Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Impressions on the Toronto Preseason game

Well until our video-stream slowed down and died somewhere in the second period.

  • Toronto didn't ice that competitive of a team, and even if they did it's still the Maple Leafs. The Jordan Staal / Evgeni Malkin / Petr Sykora line looked as good as you'd expect them to considering Toronto' fielded an exhibition lineup for an exhibition game.
  • That said, the work Staal and mainly Malkin did short-handed in the early 2nd period was a thing of beauty. Malkin beared in on the forecheck and caused a Toronto defenseman (that we couldn't identify, no announcers were on our feed) to spin and wipe out. A little hustle went a long way, Malkin feeds Staal who's all alone in front of the net, Staal in turn dishes back to Malkin who slams the puck in from point blank. Tic-tac-toe. The Penguins have shown a willingness to let Malkin and Sidney Crosby play shorthanded and this could payoff.
  • Tyler Kennedy does look notably faster. Perhaps his first NHL season wore on him, especially the mononucleosus from Jan/Feb. Tonight he looked great, flying around out there.
  • Kris Letang also looked like he knew what he was doing, his pairing with Brooks Orpik was equal parts strength and skill, the perfect mix of size, speed, positioning and stick-handling. On the Penguins 2nd goal (a powerplay goal credited to Rusty Fedotenko) Letang shot in to the play and on first glance appear to score. The goal was unassisted, and with no announcers (and the view of a laptop hooked up to a television) we couldn't make out if a Maple Leaf was last to touch it or what. Either way, if Letang got there, he would have finished.
  • To the point we saw Dany Sabourin looked good in limited work. He never made any huge saves or anything spectacular but he never had to.
  • Darryl Sydor actually looked good to. Sure he played within himself, but he did what he had to. His partner, Hal Gill, on the other hand looked a little more slowed footed than we remembered. Maybe he's a slow starter or maybe our memory is off. We'll see.

That's about it. If a player wasn't mentioned, he didn't catch our eye. But we only saw about the first half of the game so there's always that. Regardless the Pens were up 3-0, a good place to stop.

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