We will find out if the Pittsburgh Penguins know the way to San Jose. The first 10 teams that played the Sharks won. And we will find out if the Penguins are getting the message that coach Mike Sullivan is sending by making more lineup changes. Erik Karlsson had some fun with the media but probably got stuck with the check Friday night when former Sharks teammates took him out for dinner. Jumbo Joe Thornton officially retired this week, so what comes next? Big names in the Metro Division had a bad night Friday as Adam Fox will be out for a while, and an injury could derail Jack Hughes’s super season. And Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand is again at the center of controversy.
I’ve mentioned before that Erik Karlsson has a pretty good sense of humor, but he’s quick, too. He held court after practice, and the hockey-astute San Jose media had plenty of questions.
“Erik, you’re looking younger.”
“It must be the cold air back east.”
We’ve got the full video of Karlsson’s exchanges, hockey and otherwise. Under better circumstances, Karlsson would be the next “Big” Jeff Carter and a fan favorite. He may still get there, and I promise you’ll like him. Of course, a few wins and a few power-play goals would help.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Ho hum. Another game. Another milestone. You never know when will be Sidney Crosby’s last milestone, so it’s worth celebrating as El capitán hits 1200 games. The ride continues for Sidney Crosby.
The NHL hit Anaheim Ducks coach Greg Cronin with a hefty fine for what he said to the refs Monday night in Pittsburgh. Say goodbye to $25,000 for the outburst that also gave the Penguins a 5v3 power play. Here’s the NHL news.
Karlsson is funny. He amuses. He’s haha funny, and maybe he’s like a clown funny. Everything from the pain of losing to who buys dinner. You can watch the raw video from the makeshift interview area at Sharks Ice after the Penguins practice.
And here’s the serious story from Friday. I knew I was going to ask coach Mike Sullivan one of “those” questions that are a bit of sandpaper. Would he answer, or would he sidestep with a little salt? I’d say he answered and gave the answer you’d hope to hear. What’s the message to the locker room when Sullivan makes Penguins lineup changes?
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
San Jose Hockey Now: I think the player you most recognize with the Sharks wasn’t Brent Burns or Karlsson, but Jumbo Joe, who officially retired this week and did so in a shirtless video. So, what comes next for Joe Thornton?
New Jersey Hockey Now: Ruh-roh Shaggy. Many think Jack Hughes is playing the best hockey of anyone on the planet. But there is some bad news in the Metro Division as Hughes left the game Friday after suffering an upper-body injury, and the New Jersey Devils lost to the Blues.
NY Post: The Rangers are getting banged up, including the engine of their blue line, if not their team. The Rangers must overcome a myriad of injuries, including defenseman Adam Fox, who is on LTIR.
Hughes and Fox on the shelf certainly don’t hurt the Penguins. When did the Penguins become the healthy team in the Metro Division??
Boston Hockey Now: Oh, Brad Marchand. He was involved in a controversial incident, a trip in a dangerous spot against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadian media is up in arms both over the trip and the Maple Leafs’ lack of retribution. Marchand and the Boston Bruins are the center of attention.
Philly Hockey Now: A three-game losing streak is over. The scrappy Flyers won’t lay down for anyone, and backup goalie Sam Ersson responded to a few clunkers with a sparkling performance in the Philadelphia Flyers win.
TSN: Columbus took a big step and demoted one of their top prospects. Former Michigan star and expected top-six forward Kent Johnson is struggling, and the club sent him to the AHL.
And from TSN, I share this for everyone who KNOWS Mike Sullivan should change systems, and things will be better. Ask the Edmonton Oilers. This season, coach Jay Woodcroft has installed a new defensive scheme … and it is absolutely a disaster.