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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Pull it Together, Playoff Scenarios

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins had just four shots on goal in the first 29 minutes of their win over the Nashville Predators but peppered backup goalie David Rittich with 26 shots over the remainder of the game. They pulled it together when a fifth straight defeat loomed like approaching storm clouds and, in the process, helped the Vegas Golden Knights just a wee bit. If they lost, it would have been ugly today. The Penguins also stayed far enough ahead of the Washington Capitals in the Metro Division.

Side note, you can stop predicting the worst. It’s been done. It seems every single person wants to claim they predicted the Penguins would lose in the first round. Yes, we get it. It’s a likely scenario. The odds are in your favor, and increasingly so. What do you get for being right? I’m also going to predict the weather will warm up by the end of April. The Avengers will win by the end of the movie. I’ll see Uber drivers wearing masks in the car by themselves, and cauliflower rice is a bitter-tasting awful substitute for anything.

See, I’m right! It doesn’t make anyone smarter, and it doesn’t seem like much fun to be a fan with a dark cloud hanging over your head. What are you, Pirates fans? Our comments section has recently been just this side of insufferable.

PHN+: I’ve been getting into the meaty aspects of the Penguins game–this report card is no exception, including a section on how Colorado, New York, and Nashville attacked the Penguins. It’s worth the subscription, and we appreciate your support. Pittsburgh Penguins report card.

Sidney Crosby 1400 points.

Washington Hockey Now: The Capitals aren’t making it easy on the Penguins. They rolled the Bruins on Sunday. I’d recommend keeping up with the Washington Capitals.

Also, folks in Washington really wanted Sidney Crosby to be punished for popping Nic Dowd, but the NHL plays on. Capitals news.

Playoff Scenarios: The Pittsburgh Penguins are four points ahead of Washington, which has two games in hand, so that’s a slight edge for the Penguins. The Penguins are also one point behind the Bruins, and two behind the Tampa Bay Lightning–both have two games in hand. Should the Penguins fall to the wild-card spot, one of those teams will likely be the top wild-card, pushing the Penguins to the second spot and a date with the Florida Panthers, who have 108 points, six ahead of Carolina.

Latest NHL standings.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

NY Post: Is Auston Matthews the greatest American-born player? Not yet, but he will be, writes Larry Brooks.

Montreal: Some good drama in Montreal. Jake Allen has had a season from hell, but his latest injury could open the door for the Canadiens to get Carey Price back in the lineup. Montreal Canadiens wrap.

Philly: National champion. NHL contract. The Flyers quickly signed prospect intriguing prospect Bobby Brink. He’s small, but he has offensive skills and speed. Philadelphia Flyers news.

NYI: Barry Trotz lost his cool this weekend. The St. Louis Blues hammered the Islanders 6-1, but the fourth goal set off Trotz. He began banging his stick on the boards, and when the officials didn’t respond, so…he escalated. New York Islanders notes.

Florida: I’m unclear how this works in the long term. The Florida Panthers have Sergei Bobrovsky in net. He makes a lot of money. They also have stud prospect Spencer Knight, who could probably be a starter…now. Knight was brilliant this weekend. Florida Panthers win.

Detroit: The Red Wings have another Swedish prospect developing. He’s lighting up the Swedish playoffs. Detroit Red Wings prospects.

Colorado: Denver won the National Championship, and Terry Frei noted something that I wasn’t aware of–players are improving their college and draft stock by avoiding major junior hockey for a year, sometimes two. Huh. The Avs are reaping the benefits. Colorado Avalanche insights.

San Jose: Can Nick Bonino, Bonino, Booooniiiinooooooo again help the San Jose Sharks next year?

Vegas: Updated NHL playoff scenarios for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Subscribe to PHN+

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
1 month ago

ANY sports message board is insufferable. Noting that is like saying that cauliflower rice tastes like ass. That being said, its especially disappointing here because the comment section is preceded by thoughtful, in-depth news and analysis. Carry on

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

With absolutely no scientific proof it just seems to me that our genetics tend to gravitate toward the negative. Aside from hockey . . if you look back over headline stories and can find the content you will find outrageous overstatement and an overall feeling that we will all die huddled under a bridge freezing in the dark. Speaking personally I have done all I can to limit my news viewing. I think there is way too much of it and reporters need to create stories and conclusions at the expense of reality and truth. Fans are not far behind.… Read more »

Wasnt
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s not that our genetics gravitate to the negative but the obvious. Fans our simply frustrated witnessing the same outcome unfold the last three years understandably.

