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Insider Only Preseason Game No. 2: Spotlighting the key areas tonight that show Jake Guentzel is close to being NHL ready

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Penguins Preseason Game No. 2

— Player Observations & Takeaways from Penguins 2-0 preseason win —


jarryThe spotlight is on Tristan Jarry a bit more with Matt Murray’s recovery time up in the air. He made the most of his opportunity with a 30 save shutout in showing a lot of the ability that made him a second round pick in 2013.

jarry

In the first period Jarry was peppered with 11 shots. Jarry was tracking the puck really well and his rebound control improved in periods two and three as the game went on.

Jarry made a great stop on the PK late in the game.

jarry-2

One area Jarry was susceptible to getting beat last season in the AHL was going down too early on shots to his glove side. Saw some examples of that tonight where the Hawks didn’t get the puck up enough, but overall hard to nitpick much from Jarry’s performance, even if few NHLers were dressed.


warsofsky

David Warsofsky had a terrible corsi night, 33% at even strength 7 SAF/14 SAA, but his ability to move the puck up with poise and establish zone entries is why this coaching staff really likes him, showed a lot of that tonight, and Warsofsky can’t be ruled out as a  candidate for the 7th defenseman spot.


There’s been some buzz around Carter Rowney in camp. Very good size and is an okay enough skater where he could emerge as a callup option. He had some good moments and was very strong on the forecheck. Playing with Jake Guentzel who was the best player on the ice, Rowney was on the ice for 20 shot attempts at the even strength. The Penguins had 41 total 5 v 5……His advanced stats might have been poor but J.S. Dea stood out at times on the wing.


Player Spotlight: Guentzel shows key signs of being close to NHL Ready

Jake Guentzel has been player I’ve talked about since the summer that the organization was really excited about, some viewing him as the top forward prospect in the Penguins system.

Through the first couple days of camp, Guentzel has showed signs he is close to being NHL ready but how close was a question that was somewhat going to be answered this preseason.

Tonight’s game gave a very good glimpse of how close he is and it has everything to do with the hockey sense and little things he does extremely well.

While nothing resulted with a puck going in the net, Guentzel took this game over in the second period. Pittsburgh out-shot Chicago 23-7 in the period and had 12 scoring chances. Guentzel’s line created eight of them.

One of the knocks on Guentzel is that he likely needs a year in the minors to get stronger. There wasn’t a more effective player at winning puck races and puck battles tonight.

Guentzel was a force in creating puck possession, on the ice for 21 shot attempts, 7 against at even strength (32/11 all situations).

Here were five sequences in the second period during about a 10 minute stretch where Guentzel excels at in key areas that show how much of a complete player he is and one this coaching staff will trust on the ice.

guentzel-11. Guentzel takes a great angle, leads to puck possession down low.

guentzel-22. Guentzel wins a puck race, gets the puck to Dominik Simon (who also had strong game) & leads to scoring chance.

guentzel-33. Yet another play where Guentzel using his speed and taking a perfect angle on the forecheck leads to a high danger scoring chance.guentzel-44. Guentzel beats two men up high, gets puck past third defender to Simon in front for a chance.

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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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