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Dan’s Daily: Capitals Faceplant, Penguins Up the Tempo at Practice



Evan Rodrigues, NHL trade, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals

The Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t exactly Sweatin’ to the Oldies, but they put in a spirited 40-minute practice at the UPMC Lemieux Complex. It was an early-season type Mike Sullivan affair with activity in every corner and plenty of 5v5 skating. Sidney Crosby expressed his appreciation for being named team MVP. The Washington Capitals busted with a chance to claim third place, and so did the Tampa Bay Lightning, who could fall to the wild card. And the Florida Panthers claimed a franchise first.

There were some positive vibes at the UPMC Lemieux Complex during the Penguins final regular-season practice, though some bad news is lurking.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: After the NHLPA named him the “Most Complete Player,” the Penguins voted Sidney Crosby the “Player’s Player” and the Team MVP. I thought Crosby’s words were poignant. “I hope everyone knows how much I love it…” Sidney Crosby MVP.

After suffering a first-period injury on Tuesday night, Jason Zucker was not at practice. Sullivan declined to elaborate, but Zucker is still being evaluated. Get the full Pittsburgh Penguins practice report.

Washington: The Capitals blew it. They should have passed the Penguins in the Metro with two games in hand, but the Islanders beat them twice. Alex Ovechkin did not play. Heck, neither did the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins need only one point Friday night to secure third place and draw the New York Rangers in Round One, not the Florida Panthers. Pick your poison, eh?

Oh, and one more thing…Kenny Pickett!! His reaction was touching. I hope everyone lets the kid mature into the NFL game rather than demanding that he walk across the water and become Ben Roethlisberger on Day 1.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Boston: The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their chance to claim third and a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the Boston Bruins are peaking at the right time. Ullmark, a shutout. Pastrnak scored No. 40. And Patrice Bergeron? Hat Trick. Boston Bruins rolled the Sabres.

Montreal: It’s not the worst thing to end the season on a losing note. The best odds to get the No. 1 overall pick and (probably) Shane Wright now belongs to the Montreal Canadiens.

Florida: Florida is so good. The culture, the momentum. Talent at every position. It all culminated in the President’s Trophy. Clinched. It belongs to the Florida Panthers.

Calgary: Johnny Gaudreau hit 40 goals. Linemates Elias Lindholm and Mathew Tkachuk also hit 40 goals this season. It’s just the fourth time in the last 30 years a team had three 40-goal scorers and the first since 1993-94. The impressive Calgary Flames.

Vancouver: Bruce Boudreau made quite the impression on the Vancouver Canucks. Some guys are great with lesser teams. Talented Russian rookie Vasily Podkolzin had a turnaround under Boudreau and is learning to speak English. When asked his favorite words? “Bruce, there it is!” Vancouver Canucks news-ish.

Philly: If you’re out the Philadelphia way, our Sam Carchidi will join a few members of the Flyers’ Stanley Cup-winning teams as guest bartenders to raise money for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Philadelphia Flyers charity.

Detroit: Here’s a million-dollar question–with all of that new talent, including the likely Calder Trophy winner, why were the Red Wings, so, so, so bad? Kevin Allen answers. Detroit Red Wings insight.

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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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7 months ago

The comment “Ovechkin didn’t play, and neither did the Capitals” could be used for the Pens far too many games this year.