The musical reference I use often is probably unknown to most of you because it’s about 60 years old: second verse, same as the first. The Pittsburgh Penguins pushed repeat from last season’s soundtrack and forked over a multi-goal lead to a bad team Tuesday. The Penguins lost their season opener, and the fanbase got jumping ugly quickly. The NHL trade market got a jolt when Connor Garland requested a trade out of Vancouver. Also in the Daily, why Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele seemed to reverse course and stay with the Winnipeg Jets. Pride tape is becoming an issue after the NHL banned it. And the Vegas Golden Knights raised their championship banner.
For the record, the reference comes from Herman’s Hermits, Henry VIII I Am in 1965. In the olden times before kids had plasma screens in the backseat, Beats headphones to zone out, and SUVs were so large they came with three separate climate-control zones, families piled into one small car, rolled down the windows on a hot day, and parents controlled the radio. It didn’t matter what you liked.
We also stuffed the seatbelts into the bench seating because they were uncomfortable, didn’t have car seats, and lived for the moments when someone still had a VW Beetle. Punchbug! We were glorious heathens.
And I agree, the Bedard Lovefest last night was a bit obnoxious. The Penguins kept him to the outside or stayed between him and the net. He’s slick, but last night he wasn’t able to get behind the Penguins defense. There’s more in the report card.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: They are an institution in Penguins media. The Dave Molinari postgame. Chicago scored four unanswered for a 4-2 win over the Penguins.
Chicago Hockey Now: Here’s the opposing perspective from our colleague in Chicago. How the Chicago Blackhawks won.
We’re reviving a feature we started at mid-season. Kris Letang gave us a smirk when we noticed he gave Bedard a few “love taps” after shutting him down. Erik Karlsson tried to put the loss in context, and Mike Sullivan was blunt. Dejection and optimism. Watch the videos for yourself — Go inside the Penguins locker room.
Dave and I co-wrote the locker room story (any mistakes are most likely mine). The video quality from our phones is getting ridiculously good.
PHN+: Late start. Long game. Got home late. I tried to write a short report card, but there was a lot to unpack from the game, and coach Mike Sullivan said, “We have a long way to go.” From the good things to the ugly things we’ve seen too often, we tried sorting the good signs from the bad omens. Penguins report card.
We extended our Dan10 or Dave10 sale to give other National Hockey Now writers a chance to catch up, but I think I’m calling an end pretty soon. Pick your beat writer and Subscribe here.
Our guys couldn’t help but notice even the Penguins game featured the “Fire Canada” chants.
It was six years since Brad Wing punted in the NFL. Personal demons got him for a while, but he’s winning the battle, and he gave a heartfelt thank you to the Steelers for another chance.
SN+: The progress report for the Steelers rookies.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
Hey, check this out. The Pirates were in Cuba to check out a right-handed pitcher, Yariel Rodriguez.
You can follow the Fall League progress for the Pirates prospects here.
NHL Trade Talk, New & National Hockey Now:
Philly Hockey Now: It’s always fun when the GM just lets it rip. Daniel Briere did just that. Here’s what comes next or the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sportsnet: Connor Garland put himself on the NHL trade block by asking out of Vancouver. Here’s the sitch.
And Elliotte Friedman, detailed by Hellebuyck and Scheifele, stayed with the Winnipeg Jets after looking like goners.
ESPN: Oh, those Golden Knights. I’m a bit sorry I wasn’t there for the VGK Stanley Cup banner-raising. Of course, they did it in true Vegas style.
Montreal Hockey Now: Five hot takes for the Montreal Canadiens season.
TSN: The NHL banned pride tape this season, and now they’re dealing with the backlash.
NYI Hockey Now: The Anaheim Ducks have been the Anaheim scavengers, plucking players off waivers. They probably got a steal Tuesday when they took one from the New York Islanders.