Alex Goligoski, Kevin Veilleux and Casey-Pierro-Zabotel are drawing rave reviews from the Penguins prospect tournament. Aaron Boogaard appears to be following his brother footsteps and goes two-for-two against the Florida Panthers. Goaltender David Brown has a shaky outing and a young Penguins defenseman has a strong outing. DePaoli gives you the latest insight and more
Florida 5 vs Pittsburgh 2 Recap
We would like to thank Alec Brownscombe who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for providing us with a complete recap and a outsiders view of the Florida – Pittsburgh contest. You can read Alec’s work at hockeybuzz.com (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Two noticeable Pens absentees according to Brownscombe – 51 goal man Luca Caputi and defenseman Alex Grant did not play. Both took in the game from the stands dressed in their warm-ups.
Brownscombe tells us, the Panthers’ rookies carried the play in the early stages, but sharp saves by David Brown kept it goal-less. Penguins tough-guy Aaron Boogard mixed it up with Mike Duco early on in the proceedings. Boogaard would win the bout but was assessed a 10 minute misconduct for his troubles having instigated the tussle by dragging Duco back on the ice as the Kitchener Ranger attempted to change.
The game’s momentum began to shift late in the period as hard work by Kevin Veilleux lead to a goal by Pierro-Zabotel. Veilleux’s stock is rising and performed very well skating alongside the Tommy Goebel and Pierro-Zabotel. Goebel and Zabotel also had impressive outings, but Veilleux has taken great strides and was among the Penguins best forwards in the tournament.
Boogaard was making his presence felt the entire game. Shortly after serving his 10 minute sentence, Boogaard returned to the bench only to slew foot an opponent on his next shift. The tripping penalty would carry over into the second frame and compounded with another Pens penalty to put the team at a two man disadvantage. The Panthers scored just seconds into the 5-on-3 with Repik beating Brown on a rebound.
The Pens would restore the lead 13 minutes into the second period as Dustin Jeffrey beat Panthers’ goaltender David Shantz. Jeffery is among a handful of players who are expected to battle for one of the Penguins final roster spots. David Brown’s night would take a turn for the worst when Kendal McArdle’s soft wrist shot from the point trickled under his blocker arm and past the goal-line while Florida was short-handed. Two minutes before the second intermission Brown inadvertently dispatched the puck into his own net with his stick while trying to locate the biscuit in a scramble, leaving the Pens down 3-2 going into the third.
A defensive break-down two minutes into the third would send Florida 10th overall pick Michael Frolik in alone on David Brown and the Czech sniper put the Panthers up 4-2. A Duco slap shot from the half boards should never of beaten Brown but did, although a deflection might have played a part. The Pens suddenly found themselves down 5-2.
Boogaard continued his antics and found his second dance partner of the night in David Jarram. Boogaard emerged as the clear victor of the bout but this time was assessed a game misconduct and sent to the dressing room.
Brown would save some face with a penalty shot save against Dan Collins.
The final score was 5-2 but the play was more even then the score indicated. At times the Penguins controlled the play for long spells but spotty goaltending did the Penguins in.
Brownscombe had the same opinion of Alex Goligoski that many insiders have had this summer. Brownscombe tell me, Goligoski showed considerable poise and composure on the team’s back-end and played a strong two-way game. As I stated in my earlier post Goligoski will battle for a roster spot but unfortunately the numbers are against him.
Penguins scouts have been impressed with the play of Jonathan D’Aversa.
Elgin Reid was a pleasant surprise during the Penguins entire rookie camp. Reid is a shifty blue-liner who loves jumping in on the attack. According to Brownscombe Reid was one of the Penguins better defenseman against Florida.
Brownscombie indicates 2008 4th round pick Nathan Moon fought Tie Domi re-incarnate Mike Duco. The Penguins believe Moon needs to bulk up and add some muscle but he’s not scared to played physical
According to multiple people who were in attendence this weekend Veilleux, Zabotel and Goligoski were the teams top performers. Jeffery was solid and helped his cause heading into training camp. As I mentioned earlier in the week, keep an close eye on the development of Zabotel. I came away fairly impressed with Zabotel’s performance during the Penguins rookie camp practices and reports coming back to me have indicated his strong play continued into the weekend.
More to Come