The Pittsburgh Penguins’ locker room had more than a few headline quotes after they blew a four-goal lead against the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Mike Sullivan called his team disconnected. Elsewhere, the NHL trade freeze lifted, but NHL trade rumors are oddly quiet. The Vegas Golden Knights have a goalie to deal, and there are teams in need. Carl Hagelin won’t give up the dream despite a permanent eye injury and hip surgery, and wow, that Penguins’ loss was stunning.
It isn’t often that a December loss stings as much as the Penguins’ meltdown.
Also: Today is the last full day for the PHN season of giving! Get your donations in; we’re behind our $5,000 goal. PHN will match your donations to four charities.
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Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The down and dirty from Dave Molinari. The Penguins recap.
The Penguins go from Bad to Worse. What’s next for the Penguins?
Detroit Hockey Now: The flip side. The Red Wings’ locker room was pretty happy. The griddy after the gritty comeback for the Detroit Red Wings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ locker room had an odd vibe. It wasn’t sullen, nor was it dejected. Was it disbelief? Acknowledgment? Evgeni Malkin said, “The fans hate us right now.” Sullivan also had a postgame talk with the team. Penguins locker room.
There’s always a little bit of a translation gap with Malkin, but the online reaction to his comments seemed to encourage the anger. Our comments section is a bit wild today. (Just keep it somewhere close to the bounds of good taste, eh?)
It’s not kind, though there were some good grades. Yes, really. The weak spots were the ones you expect and one really unexpected one. PHN+ Penguins Report Card.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Washington Hockey Now: Carl Hagelin excited the team and maybe himself. A return is not imminent, but Carl Hagelin is doing his best to come back for the Washington Capitals.
Vegas Hockey Now: Three NHL goalies. Need only two? The Golden Knights have a couple of chips for the NHL trade deadline.
Montreal Hockey Now: Ouch. Marc Dumont’s postgame analysis went straight to the coach after the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens.
TSN: Slovakia beat Team USA. Beat them pretty well, actually. That’s not good for the USA — here’s the story.
Slovakia is an emerging power in hockey, but the USA cannot lose that game.
NYI Hockey Now: Injuries and ineffectiveness forced the Islanders to make a handful of callups. The prospect class is playing pretty well and has a leg up on past failures with the New York Islanders.
I’ll write it for you … Prospects? The Penguins should call up guys from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. See what they can do! It can’t be worse! (None of that is true, but I thought I’d play to the crowd).
Florida Hockey Now: The defending Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers are out of a playoff spot. Matthew Tkachuk said the playoffs begin NOW for the Florida Panthers.
LA Hockey Now: The Kings recalled 2020 second-overall pick Quinten Byfield, but are putting him on the fourth line. Does the Kings’ pursuit of winning make it harder to develop prospects at the NHL level? That is a good question posed to the LA Kings.