It was a game unlike any other at PPG Paints Arena. Never before had Pittsburgh Penguins fans witnessed such an offensive outburst on that side of the street, and long-time fans haven’t seen such goal-scoring since 1991. Evgeni Malkin was a driving force behind the Penguins’ surge, as head coach Mike Sullivan used the opportunity to shed light on their conversations regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And former Penguins goalie, and perhaps still one at heart, Marc-Andre Fleury confirmed he rejected the Washington Capitals because…they’re the Capitals.
News item: With Malkin healthy, the Penguins returned emergency recall Kasperi Bjorkqvist to the WBS Penguins.=U
Update: The Penguins also made a minor signing. They signed college free agent Colin Swoyer to a one-year ELC. Swoyer played a Michigan Tech and will report to the WBS Penguins.
Malkin’s hat trick and dominant game. One thing Malkin has not done is address the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his past support for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. I think we all know the dangers of opposition, which range from attempted ruination to death for the individual or their family. So, head coach Mike Sullivan took the opportunity to express support and address the internal Evgeni Malkin – Russia situation.
I’m OK with that. I’d be fine if Evgeni Malkin said personally, “I can’t address it. Let’s talk about hockey.”
And I would ask about hockey, but I can’t speak for anyone else. Of course, I would probably ask about his next contract, again, too.
The last time I witnessed the Penguins score that many goals was perhaps the most fun game in NHL or Penguins history: The 1989 Patrick Division Final, Game 5. Mario Lemieux scored five goals. Robby Brown scored and windmilled. Furious Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall chased Brown like Jason Voorhies, the goalie paddled raised above his head with ill intent, and the Penguins won 10-7.
I can’t imagine Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashil lasts much longer. Detroit is lifeless. There’s too much talent there to be THAT bad. The Ottawa Senators have been bad for a few years, but they’ve always remained spunky. Stevie Y may also regret spending assets to acquire Alex Nedeljkovic.
If you want to relive the Detroit smackdown, here is the Pittsburgh Penguins postgame.
From our colleagues in Detroit. OUCH. Another embarrassing loss for Detroit Red Wings.
**Long time Red Wings beat report Bob Duff didn’t spare the rod. He has seen enough. The time is up for coach Jeff Blashill.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
**Washington: Marc-Andre Fleury said it on live TV. No sugar coating it–he did not want to be traded to D.C. because of his loyalty to the Penguins. He refused the Washington Capitals.
When Marc-Andre is all done playing hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins need to honor this guy with a symbolic one-day contract, a bobblehead night, or even name a street after the guy.
Boston: Speaking of goalies on the NHL trade market, teams called, but they didn’t get anywhere. One NHL exec tells BHN that the Boston Bruins were never going to trade Jeremy Swayman.
Montreal: TSN 690 host Chris “Knuckles” Nilan went after Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin over the weekend. He posted a derisive, mocking video after reports that Drouin may need wrist surgery. You won’t read this part anywhere else–Nilan also excoriated one media member who called him out. Craziness around the Montreal Canadiens media.
Philly: You can go ahead and enjoy this one. The Flyers collapsed. Again. They blew another lead, and the Nashville Predators beat them. We don’t mind a few hate clicks. Philadelphia Flyers lose.
Colorado: OK, the Avalanche traded for Artturi Lehkonen. He was an expensive get, but they paid. However, he can’t get his paperwork to report across the border?? What is going on with the newest Colorado Avalanche?