players only try in practice. Does that mean he doesn’t respect the game, or that he enjoys playing it?
I’m kinda shocked that Dan is shocked.
I watched the first two periods of ANA-CBJ last night. Got a good chuckle when the CBJ tv folks said they liked what they were seeing out of McGinn and that the Pens still have issues with their bottom six. Heh.
Pens would be in pretty fine shape out west! 10 teams in the east have quality programs and are all in the hunt! Pittsburgh fans are spoiled with the success of the Steelers and Pens! If there are say 250,000 fans in Pittsburgh how many bother commenting on the internet? You have been critical yourself! Guess you feel the need to justify your job?
Penguins “fans” rooting for the team to miss playoffs? Are we sure “fans” is the right word? It’s just some people that developed negative feelings towards the core and the success this team is having the last 17(!) years. Anyway, they will be disappointed because there’s simply no way this team won’t make the playoffs. Once the playoffs start, will these “fans” root for Carolina, NJ, Boston just for the sake of their “I told you so”?
Make the playoffs? Have you watched this team at all? They are 1 point in front of Florida. Their starting goalie has been pulled twice this week. Currently getting run out of the building by the Rangers
Dan, if you think about it . . . if you have some concern of “limiting” negative articles to one per day . . . does it not actually validate that the second article was justified. The media can beat a dead horse for sure (i.e.) the team is old. But we have know that for some time now. Ironically repeating that fact . . . is getting old. At the same time this is a team that wears its “veteran leadership” like a badge of courage, but somehow delivers plays like first year juniors with regularity. Pointing that out… Read more »
It’s still surprising at times that the team, outside the big three, continue to not bring it day in and day out. And yet the big three continue to allow it to happen. Weird.
I think you read a little too much into my statement about one negative column. I’ve certainly written multiple negative pieces in a day before, but first one was being so widely debated and read that I didn’t want to dump two at once, so I simply spaced them out.