The Pittsburgh Penguins were but spectators on a wild day in the NHL. The Montreal Canadiens were on a roller coaster of their own doing, Brad Marchand got an in-person hearing and was quickly dished a stiff suspension, the Columbus Blue Jackets are putting some interesting pieces on the NHL trade block, and Matthew Tkachuk scored a wicked goal that you’ll want to see.
And, yes, the Washington Capitals really tried to get Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Penguins had travel issues, so they practiced in Boston on Wednesday, then quickly departed for Ottawa. Evgeni Malkin tested out of protocol and will likely play Sunday.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Color me surprised at the length of the suspension. Marchand punched Tristan Jarry, jabbed his stick to his mask, and for “unacceptable” actions, the NHL DoPS dished a six-game suspension to Brad Marchand.
Boston: I enjoyed Bruce Cassidey discussing the situation and suspension. No one is quite sure what made Marchand snap. Here’s the view from our colleagues about the situation and the length of the suspension that will affect the Boston Bruins.
I had a long day in Boston yesterday. What was supposed to be a day off to enjoy Boston turned into breakfast at a coffee shop and pounding keys on the laptop until my afternoon train to the airport. Marchand. Montreal. And…we thought we had another breaking story. Maybe soon? On the plus side, they remodeled the Newark Airport with 500 Ipads and a high-end food court that looked more like New York, New York in Las Vegas.
Also–If you’re going to have a little fun with the Super Bowl this weekend, here are the best sports betting sites for Pennsylvania, including a Barstool promo and DraftKings promo.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Washington: The Capitals tried–and tried–to get Marc Andre-Fleury, but it doesn’t appear that deal will go down for the Washington Capitals.
Florida: Is there a better team in the East than Florida? George Richards’s mailbag was full of questions about the complicated goalie situation and what comes next on the NHL trade front for the Florida Panthers.
The Athletic: The Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t dominated the NHL trade rumors yet, but perhaps they’re about to start. Joonas Korpisalo is just one of the possible names to be moved.
TSN: Jim Rutherford is breaking more barriers. The Vancouver Canucks will name Cammi Granato as assistant GM.
Calgary: The Calgary Flames beat the Vegas Golden Knights. Robin Lehner never saw it–Get the full game story and this silly goal by Keith Tkachuk.
Philly: The Flyers keep falling. Get this–the Detroit Red Wings had not won a regulation game in Philly since 1997. Pittsburgh Penguins fans can relate to long losing streaks in that city, but the Red Wings ended the curse and beat the Philadelphia Flyers.
Detroit: Call me sentimental, but I’m rooting for Detroit to make a run at a playoff spot. Things are too quiet in the East. Here are the uphill playoff scenarios for the Detroit Red Wings.
NYI: The Islanders are another team left for dead in the East, though with games in hand, they’re only single digits out of a playoff spot. They scored FIVE goals in the first period and three in 31 seconds. The New York Islanders handily beat the Canucks.
San Jose: The Sharks are on the playoff bubble. Their mid-season awards and biggest disappointments for the San Jose Sharks.
And it was a wild day in Montreal. I had a front-row seat on my keyboard with our Montreal Hockey Now folks. The Habs were embarrassed on Tuesday night by New Jersey. Wednesday morning, Dominique Ducharme was absent from practice and his media availability, but the official word was Montreal media asked not to speak to him. Speculation was rampant (I’ve never heard of media asking NOT to speak to the head coach, but that’s what really happened). Later Wednesday, Ducharme was fired, but Montreal named a SURPRISE interim head coach.
Montreal: Martin St. Louis, with no coaching experience, is the new interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
Check the byline. Told you I was busy.