The Pittsburgh Penguins look to the outside for help as injuries pile up and ineffectiveness rides sidecar. Jesse Puljujarvi is now on a free-agent tryout with the team, and Valtteri Puustinen got a look with the big-boy power-play unit. Erik Gudbranson was first a victim of a dirty hit from behind, then the enforcer who pummeled his attacker. Gudbranson will have a hearing with the NHL Department of (inconsistent) Player Safety after he snapped at Nick Cousins, who tried to turtle rather than face the consequences of his very dangerous hit. The Anaheim Ducks are falling and could populate the NHL trade rumors pretty soon with a glut of talented young centers and, of course, a pretty good goalie.
OK, so I went for it on TV last night. I had a wild hair (and I don’t have many hairs), so not only did I go black on black with the suit-and-shirt combo, I put on the colored glasses. It was an impulsive decision in the car when I realized my sunglasses and glasses were the same frames.
I’m not opposed to going a little fashion-forward or off-beat, but I probably won’t pull that one again. I haven’t watched the show yet, but since no one tweeted any hate at me, perhaps the glasses played. We’ll post the show later this morning; I was definitely not shy with the opinions.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: After double hip surgery in the offseason, it took a while to get healthy and ready to play for the Penguins — Sunday, Jesse Puljujarvi signed a free-agent tryout agreement.
Many of the headlines used PTO. To my understanding, the signing is slightly different than a PTO, but it’s explained in the story.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Reporters spoke with Jesse on Sunday, but his English is a little rough. I didn’t use any quotes in the story because I felt like he had trouble understanding the nuance of some questions. But coach Mike Sullivan didn’t waste any time putting him on a top-line rotation with Drew O’Connor. Also from practice, there’s still no word on Bryan Rust (uh oh), but coaches are looking for solutions in the Penguins’ lineup.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now
The Athletic ($): There’s already some talk the New Jersey Devils could begin pursuit of John Gibson (if they get him, look out), and now there’s talk the Anaheim Ducks could put Trevor Zegras on the NHL trade block because of their glut of young centers.
I think Hockey Twitter (or Hockey X?) will be surprised to learn that GMs won’t overpay and might only underpay for Zegras.
TSN YouTube: Now the story we’ll all be talking about today–Erik Gubdranson was not pleased with being boarded by Nick Cousins. He didn’t get the scrap he wanted the first time, so the second time, he went bonkers on Cousins, who crawled into a shell. I would almost guarantee Gudbranson was calling for the fight before he took matters into his own hands. The TSN video shows both the hit and Gudbranson’s Hulk-Smash aftermath.
Yep, I’d take Gudbranson on my team any day, though $4 million per is an issue. The NHL DoPS has already called for a hearing.
New Jersey Hockey Now: Remember when the Oilers were on the ropes? Not anymore–they’ve won seven in a row, and even their goaltending is coming through. They did the Penguins a solid on Sunday night by stuffing the New Jersey Devils.
Detroit Hockey Now: Former Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Before moving to the college ranks, Granato’s several coaching stops included the Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings.
NHL.com: The national TV rightsholders are flexing this week. There will be 22 nationally televised games, and here’s the full schedule.
Boston Hockey Now: Morgan Geekie was a player a lot of us circled for the Penguins’ third-line center role. Mick Colageo takes a good look at the upside and what he’s bringing to the Boston Bruins.