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Dan’s Daily: Mike Sullivan Debate, Leafs Revenge, & Hanson Bro Beats Cancer



Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Sullivan defends Jeff Carter, Brian Dumoulin

It sure breaks my heart not to be covering the 2023 NHL playoffs. This year is off to the wildest start I’ve seen since 2012, when the eighth-seeded LA Kings stormed to the Stanley Cup, and the lesser seeds thumped the higher seeds. We put Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan under the magnifying glass for the good and bad. Jan Rutta had surgery. The defending Stanley Cup champs narrowly avoided trouble, Jack Eichel’s Vegas Golden Knights rallied, the Toronto Maple Leafs struck back, and a couple of NHL trade rumors.

Also in the Daily, some excellent news for one of the Hanson Brothers battling cancer.

Toronto played like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. They had incredible urgency in their strides. Toronto knew a loss to Tampa Bay probably meant the end and big changes this offseason.

And for PHN+ subscribers, we delivered the deep analysis of Sullivan. The relentless negativity wears me out, and I can’t imagine that constant screaming into the void is enjoyable. This is a deeper issue, and you deserve the full story. Back in March, I asked the coach about the Rangers’ speed compared to his team’s speed. For everyone who says Sullivan didn’t make changes, I think you have to read it. I kept the long quote in the free section, but we’d really love your support for our work.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A week after the Penguins’ season ended, Jan Rutta had successful core-muscle surgery.

Want a new Mario Lemieux Bobblehead?

Interesting: Dave Molinari had a suggestion to fill the Penguins’ president of hockey ops spot. Remember Ray Shero?

PHN+: I’m getting a lot of anti-Sullivan comments. I think this is a lot of the info you need, including the changes Sullivan made — The six things Mike Sullivan got right and the things he got wrong. Penguins analysis.

Steelers Now:

There’s a LOT of new and original Steelers stories at Here’s the one I know you want. Alan Saunders put together a three-round mock draft. NFL Draft preview.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

Hey, did you hear — Geneva College is inducting our John Perrotto into their sports Hall of Fame under the “Gamechanger” label. Well earned, my man!

Elroy Face and Kent Tekulve will headline the next Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame class.

Raise the Jolly Roger! On the diamond, back-to-back jacks and a quality start from Roansy Contreras delivered a 4-3 Pirates win.

NHL Playoffs, News & National Hockey Now:

Vegas Hockey Now: The Golden Knights had a bad start. Winnipeg was all over them in the first period, but Vegas flipped the script, and Mark Stone lit up the fortress. Vegas Golden Knights rebound.

Colorado Hockey Now: Whew. Seattle jumped to a 2-0 lead in Game 2. Seattle goalie Philip Grubauer was stopping everything. Upset was brewing until the Avalanche fought back, then survived the end, 3-2. The Colorado Avalanche tie the series.

Rapid Reaction from Evan Rawal at CHN: Experience does matter for the Colorado Avalanche. The Rangers are schooling the Devils. It’s 2-0 for New York after Patrick Kane put up three points in the coasting win.

Boston Hockey Now: ESPN left the crowd mic on far too long. This is not safe for work language. Viewers were treated to coarse exchanges that weren’t so funny between Tomas Nosek and a few Florida Panthers. What was ESPN thinking? But everyone seems to be talking about it, so — here are the Boston Bruins “highlights.”

Montreal Hockey Now: The Canadiens have needs. NHL trade rumors will be springing forth, and they’re holding out hope for some kid named Bedard. Marco D’Amico goes deep on the Montreal Canadiens.

San Jose Hockey Now: Speaking of NHL trade rumors, Kevin Labanc is twisting in the wind. He knows a trade is possible. San Jose Sharks decisions.

And great news from Hanson Brother Steve Carlson. He strapped on the foil and beat cancer.