It’s always fun watching a defenseman with the skating ability of someone like Trevor Daley join the rush and score a fun goal, and this one definitely fits the bill.
I think this goal fits a good example of what Jesse Marshall from the Pensblog wrote about yesterday, with how the Penguins D-Zone system overloads one side of the ice.
Let’s take a better look at how quickly this came together and how Trevor Daley found himself with a world of space to work with.
As Matt Murray comes out of the net to chip the puck along the end boards for Kris Letang to push the play up, the Penguins start shifting towards the right side of the ice, like Jesse talks about in his piece.
As the puck comes to Scott Wilson, he is unable to play the puck, as he and the Nashville player got sort of tied up, and neither was really able to do anything.
Eric Fehr and James Neal both move towards the puck, but it’s the same story, as neither are unable to play the puck. Perhaps Fehr got away with a little bit of subtle interference here. As he slows down the play, Carl Hagelin, who started this play way up the ice, comes back to get the loose puck.
Hagelin one-touch plays the puck, not wasting any time letting any Predators players (you can see three players in about an eight-foot space here) get back into the play. He turns and fires a pass to Daley.
Daley has to reach out to get hold of the puck, but it catches him in stride and is leading him in the perfect position, such that he doesn’t even need to do anything to avoid the lone defenseman.
Daley stays to that left side of the ice, and quickly fires a laser of a slap shot past Pekka Rinne into the net.
The timing of this play happening the same night that Jesse wrote about this kind of system being used for the Penguins to get out of their own zone just seems too perfect. Seeing plays like this develop so quickly also show just how important it is to have players as part of Sullivan’s system who can skate well.