Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com
Camp 2010, Day 2 - September 19th
September 19, 2010
As was the case yesterday, I tweeted from camp again today. If you haven't already checked them out, look here: http://twitter.com/LGP_netwolf
I haven't seen any estimates, but today's crowd looked even bigger than yesterdays. That was a little surprising to me, given the Steelers game. I know there were still most likely a lot of people there looking to check out the new building that might not have normally been at camp. That said though, I have to think this is also evidence of the Penguins gaining ground on the Steelers in terms of overall popularity. No matter the reason, it was great to see.
I'm encouraged with how well Arron Asham is fitting in. I see some parallels with Mike Rupp last year. The initial reaction by most to both signings was along the lines of "don't we already have a bunch of guys that do the same thing?" Ray Shero was questioned on that one by a lot of people (I was one of them), then Rupp goes out and scores a career high 13 NHL goals. Asham's career high goal mark is 15, and I will not be surprised if he hits that or better.
Coincidentally, Asham's new best friend, Matt Cooke tied a career high in goals last season with 15.
You can't talk about Day 2 without talking about their center, Mark Letestu. He doesn't get talked about much, but he may have the best chance of any forward from Wilkes-Barre to crack the roster with Jordan Staal on the shelf. He reminds me a bit of ex-Pen Toby Petersen. Not very big, but quick, passes well, and thinks the game at a very high level; very smart. (For the record, Petersen is still playing NHL hockey, getting into 78 games for the Stars last season.) Letestu also has a decent skill level. He sees the ice very well, makes good plays, and does a good job on draws. If he keeps going as he has through two days, he will be the 3rd line center on October 7. His goal was a nice wrister the beat Marc-Andre Fleury over the glove, and he made several other nice plays to create chances for his teammates. It wouldn't shock me to see him time on the second power play unit or get into the penalty kill rotation either.
That line was very good for the second day in a row. The trio of Brett Sterling, Dustin Jeffrey, and Tyler Kennedy also looked good. Kennedy had one excellent shift in which he recorded a couple of hits, got a couple shots on net, and forechecked like a demon. He will need to keep that up in order to stay in the lineup. Jeffrey, like Letestu, doesn't get a lot of pub, but he's a solid player. I didn't realize he was capable of the moves he showed on his goal though.
Eric Tangradi played alongside Mike Comrie and Evgeni Malkin for the most part, though Nick Johnson and Ryan Craig also got work there. Tangradi did a nice job using his size to control pucks and open space for his linemates, but I'd like to see that line get to the net a little bit more. They cycled the puck very well, and created some great chances off of that, but it looked like there was more to be had if they got to the net.
Corey Potter thumped Jesse Boulerice into the wall right in front of the penalty box. I'm not sure if Boulerice played again after that. I didn't know Potter had that element in his game. If he keeps that up, he could challenge for the 7th spot on defense.
The scrimmage was another low scoring affair, but unlike yesterday, there were a lot more chances. The goalies did well to hold both sides to a goal each.
Kris Letang looks like he has his confidence early on. He's a very dangerous player for the Pens when that is the case.
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