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Dan’s Daily: Hextall Tried to Trade for Gudas, Penguins’ Pursuers Lose



Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust

It could have been a different NHL trade deadline had Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall landed one of his sought targets. Elliotte Friedman said Radko Gudas was on the Penguins’ trade board, but the Florida Panthers declined to move him. Coach Mike Sullivan will put the defenseman they did acquire to good use tonight, as Dmitry Kulikov will be in the lineup ahead of P.O Joseph. Kulkov was all smiles about coming to a winning team. Monday, Connor McDavid and the Chicago Blackhawks gave the Penguins’ playoff hopes a little help.

We’ve reached the point where everything the Penguins do is wrong. I know a lot of fans like P.O Joseph. I think my advocating for his inclusion in the lineup was well-known. So, when I tell you Kulikov could be an upgrade, take it seriously. Of course, there were a bunch of pro-Joseph analytics tweets going viral yesterday. There were significant flaws in all of them, and they usually used old data to impugn Brian Dumoulin, a much better player today than he was in December.

And that’s the biggest problem with so much Twitter analytics; it almost always tells us what we want to hear. I accept being the bad guy for pointing that out, but giving it to you straight is more important to me than popularity.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Jake Guentzel got the day off, Ryan Poehling took a step forward, and coach Mike Sullivan deployed the controversial new D-pairings. Check out Penguins practice.

Here’s me on WPXI’s Final Word, talking hockey with Tim Benz and Alan Saunders.

Watch: A quick semi-live chat from PPG Paints Arena. Questions from Twitter. Penguins analysis here.

PHN+: The Penguins’ new d-man was all smiles and was getting congratulatory texts for being traded to a winning team. Here’s Dmitry Kulikov.

George Richards in Florida tells me that Kulikov is one of the really good guys. My first impression agrees.

Steelers Now:

Vince Williams really wants the Steelers to draft Joey Porter Jr.

Should the Steelers take a look? The Tennesse Titans will cut — thus making available — Bud Dupree.

SN+: More importantly, how will new GM Omar Khan conduct the Steelers Draft?

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

It’s just spring training. It’s just spring training … but Luis Ortiz was roughed up by the Yankees yesterday.

PBN+: John Perrotto projects the Opening Day Pittsburgh Pirates roster.

NHL News, Penguins’ Playoff Chase, & National Hockey Now Connor McDavid is ridiculous. He scored a goal at light speed, and the Edmonton Oilers helped the Penguins by beating the Buffalo Sabres in regulation, 3-2.

Here’s a video for everyone who misses their grandparents. Jakob Chychrun is close to home with the Ottawa Senators. The family, including Grandpa, gets to come to the games — and that hit Chychrun right in the feels, even Gramps’ broad smile while gnawing on some Tims as the defenseman scored his first goal with Ottawa. Fortunately for the Penguins, the Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Senators 5-0 Monday.

After Monday’s help, the Penguins lead Buffalo and Ottawa by three points and have one game in hand on Ottawa. Every little bit helps. The Penguins will get a little more help Tuesday because Buffalo faces the New York Islanders, and both teams can’t win.

Washington Hockey Now: Some NHL trade deadline stuff — the Washington Capitals were in on Chychrun down to the end. Capitals trade news.

And the Penguins got a bit more help as the Capitals lost to the LA Kings, 4-2.

NYI Hockey Now: The Islanders still have the first wild-card spot. Here’s how they are surviving without Mathew Barzal.

Sportsnet 32 Thoughts Podcast: The NHL trade deadline that could have been. Trades that didn’t happen, including Penguins GM Ron Hextall taking a run at heavy Florida d-man Radko Gudas.

Wild-Card Relevant Tuesday Schedule:

Vegas at Florida

Buffalo at NYI