Dan’s Daily: Penguins Send Scouts to Chicago, Interested in D-Man?
And the Pittsburgh Penguins changed the trajectory of their season with one big penalty kill, then another, and an impressive comeback win over the Colorado Avalanche. We’ve got complete analysis, details, and coverage below, but one question no one really answered, why did it take 45 minutes to start playing good hockey? In NHL trade talk, the Penguins had a couple of scouts watching Anaheim vs. Chicago. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Penguins were tied to Anaheim defenseman Dmitry Kulikov earlier Tuesday. Are the Canucks picking up the phone for Thatcher Demko?
And so much more, but we’ll keep them light and fluffy.
I wasn’t about to be the wet blanket in the locker room and harp on the lackluster performance, which spotted the Avalanche a 2:1 shot ratio after about 45 minutes. The answers were, “we just started to play better” and “we got on our toes.”
I let them stand, but if the Penguins are serious about doing anything this season and serious about holding off the Islanders, Panthers, and Sabres in the playoff chase, they might want to figure out how they “just started to play better,” and do that before staring into the abyss.
Also, their third line had a few moments in the third. They also did not have much of a game before that, though Brock McGinn was outstanding on the PK. I mean, really good.
Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates
The Colorado Avalanche were upset after the game because of Carter’s high hit on Cale Makar. Accidental or suspension-worthy? What do you think — is Jeff Carter in trouble?
Here is a little behind-the-curtain look: Dave Molinari generally has most of his postgame story written minutes before the final horn (as he should). However, the Penguins’ rally, the 180-degree change in tone, and victory forced him to write a couple of hundred words in a few minutes. He’s that good — Here’s Dave Molinari’s Pittsburgh Penguins recap.
The Penguins were all smiles. The one guy who really deserved it was Casey DeSmith, who was spectacular. Go inside the Penguins locker room.
Was that a team-saving win? I think it was close, if not a complete rescue. If you want to know what really went down, the Xs and Os, the nuts and bolts — the PHN+ Penguins report card.
From the flip side–here is the take from Evan Rawal on the OT loss by the Colorado Avalanche.
On the NHL trade front, the Penguins had a pair of scouts to watch Chicago vs. Anaheim. The Penguins play Anaheim this week, so that could be one scout.
For inquiring minds, the visiting NHL teams slated to be in the press box for tonight's #Blackhawks vs Ducks matchup in Chicago:
BOS, SJ, WPG, PIT (2), TB (2), NYR, NJD, MIN, OTT, TOR & SEA
— Tab Bamford (@The1Tab) February 7, 2023
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: A lot of All-Star Game stuff. The new head of the NHLPA is a politician who received donations from the Penguins and Bruins owners. Also, Elliotte Friedman hinted the Pittsburgh Penguins’ trade target is a defenseman.
With respect to Friedman, who is the best, where would the Penguins put a left-handed defenseman unless they trade one or two? Wait, I may have just answered my question.
ESPN: Emily Kaplan reports the Canucks have been contacted by several teams about starting goalie Thatcher Demko.
Boston Hockey Now: More NHL trade chatter links Jakob Chychrun to the Boston Bruins.
Also, I’d like 21st-century parents to get together and decide on singular spellings of Jacob, Conor, and Derick. It’s too much to have to look up every player to double-check. Please and thanks.
Montreal: One guy making the most of the Canadiens’ rebuild is goalie Sam Montembeault. They also have Jake Allen at the NHL level and Cayden Primeau at the AHL level. So what of the Montreal Canadiens’ trade options?
Metro Division / Penguins Playoff Chase:
Philly: The Flyers are admitting a rebuild but sharing optimism. John Tortorella and the org wrote a letter to Philadelphia Flyers fans.
NYI: The Islanders won their second in a row after the break by crushing…CRUSHING the Seatle Kraken. And Bo Horvat set a career-high when he scored his first New York Islanders goal.
Washington: The Capitals have several pending free agents, which should make for an interesting NHL trade deadline.
And here’s a feature I think you’ll enjoy because many of you hate/respect/like T.J. Oshie. Our Sammi Silber went one-on-one with the Capitals’ winger. He had a long road to the NHL, which was more difficult than most. Here’s what made him the T.J. Oshie.
Detroit: I know plenty of you badly want this guy — Detroit Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi is finding his scoring touch.
Later addition — DID YOU SEE THIS?! A fight between a Lightning fan and the Florida Panthers mascot.