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Dan’s Daily: NHL Throws Book at Malkin, Penguins at Bottom of Playoff Power Rankings

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

The NHL Department of Player Safety let Evgeni Malkin know that his crosscheck on Mark Borowiecki was no bueno, and he’ll sit for half of the Pittsburgh Penguins remaining games. After a disappointing couple of weeks against top-tier competition, the Penguins fell to the bottom few playoff teams of the TSN power rankings. The Vegas Golden Knights may sneak into the playoffs as the teams they’re pursuing are stumbling, and 2021 first-overall pick Owen Power will make his NHL debut in his hometown.

Count me as surprised by the length of the Malkin suspension, but I don’t hear much argument. Looks like I’m in the minority on this one.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The NHL gave Malkin the gate. Four games for an “aggressive” crosscheck. Evgeni Malkin suspension.

The Penguins have some issues. One of those problems is not talent. I’ll explain further–the problem areas are the defensemen and the Pittsburgh Penguins self-perception.

Before Malkin’s suspension, the Penguins made a slightly curious move to re-assign Anthony Angello and Radim Zohorna. So, Brock McGinn might be ready, or the Penguins will recall one or recall others.

The Penguins can clinch a playoff spot with a regulation win tonight over the New York Islanders.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Detroit: Small exclusive. There’s a new transfer agreement with the Swedish Elite League. Some of the rules will change regarding Swedish prospects, but Bill Daly told us he doesn’t expect it to significantly affect the NHL or the Detroit Red Wings.

I’d beg to differ–it takes one desperate team…

TSN: Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, but the Penguins have fallen to the back of the power rankings among the playoff teams.

Vegas: Our boy Owen takes a fan to the woodshed for the over-the-top bashing of Robin Lehner and the updated playoff scenarios for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Washington: The Capitals are hot on the heels of the Pittsburgh Penguins. A week ago, it seemed implausible, but a few wins on one side and a few losses on the other will do that. Here’s how things turned around for the Washington Capitals.

NYI: The Islanders practice had some new lines, and the boys realize the end is near. Things were lighthearted, with smiles and laughs at the New York Islanders practice.

Montreal: Is there no common sense left on this damn planet? Nick Suzuki tossed a puck to a young fan. The young man fumbled it, and instead of catching it, he ate it. Fat lip and laughs ensued. Undeterred, Suzuki gave the kid a stick! That’s when stupidity reigned as the Scotiabank ushers tossed the fan and his father out for having a weapon. Here’s the full story of a good deed by the Montreal Canadiens.

Colorado: If there’s a better team, I haven’t seen it. Gabe Landeskog isn’t yet on the ice, but Nazem Kadri and Ryan Murray are skating. Cale Makar speaks, too. Colorado Avalanche news.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Katz
Katz
7 months ago

Seems the Power Rankings have finally caught up with reality. A few years behind the curve for a very few of us who saw the Penguins were a regular season only facade.

Next question that the answer will forecast the future.

Is it a business decision or a hockey decision to offer Malkin a contract that he would accept? I’m in the Mel Brooks camp.Luz im gayn” (Let em go)

Hilarious

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=H6nHtEYdy2I

Last edited 7 months ago by Katz
Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
7 months ago
Reply to  Katz

Offering him a contract is both a business decision and hockey decision. They offer him what they can afford and if he doesn’t accept it, they don’t have a #2 center for a while. Hex will have to try to trade for a replacement, Carter isn’t the answer. Ideally, for me, Malkin is re signed for 2-3 years at about half what he makes now. Probably not realistic. We will see.

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago

3 years at $18-20 million is his range according to reports. He’ll be back unless he’s just fet up for some reason?

A. Lifeson
A. Lifeson
7 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Maybe the owners will finally be fed up with him.

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

The cups? Or the conn smythe/hart caliber performances??

I know where to find mark Madden if I want to hear the same yinzer nonsense.

Lemme guess: you love “tanger”, right? 🙄

A. Lifeson
A. Lifeson
7 months ago

I’m sure they can find someone out there in the free agent market for a player to take Malkin’s place at a similar salary if they part ways. Just don’t hope they think they owe him anything for the past or keep him here because of politics.

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
7 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

There aren’t any free agent #2 caliber centers available this summer.

