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Penguins Playoff Watch: Magic Number 10, Big Day for Wild-Card



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It will be a big day for the Eastern Conference wild-card hopefuls while the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their Western Conference swing. Because at the end of March when division titles are decided shouldn’t every team play out-of-conference games? You certainly wouldn’t want the Penguins to play division rivals at this time of year. I hope the sarcasm is very evident.

Quick note–Pittsburgh Hockey Now will be on TV tonight. I am cohosting WPXI’s pregame show, “11 on the Ice” with Bill Phillips at 7:30 p.m. It’s another step into the mainstream for PHN, so I’m excited about that. I’ve given them a few plays for me to breakdown, which I think you’ll enjoy.

The Mueller Report wasn’t the only thing which fell flat in DC, yesterday–Last night, the Minnesota Wild beat the Washington Capitals, 2-1. The win put the Wild in the second wild-card spot.

Postgame musings from Minnesota here (The Athletic)

Unfortunately, the Minnesota win shoved Arizona out of the wild-card spot by one point, though Rick Tocchet and company have a game in hand.

The Capitals loss kept them just three points ahead of the Penguins and each team has played 75 games. However, Washington will be without defenseman Michael Kempny “indefinitely” (RMB)

Their stealth pick-up of Nick Jensen from Detroit at the trade deadline mitigates most of the loss but their depth will be tested. Kempny tied it all together for the Capitals.

I’d love to link to some stories regarding the Arizona Coyotes situation, analysis, and game against the New Jersey Devils at 1 p.m. today…but I can’t find any. Seriously.

Things are getting tense in Long Island (is it “in” or “on” Long Island?). The Islanders are slumping and panic is spreading. Eyes are looking to Mat Barzal who is struggling (New York Post)

Penguins fans have a choice–to root for Montreal to make the playoffs or Columbus. Montreal will host Buffalo tonight. The fever is starting in Montreal. The Canadiens have a 50.9 percent chance of making the playoffs (Montreal Gazette)

Since Minnesota handled Washington, perhaps the Penguins new best friend will take care of Carolina tonight. It’s tough with so many undercovered teams in the playoff hunt. Canes Country blog took a look at what Carolina is doing well. They did a nice job, save the present tense writing (Canes Country)

The Penguins defensemen have been playing extremely well. Jack Johnson has been especially good. He is up to 218 hits and counting, though Filip Forsberg wishes Johnson had one less after Thursday night (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

So, watch me on the TV tonight. If I get bad ratings, I’m never tweeting a picture of my chubby, happy grandson again (that’s a lie).