Will Miroslav Satan be able to replace Marian Hossa? Plus some quick hits on the rumor mill and which Penguins forward almost prevented the Penguins from acquiring Marian Hossa.
Dupuis ‚Äì Crosby ‚Äì Satan
Left wing remains an issue on this line. Pascal Dupuis did a solid job in training camp playing a strong two way game but he‚Äôs not the finisher the Penguins need on that wing. Ruslan Fedotenko saw some time with the Crosby and Satan Friday night but many inside the Penguins organization don‚Äôt believe Fedotenko is a top line forward. What the Penguins need is a right handed sniper on the left side and that remains their top target heading into the season.
Miroslav Satan Grade B ‚Äì Miroslav Satan and Sidney Crosby have shown good chemistry in camp. Satan has been effective around the net and will score the majority of his goals inside the faceoff circles. Where Satan struggles is in the neutral zone. He doesn‚Äôt have the speed anymore to be beat players one-on-one.
Jordan Staal finding his comfort zone on left wing
Jordan Staal did some special work in the off-season to get ready for the adjustment to playing left wing and it has paid off. Staal is playing with a new brand of confidence and appears ready to flourish on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora
Fedotenko ‚Äì Talbot ‚Äì Cooke
Very impressed with this line during training camp. They play well off of each other but it remains to be seen how long they will be together this season. It is likely that Fedotenko and Dupuis will alternate at times.
Paul Bissonnette has been the team‚Äôs biggest surprise. Bissonnette made a name for himself on the first day of camp when he was hitting anything that moved. Michel Therrien has been very high on Bissonnette and believes he can make an immediate impact right off the bat. There are others in the organization that feel the same way but believe Bissonnette could use some needed work in WBS to learn the position. Another surprise in camp was defenseman Danny Richmond who was recently re-assigned to WBS.
Too Early to Call
The verdict isn‚Äôt out on Janne Pesonen yet. I have seen over 8 practices and I have been in attendance for three of the four games Pesonen dressed in. Plain and simple he needs some seasoning in WBS. The talent is there but playing in WBS gaining top line minutes is the best case scenario for him
Goligoski gains valuable ice time
There is nothing good to come out of the Penguins losing their top defenseman Sergei Gonchar but the recipient of Gonchar‚Äôs injury has been Alex Goligoski. Goligoski has made the jump up to the #1 power play unit and we will find out very soon if he is up to the task. Goligoski has done an exceptional job of moving the puck with efficiency but has been tentative shooting the puck from the point. Once he becomes more comfortable he won‚Äôt be as tentative
Talked to a source in Atlanta over the weekend who says talks between the Penguins and Thrashers nearly fell apart prior to the 3:00 pm deadline because the Thrashers wanted Maxime Talbot instead of Colby Armstrong.