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Dan’s Daily: Capitals Control Penguins’ Fate, J.T. Miller-Pens Trade Talk



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First, the good. The Pittsburgh Penguins were solid for three periods and beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 at PPG Paints Arena. The bad, the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers submitted resounding wins to stay ahead of the Penguins. And the worst of the night might be the realization that the Washington Capitals control the Penguins’ playoff fate. There’s more NHL trade chatter that the Vancouver Canucks and Penguins could revisit the J.T. Miller talks, and the Frozen Four results.

Also in the Daily, the Penguins recalled and demoted Alex Nylander, and Mark Friedman was fined $2000 for embellishment.

I’m a little disappointed the Penguins aren’t practicing today. I very much wanted to ask Friedman about the fine. I KNOW he would have given us a fun answer. It may not have been printable verbatim.

There’s also a story below from my evening in Wilkes-Barre. Instead of returning home Wednesday, I detoured north to catch Owen Pickering and the WBS Penguins. I found it funny that other media and many fans commented on the story without reading it. They assumed, based on a teaser, the contents of the story. They were horribly wrong.

I may have to watch AHL TV tonight when they visit Providence for another look, but the quote from J.D. Forrest about the Penguins’ struggles was telling.

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins won and kept pace in the wild card. Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.

Kris Letang admitted, “It’s still kind of weird” to score on Marc-Andre Fleury. Brian Dumoulin showed off some offensive skills. And Jason Zucker made a beeline to look at the scoreboard. Go inside the Penguins’ locker room.

The always-candid, no punches pulled, reader questions, and my answers from PPG. Is it too little too late? Penguins Q&A.

You have to feel for Alex Nylander. After his afternoon recall, I saw him walking into the arena with a whole pack of sticks. About 90 minutes later, he was sent back to WBS. And Mark Friedman was fined for diving. Penguins news.

PHN+: The quote from J.D. Forrest was telling. Before you call for the young players to be recalled, our story from Wilkes-Barre provides substantial info about the Penguins’ farm team. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of ammo to criticize Ron Hextall, but we primarily went to scout Owen Pickering, and that, too, is a hugely important piece of the puzzle. Penguins prospects.

You can ask me about the players who might develop into NHL players. There were two diamonds in the rough… (that’s how I know people who were talking about it didn’t read it; no one mentioned those two).

NHL Trade Talk, Penguins Playoff Chase & National Hockey Now:

Sportsnet 650: NHL trade “rumors.” Tomas Drance of the Athletic reported the Penguins’ trade talks for J.T. Miller could re-fire this summer. And Mike Halford seconded that report.

Florida Hockey Now: It was a 7-2 beatdown in Florida. The Ottawa Senators were eliminated (thanks for the help, guys), and the Florida Panthers stayed ahead in the wild-card race.

George Richards writes the win was nice, but now the Florida Panthers must help themselves.

The New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1. We’re still awaiting red-tape clarity on our new Islanders writer. Nothing is ever easy, eh?

TSN: More NHL trade chatter. How will the summer’s UFAs like Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko affect the trade market?

And here is how the Washington Capitals control the Penguins’ playoff fate. They play Florida and the Islanders in succession. Suddenly feeling like Tom Wilson fans?

Sportsnet: The Frozen Four. Quinnipiac beat Michigan?! Minnesota beat Boston U.

Remaining Panthers Schedule:

@Washington (Saturday)
Toronto (Monday)
Carolina (Thursday)

Islanders Schedule:

Philadelphia (Saturday)
@Washington (Monday)
Montreal (Wednesday)

Penguins Schedule:

@Detroit (Saturday)
Chicago (Tuesday)
@Columbus (Thursday)

You’ll notice the Islanders finish a day before the Penguins and Panthers. We could know the Penguins’ fate before Thursday. It could also be a win-and-in situation in Columbus.

Here’s the situation: the Penguins are basically one game behind with three to play. If the Penguins lose any of their remaining three games, either the Islanders or Florida must lose two of three. The Penguins certainly have the easiest schedule, but that hasn’t been the panacea we thought, has it?