Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Camp 2009, Day 1
September 13, 2009
Extras: Sill (F), D'Aversa (D)
Extras: Bayda (F)
Extras: Moon (F)
The most noteworthy thing to come from the opening day of this year's training camp was the presence of Tyler Kennedy on Evgeni Malkin's line. Who would fill that spot was one of the most asked questions coming into camp. Many people speculated Pascal Dupuis would slide in there in order to keep all of the other forward lines the same, but at least for now, he will take the 3rd line right wing spot with Matt Cooke and Jordan Staal.
Dupuis is a good defensive forward, but I think he tops out as a 3rd line guy that can handle spot duty on a higher line (particularly with two very good offensive players) . Kennedy may end up being the same when all is said and done, but he's got the potential to step his game up and become a decent second line player in his own right.
Prospects like Eric Tangradi and Luca Caputi were also mentioned as having an outside shot for that role, but are natural left wingers. Given the Pens' recent history of handling prospects, I don't think they would throw a rookie into such a prominent role and play him outside of his natural position. That said, it's only day 1 and there is plenty of time for any of these guys to play their way into the mix. Tangradi and Caputi would have to have really impressive camps and do exceptionally well in the preseason games to force Kennedy out of that spot though. Based on what they have right now, I think Kennedy is the best choice for that role.
Head Coach Dan Bylsma is the same guy he's been since he was first added to the organization. The only difference is that he's in charge now. As always, he brought plenty of energy to the rink and was often jumping into drills, looking like he was having a blast. He got a pretty good ovation from the crowd.
I like how Zach Sill plays. He doesn't have a ton of talent, but he competes hard and is very good along the wall. I don't know what his contract status is, but he could be a pretty good 4th line energy guy at some point.
It was a pretty run-of-the mill day for Malkin, but during a 2 on 0 drill he took a Fedotenko pass from directly behind him and between his skates.
The news about Sidney Crosby working on his shot looked to be true. He was shooting more often and it appeared to be quicker than in the past. I think he put his first 3 or 4 shots in, and he was going for corners. He also got into it pretty good with Alex Goligoski during a defensive coverage drill. Goligoski got into him with the stick a little and Crosby gave it back, with interest, knocking Goligoski to the ice with his third or fourth shot to the back.
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