Hutchinson feels he can be a puck-moving presence
Head coach Dan Bylsma said this week that he’s looking for his No. 6 defenseman to be particularly good in one specific area.
Of the three NHL defensemen still in the mix, Ben Lovejoy, Deryk Engelland, Andrew Hutchinson all bring different attributes to the table.
Lovejoy brings an all around type of game, Engelland is a tough rugged physical presence and Hutchinson is a puck-moving presence.
Considered a longshot, Hutchinson has caught the eye of team officials in camp and will be in the spotlight tonight working in as the top pair with Paul Martin.
I spoke with Hutchinson after practice about heading into the big weekend and about what he brings to the table for this team. Hutchinson told me he’s looking to become a factor tonight offensively in the second wave of attack.
“I feel good, Hutchinson told Inside Pittsburgh Sports. “Just trying to play with confidence and play my game and showcase my self here in these games.”
A player like Hutchinson who has been regarded as a fringe NHLer is not only showcasing himself for the Penguins but for other teams. The primary goal is to earn an NHL contract somewhere.
Pittsburgh’s uptempo system relies on defensemen being active on the offensive attack and Hutchinson feels he can help the team in that area.
“Move the puck quick out of our zone, play least amount of time as we can in our d-zone and make good plays coming up the ice in that second wave of attack,” Hutchinson said on how he’s looking to play tonight.
*Following today’s practice the Penguins had a team meeting and are scheduled to depart for Chicago shortly after 3:30 p.m.