During the London, Ontario rookie tournament this week, the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects developed three trends: strong defensive play, outshooting their opponents, and losing. The team marked all three off the checklist yesterday against the rookie squad Chicago Blackhawks. The Pens were victorious at the shooting range 44-26, but the 'Hawks won on the scoreboard 3-2. The latter is vastly more important than the former . . . well, maybe more so in the regular season.
Defenseman Brain Dumoulin defended the team and praised the experience saying, "I’m proud of our team and what we did this week. It’s good for the legs, it’s going for the mind, good to get back in that grind and that focus. I’d say coming to this camp really helped a lot of people get ready for main camp.”
And that was the main goal. The organization sent these young players to Ontario too get them sharper skill-wise and their competitive juices flowing. There are some spots open on the main roster. The third and fourth lines could use some legs and with how well Dumoulin and Scott Harrington played, there might have too be room made for them on the big club's blueline.
Assistant coach Alain Nasreddine said of Dumoulin's game, "I think anyone’s that watched the two games (Dumoulin) obviously the best player on the ice, especially last night. Today he had another great showing. He’s past us, to be honest. That’s how good he was. Hopefully he has the same kind of success in Pittsburgh. But I thought he was really good, his overall game. I thought he was our best D.”
Tom Kuhnhackl, the German right winger who was all the rage after Saturday's game, scored the team's second goal less than a minute into the third to cut Chicago's lead to one. The Penguins couldn't get any closer than that. Tristan Jarry started the game and Matt Murray finished it. Players report to camp Wednesday.
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