RYAN
RYAN
1 month ago
Reply to  Wasnt

It’s the fact the guys we’ve ridden for 15 years are done. With nobody on the horizon. That makes each playoff exit all the more aggravating

Wasnt
1 month ago
Reply to  RYAN

Stating the obvious and your aggravation sounds like frustration….well done Ryan, couldn’t agree more

Ethan
Ethan
1 month ago

Uber driver with mask likely just had dozens of strangers in their vehicle in a confined space. So unless it is warm and the windows are all down…Germs continue to circulate just as stubbornly as misinformation. It’s a bit like making fun of a person Clorox-ing a locker room after a bunch of players take the ice. The locker room looks empty so why would you need to clean it??? Last weeks stomach bug is why!!!

Katz
Katz
1 month ago

No one wants to see the Penguins succeed more than me. Been there since before Mario , was there for Debartolo , Baz Bastien and Johnny Wilson. Celebrated Bob Johnson’s and Craig Patricks genius. So……, I’m not simply negative, I’m realistic . I called for Malkin to be requested to waive his NMC since 2018. As Dan knows I’ve said for a very long time “it’s all about the playoffs” and this roster is not built for the playoffs. It could’ve been and that’s the frustration. Mike Sullivan as great a Coach as he is , and as worshipped as… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Katz
RYAN
RYAN
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

I agree. Except Crosby would never have one a damn thing without Malkin. So that tribute ovation better be 3x what fleurys was next year.

I don’t have to convince anyone. 66 and 87 know.

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

Riddle me this. Say they did trade Malkin back then, how does the team win without a #2 and #3 center? As if trading Malkin would be addition by subtraction. Not so. Even now, he is one of the best #2 pivots in the league. Also, this off season if they “let him go” as many suggest the penguins should, who can replace him and his production? Look at the list of free agent centers. Trading for a #2 center is even less likely with Hextall at the helm and a shallow prospect pool. Malkin is their best option and… Read more »

Katz
Katz
1 month ago

You assume nothing else takes place. 9.5million in freed up Cap space would have at the very least become available. And you have no idea what the other side of the trade would have looked like. Rumors were Florida offered Barkov and Mario nixed moving Malkin.

Last edited 1 month ago by Katz
Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

Geno isn’t going anywhere. You can call for it all you want.

RYAN
RYAN
1 month ago

Here’s my seeds:

1. Florida vs 8 Boston
2. Carolina vs 7 Pittsburgh
3. NYR vs 6/5 Washington
4/5 Toronto vs 4/5 Tampa

Wasnt
1 month ago

Is there a good Nashville Preds site recommendation? I’d love to hear what their saying about the Geno hit, wonder what DOPS will dish out.

Katz
Katz
1 month ago
Reply to  Wasnt

Pittsburgh will play better with him suspended. Not sarcasm

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

No. Just mere stupidity.

Katz
Katz
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

From todays Trib

“Since returning from knee surgery, Malkin has nine goals and nine assists at even strength in 37 games. Fourth-liner Brian Boyle has as many even-strength goals. Malkin is also minus-11. He has just two primary assists playing five-on-five. (That last stat beggars belief.)”

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

That’s nice. They aren’t going anywhere in the playoffs without Geno playing. Your unwarranted dislike of him through the years beggars belief, but everyone has to have a whipping boy I suppose.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

Way to cherry pick your stats. Boyle has played 60 games to Malkins 37, but lets only look at the number of even strength goals…

Wasnt
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz

Stir that pot…..LOL

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Wasnt

Hockey is hockey. It all depends on whose ox is being gored. If Crosby had been clubbed like that there would have been Pens fans with torches and pitchforks in the street looking for a Nashville head. Geno is Geno. So he got slashed. And the problem would be? The guy is a big boy. He does not need to crush a skull because of that. Is there an easier guy to goad into a stupid penalty than Malkin in the NHL? He is who he is. A little late now to think he is going to change. His presence… Read more »

Tom Tarka
Tom Tarka
1 month ago

Also:Sydney Crosby is 40th on the list for all time goals scored, having just passed Roenick.

https://records.nhl.com/records/skater-records/goals/most-goals-career

Uros
Uros
1 month ago

I will be satisfied with any outcome in the playoffs if I see effort. I have seen effort last year when they were let down by poor goaltending, but I haven’t seen it in the 2 consecutive exits prior to that. I hope the last 3 games were just a fluke and not the mindset for the playoffs. I just want them to go down fighting if they go down. Winning is very hard in this league. The 3 times we’ve won during this era it could’ve gone either way. We weren’t dominating and there was a lot of game… Read more »

Pete Hoffman
Pete Hoffman
1 month ago

I’ll take 67 and 17 over 71 all year long. Use that money for some fast guys. Geno is S-L-O-W

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