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Penguins Wrap: Kapanen Diary, Hallander Hat Trick, USA-Canada Rematch at PPG

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PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 26: Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins reacts as he is separated from Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers during a scrum in the second period during the game at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 26, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

On Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Penguins played their best game in weeks, if not a couple of months, by beating the talented New York Rangers, 1-0. The Penguins reclaimed second place in the Metro Division, as Tristan Jarry and Igor Shesterkin had a goaltending throw-down, with each making 10-bell saves. PHN compiled a thorough shift-by-shift diary of Kasperi Kapanen to examine why the winger has been invisible.

Filip Hallander led the WBS Penguins to a 5-3 victory with a hat trick.

And Jeff Marek reports the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the women’s hockey gold medal rematch between Team USA and Canada in March.

The PHN Kapanen shift diary became a little bit controversial because it was not good news. Some fans accused it of being a hit piece, but as I documented each shift, each puck touch, the picture became clear. There were too many situations that could have been different.

With detailed specifics, we explain why Kasperi Kapanen is lost.

I also went all out on the PHN+ report card. From asking Jeff Carter about the scrums that followed every whistle, Evgeni Malkin, to the standout performances and Evan Rodrigues having some hop, too. The PHN+ Penguins report card.

Jeff Marek reports that the Penguins will host the women’s gold-medal rematch between Team USA and Canada at PPG Paints Arena.

WBS: Filip Hallander filled the net, and the WBS Penguins beat Bridgeport, 5-3.

Metro Division

Philly: The Flyers–yes, the Flyers, were the latest to beat the Capitals. Good feelings for Claude Giroux, Carter Hart, and the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1.

Washington: The Caps are in a bad way. The bubble gum and paperclip bottom six, the backend of their blue line, it’s all coming undone. The Washington Capitals are not in a good way.

NYI: This will affect the NHL trade market. Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chara left the New York Islanders loss to the LA Kings with injuries.

National Hockey Now

Detroit: Ok, it’s not the Metro Division, but the Maple Leafs won 10-7–yes, 10-7 over the Detroit Red Wings.

Those are the games you hate to cover but love to watch. I haven’t seen one of those in years. 10?!

This was a fun game, too. The Edmonton Oilers squeaked by the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

Vegas: Things exploded when Jack Eichel arrived, but they lost another game–this time a rivalry game–to the Colorado Avalanche. The Vegas Golden Knights are suddenly in a bad way.

San Jose: A group of fans brought Ukrainian Flags and proudly waved them at the San Jose Sharks game.

That’s awesome. It’s time the world grew a backbone against those who capitalize on our distractions and weakness.

Subscribe to PHN+

Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Ethan
Ethan
9 months ago

I’m the one who likened your piece on Kappy it to a “minute by minute hit piece” and I stand by that remark. I’ve run several teams of sled dogs and have never been a fan of kicking a dog when its down (let alone publishing a blow by blow diary about it). Therefore, I say the Fin isn’t Finished AND that he will light the lamp today.

Ethan
Ethan
9 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Appreciate your response and added perspective. If allowed to keep musher analogy alive for one more moment–I would just add the often when a dog isn’t performing up to usual standards on trail this can be an indicator that something else is going on like sickness or injury. Not saying that is what is happening here (may have been with Zucker) but worth noting.

Jay95
Jay95
9 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

Ethan, I don’t see any hint of injury with him. Honestly, this is the player that he turned into with the Leafs over the last year and a half with them. Also, it’s not that he’s not trying. He’s simply one of those players that one he’s in his head he paralyzes himself. He’s thinking so much that he’s not reacting or following at all. It also makes you a half of a step slower when reacting to anything. That’s completely normal, and at most levels of hockey skill can make up for it. But, not at the NHL.

Dan
Dan
9 months ago

Just curious…saw where any lander was scratched last night for WBS….

Jay95
Jay95
9 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Did you mean Nylander?

Jay95
Jay95
9 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Sorry, that reply was to the Dan who asked the question.

Frank
Frank
9 months ago

With each passing game I have to wonder about why Kapanen performance is so far off of what expectations are. I understand slumps. I understand how an athlete, even with substantial talent, can lose his confidence, but he is not remotely even meeting minimum expectations. He has essentially played himself into “baggage.” He has played with line mates of extraordinary ability. He has been on all four lines at one time or another. His coach has been very supportive. Surprisingly the fans have not made him a target. Hell . .. he even has a TV commercial. His trade value… Read more »

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
9 months ago

Maybe Kapanen just misses Rutherford.

DaGama
DaGama
9 months ago
Reply to  Crazyhorse87

And/or perhaps he wishes he could be playing on a team not coached by Mike Sullivan. It’s quite clear Kappy needs a fresh start elsewhere.

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William Maloni
William Maloni
9 months ago

Any market out there for Kapanen, ZAR, and, when he stops providing cap relief, Zucker, and Josephs????

Jay95
Jay95
9 months ago
Reply to  William Maloni

I think moving Joseph would be counter productive as he’s going to beat cheap left side D man that should be top 4 capable. Zucker probably needs to finish the season really strong to get any team to take him.