NEW YORK — The Pittsburgh Penguins might get Jason Zucker back sooner than later. We did a deep dive into the Penguins Round One series against the New York Rangers–advantages, disadvantages, and made a prediction. PHN also made a surprise announcement that shook up the Pittsburgh media landscape.
Around the league, the St. Louis Blues got to Marc-Andre Fleury early, the Toronto Maple Leafs popped the Tampa Bay Lightning’s balloon, Carolina outclassed Boston, and it’s looking like Alex Ovechkin will be ready for Game 1 against the Florida Panthers.
First, our big news.
PHN: Pittsburgh Hockey Now is pleased to welcome, ecstatic to announce, and just damned glad to have our new Penguins beat writer, Hall of Famer, Dave Molinari
Dave’s first story included an exclusive video–Jason Zucker hit the ice on Monday morning. He looked pretty good, Dave said. Head coach Mike Sullivan seemed encouraged, too. Jason Zucker could be back sooner than later for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
PHN+: We’ll be doing A LOT MORE paywall content with two full-time writers (and at least one good one). The series breakdown–the Penguins’ advantages, where they are short, what they must improve, and one advantage no one is talking about. Round One: New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins.
Covering a series in NYC is no cheap thing. Nor is top talent. Subscribe today for an ad-free experience and exclusive content — Use coupon code: DAVE for a big discount on PHN+.
The big sportsbooks aren’t offering any cool NHL betting promos, BUT for my peeps into the NBA, you get 30-1 odds on the new DraftKings promo.
NHL Playoffs & National Hockey Now:
Washington: I don’t know anyone picking the Washington Capitals over the Florida Panthers. Noooo One. But they’ll get their captain back for Game 1. Alex Ovechkin could play
The bigger issue for the Capitals–who is the goalie?? Ilya Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek? Head coach Peter Laviolette admitted he doesn’t know either. Washington Capitals problem.
Philly: They “feel your pain,” and “please bear with us.” After a nightmare season in the land of cheesesteaks, Mummers parades, and the Reading Market (I love the market!), the Flyers organization got real with their fans. Philadelphia Flyers message to fans.
NHL.com: If you saw the game, it was an eye-opener. The Toronto Maple Leafs took it to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Welcome, Champ, have a seat. Toronto looked ready to break their 17-year Round One futility.
Also–watch a pretty aggressive LINE BRAWL!
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: It was a wild game and fun to watch. The first period was a Rocky fight. The St. Louis Blues got a hat trick from David Perron and a brilliant performance from Ville Husso in their 4-0 win over Marc-Andre Fleury and the Wild.
Sportsnet: The LA Kings got the better of the Edmonton Oilers, whose bad habits roared to life. Connor McDavid has won just one playoff series in his career. He’d better get on this one, or a label will form. Kings beat Edmonton in Game 1.
Vancouver: It’s a bit odd–Bruce Boudreau helped turnaround the woeful Canucks, buuuutttt… no announcement that he’ll be back next year? Boudreau himself is confident. Vancouver Canucks news.
Calgary: I really like Calgary. If anyone is going to dump the Colorado Avalanche in the West, it will be Calgary (I think). They have a mortal enemy to vanquish in Round One–the Dallas Stars. Taking an underdog mentality, the Calgary Flames.
Boston: Ouch. The Carolina Hurricanes just bounced in Game 1. No contest… Our Jimmy Murphy is in Carolina for the series. The opener was uh-oh, for the Boston Bruins.
Montreal: Thousands paid tribute to Guy Lafleur at the Bell Center. The iconic player on THE iconic team is lying in state at the arena as thousands pay their respects. Montreal Canadiens tribute.