Happy Sunday on your holiday weekend, hope everyone is staying cool and having a nice time. Here’s a tweet that caught my eye since it featured a couple of Penguins in an interesting aspect of the game.
The last one of the forward stylistic components in the net-front creator. These players go the hard but high-quality spots to create their chances. They typically need to be strong, with good puck control in tight spaces pic.twitter.com/u8LkTDXfDx— Bryce Chevallier (L'Architecte) (@FauxCentre) July 4, 2020
Sidney Crosby is number one, surprise surprise. Almost like this guy is the best at hockey or something. Oh yeah, he is!
But Teddy Blueger checking in at fifth in the whole league is pretty impressive, and surprising. Blueger does seem to work well down low. Blueger scored nine goals and added 13 assists in 69 games this season. Those nine goals all came at 5v5 too, which ranked tied for sixth on the team among forwards. Not bad for a fourth line center.
And, in fact, I would think to bet that if he can flash a little more hands, Blueger could graduate into being a third line center. His typical line handles more responsibility than the typical fourth line, but adding a bit more offensive punch would be necessary and welcome. Depending on what the Penguins do with Nick Bjugstad this offseason, that could even happen sooner than imagined.
That could lead the fourth line to be centered by Evan Rodrigues (who took almost 900 faceoffs in Buffalo from the start of the 2018-19 season until now), or perhaps another cheap free agent option.
Jason Zucker checked in at 15th, which is an interesting development and a good one too. It remains to be seen how Zucker will fit in for the lineup in the lineup. Chances are in the immediate it will either with Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the first line, or Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust on the second line. Regardless, it should be a good fit regardless of where they find a spot there. Zucker has good speed and decent enough finishing ability, watching what he can do in-close to the net will be a fun thing. Let’s hope we get to see it soon!