The way Mark Letestu is playing this preseason, Pens’ management almost has no choice but to leave him on the opening-day roster. Letestu scored last night in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win over Chicago at Consol. He now has 1 goal and 4 assists in the three games he’s played.
I thought Letestu looked solid in the 10 regular-season games he played last season. More importantly, he didn’t look out of place in the four playoff games he skated in. It would appear to be an easy decision to sub Letestu for Jordan Staal until the latter returns from injury. What to do with him once Staal returns depends on how Letestu fares in the interim. If his preseason play is any indication, the Pens may be forced to find a permanent spot for him.
One roster spot that’s been up for grabs since preseason began was the six spot on defense. Some people – myself included – believed it would come down to Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland. That’s probably still the case, although off-season acquisition Corey Potter, who played three games for the Rangers last season, is also in the mix. I like Engelland for the job, mainly because he adds an element of physicality on the blueline. I know the Pens are NOT short on team toughness, but it never hurts to add more. Face it – the defense could use an upgrade in that department (no offense to Brooks Orpik). I’m confident Engelland could give the team a solid 6-8 minutes a night, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s willing to drop the gloves with just about anybody.
Topics: Mark Letestu