One stat only means so much but here’s an interesting look that shows the Penguins defensemen aren’t really performing so well in a specific look at exit success and entry defense.
This is ungood. As an aside, it's interesting how certain players earn reputations for being good defensive defensemen regardless of actual performance. pic.twitter.com/yvOKyDJxkh— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) March 17, 2018
To Sean’s point a guy like Ian Cole is celebrated as a warrior but one reason he may have to block so many shots could be reflected above in allowing a lot of entries against in the first place. Not too surprising to see an offensive-first guy like Justin Schultz struggle in this look and as typical Olli Maatta is just quietly going about his business and being the best of the Penguins defensemen.
OK, it’s Saturday and St. Pats and the Pens don’t play tonight and didn’t play last night so there isn’t much going on. But hey, a welcome face returned to practice this morning.
Feel like it’s almost overlooked that the Pens are in the hunt for the division lead without their starting goalie. Good to see Matt Murray participating and again we’re no doctor but it stands to reason that if a goalie is in front of live pucks shooting in and around his head that he surely must be feeling pretty good these days in coming back from his concussion. PIttsburgh is off until games on Tuesday and Wednesday and it’s probably a good possibility we’ll see Murray back for one of those games if all stays well.
Missing today from practice was Phil Kessel. He’s had a tough recent going in games getting dinged up here and there. This four day break should do him a world of good. Also returning to practice was rookie Zach Aston-Reese in a non-contact jersey but nice to see him progressing a bit.