Next time, send a bouquet of roses with a note, “Thinking of you.” Through leaks and whispers, the Montreal Canadiens are letting it known they will not only begin to rebuild in the summer, but they also want a big-name free agent or two. They want a veteran free agent splash. Does that sound like anyone you may know? Zdeno Chara may be on the NHL Trade market soon because he broke the games-played record for defensemen on Thursday night. The Washington Capitals weakly lost to the New York Rangers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins stunk, again, on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.
I was shocked to see the Penguins fired almost 40 shots on New Jersey. Excluding a couple of point-blank chances by Brock McGinn and the goal by Evgeni Malkin, the shots were soft.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A healthy dose of sarcasm accompanied the postgame. The New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-1.
I skipped the report card and made the analysis free for everyone. Did you need a bunch of Fs? Marcus Pettersson was benched, Tristan Jarry was pulled, and those two got off lucky. After weeks of declining play, the flailing Pens self-inflicted another bad loss. The Penguins need to make changes.
NHL Trade Chatter, News & National Hockey Now:
TSN: The Montreal Canadiens might as well have sent flowers and a card. They will be aggressive in free agency, and they want a big-name veteran or two. I firmly believed Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and the Canadiens were a terrible fit, and there was no reason to consider the talk. But Montreal is signaling they want a splash on the free-agent market.
Also, it sounds like the Seattle Kraken and Mark Giordano have decided to part ways before the deadline.
Detroit: One of the underrated names on the NHL trade block will be Vladislav Namestnikov. Our Hall of Famer Kevin Allen looked at the five teams, including the Penguins, who should call the Detroit Red Wings.
To this day, I still can’t pronounce his name. I know how it’s pronounced, but I butcher it every blessed time. At least I can spell it.
Vancouver: Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller… More NHL trade rumors in Vancouver and the Vancouver Canucks swatted them down again.
Washington: The New York Rangers leapfrogged the Penguins for second place in the Metro Division. They ripped the lackluster Washington Capitals, 4-1.
NYI: Zdeno Chara has now played more NHL games than any defenseman in NHL history. He broke Chris Chelios’s record, and the New York Islanders celebrated.
Chara is now likely on the NHL trade block. He surely would add a different dimension for the Penguins, wouldn’t he?
The Islanders also put another nail in their own coffin. The San Jose Sharks spoiled the big night.
Philly: Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, and Derick Brassard could return to Philadelphia Flyers lineup this weekend.
Florida: The Columbus Blue Jackets stumped one of the best teams in the East and thumped the Florida Panthers.
Calgary: The 10-game winning streak is over. The Canucks ended the Calgary Flames streak with a thud, 7-1.