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Dan’s Daily: Capitals Deliver for Penguins, Edzo Calls Out Leah Hextall



Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL trade, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin

Most of the Pittsburgh Penguins players we surveyed didn’t want to watch their competition Monday night, but they undoubtedly knew the results by late evening. The Washington Capitals, playing shorthanded and without the meat of their lineup, delivered a stunning upset of the New York Islanders. The win put the Penguins back in control of their playoff fate and pushed the Islanders to the brink of elimination.

Also in the Daily, these are the final games for Jonathan Toews in Chicago. The Calgary Flames were eliminated in a shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, while the Winnipeg Jets put a stranglehold on the Western Conference wild card. Eddie Olzcyk called out Leah Hextall for stealing John Forslund’s goal call, there’s video of Marc-Andre Fleury playing Rock, Paper Scissors with fans in Chicago during warmup, and the Penguins’ Twitter account had some fun with the Capitals’ Twitter after the night was over.

Craziness. Without Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nic Dowd, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and only 17 skaters, Washington owned New York all night. Mental note to the Penguins: even wounded teams have good nights.

The Penguins host the lowly Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday (*ahem).

Oh by the way, National Hockey Now hired two more people yesterday. We’ll be expanding into a new market and fortifying another. We still have a couple of holes. Some cities don’t have a bench of talent, or they have several successful blogs that are content with life. I’m jealous of the latter. So, we’re working on it.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group)

We only produced seven stories on Monday. Slow day, eh? Here are the highlights.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Kris Letang has battled through extraordinary adversity this season. The Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association named Kris Letang the Penguins’ Masterton Trophy nominee.

MVP! Sidney Crosby was named team MVP by the players. Here are other awards, including Rookie of the Year. Penguins awards.

The Penguins got some visitors at practice. Dmitry Kulikov and Nick Bonino were full participants. It looks like at least one, if not both, will suit up Tuesday in the Penguins lineup.

Monday at practice, I didn’t feel like dishing hard-hitting hockey questions or the cliche tripe about still playing hard. So, I polled the room. “Will you watch the games tonight?” Casey DeSmith and Jan Rutta had the best answers. Jason Zucker was so emphatic people turned to see the commotion. It turned out to be a fun story, especially with the Capitals’ win. Here’s what the boys would cop to — Penguins locker room.

So, with all of the craziness Monday night, the Penguins control their fate. Here are the updated Penguins playoff scenarios.

Steelers Now:

Here’s an awesome roundup: All of the pre-draft visits conducted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers signed free agent DT Arman Watts.

There might be more details to come in the tragic death of former Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins. His family wants answers, and his lawyer has a bombshell theory of what happened. Steelers news.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

PBN+: The Pirates SS situation and options — With Oneil Cruz out for four months, Rodolfo Castro gets the first shot in the Pirates lineup.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

NY Post: The Islanders invited calamity with a blowout loss to the Washington Capitals. The fallout in New York.

Florida Hockey Now: WHEW. The Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs went to the mat Monday. It was 1-0 Toronto late midway through the third period, but Florida scratched out a point to keep control of their fate. The Florida Panthers playoff scenarios.

Calgary Hockey Now: It’s over. Calgary could have kept the pressure on Winnipeg, but they lost in a shootout to Nashville. Now, Nashville has a slim chance, and Calgary was eliminated. The CalgarFlames’es heartbreak.

Chicago Sun-Times: Jonathan Toews admitted that this was likely the end for him and the Chicago Blackhawks. Until a year ago, who would have ever seen that coming?

That makes you appreciate Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang just a bit more?

TSN: Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion said the team would qualify and keep Alex DeBrincat, regardless of a long-term deal.

OK, that’s about all of the hard news from Monday. Now the goofy stuff that people like more…

Eddie Olzyck didn’t like that ESPN play-by-play announcer Leah Hextall ripped off John Forslund’s signature goal call without attribution. And Edzo said so:


Marc-Andre Fleury is a treasure. There is a reason every team he goes to (Chicago excluded) plays better than they were expected. He kept the 2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins together until Mike Sullivan arrived in December. I wrote about that stuff years ago, but that team was ready to tear itself apart. Here’s Fleury having some fun with fans in Chicago last night:


And the Capitals and Penguins’ Twitter accounts had to give begrudging respect.