Jason Zucker is in good spirits. Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan seemed optimistic about his winger. Yet the hockey gods had to balance any good news with a bit of a poke as several Penguins were out of commission on Monday. Zach Aston-Reese is getting increased ice and opportunity in Anaheim, Carey Price practiced with the team, Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk keeps filling the net, and New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy is in palliative care as it seems there is nothing more doctors can do in his battle against cancer.
Saying goodbye is never easy.
NYI Hockey Now: The New York Islanders family has said goodbye to a couple of stalwarts this season, Clark Gillies and Jean Potvin. Perhaps the all-time greatest goal scorer in NHL history, Mike Bossy could use a few prayers as he prepares to shuffle off this mortal coil. New York Islanders news.
My favorite games as a wee lad were the Penguins vs. Islanders. I liked the Islanders jerseys, and I knew they were good. However, the lowly Penguins seemed to have the Islanders’ number, or at least that’s how six-year-old me remembers it (Quick research shows the Islanders were 5-2 and 6-1 against the Pens in the two years before Lemieux). Bossy. Trottier. Potvin. John Tonelli. Billy Smith. What a crew.
Montreal: Carey Price may yet return this season. The future Hall of Fame netminder has been working to recover from injury and personal issues. He took a big step forward by practicing with the team. Montreal Canadiens news.
To the Penguins…
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Non-COVID illness hit the Penguins Monday as several players, including Kasperi Kapanen, were absent. At practice, they rolled only three lines. Emergency callups are on the way. Pittsburgh Penguins news.
First, Jason Zucker sounded an optimistic tone on Instagram. Sullivan sounded a similar tone on Monday, and it sure sounds like things could turn out to be the best-case scenario after that scary injury last Thursday. Penguins injury news.
Colorado: The Penguins Tuesday Night Music Club foe is the Avalanche. Bo Byram was recalled and is on the trip. Will he play?? Colorado Avalanche ponderance.
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
Detroit: Is Sergei Federov pro-putin? The potential future coach of the Red Wings, and the current head coach of CSKA Moscow, was photographed in front of a pro-putin sign behind the bench. A picture is worth a thousand words, writes Bob Duff. Detroit Red Wings news.
I suppose if I give Evgeni Malkin a pass on Russian politics, the same courtesy should apply to others. It must be a tough spot for Federov coaching vlad the impaler’s team. Criticize, and you or your family becomes mulch. Support and you violate the basic terms of human decency and forever lose credibility in most of the world. Option #3: Keep silent and hope this goes away.
Washington: For all of the Pittsburgh Penguins fans pontificating with great certainty (pessimism) that the Penguins will be done after the first round (contrary facts be damned), it’s the Capitals who are almost assured of a quick first-round ba-bye. They have no goalie. The crease is again up for grabs. Washington Capitals news.
Philly: Without Claude Giroux around, Kevin Hayes is stepping into the leadership role. Philadelphia Flyers wrap.
Boston: ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here’ contestant (not really) Jake DeBrusk wasn’t traded. Instead, he’s piling up the points for the Boston Bruins, who won again.
DeBrusk has a five-game point streak (6-2-8).
Vegas: OK, for Owen Krepps’s sake, I’m rooting for VGK to make the playoffs. The young man deserves a shot to cover the greatest tournament in the world. Things ain’t so peachy for Vegas, and here are the Vegas Golden Knights updated playoff odds.