If you think you had a bad weekend, compare it to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who largely beat themselves in a pair of very asymmetrical games, shoving their season and future to the edge of failure and uncertainty. The NHL trade deadline is less than four weeks away, and one Penguins rival is ready to begin the selloff. Elsewhere in the Daily, what is the price for the remaining Calgary Flames’ big pieces? The New Jersey Devils took a good run at getting goalie Jacob Markstrom from Calgary last week but balked at the price.
I got home in time from Winnipeg for the final five minutes of the Super Bowl. I watched the winning drive, grabbed my laptop to begin working, and something in my body said … Nope. I passed out, and there I sat, dead-to-the-world sleeping, until my 6 a.m. alarm.
Getting home was quite a chore. Arriving at the airport at 4:30 a.m., it began. First, our plane broke. Then, they couldn’t find a mechanic. They had to fly one from Minneapolis. In the ensuing chaos of getting a new flight, I was No. 125 to get re-routed to WPG-Atlanta-Pittsburgh. However, the flight only held 124 people.
They cleared the entire terminal since it was U.S. customs, except for me and three older teachers, who were stuck on the original and had no hope of other options. We sat there for eight hours in a ghost town. Even the little cafe closed. Delta sent over some sandwiches and coffee from Tim Hortons (thank you!). They finally got me on a cross-country adventure from Winnipeg to Minneapolis, New York, and Pittsburgh. I arrived home around 10 p.m.
I suppose life is only as irritating as you let it be. I just used the time to write, and I think I may have taken a nap. I also saw the Ben Affleck Dunkin Donuts commercial near the gate in LaGuardia, and damn that was funny.
Let’s talk hockey.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: If you checked out after the game, here is the locker room feature. You can see and hear the tension after the Winnipeg loss. Coach Mike Sullivan knocked his team. Erik Karlsson tried to dodge the frustration, and Lars Eller steered into it. The disgust when I talked to Eller (no video) was obvious. Go inside the Penguins’ room.
So, here’s where I’m at with the team. I think there is time to salvage it, but it has become clear the current iteration of the team cannot find its best with any level of consistency. The constant self-destruction demands changes to save the Penguins’ season.
It seems one Penguins long-time rival and arch-nemesis is about ready to wave the white flag and sell before the NHL trade deadline.
NHL Trade Deadline, News, & National Hockey Now
New Jersey Hockey Now: Calgary and New Jersey had real talks, in person, last week regarding goalie Jacob Markstrom. It sounds intense, but they didn’t get to the finish line. The latest on the Devils trade hopes.
Sportsnet Calgary: Pat Steinberg of Sportstalk 960 (the very first station to syndicate my show many years ago) did a Flames mailbag, and you can guess what all of the questions were about. What can the Flames expect to get back for Markstrom, Chris Tanev, (et al.) on the trade market?
Philly Hockey Now: Big year, big contract, big flop. Goalie Cal Peterson was banished to the AHL after the LA Kings lavished a hefty contract upon him. He’s getting a new chance and is ready to embrace it with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Montreal Hockey Now: Things got bitter between the Blues and Canadiens. Injuries and fights marred the Montreal Canadiens loss.
Florida Hockey Now (+): Sasha Barkov has not scored in a month, but no one seems to be concerned about the Florida Panthers star.