DePaoli takes an inside look at what went down in Tampa Bay and which players helped their cause tonight. For the latest analysis on Janne Pesonen, Bill Thomas and Danny Richmond read more
Quick Hits before we depart for Pittsburgh in the morning
Borderline players Bill Thomas, Jeff Taffe, Ryan Stone and Kris Beech played well. Thomas especially was the Penguins top forward. Thomas had an assist and was effective on the forecheck. As I mentioned before Saturday‚Äôs game Thomas is getting serious consideration to make the team.
Ryan Stone was physical and was doing what he does best being an agitator
Kris Beech played a strong two way game. Was solid on face-offs.
Jeff Taffe continues to have the inside track to being the teams #4 center. Taffe took a key face-off late in the game and that is a good sign for him
Steve Stamkos was impressive tonight. He looked much more comfortable than he did Saturday night and part of that might have been because he was playing with Radim Vrbata and Ryan Malone. Vrbata has the potential to score 35 goals this season. He was impressive. Great skating ability and it‚Äôs a shame Pittsburgh didn‚Äôt have a chance to make a run at him
Kris Letang was the Penguins top defenseman. He was very good at keeping the puck in on the power play. A few times he reminded me of Larry Murphy. Letang had a turnover on his first shift that led to a goal which Michel Therrien responded with a glare at Letang but Letang responded and was strong.
Alex Goligoski was efficient on the breakout but again was a bit tentative to shoot the puck on the power play.
I thought Danny Richmond was strong. He was moving the puck at an NHL caliber level. I haven‚Äôt received confirmation whether the Bruins and Coyotes had scouts in attendance
Michel Ouellet and Jussi Jokinen had very good games. The Lightning were showcasing Ouellet tonight, according to sources. The Predators had an scout in attendance. They have been linked to Ouellet. Jokinen appears to have found his comfort zone playing center.
The Lightning have a good young blue line. They are fast and play tough. They may be one veteran defenseman away from being something special. O‚ÄôBrien was strong and I was impressed with Ty Wishart. He moves the puck very well. He was hitting Stamkos with crisp outlet passes in the middle of the ice with consistency
Great performance by John Curry. Dany Sabourin also played well. Good sign for the Penguins
Janne Pesonen took a step back tonight. The game was physical and he didn‚Äôt respond well. Struggled catching the puck off the boards when pressured and was holding onto the puck too long. He needs to dump the puck deep and use his speed. Tries making too many moves at the blueline. Defenseman like Shane O‚ÄôBrien had a field day with him and would just poke the puck away with ease
Evgeny Artyukhin was on a mission tonight. He was hitting everything that moved.
The Penguins host the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night at Mellon Arena
Make sure to check out our live updates from tonight’s game for a complete recap