The good thing is the Penguins don't appear to have gotten any worse over the summer. It is the first preseason game, so there really is only so much to even say or think. At least no one got hurt.
We have our three stars:
3. Matt Riskanen
Actually a good start to the season for could-be whipping boy. He scored a powerplay goal:
And he didn't make a ton of mistakes.
According to Bylsma, he has had a good camp. Huge battle shaping up for that last defensive pair. Lovejoy and Engo get their shot Thursday night.
2. Joe Morrow
Usually no one would really get all excited about a rookie's first game. But Joe Morrow was really, really good. Everything looks so effortless, too. Morrow is going to go back to juniors unless he scores a goal every minute for the rest of the preseason. Any other team, and Morrow would have an outside shot to crack the lineup. He is going to be fun to watch develop. No disrespect to Simon Despres, but he has yet to be as noticeable as Morrow.
1. Evgeni Malkin
Malkin was too good. Scary good. He set up Chris Kunitz's first-period goal and scored a sick goal himself. He was back to creating turnovers, which is a great sign. Probably didn't hurt that he had real NHL linemates for the first time in like three years. Yeah, it was a preseason game. But who cares. What a joy to watch.
Pretty much the same look someone gave you in high school after they balltapped you.
MAF was sharp as well. Made his best save in front of the net on a rebound. He quickly kicked his leg out and robbed some jobber.
Nothing but good things about WBS goalie Brad Thiessen. Brent Johnson is going to be the backup, but if he gets hurt, Thiessen can step up. His name also makes us think about Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Which is fine too.
Jimmy Howard still sucks.
All about Richard Park. He played on a line with Asham.
ROOT Sports has some sharp new graphics. Actually not bad.
Pretty well produced game too. They may or may not have cut from the tribute for all the enforcers that killed themselves over the summer.
Joe Vitale really plays Penguins hockey. He's not going to make the team out of camp, but he's close to the top of the call-up list for centers.
Colin McDonald has a wicked shot. That's about it. Doesn't have the wheels to cut it in the big show, but he'll tear up Wilkes-Barre.
Carl Sneep and Philip Samuelsson got in their first pro exhibition games, as well. Both played very well considering who they were matched up against. Good sign of things to come.
Chris Conner was invisible. Surprised he didn't fall walking into the arena.
Pens against Chicago in 8 minutes.