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

He’s carried the team for large stretches of his career…including their 3 cup runs at times

Let him walk. Watch what happens. That doesn’t mean the end isn’t near anyway…but the narrative on the X Factor has been pretty stupid since 2006

Chris R
Chris R
7 months ago

It’s hard not to wonder whether certain teams are being guided toward success every time discipline is applied unevenly via penalties or suspensions—or at least what other factors are in play regarding the decision-making. It would be interesting to see them graphed so the discrepancies becomes visual and concrete.

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris R

The Matthews suspension is hurting the pens here…his suspension was a bit of an overreach…so then he scores 60 goals and the league has to scramble to make “examples” of others. Malkin stepped right into it.

Jack McCrory
Jack McCrory
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris R

Plus he only plays half the year. Always hurt

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago

They put George parros in charge…that kinda tells you what they think of skill players, no?

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

The NHL police should be defunded. It rarely has treated this team fairly in these instances. It started when Graves broke Lemieux’s hand with a (premeditated?) slash in the 1992 playoffs. Somehow, the loser was allowed to play in the next game and scored a goal in an OT win while 66 sat out. Graves was given a hand-slap (four-game suspension) and 66 sat out the rest of the series and the start of the next one.

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul
A. Lifeson
A. Lifeson
7 months ago

Like I said it’s time to part ways with Malkin. If this doesn’t hit home with the owners and GM nothing will. He’ll have his one good game maybe 1 out of every 8 but this doesn’t warrant his giveaways, uncontrolled temper in key situations, and his plus minus rating and this doesn’t suffice his Multi-Million dollar yearly salary presently or in the future. Yes he worked hard in his re-hab to get back in the game but playing only a half a season on average the past three years does not have him earning a 10 million dollar salary… Read more »

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  A. Lifeson

It may be time to let him go…are you ready for a long rebuild that might yield results in 5 or so years? That may be ok…but not really something to be avoided with what they’ve got.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
7 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

It seems like the alternative is what’s happened to the Blackhawks. I think Geno ends up being signed for 3 years just to match Sid’s contract but no where near Sid’s AAV. (I wouldn’t re-sign Geno myself.) At some point, the band breaks up (and since Letang hasn’t been re-signed, it seems clear to me that he wants to go somewhere else.. unless the offer wasn’t there). I’d like to see both Rust and Rakell re-signed with Letang’s, Kapanen’s and Malkin’s $$$ with much leftover. We won’t have a 2nd line center so we’d have to find one… it’s been… Read more »

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Young

I definitely think Malkin is the most likely to be back at a significant reduction. But I don’t think any are guaranteed. I’ve heard people in town all year promoting a raise for Letang. Nonsense. You don’t give a 35 year old player a raise. All D-man contracts that old are dog deals. He was also the 4th highest paid d-man when he signed and is 19th today. “Underpaid” is a ridiculous myth. Beyond that…they need to make some tough choices. Maybe starting with Sullivan. His style has been matched and they don’t have anyone on the farm. So what… Read more »

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
7 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Tough road indeed. When it was Jagr’s time to go, it was obvious to everyone. This time, not so much. I wouldn’t be against giving Letang a raise for 3years as he doesn’t seem to be in decline (but if we don’t, I’m OK with that too). Whenever I think about it, I’m glad I’m not a Sharks fan (oy!). Kapanen is a no-brainer. I think Pettersson needs to be moved (frees up more $$$) but Marino is still young and, IMO, salvageable. Zucker’s hit is high but he’s only got one more year left and I suspect there wouldn’t… Read more »

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Young

The sharks are EXACTLY why you don’t pay Letang more. look at all the over 35 defensemen contracts: karlsson, Burns, Doughty, Subban, Weber…all DOGS. Can’t do it. Not if you want a full team with depth. If Letang walks…it’s a hole…but you can retool your D.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Should have started it 2-3 years ago. Obvious to everyone who doesn’t work for the team.

RYAN
RYAN
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Well we found out in December why? The pens are an entertainment product…and a guy who was owed $50 mil and didn’t have much of a choice walked…If you read the fallout…with $375,000,000. Yep. That was 66 and Ronny’s cut. It’s still a business. Trading Malkin and trying to get every kid that grew up within an hour of point state park – like yinzer fools suggest – would have been a bad business move. Don’t have to like it. But it’s not gonna change. No one should be mad that Malkin has played 15 seasons loyally to the town.… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by RYAN
Wasnt
7 months ago

Geno could of punched him closed first, rammed his shoulder to his head and broke his jaw, picked him up ragged doll him to the ground or even licked him but once you use your stick to the head your screwed and every hockey player knows that……you just never ever do that.