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Dan’s Daily: Tortorella to Coach Detroit? Round One Marquee Matchups



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kasperi Kapanen

There are a few marquee Round One matchups that begin tomorrow. The Atlantic Division will send home at least one Cup-worthy team as the Tampa Bay Lightning faces the Toronto Maple Leafs. Will the Stanley Cup finally return home to Canada for the first time since Bill Clinton was settling into the Oval Office and Jurassic Park was new in theaters? The Detroit Red Wings sacked Jeff Blashill and may go after John Tortorella, and the Pittsburgh Penguins made only one recall for the playoffs.

First, a quick thank you. April is generally a slow month for hockey coverage. The casual fans take a break after the NHL trade deadline, playoff spots are clinched so drama wanes, and it’s usually the third slowest month of the year behind August and September. However, the National Hockey Now network, including Pittsburgh Hockey Now, hit 2.6 million readers. Detroit and Boston have joined Pittsburgh atop the NHN leaderboard with elite traffic levels. Colorado, Philly, and Montreal are right there, too.

If that’s a slow month, bring on the best months!

And, congrats to our Owen Krepps. He graduated from Robert Morris University this week. He’s been on the Vegas Golden Knights beat since mid-season and finishing up his degree. It hasn’t been easy, but he’s never once whined about being tired or the double duty. Instead, he’s always trying to find ways to do more, like the drive from Philadelphia to Buffalo to cover the Golden Knights road trip during Spring Break.

To steal a quote from the famous Chunk confession scene in Goonies, “I’m beginning to like this kid, Ma.”

To Hockey…

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The WBS Penguins have their own playoff run, so you won’t see a big Black Aces contingent. Instead, Drew O’Connor got the call for the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.

Here is the Penguins playoff and broadcast schedule. The Penguins updated the broadcast schedule from the original NHL release to include LOCAL TV. Yep, AT&T Sports will have the games. Full Penguins playoff schedule.

NHL & National Hockey Now:

TSN Video: Will Canada finally reclaim the Cup? There are only three Canadian teams in the playoffs, but Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto have more than a fighting chance. Toronto has lost six straight Round One series. This is a wonderful little watch.

The NHLPA is beginning its search to replace union head, Donald Fehr.

Sportsnet: Full preview: TB vs. TOR. This may be the most-watched series, or at least close to the Penguins-New York Rangers battle. Toronto has home ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That’s going to be incredible hockey.

Detroit: Jeff Blashill is out. Could Steve Yzerman turn to a taskmaster–say, John Tortorella? Our folks in Detroit, Kevin Allen and Bob Duff are all over the story, from the dismissal to the rumored candidates. Detroit Red Wings news.

Here’s a sticky wicket: Sergei Federov? He just coached his team to the KHL championship, but he is also seen as a friend to the Mad King of Russia. Could he be in the mix? More Detroit Red Wings discussion.

Montreal: Carey Price took off his trapper and gave a little wave to his family in the stands during Montreal’s 10-2 win over Florida on Friday. What did it mean? Montreal was abuzz. It meant what you thought it did–Price admitted he might not return to Montreal…or the NHL. Montreal Canadiens bombshell.

Boston: It’s a Metro Division playoff battle. Here’s the full preview from our folks in Boston–The Carolina Hurricanes drew the suddenly hot Bruins in Round One. Don’t count out a Boston Bruins upset.

Philly: If you like seeing Flyers’ bad news, here you go. The locker clean-out day was heavy on sarcasm and disappointment. We learned more about Ryan Ellis’s injury, Carter Hart’s problems, and Ivan Provorov was a wee bit testy. Philadelphia Flyers clear out.

Washington: Capitals-Panthers schedule, broadcast info, and fast facts for the figurative 1v8 matchup. Washington Capitals quicky.

Lastly, many of you know PHN subscriber Melissa Hart is running for PA Governor on the Republican side. Her slogan is apt, Common Sense over Crazy Ideologies. You can broadly apply that slogan. One of her opponents, Doug Mastriano, is QAnon linked (speaks at Q events, puts little hidden symbols–like Christian Nationalist flags–in the background of his appearances. He is also under subpoena because he was a Jan. 6 planner and tried to lie about being past the gates). Another, Jake Corman, hired a national campaign manager (Kellyanne Conway), then touted her endorsement in a commercial deceptively made to look like a Trump endorsement. That was pretty funny…in a cringy way. Jake is at 2% in the polls and should probably drop out a second time.

Melissa’s bootstrap campaign is taking off as people look for a better choice. She’s between 7-11% in a crowded field. That’s fifth place and within striking distance. She’s the Western PA candidate, and I’m asking that you give her a look. I’ll vouch for her–She’s good people who didn’t take the easy money but advocated for children and small businesses after leaving Congress. 

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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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7 months ago

Maybe it is true and maybe it is not . . . but to see John Tortorella’s name pop up again as a candidate for a head coaching job is incredible. I appreciate he has won a Cup and turned in some good seasons along the way, but his overall performance has not been particularly impressive and that discounts the baggage he lugs behind him. I have no doubt he would claim he has “changed” and/or “adapted” to the current NHL player group . .. of course he has to say that . .. but were I in the middle… Read more »

ric jefferies
ric jefferies
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Tortorella is a “turnaround manager”as I see it, limited time to give a team a new course heading and he usually gets results and then sent on his way. He knows he’s not there to win a popularity contest. I like his way.