Found September 24, 2013 on
Welcome back Pens fans! If you’re new or have forgotten what I do in the postgame thoughts, here’s a quick introduction/recap. Speaking of, don’t expect recaps. It’s purely thoughts and analysis of specific plays and players. I hate +/-, so I do my own goal assessments and award a “+” if a player contributes to a goal for and a “-“ if a player is at fault for a goal against (or is in the penalty box for one). I ignore PP and PK situations. There will be a running tally through the regular season.
Also, I’m going to try to add something new this season and evaluate penalties as well. The plan is to judge them as a good penalty to take (necessary to negate a prime scoring chance), bad/unnecessary, inconsequential (coincidental minors and such), or a bad call by the ref. I’ll keep a tally on those as well through the season.
If you have any thoughts, comments, or ideas, feel free to let me know!! (Pictures and nice formatting will return in the regular season)
– Meesh Shanmugam (@HockeyMeesh)
*Intro will disappear after preseason is over*
Preseason Game 5: Pens 3 Blackhawks 2 (SO)
Letang (1) unassisted
Letang (2) (PP) from Malkin, Neal
SO Goals: Neal, Crosby
There would normally be a Stat Leaders section and a Video Recap here, but neither are available. Both will return during the regular season.
1st Goal Against (Bickell): – for
No One – just fantastic hand-eye by Bickell to knock the puck out of midair after the Despres blocked a shot and Bortuzzo poke-checked it away.
2nd Goal Against (Bickell): – for
Bennett – in the penalty box for boarding
Scuderi – allows Bickell to stand in front of Zatkoff for the screen, which also allows Bickell to tip the puck in
1st Goal For (Letang): + for
Letang – perfectly reads the play and picks off a pass as the Blackhawks break out of the zone, takes the puck in for a breakaway and beats Khabibulin with a deke to the backhand
2nd Goal For (Letang): + for
Neal – carries the puck up the ice and passes over to Malkin as the Pens enter the offensive zone, then goes to screen Khabibulin
Malkin – skates the puck deep into the zone and passes back to Letang at the point
Letang – glides a few feet in with the puck and rifles a slapshot past Khabibulin
Bennett (interference): Eh (clearly this is a work in progress). The play was interference by the book but it was within a scrum and is allowed more often than not. Bad penalty, but inconsistently called too.
Crosby (holding): Bad. Loses positioning in the defensive zone and hangs on a Blackhawks player going for the puck.
Letang (roughing): Inconsequential. Get into it with a Chicago player in the corner as he’s defending Sid in a scrum. Coincidental minors.
Letang (tripping): Bad. Put his stick in between a player’s legs and knocked him over in a puck battle.
Neal (delay of game): Bad. had more time and space than he realized as he swatted the puck away from the crease over the glass
Zolnierczyk (roughing): Inconsequential. Got involved in a scrum at the end of a play. Coincidental minors.
Bennett (boarding): Bad. Sees a player’s numbers but still continues his check into the guy’s back.
Crosby (roughing): Bad. Goes after Morin all the way to the Blackhawks bench for a scrum. Coincidental minors.
Kunitz (slashing): Bad. Can’t get around Oduya late in the game and proceeds to slash his stick into two pieces.
Kris Letang – Aside from a little bit of penalty trouble, Letang looked great against Chicago’s minor leaguers. Oddly enough, he actually made up for a couple of Scuderi gaffes. With strong defensive play and 2 goals, it was one of the better all-around performances that Letang has shown.
Jeff Zatkoff – The new backup goalie looked very solid against Chicago. Both goals against were due to very impressive stick-work by Bickell. One very impressive thing about Zatkoff is how far he gets out to challenge shooters and how quickly he gets back into position afterwards. Though I’m not sold on him as the backup for the season yet, this was a strong step forward.
Harry Zolnierczyk – Harry Z certainly toes the line at times, but you can’t disregard the energy he brings or his effort. He seems to combine the puck pursuit of Tyler Kennedy with the edginess of Matt Cooke. He will be frustrating at times, but he definitely looks like he could be useful on the NHL roster.
