The first day of phase 3 training camp began and concluded for the Pittsburgh Penguins today. To no surprise, day 1 came with some surprises and storylines.
The first storyline that took yesterday morning headlines by storm was the focus around the nine Pittsburgh Penguins that were held out due to COVID related precautions. According to Dejan Kovacevic from DKPittsburghSports.com, Hornqvist, Angello, Johnson, Poulin, Joseph, Varone, Miletic, Riikola, and D’Orio didn’t practice on Monday afternoon.
Out of those nine Penguins, only Patric Hornqvist has been a regular starter for the team. With Horny out, it does raise the question of what if he cannot start game one, series one? That question was somewhat answered, as Coach Sullivan played both Lafferty and Rodrigues in his role. “If” this situation remains the same, it would be a massive boost to either player going forward.
Both Sam Lafferty and Evan Rodrigues need some luck to jump-start their careers, or it could be too little too late for both of these forwards. The good news about the quarantined/isolated Penguins is that none of them have tested positive for COVID-19, just have been in contact. It later test results pass, they will be allowed back with the team as they get ready for Montreal.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Two hot takes from the first day of camp
The second hot take was how Mike Sullivan lined up the Pittsburgh Penguins. The question all summer was based around who would be on Sid’s Line? If day one dispels any rumors, then it tells us that Jake Guentzel will be on line one with Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary. This means we get to see the relationship between Jason Zucker and Evgeni Malkin blossom and grow.
Over the many months of zero hockey to report, we somewhat predicted that this would be the outcome as far as lines go, and it will undoubtedly be interesting to see the deep minded forward in Zucker tag along with the majestic Geno. Malkin this year has been electric and won’t be hard to pair next too as he has progressed Bryan Rust nicely this season.
This line of Zucker, Geno, and Rusty could become even more pivotal than Sid’s line by playoffs end, and the speed that will come along with it is frightening. Only being two days in on training camp so far, there will be plenty more to dissect. Now, they just need to work out the kinks and get the others healthy.