Controversy, intrigue, and of course goals, the Pittsburgh Penguins intra-squad game was all this and more. We broke down our highlights and key takeaways.
Before yesterday, the significant intrigue was coming in the form of how will Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel pair? Will there be any drop in abilities from Sid’s Line to Geno’s Line? Of course, there was also a lot to watch between Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry as well. All in all, this intra-squad game was lined with treasures, and it didn’t disappoint at all.
Just minutes into the first 25-minute “half,” and already Jason Zucker and Evgeni Malkin were making a solid friendship. It was a nice give and go combo where Geno passed to Zucker, who almost imminently gives it back to Malkin right in front of Matt Murray for a tap in goal.
Those two hit it off all match, allowing us all a massive sigh of relief. Debatably, Geno’s Line may have been better yesterday than Sid and his kids. Malkin was undoubtedly the best player on the ice as his regular-season highs keep rolling into playoff prep. Just before the end of the half and a little team swap action, Sidney Crosby once again showed us why he is the best.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Takeaways after the intra-squad game
Although he and Jake Guentzel hit it off exceptionally well, this goal was all due to the setup passing from John Marino and Conor Sheary. It seems that he, Sid’s old pal, picked right up where they left off. It was clear after the intra-squad match yesterday that both of the top two lines have found their rhythm.
Honestly, the sides seemed a bit unbalanced, as the Black Team went on to route the Gold Team 7-0. The rest of the goals looked like this:
Sheary to Jake, Rust back to Schultz, Lafferty to Guentzel, Sheary back to Letang, and then Sam Lafferty gets released in the slot and makes it a final of 7-0. All of that build-up led us to the final question-mark leading up to yesterday’s practice game; the netminders.
The scoreline tells us a lot, but the two sides were heavily favored against Matt Murray. If anything, it seemed to be a test for Murray to see how he would prevail against top competition. He failed that task and often looked confused. He was caught continuously scrambling and even lost his stick at a fairly crucial time. On the other side of the frozen waters, Jarry was a complete 180.
Even though Jarry didn’t face half as strong of a side or as many shots, he looked composed and ready for more as he stopped everything that went his way. It was a massive step in the right direction for some and others, maybe a wake-up call. In just 50-minutes of play, many questions were replied, but there is still more to find out before the real games start.