Penguins Development Camp: Day 4 Analysis Scouting the Defensemen


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 4 ANALYSIS: DEFENSEMEN By Dave Fryer, Contributor to LINK: PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP: FAN GUIDE TO SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE GAME *Scott Harrington executes defensive drills in a near-effortless fashion. He is graceful on his skates, gets into the right positions, and handles the puck extraordinarily well. He is ready for a greater challenge, and he assuredly will get that in the Penguins’ training camp later this year. “You look at a guy like Harrington, he’s played on the biggest stages in hockey,” said Wilkes-Barre assistant coach Alain Nasreddine. “Yeah, he’s a rookie. But you probably look at him as a rookie for maybe two weeks. After that, you realize that guy is a good player for your team.” *Derrick Pouliot once again performed well in drills involving a puck on his stick. His awareness of the ice is exceptional, and he is about as fluidRead More »

Day 4 Analysis Goaltenders: Hartzell has improved each day of the camp


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 4 ANALYSIS: GOALTENDERS By Dave Fryer, Contributor to *Sean Maguire displayed a good glove hand on a few saves, something he had not shown earlier in the week. Maguire looked a lot more comfortable between the pipes today, and he has really seemed to be absorbing a lot of information this week. But unfortunately for him, that is not all he absorbed. “Two hours and seven paintballs to the head later and I’m needing an Advil,” wrote Maguire on his Twitter account yesterday afternoon. *Eric Hartzell has improved each day of the camp. He put together the best overall performance among the goalies yesterday, and while action was somewhat limited for the keepers today, Hartzell worked hard and was very much on his game. His time as a full-time starter with Yale last year, coupled with the extended work he got with theRead More »

Day 4 Forwards Scouting Reports & Analysis: Coaches still buzzing about Adam Payerl


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 4 ANALYSIS: FORWARDS By Dave Fryer, Contributor to Dan Bylsma joined the team on the ice today. John Hynes still led the session, and Bylsma mostly served as a helper, though he naturally added some instruction in several situations. He seemed to enjoy himself the most when he got to man a blocking pad and shove a few players around in a drill that started out of the corner for the forwards. Heavy contact from Bylsma sent Matia Marcantuoni to the ice during one of the repetitions. *Dominik Uher repeatedly catches attention in situations where he needs to one-time the puck or get his shot off quickly. He has a very good release, propelling the puck with both power and accuracy. He was particularly impressive in the drills involving cycling the puck to a shooter in the slot area. This area of hisRead More »

Player Spotlight: 2010 3rd rd pick Bryan Rust now seems to be back on a steep, upward track again


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: BRYAN RUST By Dave Fryer, Contributor to Bryan Rust has nearly seen it all in his three seasons at the University of Notre Dame. “We’ve been to the Frozen Four. We haven’t made the tournament. We’ve been a first-round knockout. We’ve seen the ins and outs, the goods and bads,” Rust said. The senior-to-be has also ridden a similar rollercoaster ride on a personal level. In 2010, Rust had a fairytale year. He was a member of the Under-18 team for the United States that won a gold medal at the World Championships, where he posted 8 points in 7 games. He also put up big numbers with the US National Development Team that season, including leading the team with 7 game-winning goals. Rust then reached a personal milestone that summer when he had the honor of being drafted by the PittsburghRead More »

Day 3 Scouting Report: 2012 3rd round pick Oskar Sundqvist has strong day


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 3 ANALYSIS: 3-ON-3 GAMES By Dave Fryer • A cross-ice game was used for the majority of today’s ice slot, featuring a mini-tournament of three-on-three play in each zone. Rink dividers were placed across each blueline to isolate the play within the defensive zone, and a net was placed near each side board within the zone. The group was dividing into four teams, and each mini-game between teams lasted 7 minutes, with a coach blowing a whistle to signal a line change every 30-40 seconds. Bill Guerin served as an honorary member of the ice crew, taking the shovel to the zone after each game to sweep away the built-up snow. • These games provided the first real contact opportunities because more of the boards were involved in the playing area, as opposed to just having end-boards in yesterday’s neutral-zone scrimmage. The players wereRead More »

