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Insider Only On Crosby/Guentzel; Letang, Lack of Confidence in Daniel Sprong 5-on-5 & More Buzz:

More Takeaways from Opening Night

1. An under-the-radar storyline from opening night was how good Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel were.

Both had just 2 points, Guetnzel with two goals and Crosby two assists, but it could have been a 5 point night for both players.

Crosby was flying all night and was on the ice for 4 Goals For and just 1 against.

Keep Guentzel next to Crosby and this is what you’re going to get a lot of nights.

Guentzel does not have an elite skill set but his elite hockey sense is in the mold of Marian Hossa, coaches around the NHL feel, where he can think the game near Crosby’s level. That’s why these two are so good together when it comes to the little things they do on the ice.

Guentzel’s 2-goal effort highlighted again how he is always in the right spots and it’s not an accident.


2. Pump the brakes on this being the start of a Norris Trophy season for Kris Letang as I keep hearing from some local pundits. A great offensive night for Letang with 2 goals, 1 assist, including the OT winner. He’s going to get his numbers no matter what.

This season is going to be about Letang’s simplifying his game defensively and limiting those ‘what in the world is he doing moments’.

They were still there vs the Capitals as they’ve been all camp/preseason.

Thursday night was a vintage Letang night in a sense of what should be expected of him where he did two great things on one shift and then two maddening plays moments later.


3. Daniel Sprong has been trending down since the start of the preseason and that continued vs the Capitals. Being a factor on the second power play unit isn’t going to be enough to gain confidence from the coaching staff.

As this game played out, the coaches were not comfortable playing Sprong 5-on-5.

Sprong had just 2 shifts in the third period, totaling 1:24.

The 4th line in limited ice time, was on the ice for a goal against in the first period, where Sprong was out of his lane and the line was bleeding shot attempts through two periods.

Matt Cullen was 0% in driving possession when on the ice with Sprong. 54% Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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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