Fresh New York pizza and Game 7 to an expired frozen dinner and Netflix within 24 hours. Life is weird when you cover professional sports. The Pittsburgh Penguins abrupt end, the controversy surrounding the tying goal, and the vitriolic homogeny of the New York Rangers fans who visited PHN were incredible. NHL rumors about the Penguins have already begun, and Marc-Andre Fleury is already being mentioned. Round Two is set to begin (not that you’re ready yet). The Islanders have a new coach, and the Vegas Golden Knights need one.
There’s also one semi-news item that I want to address. Jeff Hathhorn tweeted that the Fenway Group will be doing an organizational review. The boys on 32 Thoughts touched on it, too. Obviously, that review will include Ron Hextall and Brian Burke. Now, that bit of information took on a life of its own, and I think many people read too much into Jeff’s info.
Good ownership groups do those reviews annually. Fenway being new on the scene, a new owner will have conversations with everyone to make sure they’re a good fit, get their input, and lay out the company vision for operations. Though Fenway may suggest a different course than the David Morehouse-led organization owned by Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, it’s doubtful that Hextall is in any trouble. Burke’s job would be the one to watch if Fenway wants a different structural model.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Watching Tristan Jarry hobble in and out of the press conference was a sight. As we reported after Game 6, Jarry was adamant that he get a shot to play. He almost pulled it off. All of the guts, and almost the glory for Tristan Jarry.
He deserves a great deal of praise and recognition for that game. I don’t know if he was too deep for the tying goal. I suspect he didn’t have that sharp burst forward because of his injury, but I know that he played on one foot and gave the Penguins a chance to win.
When I saw the story headline, I couldn’t help but have the Supremes stuck in my head. Dave Molinari reflects on the series that got away from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Brian Boyle suffered a significant knee injury in Game 6. He had surgery and will rehab this summer.
Boyle was a treat to cover and his story was a great one. Without telling us that his wife was about nine months pregnant, he responded to PHN about what the chance to play in the NHL meant to him…being away from family, “that’s how much it means.”
Godspeed in your recovery, sir. Perhaps Boyle will get another chance in the NHL, too.
And the final wrap from New York. Were those penalties? What about the Game 1 overturned goal? And just what the hell happened–how did the Penguins do almost everything they needed to do but lose? I also issued a challenge in the final Penguins wrap.
Rangers fans sure stick together. The comments sections on PHN were a treasure trove.
**Washington Hockey Now: Former Penguins winger Carl Hagelin suffered a severe eye injury in March. I didn’t know how serious–his career is in jeopardy. He’s still working toward depth perception and just started skating. Here’s a great read from Sammi Silber– Washington Capitals features.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet: Marc-Andre Fleury to the Penguins? Elliotte Friedman shared what he’s heard about contract talks with Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, and Bryan Rust.
Vegas: It took a minute, but GM Kelly McCrimmon broomed his coaching staff. Pete DeBoer fired. Vegas Golden Knights clean house.
NYI Hockey Now: After the somewhat surprising move to fire Barry Trotz, there’s a new boss for the New York Islanders.
Boston: There are some big-name, veteran free agents this summer. Evgeni Malkin. Kris Letang. In Boston, it is a return to the Bruins or bust for Patrice Bergeron.
Florida: Here’s the battle. Can the Cats dethrone Tampa? Game on–Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers.
Colorado: Hello again, old friend. The Colorado Avalanche are in a Capitals-like time loop. Stuck in Round Two. They MUST advance or heads will roll. It’s the St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver: Bruce there it is! Bruce Boudreau spoke from a golf outing in Hershey, PA–he’s back as the coach of the Vancouver Canucks.