The Pens really wanted a win and so did the Jets. At times the Pens struggled in their own zone, but they proved themselves the better team and walked away with the win. Lt. Col. Craig F. Adams was the Penguins’ best skater (only missed the assist on the Gordie Howe Hat Trick) and MAF had his best game of the year.
Beau Bennett made his NHL debut, he didn’t log big minutes, and he didn’t score but he showed a lot, especially when he went down to block a Jets point shot attempt. The only critique I have is that the Pens really ought to move him to the Malkin Neal line full-time ASAP. He’s good in the offensive zone but he didn’t look like a natural fit with Sutter and Kennedy, and I don’t think that helped the Pens with their in-zone defense.
Joe Vitale was flying and apparently he’s won nearly 2/3 of his face offs this year.
All in all this game felt good if you’re a Penguins fan. Pens are in Buffalo for a Hockey Day in America matinee on Sunday.
It’s finally here, we are actually previewing the actual guys who will be donning the Pittsburgh Penguins sweater this year. Back on Monday we previewed the goalies, on Tuesday we shifted our focus to defense, today we are talking wingers, and then the centers, before finally making our BOLD predictions for the year.
We’ve attempted to look at each player from a point/counterpoint perspective–that’s not to say that we are going to totally disagree on each player, far from it, we want to examine both the statistical expectations for each guy AND express our “feel” or read of the player.
We hope you enjoy and we would love for you to get back to us with your thoughts and feelings. If you haven’t read them yet, please check out our series on Advanced Hockey Statistics: Goals Versus Threshold, Points per 60 Minutes, and Player Usage Charts (including Corsi numbers). Get the business after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »