Jeffreys continues to star for Baby Pens
Just over two weeks ago I wrote about how scouts were in consensus that Dustin Jeffrey is NHL ready and Jeffrey continues to back that statement up night in and night out.
Jeffrey once again starred for the Baby Pens, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the Penguins 3-2 win over the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night. Wilkes Barre improved to 20-4 on the season with the win.
Jeffrey is tied with Andrew Gordon for the AHL points lead with 30 points in 24 games. Jeffrey has 13 goals and 17 assists on season but it’s his dominating two-way play where he continues to shine. He is tied for the AHL lead with 4 shorthanded goals and 5 shorthanded points.
Two others standouts this season in forward Tim Wallace and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo also stood out with their play in Saturday’s win.
Wallace scored a third period goal, his 9th of the season, earning the game’s No. 2 star. Wallace is a player who Dan Bylsma called a standout in Wilkes Barre on Friday and is second on the team with 9 goals and 9 assists for 18 points this season.
Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, the Penguins No. 2 defenseman in their system had 2 assists in the win. He leads all Penguins defenseman with a plus-2 rating.
Eric Tangradi’s third period goal at the 16:46 mark ended up being the game winner. After a slow start to the season, Tangradi is begining to pick up his play. He netted his 5th goal of the season tonight and added an assist. He has 8 points on the season in 18 games.
Tangradi is getting first team power play minutes but is seeing most of his even strength time on the third line. He’s expected to spend the rest of the season in Wilkes Barre after opening the season in Pittsburgh.
John Curry made 22 saves against the Phantoms to improve to 9-2-0 on the season. He’s having a nice bounce back season after a nightmare year in 2009-2010.
What’s getting interesting is the Jeffrey dynamic. The sense in the organization is that his time in a full-time role will come next season but in speaking with evaluators, they believe Jeffrey can help the Penguins now in a third line center role and some of these opinons are coming from those who have had concerns about Jeffrey in the past.