Day 3 Skating Session Analysis: Pouliot’s skating ability not at an elite level yet like some say


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 3 ANALYSIS: SKATING SESSION By Dave Fryer, Contributor to • The first portion of Day 3 was dedicated to a power-skating session. Skating Coach Marianne Watkins took to the ice to lead the group, which had been condensed into one large group for today. • Watkins focused heavily on technique, trying to reel in some of the common skating flaws seen by athletes trying to develop into professional hockey players. “I just hoped to show them a few things and give them things to think about,” Watkins said afterwards. “A lot of these guys just need to undo a few bad habits to help their game.” • Skating skills tend to separate the men from the boys, as many a hopeful hockey player has never reached the NHL because of poor skating, despite a wealth of any other ability. • Olli Maatta performedRead More »

Day 2 Analysis on Goaltenders: Murray has the look of an intriguing prospect


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 2 ANALYSIS: GOALTENDERS By Dave Fryer, Contributor to The goaltenders were on the ice early to start both sessions on the second day of the Penguins Development Camp. The two groups each spent about 10-15 minutes prior to the rest of the players coming into the ice working directly with Goalie Development Coach Mike Bales on some movement drills in the crease. Later in the session, the skaters worked at one end of the rink while Bales and a few other staff members put the goalies through some more drills focused around movement and positioning. To conclude the day, the goalies got to face some “live” action in a modified, two-on-two scrimmage. The drill placed the nets on the red line near the boards, and the play was contained to just the neutral zone. This gave the netminders plenty of action, but itRead More »

Day 2 Analysis Scouting the defenseman: McNeill starting to grab some attention, Harrington flashing all-around ability


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013 DAY 2 ANALYSIS: DEFENSEMEN By Dave Fryer, Contributor to Much of the spotlight in this year’s Penguins Development Camp is heavily on the defensemen. The Penguins are loaded with defensemen that are the strength of their farm system right now, and many of those players are pushing towards time at the NHL level within the next two to three years. Unlike the first day, which was filled with drills that focused on passing and shooting, Day 2 put the defensemen on display by introducing game-type scenarios, regroup drills, and even a little bit of physical play. *Reid McNeill was not a name many people had on their radar coming into the camp, but the defensive-minded blueliner is starting to grab some of the attention. He showed good skills with the puck in several drills and has much better hands than expected out of aRead More »

Game 3 Special Teams Analysis on the power play not being able to deliver a season saving win & more


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PLAYOFF ANALYSIS SPECIAL TEAMS ROUND 3, GAME 3 By Dave Fryer, Contributor to As predicted, producing on the power play was going to be vital if the Pittsburgh Penguins were going to rally out of a 2-0 hole against the Boston Bruins in Game 3. Instead, Pittsburgh laid another egg with the man advantage, going 0-for 6 in a game where a single goal at any point of the contest would have given them the win they so desperately needed. Conversely, the Penguins’ penalty kill upheld its part admirably, shutting down all six Boston power plays – including three in overtime – without too much fret. The hard work of the penalty kill has given the Penguins a legitimate chance to get their offensive play back in gear. But just as penalty killing shouldered a lot of the blame for the post-season ouster in 2012, the failuresRead More »

Games 2 was decided elsewhere but special teams will have to play a vital factor again if Pens expect to win anything in this series


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PLAYOFF ANALYSIS SPECIAL TEAMS ROUND 3, GAME 2 By Dave Fryer, Contributor to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals is incredibly difficult to explain for Pittsburgh, but it can be summarized pretty succinctly: disaster. Despite a visibly-obvious lack of execution on behalf of the Penguins, the numbers are very misleading. For instance, the Bruins needed the game’s final two shots to edge out the Pens in that category, 29-27. And face-offs only fell in favor of Boston by a single draw, 29-28, despite all the hype about their dominance in the circle. And in a game that saw seven total goals, not a single one of them was scored on special teams. So obviously the game was decided elsewhere, but our analysis of special teams continues since it will have to play a vital factor if Pittsburgh expects to win anything in this series. PITTSBURGH PENGUINSRead More »