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Penguins vs. Blackhawks: Quick thoughts on preseason win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night in Pittsburgh. See the goal and some thoughts on the performances.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins and Blackhawks hook up again, and again neither side showing a very strong roster of NHL players.

Goals

Pens score the only goal of the game, nice desperation pass from Sheary to get the puck down to Wilson. Wilson coolly uses his skate to stop the puck and chips it past the goalie.

Some Thoughts

  • The guys you would expect that are a step above competition (i.e. Eric Fehr, Brian Dumoulin, Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson, Trevor Daley) were all the best players. No surprise there.
  • Daley, while passable, again appeared to be a step behind where he was in the spring. We'll give the vet the benefit of the doubt, but it wouldn't be a total shock to see him start the season a little slow and (hopefully) work his way back into a better back-end of the year.
  • Coach Mike Sullivan is rarely critical of players to the media, but last game out he called Derrick Pouliot just "OK". Pouliot didn't do much glaringly obvious to earn a better verdict tonight, from this perspective. And playing with Daley, there's no excuse of a poor partner. Still don't think his course is charted in stone just yet, but for a player with several unimpressive training camps under his belt already it seems fair to say 2016 isn't going much differently.
  • While we're just dumping on all the defensemen, Justin Schultz didn't look especially great either. When he's called on to defend in his zone it's always an adventure, and not a fun one.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't busy but did look pretty sharp. Fleury stopped all 24 shots he faced, not a taxing game but nice to see him have easy sailing.
  • The more you see of Jake Guentzel, the more you want to see more of Jake Guentzel. He's got that presence with the puck on his stick, is a smooth skater, makes good players for the most part. Very nice young player. That said, he's like 170 pounds and has no pro experience, so let's not jump to giving him a full-time NHL roster spot any time soon, he's still got development to do, but it's something to look forward to when he gets there.
  • Wilson is a little further along. Explosive skater. Great hands. Hard to see him not in the Pens starting 12 on opening night.

The best thing about a preseason game is when it ends without injuries and this seemed to be that. On to the next one, and one day closer to the games that matter.