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Dan’s Daily: Penguins’ Huge Playoff Swing, Agenda for GM Meetings



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Brian Dumoulin

The Pittsburgh Penguins began the weekend clinging to a four-point lead over the Ottawa Senators for the final wild-card spot, with a March 20 showdown looming. On Monday morning, the Penguins have an eight-point lead over Ottawa, are up nine points on Buffalo, and are in the first wild-card spot. ahead of the New York Islanders. The Penguins held firm Sunday, despite a controversial goal-against in the third period, and beat the New York Rangers. The Calgary Flames gave the Penguins help by impeaching the Senators, the agenda for the GM meetings is taking shape, and the New Jersey Devils might win the Metro Division.

Wouldn’t that be interesting, if the Devils earned the No. 2 seed in the East? The first wild card might be the spot to be. Though I’d still pick a Penguins upset over Carolina, New Jersey is a playoff newbie with Vitek Vanacek as its No. 1 goalie.

After I ripped the Penguins for a sleep-walking win over Philadelphia Saturday, they were anything but on Sunday. This team might be inconsistent, have holes, and frustrate fans, but it is never boring.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins didn’t get rattled after a bad third-period non-call went against them and beat the New York Rangers in OT. Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.

PHN+: The report card was, I hope, a fun read for PHN+ subscribers. We got into the Rangers’ attack, the Penguins’ counter, and why the Penguins were successful. The player grades were a bit of fun to dish, too, including one for Bryan Rust and one for the fourth line (a not-so-good grade). The Penguins report card.

Tristan Jarry usually tries to say nothing in his media availability. He was the sage who told us it’s better to win than to lose (it was pretty funny in a wry way). Sunday, Jarry said the Penguins needed the points more than the Rangers. You can also get the story and see the raw locker room video from Jason Zucker and Kris Letang. Go inside the Penguins’ locker room.

PHN Video: We did a video Q&A after the game from PPG Paints Arena. In order, how does Jarry look to me? The Pittsburgh Penguins’ lines, questions about Nick Bonino, and an important question about Jason Zucker’s future. Penguins analysis.

Steelers Now:

Today is Day 1 of NFL free agency. Alan Saunders will be doing a live blog today. Follow the Steelers’ moves and get live analysis for the rest of the NFL. Steelers Now.

How much cap space do they have? Start off with the Steelers’ salary cap situation.

What should the Steelers do with Mitch Trubisky?

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

Young Pirates OF Chavev Young is playing for Great Britain in the WBC. He stole three bases Sunday. Pirates prospects.

PBN+: If you subscribe to PHN+, you get a free sub to PBN+ and SN+, too. John Perrotto looks at what Oneil Cruz’s contract will look like, and it is just for subscribers. Oneil Cruz payday.

Penguins Playoff Race, NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Calgary Hockey Now: Perhaps Penguins fans should chant, “Thank you, Calgary.” The Flames took Ottawa to the woodshed, perhaps ending its playoff dreams. The Flames still have playoff hopes, and their big guns, Huberdeau and Kadri, showed up to the stampede. Calgary Flames win.

TSN: The Senators sense their fate. “It’s really frustrating right now.” Ottawa’s free fall out into nothing.

Craig Button believes the Devils will win the Metro.

The top two teams outside the wild card race are the Florida Panthers, who are five points behind the Penguins with one more game-played, and the Washington Capitals, who are seven back of the Penguins, also with one more game-played.

Florida trails the Islanders by three points with a game in hand. The Capitals trail the Fish Sticks by five, with a game in hand.

Washington Hockey Now: Sammi Silber asks (she already knows the answer), “Are the Capitals’ playoff hopes as dire as they appear?” Washington Capitals update.

Wouldn’t it be a bit amusing if the Penguins and Capitals steal the wild cards one more time? The Capitals are 1-1 against the Boston Bruins this season. To have a win vs. Boston is impressive in itself.

Philly Hockey Now: Interim Flyers GM Danny Briere broached the big word: “Rebuild.” If he’s the GM, the Flyers will start on one. That’s a big admission. Philadelphia Flyers news.

Sportsnet: The table is set for the GM meetings. The topics aren’t groundbreaking, but if they can update the system for trades and three-way trades, we might get even more deadline fun.

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7 days ago

As soon as Bonino or Poehling is back Carter needs to step down.

7 days ago
Reply to  Marion

Poehling, bonino and Archibald sounds good on the 4th line to me.

6 days ago
Reply to  Marion

I have to disagree sir , Carter seems to play his best hockey for late in the season and into the playoffs, don’t write off Jeff Carter because when he’s on his a game he’s a threat and a good Faceoff choice for defensive draws in the D-zone , a lot more goes into this game than most fan’s dream of lmao.

7 days ago

Dan, if Carter would retire after this season, the penguins get stuck with the cap hit being a 35+ contract. Is it possible to trade the cap hit? A team like Arizona that finds ways to get to the floor? Or are they stuck with it no matter what?

Alan Smith
6 days ago

Pens are playing some of their best hockey of the year! Go Pens! Sweep the Rags!