The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of a power play mental block that is striking, but no player in the game is doing more at even-strength than Sidney Crosby, and it’s time the Hart Trophy talk started, says this writer. We also have more on the Penguins’ power play and the frustration that is bubbling in the locker room. Also in the Daily, the Arizona Coyotes might be on the right side of the NHL trade rumors for once as they’re trying to acquire talent, not dump it. Pierre LeBrun reports the potential for NHL players in the 2026 Olympics has taken a negative turn. All three Hughes brothers played in one game, and the current NHL Draft format is going out with a bang.
I’ve had a story waiting to be written, but I haven’t figured out the angle. I had a quick chat with Marcus Pettersson before the road trip. He’s been exceptional this season–a real shutdown defender as Erik Karlsson does Erik Karlsson things.
The simple crux of my question was, does he feel he’s being more assertive or playing a stronger brand of defense? The simple answer was no, he’s just doing more of it, more of the things he does well.
For all of the power play talk–and that is certainly dominating everyone’s thoughts–there are some real bright spots this season. The near .500 record is almost as bewildering as the power play.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: P.O Joseph is taking a step forward in his rehab. After missing a month of game action, he’s headed to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL to get some ice time on a conditioning assignment. Here’s the Penguins news.
Since the Penguins canceled practice Tuesday, we had some time to really evaluate and digest the Penguins’ performance and reaction. From the mental block to Bryan Rust’s heart and Hart Trophy talk for Sidney Crosby. Three Penguins observations.
Steelers Now/ Pittsburgh Baseball Now
The offense will be different this week as the Steelers face the New England Patriots. Not so long ago, that would set the city’s hearts pounding. Now? Yikes. Mitch Trubisky will start for the Steelers, and there could be real changes for the Steelers’ offense.
Mike Sullivan–the other one–calls the plays, but Thursday night vs. the Patriots will be a big test for the new offensive coordinator, Eddie Faulkner.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The Pirates struck at the Winter Meetings. The Pirates traded for a starting pitcher. Here are the details from Danny Demelio, who confirmed the deal last night– Pirates trade news.
Danny is bucking for a raise! The Pirates site with Danny, John Perrotto, and Cody Potanko has been doing exceptionally well. They’ve raised readership exponentially. They’re really pushing to become THE Pirates coverage, right beside the local newspaper.
NHL Trade Talk, News, & National Hockey Now
Pro Hockey Rumors: Multiple sources have connected the Arizona Coyotes to the Calgary Flames. The Coyotes are on the prowl, and the NHL trade rumors are still churning (or burning) around the Flames.
Sportsnet: The NHL is going out with a bang. In the final NHL Draft held with all of the teams at one location, the boys (and girls) are renting out the Sphere in Las Vegas.
Also, the NHL salary cap is going up by $4 million next season.
As one scout recently scoffed to me–“That money is already spent.”
TSN: Pierre LeBrun was surprised by the excuse firewall the NHL executives began putting up on Tuesday. It does not seem the NHL is too thrilled with the process and progress of the IIHF or the arena construction in Italy.
Why do cities still build massive venues to host the Olympics? Time and again, they sit unused and rotting on the landscape like a monument to government overspending and municipal planning gone bad. Anyway…
New Jersey Hockey Now: Three Hughes brothers in one game. Devils vs. Canucks. In a bit of bad news for the Penguins, Jack and Luke beat Quinn. Get the scoop and the takeaway from the New Jersey Devils win.
NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders “sinned” in overtime and lost a crucial point. That’s good news for the Penguins, as the San Jose Sharks beat the Islanders. There are also growing problems with for the New York Islanders.
Montreal Hockey Now: Josh Anderson hadn’t scored since the eighth-grade picnic. So, he dropped the mitts. And then the offense started coming, too. It was a big turning point for Anderson and the Montreal Canadiens.