Pre-Season Game 1 Impressions
How good did it feel to be watching Penguins hockey again? This offseason felt like the longest I went without Penguins hockey since the lockout. With all the tragedies that occurred in the hockey world, the season could not get here fast enough.
Penguins won 3-2 over the Red Wings
Penguins goals by Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, and Matt Niskanen
Red Wings goals by Kronwall and Hudler
Impressions: – Richard Park can still kill penalties. He played a solid game for the Pens and got to show that he did not lose any of his pk abilities early in the 1st, when he helped shut down an early Red Wings powerplay. In addition to his solid PK play, Park helped create some scoring chances at even strength, and back-checked extremely well. What an incredible depth signing by Shero. After one game, I think he could stand a legitimate shot at being the 4th line center if Jeffrey is not ready to go.
- Colin McDonald showed why he led the AHL in goals last year. Although he didn’t score tonight, he set a great screen in front of Howard for the powerplay goal by Niskanen. Not to mention, he took some wicked wristers tonight that caught Howard off-guard.
- Geno’s back. Not just from his injury, but from his slump (if you want to call it that). He was the dominant Russian we all know and love, the one that won the Conn Smythe in 2009. Yes, its one pre-season game, but Geno was noticeably a different player, even from the beginning of the season last year.
- I thought Kunitz and Neal both had a strong game. Kunitz looks speedier than last year and Neal was physical and much more aggressive on and off the puck.
- Fleury played solid. So did Thiessen.
- Asham could be a difference maker physically for the Pens this year if he stays healthy. He made some great hits and even set up some scoring chances for his line.
- Morrow played a good game for his first NHL action. I don’t believe it was nearly as good as Steigy and Errey were making it out to be, but he didn’t make a lot of mistakes and looked good on the powerplay late in the game.
I liked what I saw tonight. I know its early, but the Pens came out strong and showed both offensive and defensive depth that will come in handy in the long run.
Let’s Go Pens!