Connect with us


Dan’s Daily: Crosby Hero, Kessel Struggles, Updated Trade Board



Pittsburgh Penguins win, NHL trade rumors, Phil Kessel struggles in practice

CHICAGO — The Pittsburgh Penguins needed a tub of ice cream to feel better a day after a season-shaking loss and Jake Guentzel injury. The rebuilding and hapless Chicago Blackhawks were Rocky Road with an extra big spoon, and Sidney Crosby willed his team to a win. Phil Kessel struggled in his first practice with the Vancouver Canucks organization. TSN updated their NHL trade bait list with Guentzel rising, and Patrick Roy ripped his New York Islanders with some unvarnished honesty.

I have a day to kill in Chicago. I booked my flight late–I had planned to arrive in Chicago on Wednesday, skipping the Penguins vs. Panthers game and letting Dave handle it solo. But realizing it was shaping up to be a season-turning game, I changed my plans, and the earliest flight I could get home was at 6:30 p.m. So, any tips for Chicago? I’ve been here a few times but never had time to explore.

Also, the conversation with my column was tremendous. The elevated discourse, in my opinion, showed that reality is settling in for everyone, including fans. The vitriolic demands to rebuild were balanced with resignation to do so or alternate plans and acceptance.

I had a good conversation with Chicago writers who had to cover the decline as the Blackhawks’ time came to a close, and it’s not easy. However, the Blackhawks stars were clearly at the end. It’s impossible to say Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are underperforming, which is a key difference.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Crosby scored ’em dirty. Reilly Smith netted one, and Bryan Rust scored an amazing empty netter. The down-and-dirty details are told as only Dave Molinari can report the Penguins’ recap.

The report card. I was non-plussed by much of the game. Crosby should have worn a cape. The recalls didn’t take advantage of their opportunity, and Ryan Graves was spun like the truth in a political campaign. The analysis, good and bad, from the Penguins win.

It will be 24 days — The bad news from Thursday was that winger Jake Guentzel was placed on LTIR.

Chicago Hockey Now: The flip side–Connor Bedard was back in the lineup, and my gosh, is he good. The league is in good hands. The Chicago Blackhawks were glad to have him back.

NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now

NYI Hockey Now: Coach Patrick Roy didn’t spare anyone’s feelings. If the Islanders want to make the playoffs, they need to compete harder. That’s a tough criticism of the New York Islanders.

TSN: Countdown to Trade Deadline — the boys up north updated the trade board, including moving Jake Guentzel much higher. He’s now No. 4. Also, there’s no trade for Jake Allen, and what will New Jersey do for a goalie?

Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers are in a playoff spot, but buying at the deadline is not the plan. In fact, GM Daniel Briere might sell assets like Scott Laughton. Coach John Tortorella steered into the skid and prepared the Philadelphia Flyers for bad news.

Sportsnet: Also from the same press conference, Tortorella lamented young players and the lack of respect for the process of becoming earnest, hard-working professionals, “it’s a dumb league.” Crotchety old Dan loved this answer.

New Jersey Hockey Now: A little help from the LA Kings, who beat the New Jersey Devils in regulation.

Even Jack Hughes delivered a stinging backhand compliment to the goalies this week. If the Devils pay up, what would Juuse Saros cost the Devils on the NHL trade market?

And Phil Kessel had his first practice with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate. Vancouver media wasn’t used to seeing a guy skate hard and breathe harder. Kessel had some struggles.