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Dan’s Daily: Fleury Squashes Trade Talk; Penguins Down 2 Wingers



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Pittsburgh Penguins will be down two wingers on this four-game road trip that will likely determine their position for the NHL trade deadline and, by indirect extension, their fate this season. Bryan Rust left Sunday’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the third period, did not make the trip, and continues to be evaluated back in Pittsburgh, which is usually not good news. The Penguins’ rivals won Monday night, which is also not good news. In the trade rumor section, Marc-Andre Fleury put an end to the chatter surrounding a potential deal and the price for Vladimir Tarasenko.

I have a weird compulsion to work. When I try to go to bed early, I wake up well before my alarm to write or read the writers on the network or check subscriptions. And so it was an entire day wasted getting to Vancouver because Air Canada doesn’t have wifi as promised. Fortunately, PHN has two pretty, pretty good writers who know what they’re doing.

So, I drowned my sorrows at my little Italian speakeasy in downtown Vancouver. I’m pretty sure you can’t get an amazing plate of Carbonara, fresh bread, wine, and a lemon tort in this city for under $40 (USD) anywhere else.


To the hockey…

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: We’ll make this short and sweet — The Bryan Rust injury update.

Dave Molinari lays it out plain as day. There is one surefire way for the Penguins to make the playoffs.

PHN Video: And just in case you’d like a little hockey talk, here is my Final Word appearance. After racing from the arena to the TV studio, I didn’t feel like I was as sharp as I wanted to be, but I still got the point across — What the Penguins can do leading up to the trade deadline and five words on the biggest disappointment of the Penguins’ season.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

TSN: Marc-Andre Fleury did not say, “Trade me right now and hang up the phone.” No, he shut down trade chatter and said he’s sticking in Minnesota to make the playoffs.

Sportsnet: The NHL rumor roundup. Anthony Mantha has been on the market for so long that he’s been left in the shopping cart with a red tag near the front door. With his goal-scoring uptick and improved play, he could finally be playing his way out of Washington.

Now, the bad news… Rookie call-up Hendrix Lapierre scored twice, and the Washington Capitals beat the Ottawa Senators. The Capitals just won’t go away.

NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders loaded up against the Dallas Stars. Coach Patrick Roy put Bo Horvat, Mathew Barzal, and Brock Nelson on one line. Unfortunately for the Penguins, the Islanders won.

Philly Hockey Now: Defenseman Jamie Drysdale was hurt by the hit from Jansen Harkins Sunday. Jon Bailey looks at the Flyers’ blue line with one conclusion – split up the top pair. More from the Philadelphia Flyers.

So, here’s how the NHL playoff race shakes out:

The Penguins trail the Tampa Bay Lightning by nine points with five games in hand., and the Capitals by three points with two games in hand.

They trail the Devils by two points with three games in hand.

The Penguins trail the Islanders by two points with three games in hand.

And for third place, the Penguins are seven back of the Flyers with four games in hand.

I don’t think it’s lip service when Jeff Carter told me flatly, “We’re in it.” But there is that matter of winning those games in hand. How in the world did the NHL schedule get so mangled that the Penguins have played so many fewer games?!