The Penguins lost 4-2 last night in Detroit, both goals coming from UFA signing from Florida Garrett Wilson. Wilson went scoreless (0 goals, 0 assists) in 34 NHL games last season, so that tells you the level of play from last night. Marc-Andre Fleury played pretty well early by accounts, but did allow 3 goals in 2 periods before yielding the net. Not a big deal, on to the next one tonight in Chicago.
Since this will be the preseason with a lot focused on Derrick Pouliot, one quote stuck out.
Sullivan describes Pouliot's performance as "OK." Coaches wanted him to be more assertive w/ the puck.— Bill West (@BWest_Trib) September 28, 2016
Nothing wrong with being "OK", but a big step in Pouliot's progression into the lineup will be knowing when to assert himself with the puck, and when he needs to be more conservative. Judging by the Penguins style and philosophy, he probably needs to have his foot on the gas more than not. Judging by the preseason, mostly minor league roster and he's one of the better players in this game on either team, Pouliot definitely needs to be very assertive and flex muscle as a skilled player to stand-out.
This is something that 3 different Penguins coaches have been waiting to see in each of the last 4 preseasons, and it hasn't happened yet.
At the same time, this just the first game of the preseason, he wasn't going to make or break his chances on night 1 anyways. Not too much more to takeaway from that. The new/old away jerseys do like mighty sharp on the ice though, as expected.
Here's the outdoors game logo, right-side up. pic.twitter.com/sRg7pQjpRG— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) September 27, 2016
Pretty cool logo, I guess. Not sure if it's the Pens lack of success in outdoor games (since 1/1/2008 anyways) but there doesn't seem to be a lot of buzz about this game right now. Maybe by the time the event gets closer.
100 Greatest NHL Players in history to be unveiled during All-Star Weekend in LA.— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) September 27, 2016
Now this is something to get behind. Took a quick glance at the league history to see which players with Penguins connections would make it, here's the top-of-mind guess for consideration:
Mario Lemieux - duh
Ron Francis - Ronnie Franchise is 5th all-time in total NHL points, something that like the player was sneaky and in the shadows but still really, really good. His spot on this list will be well deserved for his contributions in Hartford, Pittsburgh and Carolina, fewer players have made bigger impacts in multiple cities.
Jaromir Jagr - no brainer, 3th in all-time points (probably 2nd by the time this season is over) and has seemingly been playing for all 100 of the NHL's seasons
Paul Coffey - another easy choice, arguably the best pure offensive defenseman not-named Bobby Orr in league history, way up there in total points among not just defensemen but all NHL skaters.
Sidney Crosby - "Only" 99th in all-time NHL points at this point of his career...But just a guess that there's a spot for the two-time Cup winner with two scoring titles, two Harts, 3 Pearson/Lindsay's and a Conn Smythe after also being basically the face of the league for the past decade.
Mark Recchi -not quite sure about this one, he can't even make the NHL Hall of Fame (yet) but the Wreckin' Ball is all the way up there at 12th all-time in NHL points and was nearly a PPG guy for 21 seasons. I don't think he will make the list that the league makes, but he probably should be on it.
Luc Robitaille -despite having less career points than Recchi, factor in Robitaille's impact and meaning for the Los Angeles franchise and I could see him getting on the list. And at 21st all-time in NHL points scored, it's a worthy choice in his own right.
Larry Murphy - It'll be interesting to see if Murphy makes it, only 4 defensemen in league history scored more points in a career than this 4-time Stanley Cup winner, and he comes in 42nd place even among forwards. Would think there has to be a spot in the top 100-list for him.
Joe Mullen - Slippery Rock Joe is now 65th all-time in NHL points and set records for American born skaters in his day, earning him some consideration but he likely gets bumped off a top-100 list for defensemen and goalies with less points that had great careers in their own rights.
Alex Kovalev - 74th in all-time points, but will be perceived and remembered for being too enigmatic. Kovalev's definitely a Top 100-talented player, but probably wasn't consistent enough to have a list made by the NHL include him.
At the end of the day I'd put at least probable odds on 7 player with connections to Pittsburgh (66, Jagr, Francis, Crosby, Coffey, Robitaille, Murphy) make the list that they end up making. Not bad at all for a team that's only been around for 50 of the league's 100 years.
Sidney Crosby kept Team Canada's train a-rollin' in Toronto, pitching in 2 assists and being named the 1st star of the game in a 3-1 win over Team Europe.
The second assist was vintage Crosby, cutting behind the net, wheelin' dealin', puck stealin', jet flyin', high fivin, assistin' son of a gun! And he's havin' a hard time holdin' these CCM's down. Woo!
So, we didn't win our preseason game... But Sid is killin' it for the @HC_Men in the championship. So there's that. pic.twitter.com/DRcFP1hf0U— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 28, 2016
Canada leads the best of 3 finals 1-0, with the potential last game tomorrow night. Let's hope this thing just ends and we can all move on to bigger and better.