It just seems like a mess, but a Penguins trade could be in the offing. The injury bug that chewed on the Pittsburgh Penguins last season like a leafy green has returned but is more concentrated this time. Canadian reports are that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is already shopping for the best defenseman available. Also in the Daily, Washington Capitals, Ilya Samsonov tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh while Alex Ovechkin’s wife ripped the NHL.
Marcus Pettersson is out week-to-week, and Juuso Riikola will be out for a longer-term. Injuries are already putting the Pittsburgh Penguins in a bad spot. Here’s the Penguins lines and practice activity (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The TSN Insiders say Rutherford has been trying to secure a Penguins trade for the best available defenseman but realizes he’ll have to settle for a third-pairing D-man (TSN)
There’s so much to unpack from this. Marcus Pettersson and Mike Matheson have four and five years remaining on their contracts after this year. Kris Letang and John Marino are already on the right side. What was he looking for?
Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov had to stay behind in Pittsburgh this week after he tested positive on Tuesday night (Washington Post)
Alex Ovechkin’s wife unloaded on the NHL after Ovechkin was put into the league’s COVID protocols and will miss approximately four games (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Top centers should know not to quarrel with John Tortorella. The Columbus Blue Jackets mess should warm NHL trade waters — on Thursday night, Torts benched Dubois, who played just over three minutes (NBCsn)
National Hockey Now
The Marc-Andre Fleury – Robin Lehner competition in Vegas is interesting. A week after Fleury made a splash with new pads and lid, Lehner did the same. Robin Lehner has some cool new pads in Vegas (Vegas Hockey Now)
The Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. More importantly for Boston, they showed real guts, too (Boston Hockey Now)
The East Division is going to be a race to a game over .500.
Mathew Barzal hasn’t missed a beat. Jordan Eberle scored twice as the New York Islanders are keeping pace in the division, too (NYI Hockey Now)
“Dreaming of this all my life!” For those of you with a sentimental streak who enjoy the next big thing — Bo Byram will be that in Colorado. The kid was all smiles as he prepared to crack the Colorado lineup on Thursday night (Colorado Hockey Now)
That was the story I asked Penguins Mike Sullivan to give us on Thursday. It appears P-O Joseph will play, and we could have reported that instead of doom-and-gloom injury news, but Sullivan declined. Sometimes coaches are too protective of the process.
The poor Florida Panthers. They’ve not done anything wrong, yet they’ve had two series postponed. They’re somehow not griping too much (Florida Hockey Now)
Later this AM, George Richards will publish a feature story on Patric Hornqvist, which I know you’ll want to read. We’ll have it on PHN+, too.
See you at the rink. It’s (trigger warning) Jack Johnson’s return.