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Dan’s Daily: Dirty Bird Canes Stay Alive; Questioning Penguins Core

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Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate. Pegnguins core questions. NHL trade rumors and playoff coverage

The Carolina Hurricanes took one away from the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Monday night, and Evgeni Kuznetsov dusted off the dirty bird celebration to rub it in. Carolina forced Game 6 at home. I presented a pointed question from a different angle on Monday. The Pittsburgh Penguins core has stuck together through success and failure, but is that really the best path for all involved? A top Penguins prospect is shining brightly, while Alex Nedeljkovic did not at the Worlds. And there’s some smoke on the NHL trade front as Montreal buzzes about Trevor Zegras.

The Carolina-NY series is where it should be. It should be a seven-game series and I maintain the better team is Carolina. Igor Shesterkin stole a couple of games, and maybe he steals one more, but if he doesn’t, Carolina has shown to be a very, very good team — and Jake Guentzel fits like a glove.

In the words of an Oreo-munching John Malkovich in Rounders, “Pay that man his money.”

I’m also happy to report that my golf game is as rotten as ever. Thank the weather for at least a one-day reprieve, but I didn’t hit a darn ball until the last three holes. Always just enough to make you come back one more time, though the course I played provided obviously incorrect yardage, and I airmailed a few greens. That was just as frustrating as the bad shots.

The grounds crew was mowing all afternoon. Sure, the guy could have done the courteous thing on No. 7 and parked out of sight, allowing my friend and I to hit, but he must have been watching me play. Instead, he parked about 200 yards away, in the middle of the fairway. Yep, he knew the safest place to be.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins 2023 first-round draft pick is putting on a show in the WHL playoffs. Hello, Brayden Yager.

It’s a serious question, and I don’t believe it has been asked before. Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin have made a point of staying together, and it’s very important to them. But why? Is that really what is best for all involved with the Penguins’ core?

NHL Trade Talk, News, National Hockey Now

NHL.com: Kuznetsov scored and did the dirty bird. He’s had a career resurgence, eh? Carolina boat raced New York in the third period and took Game 5.

Colorado Hockey Now: Shock. Dismay. CHN beat writer Evan Rawal provides the rapid reaction to the Dallas Stars taking a 3-1 series lead and squeezing the life out of the Colorado Avalanche.

Not only did the Avalanche lose, but they also had to deal with the news that Valeri Nichuskin had been suspended for six months and placed in Stage 3 of the player assistance program. There’s a lot of good coverage on CHN. Evan is really hitting his stride in these playoffs. Today’s Avalanche locker room feature is worth a click.

Montreal Gazette: It seems the NHL rumor mill is chattering about Trevor Zegras and the Canadiens. Zegras and his buddy, Canadiens forward Cole Caufield, are giving Canadiens GM Kent Hughes a little preview by playing together at the Worlds.

Montreal Hockey Now: Sure, it’s exciting, but there’s a lot of losing — Marc Dumont goes into the state of the Canadiens rebuild. The free agent signings, the results, and a specific look at the Canadiens trades.

Philly Hockey Now: Shocker. CSKA Moscow, which was levied penalties for their part in keeping Ivan Fedotov in Russia and away from the Flyers, is angrily denouncing the IIHF-levied sanctions. It’s a soap opera in the Flyers news.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs could name a new coach this week. Daren Dreger reports the top two candidates have interviewed with the team and are closing in on their guy.

I think if there were any questions about Mike Sullivan and the Penguins, it should be put to rest now. It would be incredibly dirty for a team to keep a head coach while other openings exist, only to fire him later. Just ask Dan Bylsma.

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Pete
Pete
5 days ago

Looks like we are stuck with Sully. I wont be buying any tickets to watch his unprepared team with its pathetic PP.

Eri
Eri
5 days ago
Reply to  Pete

I hear what you’re saying, it seems he’s become a little too familiar/comfortable/predictable and that’s been an issue plaguing the Pens. I don’t lay the entire blame for zero playoff victories in 5 years at his feet, but perhaps another voice will get the best of the current iteration. Dubas/FSG would only make a change if ticket sales seriously slumped and/or they get off to a horrendous start. Keeping in mind a HC change doesn’t guarantee a playoff berth, but playing armchair GM, say if by mid December the Pens are not in a solid 1, 2 or 3 position… Read more »