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Insider Only Group C vs Group B Scrimmage recap, Analysis, Buzz & Player Observations

Group C (Team Black) 2 – Group B (Team White) 1)

Regulation Goal Scorers
Team Black: Zach Sill
Team White: Eric Tangradi
Shootout Goal Scorers
Team Black: Mark Letestu, Pascal Dupuis (Game winner)
Team White: Steve Sullivan
Group B Roster– Forwards Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Steve Sullivan, Eric Tangradi, Jason Williams, Richard Park, Paul Thompson, Brian Gibbons, Dominik Uher
Defensemen:Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek, Simon Despres, Joey Mormina, Geoff Walker, Alex Grant
Goaltenders:Brett Johnson, Patrick Killeen
Group C Roster: – Forwards Pascal Dupuis, Arron Asham, Mark Letestu, Matt Cooke, Ryan Craig, Zach Sill, Colin McDonald, Craig Adams
Defensemen:Deryk Engelland, Alexandre Picard, Matt Niskanen, Brandon Defazio, Scott Harrington
Goaltenders: Brad Thiessen.
Scrimmage Recap
Today’s scrimmage between Group B and Group C had more intensity and a stronger emphasis on defensive play as the two team’s played to a 1-1 tie after regulation play (2-periods).
Zach Sill scored for Team Black off a Zbynek Michalek turnover and Team White sent the game to a shootout when Eric Tangradi scored with 3 seconds left on a setup from Jason Williams and Evgeni Malkin.
Mark Letestu and Steve Sullivan each scored in the shootout and Pascal Dupuis netted the game winner giving Team Black a 2-1 win. Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy were denied in the shootout.
Malkin centered the top line for Team White with Steve Sullivan at left wing and Kennedy on the right. Richard Park centered the second line with Eric Tangradi and Jason Williams on the wings.
Letestu centered the top line for Team Black with Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis. Zach Sill centered Craig Adams and Arron Asham on the second line. Asham and Adams alternated for the most part at left and right wing.
Michalek and Martin worked as the top D-pair for Team White. Team Black shuffled their D-pairs for the most part with Deryk Engelland seeing time with both Matt Niskanen and Alexandre Picard.

Player Observations

*The Sullivan – Malkin – Kennedy shined on Saturday contributing for 4 of the 5 goals. Today they were shutout other than Malkin assisting on Tangradi’s late second goal. The unit though continued to create things offensively and have been very effective in the transition game through the neutral zone and attacking the opposition.
Tyler Kennedy was again one of the best players on the ice and he has been a force beating defenders wide and getting to the net. A big part of his development continues to be his patience and not rushing the puck whether it’s in the offensive zone and in the defensive zone getting pucks along the boards.
*Jason Williams had a nice setup on Eric Tangradi’s game tying goal but up until that moment, his overall game has been very poor through two scrimmages and ice sessions. He struggled today and yesterday at doing the little things such as getting pucks in deep. From a head-to-head comparison, Richard Park’s overall play has been much stronger.
*Defenseman Alexandre Picard has shown the ability in camp to have a good first pass and made some nice plays in the neutral zone stepping up and breaking up passing plays. One possible concern is that he’s susceptible to getting,

beat wide from players with speed as Kennedy and Park were able to beat him wide on few occasions.
*Deryk Engelland was active in jumping up in the play and getting the puck up on the breakout. That’s an area he’s working on improving and feels it’s something he needs to be better at to get in the lineup more consistently this season.
*Within the next couple years, Zach Sill has all the tools to develop into a 4th line center. A very strong forechecker with NHL type speed needed from role players. Like Joe Vitale, not sure he will ever have a spot in Pittsburgh but Sill will play in the NHL somewhere.
*Top prospect Simon Despres continues to impress with his ability to clean up his own end. He’s showed confidence in breaking the puck out when pressured. Big thing he’s been noticeable at in two scrimmages.
*Like he did at the Penguins rookie camp in July, 2011 2nd round pick Scott Harrington is quieting critics of being a major reach in the second round. Harrington is a very sound defenseman and development wise he’s much farther ahead than 2009 2nd round pick Philip Samuelsson, despite being the younger player. It won’t surprise me if Samuelsson see’s a lot of time in Wheeling this season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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