“Herb, you got your roster ready yet?” – Miracle 2000 –
Well Sully does have his roster ready and is headed to Philly for the season opener. Here are some ideas and analysts of the current Penguins Roster.
Arguably on paper right now the Penguins are better than they were at the start of last season. Dominik Simon, Conor Sheary, Jack Johnson, and Alex Galchenyuk were all notable eye sores on paper last season.
Where is Sam Poulin?
A notable player missing is Sam Poulin who last year in camp sparkled as a legitimate scoring threat the team hasn’t had since Phil “The Thrill “ Kessel roamed the right side of the ice. He set a career high with his Juniors team last year notching 32 goals. Not sure why the nineteen year old was left off the roster. Maybe the top six is too crowded at this time, and with the AHL being a hot mess this season it was best to just leave him in juniors.
The new scapegoat on defence will be Cody Ceci. He is big, slow, and takes a lot of penalties. He is basically a younger Jack Johnson. But he is more physical and paired with Matheson creates a bash brothers pairing we have not seen in a while.
New Old Guy
Kasperi Kapanen was a staple on the top six in Toronto literally since we traded him there. He has a lot of offensive upside, with actual two way abilities. If you remember Marian Hossa that is a good comparison. Now he wont be a perennial 30 goal scorer but he definitely will score twenty. But he has the speed and stick checking abilities that Hossa did that will make him special. Also look at the lettuce, my god its going to look great next to Tanger.
The New Guys
The line of Jankoski, Rodrigues, and Sceviour will be the new favorite line of the Yinzers. 3 Dude who will skate their bags off. They have speed for days, and if we’re lucky will manage to pop in a few goals.
The Returning Forwards
Sid’s line will produce, Malkins like should produce, and Blueger’s line just can’t get scored on.
At their worst Blueger’s line with McCan and Tanev will be just a 4thline playing in a third line slot. At their best, they can become the HBK line.
McCann has a scoring touch that gets lost more than luggage at Laguardia. Tanev is probably the best forechecking forward we have had since Mark Recchi. Blueger is Mr. Steady in the circle and can be a great third line center.
The top four D are really good. Like, you will be hard pressed to find a better top four in the league. But if Cody Ceci sucks or Matheson isn’t a fit, and we have to turn to Ruhwedel and Riikola regularly they are in trouble.
Perhaps Pierre-Olivier Joseph becomes a guy they can rely on to step in and become an NHL defenseman. He is just 21 years of age, but is a raw talent with a lot of upside.
The same sentiment can be said for the forwards. We are deep until one thing goes wrong next thing you know Sam Laferty and Anthony Angello are on Sid’s wings and I’m half way through a case of IC Light before the end of the first period.
The goaltending situation has a chance. Jarry is now stapled on as starter and DeSmith is just there to back him up. Right? Right! Sully! SAY YOU WON’T SIT JARRY JUST BECAUSE YOU “DON’T LIKE HIS GAME”. SWEAR TO ME!
But, honestly with Jarry as the stapled on starter it gives a chance to find a rhythm and hopefully play well through 40 games. Keep in mind long before the Murray era they believe it would be Jarry who would replace Fleury. DeSmith is a wild card when in net, but hey sometimes that’s what makes hockey fun.
The coaching staff has Todd Reirden back. Why does that matter? Well he seems to be the only coach in the Crosby/Malkin era who was actually able to get the Power Play to work.
The other new addition is Mike Vellucci. Who the hell is Mike Vellucci? Well his NHL experience was about two games long as a player for the Hartford Whalers. However, his coaching career is now 25 years long and he has won at every level. With four championships to his resume and his most recent one being two seasons ago with Carolina’s AHL affiliate the Charlotte Checkers. He will most likely be the guy to replace Sullivan if things stumble this season. Or maybe they will hand it to Reirden who knows either way Sully has a lot of eyes on him. This team needs a hot start.
So that’s your roster breakdown. The Penguins drop the puck Wednesday at 5:30 against the Fucking Flyers.