There were no fans in the stands, and media is still restricted to impersonal zoom chats where dry humor goes over like a led balloon, but by God, we had real hockey this weekend. And if you are not thankful for that, we probably can’t be friends anymore. The Pittsburgh Penguins won their first game and looked good doing it. Phil Kessel is red hot in the desert, Marc-Andre Fleury is the golden boy, and Florida is making a mess of the NHL trade market.
Let’s start with the Penguins. The team looked like … a team, especially in the second and third periods. They dominated overtime, too. Here’s the full breakdown. I’m going with a slightly new format and report card this season (PHN+)
The Penguins didn’t announce Mike Matheson was injured until someone asked about Juuso Riikola. But Matheson is out “longer term,” and it’s probably from the dirty hit by Nicolas Aube-Kubel on Friday. Here’s the story and the video (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The Matheson injury means the Pittsburgh Penguins were not showcasing Juuso Riikola for the NHL trade market but needed him to play. And, he played well.
However, the report from Saturday night remains. The Penguins are dabbling in trade waters for Jack Roslovic (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
I’d love to have you as a member of PHN+. The exclusive Off the Record column has been weeks ahead on national news and breaking trade rumors. I think the analysis is pretty sharp, too. So, here’s a link for a special sale on a one-year sub (Subscribe PHN+)
Phil Kessel is red hot in the Arizona desert. He scored two more goals yesterday, and the Arizona Coyotes are looking good (AZ Central)
The Florida Panthers are making a mess of the NHL trade waters, and it’s rippling through the NHL. They tried to shove Keith Yandle out the door, which didn’t go over so well in the hockey community. Oh, and some in the hockey world are wondering why in the world Buffalo hasn’t yet snagged Marc-Andre Fleury.
Check out the latest Off the Record column with some great inside info: (PHN+)
Speaking of Fleury, the dude has new gold pads and a golden lid. And he was unbelievable on Saturday night (Vegas Review-Journal)
I made waves in my dynasty fantasy hockey league last summer when I traded former first-overall pick Jack Hughes for Kailer Yamamoto. The message board warriors in my league went nuts. Well, Hughes is having a much better start this year. And here’s a lot more fantasy hockey tips (Sportsnet)
The New York Islanders had interesting warmups on Sunday. Cal Clutterbuck ripped a shot off starting goalie Semyon Varlamov, which injured Varlamov. Barry Trotz was none too happy (NHL.com)
Shelly Anderson has the Penguins practice today. I have a couple of stories to crank out from our “locker room” chats, including a little story on Evan Rodrigues. And maybe we’ll tie Juuso Riikola into that.