The Pittsburgh Penguins surprised many Wednesday night with a mostly minor league lineup that submitted a scrappy performance in which they largely outplayed the Detroit Red Wings with an NHL-heavy lineup. The score didn’t matter as much as the noteworthy performances. In NHL news, Elliotte Friedman got the skinny on why teams did not claim Ty Smith on waivers. We have officially unofficial salary cap increase projections for next season from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Erik Karlsson has a top 25 ranking in the NHL player rankings.
I’m not sure about you, but I was thoroughly impressed and completely enjoyed the Penguins game Wednesday night. When we saw the Penguins lineup full of current and future WBS Penguins against most of the Red Wings NHL regulars, including Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat, it figured to be a long night.
But here’s a player who changed the game, knew he was changing it, and loved it: Austin Wagner. I’ll be writing a lot more about his big showing, but you can watch his no-holds-barred postgame interview with me and Jeff Hatthorn of 93-7 the Fan on the NHN YouTube page here.
Jeff and I decided it might be THE best postgame interview we get all year.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: All of those offseason moves? Dave Molinari writes they allowed the Penguins to go off the deep end. Dave’s Penguins analysis.
The postgame grade from that scrappy bit of prospects, roster hopefuls, and backups. The power play even shot the puck. No kidding! Grades on Radim Zohorna, Alex Nylander, Wagner, and the crew — Penguins postgame.
PHN+: Coach Mike Sullivan opened the door to more roster competition as two players assessed their chances very differently. Pick your guy– use code Dan10 or Dave10 to get $10 off PHN+ and read the inside scoop from Sullivan and the Penguins locker room.
A bone bruise or no, injured QB Kenny Pickett says he’s in.
Yet ANOTHER former NFL player turned analyst took Mike Tomlin to task for a brutal offensive scheme and playbook. Former DE Marcus Spears joined Stephen A. Smith and teed off on Mike Tomlin.
Don’t worry, everyone. The Steelers just need their mojo back and to practice harder.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now:
I really enjoyed our young crop of writers and John Perrotto this season. We turned them loose, and they didn’t disappoint, really growing our Pirates coverage, but it goes 365!
Here are Cody Potanko’s three takeaways from the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates season.
Good news or bad news? John Perrotto writes that Ben Cherrington is keeping it real.
Who is excelling in the Arizona Fall League? Get the latest on the Pirates prospects.
NHL News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet: As part of Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts, he was surprised no one claimed Ty Smith, so he asked around. It’s not a big part of the story, but I think you’ll find No. 12 informative.
Detroit Hockey Now: The Red Wings beat the Penguins 2-1 Wednesday. In the postgame, our Kevin Allen and Bob Duff were struck by the low-key nature of Jeff Petry.
NHL.com: How about a $4-5 million salary cap bump next season? Gary Bettman says, maybe definitely.
TSN: The Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators could upend the Atlantic Division, finally, and flip the script on the division powers.
Erik Karlsson returned to the big-boy rankings after last season’s explosion. He’s got a top-25 ranking from TSN.
Montreal Hockey Now: You might enjoy the number of prospects and scrappers who could fill the Montreal Canadiens‘ opening night roster.
Philly Hockey Now: Things are coming together in Philly. Sam Carchidi writes that Joel Farabee looks like his best self again with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Carolina Hockey Now: Is it possible, will they, could they? Keep both Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei? One analyst says yes, the Carolina Hurricanes may do just that.
Washington Hockey Now: With next season’s salary cap jump, oh boy, the Washington Capitals will have lots of money to spend.
NYI Hockey Now: And a little boost on Long Island — Kyle Palmieri makes his first appearance in training camp with the New York Islanders.