In 45 games last season, defenseman Alex Goligoski had 6 goals and 14 assists in his first NHL season.
As a rookie Goligoski went through some growing pains, struggling in the defensive zone and was tentative at times in the offensive zone.
In year two and on the heels of a three year contract, Goligoski has been the Penguins top defenseman in training camp.
His confidence is sky high right now and that was on display Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Working as the quarterback of the first power play unit against the Leafs, Goligoski made smart decisions and was not tentative to shoot the puck to the net.
Goligoski is pushing for serious time on the first power play unit where he has a chance to replace Kris Letang on the left point.
The Penguins are not shy about having two lefties playing the point on the power play.
The team loves to run the set play that Crosby and Ryan Whitney ran during his tenure as a mainstay on the Penguins top power play unit, where Whitney would jump into the play from left point and Crosby would hit him with a cross-ice pass (from right boards) for a one-timer.
In the Black and Gold Scrimmage on Thursday, Crosby and Goligoski ran the same exact play and it resulted in a first period goal.
Goligoski’s play in the defensive zone is slowing improving, although it is still a work in progress, but the coaching staff is excited about what Goligoski can do this season and the fans should be too.