Rob Scuderi – Scuderi made some spectacular defensive plays and also looked lost at times throughout the game. It appears there will be growing pains between him and Letang. However, Scuderi seems to unleash Letang, so there’s a good chance those growing pains will be worthwhile. We might have to be patient with the Letang-Scuderi pairing for 10-15 games though.
Olli Maatta – Somehow, Maatta looked more out of place against mostly minor leaguers than he did against NHL caliber players earlier in preseason. He had a couple of bad giveaways and seems to get beat to the outside easily. His talent is very apparent though and he will be NHL-ready sooner than later.
Robert Bortuzzo – Bortuzzo was a little weak on the puck in the defensive zone and had trouble keeping the puck in the offensive zone against Chicago. It was the type of performance that keeps him at being a 6th defenseman, though there is certainly potential for more. One thing he may need to work on is consistently playing to his large stature.
Thanks for reading! Final preseason game is Wednesday, 9/25 @ Detroit, 7:30pm.
BEST OF MAXIM
Starting next Thursday the puck will drop on a new season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Much like preseason in any sport, it gives the fans a taste of what to expect from the team and give a look at some younger talent. The Penguins are 2-2-1 with their final preseason game Wednesday against at the Detroit Red Wings.
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Credit: Rich Lam/Getty Images
Forward Steve MacIntyre is heading back to Edmonton, where his NHL career began. The enforcer was claimed off waivers today by the Oilers after the Penguins put him on the waiver wire yesterday. If he cleared, he would have reported to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. However, that will not be happening. The Oilers felt they needed an enforcer after losing Sam...
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On Wednesday the Penguins announced that goalie Tomas Vokoun had been released from hospital after undergoing a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis.
Vokoun 37 underwent the procedure on Saturday after noticing swelling in his thigh following practice. The decision was made for an immediate operation and it was later announced Vokoun would be out indefinitely.
Chris Kunitz had two goals and an assist to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game.
Jussi Jokinen, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams also scored for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves.
Drew Miller scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek stopped 32 shots.
James Neal scored in the shootout to give the Penguins a 3-2 preseason win over the Blackhawks after Chicago's Bryan Bickell and Pittsburgh's Kris Letang scored two goals apiece in regulation on Monday night.
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We're incredibly late on this, but Steve MacIntyre has been claimed off of waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.
The time you took to read this post was longer than the time MacIntyre spent on the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
James Neal and Sidney Crosby scored during a shootout to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory over Chicago in a preseason game at Consol Energy Center tonight.
The Penguins 2-2-1 in exhibition play will wrap up their six-game preseason schedule in Detroit Wednesday.
Bryan Bickell put Chicago in front 1-0 with a shorthanded goal at 1:09 of the second period as he knocked a puck out of...
I'd like to introduce a new format for my Monday column here at Pens Initiative called "Mad Monday with Mad Chad". In short, it's basically going to be me ranting about the Pittsburgh Penguins for the good and the bad. So here we go.
What I'm mad about:
Go ahead, read the rest »
Chicago Blackhawks @ Pittsburgh Penguins
The CW Pittsburgh - 7:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Crosby and Malkin will both play tonight. This is the first preseason game that the Two-Headed Monster has been together. Jeff Zatkoff will start in goal for Pittsburgh. The Penguins won the first preseason match-up between these two teams.
Veteran forward Brenden Morrow patiently waited to see the situation around the league in his search for a contract and it finally paid off. Morrow is headed to the St. Louis Blues.
Morrow had been picking up some interest as training camps rolled along and was mulling over the offers. According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com he liked the offer from the Blues enough to take it.
**Sorry for the post delay, blame preseason and weddings**
Welcome back Pens fans! If you’re new or have forgotten what I do in the postgame thoughts, here’s a quick introduction/recap. Speaking of, don’t expect recaps. It’s purely thoughts and analysis of specific plays and players. I hate +/-, so I do my own goal assessments and award a “+” if a player contributes...