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Dan’s Daily: Panthers Faceplant, Penguins Line Changes



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jeff Carter, Mikael Granlund

The Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hopes got more help Monday. After months of toiling through the regular season in which games fly by without much context or need, each night brings a potentially momentous swing in the standings. The Penguins got more good news but some bad news, too. The Florida Panthers were hot, and now they are ice cold. Monday, the Penguins got Jeff Petry back at practice, coach Mike Sullivan made lineup changes, and Casey DeSmith might be their ace in the hole.

Shelly Anderson also asked players an interesting question: Is it better to have some breathing room or fight to get into the playoffs?

I also make little business announcements in this space. After one year, we pulled the plug on the company tasked with building us a national subscription, a national page, and an app. It just wasn’t working, and after 12 months, I had to wave the white flag.

The nice thing is we found a local web developer who can pull it all together in a few weeks on a more established platform, and it will cost about 5% of what we expected. Yeah, we should have found him a year ago, but live and learn. And I’m doing a lot of that lately.

Soon, we’ll have that universal subscription — one price, ALL websites. It’s coming, I swear. But the app, I don’t think you care too much about. Don’t we all have too many that we don’t use?

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now):

Pittsburgh Hockey Now video: Watch us on WPXI’s Final Word. Should Casey DeSmith be the Penguins’ goalie? How will the regular season end? Catch me on network TV giving otherwise extraordinary Penguins analysis.

Jeff Carter was absent at practice, Jeff Petry was a full go, and Sullivan kept his new lines. Here’s the news from Penguins practice.

Sidney Crosby gave a devious smile. Kris Letang’s 1000th game is coming. And Casey DeSmith is feeling fresh. Is he the Penguins’ ace-in-the-hole? And some smiles from Alex Nylander for the Penguins notebook.

And is it better to fight your way into the playoffs or glide in? Shelly asked a few players and coach Mike Sullivan. Penguins perspectives.

Steelers Now:

Alan Saunders asked Mike Tomlin a hard question: Why is the Steelers coaching staff one of the smallest?

The Steelers might play in Mexico in 2025. Steelers schedule.

And the Steelers worked out a free-agent tackle. Steelers Free agency.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

Here are the latest Pirates roster cuts.

PBN+: John Perrotto writes there is something different about David Bednar this season.

And Cody Patanko has five Pirates predictions.

Penguins Playoff Chase, NHL News, & National Hockey Now:

NYI Hockey Now: First, the bad news. The Devils dominated the third period but couldn’t find the tying goal. Kyle Palmieri had his game of the season, and the New York Islanders won.

Florida Hockey Now: And the good news. Florida has gone bone dry. Ice cold. The Ottawa Senators have not yet given up the ghost and are still fighting for the playoffs. Ottawa thumped the Florida Panthers 5-2.

Montreal Hockey Now: Buffalo seemed to have the lead for most of Monday evening. But…the Buffalo Sabres only got a point, and the scrappy Montreal Canadiens won in a shootout.

So here’s the breakdown: The Islanders lead the Penguins by three points, but the Penguins have two games in hand. The Penguins lead Florida by three points with one game in hand. And Buffalo closed to within five points.

The Florida loss upped the Penguins’ playoff odds to 82.8% per MoneyPuck.

***Tell your mum she still owes me KFC. Shoresy, the spinoff of the cult hit Letterkenny (and of which I’m a big fan), is getting some inside info. Keegan Kolesar is close with Jared Keeso and feeding dialogue and ideas for the next season of Shoresey! Vegas Golden Knights awesomeness.

It’s not for the faint of heart or those easily offended, but Letterkenny and Shoresey are the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Sportsnet: And lastly, something very serious. The 2018 Team Canada world juniors team members will not be eligible to play for Canada on any national team until the investigation into sexual misconduct (if not assault) is complete.