The water is ready to boil with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks. After a miserable weekend for both, which included mounting lackluster losses, fans are getting angry, and organizations are worried. Chicago again hung Marc-Andre Fleury out to dry on Sunday night. The NHL trade rumors persist around Phil Kessel, and 15 scouts watched the most recent Arizona Coyotes game in which Kessel took the top power-play spot. And the Pittsburgh Penguins are suddenly…big, but the size in their lineup brings big choices, too.
The Penguins size is a surprise. It would be equally surprising if they abandoned their found money.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: On the eve of camp, the expected Pittsburgh Penguins lines were not very big. Despite a summer of talking about size and physicality, the Penguins didn’t have any. But now they do, and GM Ron Hextall will have some good decisions to make to keep Brian Boyle and Drew O’Connor…
Did you know Kasperi Kapanen’s first NHL fight was with Evan Rodrigues? Now the pair are leading the Pittsburgh Penguins…
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
GoPHNX: Craig Morgan notes there are a lot of eyes watching Phil Kessel as the sniper sits on the NHL trade block. Kessel wants out, and AZ surely won’t hold him. There were 15 scouts watching Kessel on the top power-play…
Toronto: The heat is on. It’s on the street. Inside your head, on every beat. The Toronto Maple Leafs heartless start dredged up recent playoff failures and turned up the heat on the Maple Leafs…
The Athletic ($): Old friend of PHN, Mark Lazerus, asked the salient question. After all of the “win now” talk and the offseason moves, Chicago has lost SIX in a row (0-5-1). When will enough be enough for the Chicago Blackhawks management?
Sportsnet: It was a loss, but it was loud, exciting, and everything you’d hope. The Seattle Kraken home debut was something to behold.
Vegas: Uh oh, the Vegas Golden Knights have lost four in a row, too. The New York Islanders shut them down and shut them out, 2-0.
NYI: Vegas lost, but there’s one place Robin Lehner is hugely popular–he had his career resurgence on Long Island, and the Islanders fans still love him.
Detroit: Gordie Howe. Steve Yzerman. …Lucas Raymond. The super rookie sniped four points and put himself in the company of Red Wings legends.
Washington: Every point matters in the Metro, as five teams could make the playoffs, and one or two quality teams could miss. So, we keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins old rivals–the Washington Capitals. Injuries reconfigured the Capitals lines on Sunday, and rookie Connor McMichael got the bump into the top-six.
Sammi Silber is also quite the photog. Check out her work at practice.