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Insider Only Post-Game Observations from Penguins – Red Wings

Blake Comeau – Nick Spaling – Patric Hornqvist
Beau Bennett – Brandon Sutter – Anton Zlobin
Scott Wilson – J.S. Dea – Josh Archibald
Bobby Farnham – Oscar Sundqvist – Jayson Megna
Rob Scuderi – Paul Martin
Simon Despres – Robert Bortuzzo
Reid McNeil – Taylor Chorney
Marc Andre Fleury
Matt Murray

DET: Tomas Tatar, Pavel Datsyuk
PIT: Beau Bennett
PIT: Marc Andre Fleury, 18 saves on 20 shots | Matt Murray, 7 saves on 7 shots
DET: Jimmy Howard, 25 saves on 26 shots | Petr Mrazek, 10 Saves on 10 Shots
Goals: Beau Bennett (1)
Assists: Taylor Chorney (1), Brandon Sutter (1)
Shots: Patric Hornqvist (7), Jayson Megna (5), Paul Martin (4), Beau Bennett (4)
TOI: Paul Martin (27:12), Simon Despres (22:44), Brandon Sutter (21:40), Beau Bennett (20:17), Rob Scuderi (20:04)
Hits: Simon Despres (5), Bobby Farnham (4)
Blocked Shots: Paul Martin (3), Nick Spaling (2)
Faceoffs: Brandon Sutter (14-5, 73.7%), Nick Spaling (8-7, 53%), J.S. Dea (4-1, 80%)

Post-Game Observations
1. The Penguins gave up two power play goals but it’s their defensive zone scheme at 5 on 5 that’s going to be a primary area to watch early in the season. The system implemented by new head coach Mike Johnston has the Penguins collapsing to the puck carrier down low as a five man unit. It’s a system that puts an emphasis on the forwards cutting off passing lanes but also leads to forwards running around a bit and out of their normal defensive lanes in a controlled center support system for example.

2. Patric Hornqvist had a team-high 7 shots on goal, 9 shot attempts, and continues to look like an ideal fit with Evgeni Malkin due to his work ethic to win puck battles and be a presence in front of the net. Hornqvist had Great hustle and a work ethic tonight. Malkin has been at his best in the past when he has a work horse on his line who can win battles in the corners like Ryan Malone, Chris Kunitz and even Max Talbot in the past.

3.. Blake Comeau scored just 5 goals last season and averaged just 1.38 points/60 (5 v 5) but you could see tonight how he’s a significant upgrade over Tanner Glass from the standpoint of just being able to possess the puck in the offensive zone.

4. 2012 3rd round pick Oscar Sundqvist flashed serious NHL potential and has had a strong camp. Excellent size, smart two-way player with upside offensively. Will be doing a feature tomorrow on the Penguins forward group in the system being much better than they’ve been getting credit for. Some of that was on display with Anton Zlobin who could be an NHL contributor within a year or two, had a nice screen on Beau Bennett’s goal, and Josh Archibald who flashed some tonight with his speed on the attack, forecheck, in limited time after playing just 8 shifts due to injury.

5. Defenseman Taylor Chorney put together a very strong game. Used his size well in defending the front of the net and was physical. Could put himself in the mix for one of the first callups among defensemen. Chorney picked up the lone assist on Bennett’s goal.

6. The Penguins are going to be hard pressed not to play Robert Bortuzzo as the No. 6 defenseman because of the need for a physical defenseman with a nasty edge. He brought it tonight.

7. Simon Despres brought a physical edge, something he started to play with more often in the AHL playoffs. However, his awareness in defending the front of the net was poor at times, which is a concern the previous coaching staff always had with him. It’s just a matter of time before Scott Harrington pushes his way for an NHL roster spot and the same can be said for Brian Dumoulin. Despite the one-way contract at just $900,000, Despres has a tough task holding those two off over the next year.

8. The first three days of camp saw Christian Ehrhoff paired with Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi paired with Kris Letang. The first two preseason will be some experimenting. Tonight it was Rob Scuderi paired with Martin and tomorrow night in Columbus it will be Ehrhoff being paired with Letang.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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