Well, first off, I received the wonderful news from my father that he received tickets to twenty home games (from his boss..for free) this season. That means I get to go, haha. Very exciting stuff. The even better part is that these seats are in section A12, row A. Right behind the glass on the side in which our Penguins shoot twice! Amazing.
Anyhow, seeing as the game wasn't televised last night I figured I'd offer some basic observations.
- I was really impressed with Satan. The guy is a hard worker, especially in the offensive zone. He had quite a few pick-pockets last night and never really seemed to slow down. I was also surprised with the amount of time he saw on the PK. Apparently MT has some of the same observations that I've had. Consider me impressed with this signing for now.
- Speaking of signings, I thought our other two were fantastic. Fedo has a motor that never really stops and Cooke is just fearless. I really like the way Ruslan plays the game - he puts a lot of effort and heart out there. I think he could easily be a top six forward for us, but I like the idea of him on our third line. That could be a dangerous grouping. Cooke is fast and clearly is more of an offensive presence than Ruutu (we all knew that though).
- 67, consider me impressed. I can only imagine what Paul did to deserve a 10 minute misconduct, haha. Still though, he looked great in his little scuffle and really just went head-hunting out there. Good work, and I think we'll see him quite a few times this season.
- I'm really not worried about the toughness of this team after watching our performance up close yesterday evening. This team just has an overall toughness that is so underrated. Staal, while he'll never be a true PF, was excellent last night. He had some beautiful takeaways and wasted no time planting himself in front of the net on our PP. Impressive. Our second (1A, 1B...whatever you prefer) line will be very dangerous this year.
- Tang and GoGo were caught out of position a few times, but I was still impressed with their aggressiveness. Neither player was hesitant in the least bit to jump into the offensive zone. We'll need that desire to score with Gonch and Whitney down.
- Speaking of our PP, it was very impressive early on. I was very glad to see that we constantly had someone planted in front of the net. We controlled the puck excellently and were rarely hesitant to shoot from any angle. With all the talent on this team that's how our PP should work.
- Geno. What can you say about him? The SH goal was a thing of beauty by both Staal and Malkin. His aggressive play on the PK forced a mistake that resulted in a goal. I can see that happening a few times this year if Malkin and Sid both play consistently on the PK. He was just toying with people out there last night - he's prone to the occasional giveaway, but he's just simply one of the best. Again, we all knew this.
- Mad Max, Taffe, and the rest of our grinders looked excellent. Again, these guys are all 'tough' players in the sense of constantly pressuring the opponents into mistakes. They're physical in their own way. Speaking of excellent, Tyler Kennedy looks like the Tyler Kennedy we all originally fell in love with.
- Despite the two late goals, Sabu was very impressive. He had an amazing sequence when he pulled a kick-save and gobbled up the rebound. Very MAF-like. If he plays like that with decent consistency we'll be just fine.
- I'm glad you're back, Brooks. He looks so solid out there. His positioning and timing have improved so much from a year ago; it's incredible. He's become excellent with the poke-check.
- Crowd was very into it early. Impressive for an exhibition. Now, I can't wait to get in those seats for the real thing. We're so close!! The tension is unbearable, haha.