The Pittsburgh Penguins have a couple of injuries and made a pair of roster moves, though one is expected to be undone today. The NHL Draft as we know it will cease to exist. Also in the Daily, the Edmonton Oilers can’t hold a lead no matter how badly they want to. The Washington Capitals put together a huge third period comeback win, but there is big trouble on little Long Island as the New York Islanders are sputtering again, and the pride tape issue has been settled.
A lot is going on with the Penguins. I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening internally but also with you, and I must confess, it feels like the stuffing is coming out of the pillow on both fronts. I cringed when coach Mike Sullivan said he really liked the Penguins’ game in the first period Tuesday because I know you’re going to seize on those words.
The number of comments on X, our comments section, and elsewhere show a lot of anger but also really daffy ideas. Cmon, do you think any coach on the planet would/should bench Sidney Crosby? I get that you have to be loud to be heard in this world, but let’s keep our feet on this orbiting rock, eh? I will concede, as I wrote earlier this week and more stridently yesterday, I am starting to wonder about some bigger issues with this team. That story is below.
To the Daily links…
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: There is something amiss with the team, and even though there are a lot of new faces, the old problems have followed. Here are a couple of changes but a fundamental flaw with the Penguins roster.
Dave Molinari offered a blunt assessment and fixes for the Penguins power play.
First, coach Mike Sullivan announced Alex Nedeljkovic suffered a lower-body injury and updated the status of defenseman John Ludvig.
A few hours later, CapFriendly posted the transactions. The Penguins sent Radim Zohorna to WBS for Corey Andonovski, then placed Nedeljkovic on LTIR. However, I don’t believe Zohorna will be sent down. Here’s the full slate on the Penguins transactions.
I’m not sure where national analysts come up with these trade boards, but Dan Moore Jr. has been tabbed as a Steelers trade candidate.
Here’s how to watch the Steelers game Sunday.
SN+: Don’t take T.J. Watt’s greatness for granted.
I grew up with great defenses in the 1980s. The Bears. Lawrence Taylor’s Giants. Then we had Dick Lebeau’s 3-4 Steelers in the 1990s. Watching Watt Sunday reminded me of Taylor 2.0. Just unstoppable. More QBs will start hustling throws to avoid looking at the sky. I hope the Steelers can actually win a playoff game or four with this freakshow. The dude deserves that spotlight.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
PHN+: And our Off the Record column was really good this week. The NHL Draft is changing, what insiders thought of the NHL/ESPN Frozen Frenzy, and who is sniffing around the Blue Jackets defensemen on the NHL trade market.
NYI Hockey Now: Like the Penguins, the Islanders are on a three-game skid. The three main issues from the New York Islanders streak.
Carolina Hockey Now: Geez, it seems half the Metro Division is on a three-game bender. Carolina dropped their third straight, but Bryant Baucom writes, don’t panic…yet, Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes also suffered a big injury. Defenseman Brett Pesce is out for months.
Philly Hockey Now: The youngsters allowed a late goal to lose in Vegas. A few of the young Flyers were pretty hard on themselves yesterday. Go inside the Philadelphia Flyers locker room.
Washington Hockey Now: A big comeback win over New Jersey. Someone finally took the lid off the Capitals’ goal, and they popped three in the third period for the Capitals win.
TSN: The pride tape issue is settled. Use it if you want. Don’t use it if you don’t want to.
TSN Edmonton: It’s a five-alarm fire. The Oilers cannot hold a lead. Not a little one. Not a big one. Trouble up north.
Sportsnet: Say goodbye to the big centralized Draft, the fans singing, chanting, and everyone gathering in one spot. Yeah, that was too much fun. The teams didn’t like it because they had to race home for free agency. Here’s the scoop from 32 Thoughts.
Another unforced error by the NHL. How many cities begged to host the Draft? The parties–just walk into any bar in that city with your jersey (or a media credential), and the party is on. We got to know the prospects personally. The NHL trade rumors that annually emerge are delicious. Yeah, let’s put a stop to that!
Montreal Hockey Now: David Savard is out for six weeks, but before he was injured, he put on a PK clinic. One of the great shifts of the year. Check it out — the Montreal Canadiens highlight.
Boston Hockey Now: Like grinding defense and low-scoring wins? Jimmy Murphy writes that these Boston Bruins are your team.
Detroit Hockey Now, DHN+: Yes, PHN+ readers can log in and read it. Perhaps the Penguins should take notes? Five reasons why the Red Wings power play is clicking.