Here's a few takeaways from Pittsburgh's 2-0 win over Chicago in their second preseason game at United Center.
I thought Tristan Jarry was terrific, especially early in the game when he had to keep his team in it. The Pens were outshot 8-0 and had to kill off a penalty in the first 10 minutes, and Jarry was there to thwart every scoring chance the Hawks had. He was seeing pucks through traffic, handling it well and most of all, he just looked so quick getting up and down and moving around his crease. Overall, he made 30 saves in the win.
"It's great. It's really encouraging," head coach Mike Sullivan said of the 21-year-old's performance. "I think we're all excited about Tristan's potential and he has the ability to be a real good goalie. He handles the puck extremely well. When he adds that element to his game, I think it helps the defensemen. You don't have to take as many hits. We get out of our end zone more efficiently and clean. He was certainly seeing the puck tonight."
Honestly, I've been so impressed with what I've seen from Jarry both at the rookie tournament and now here in training camp. I know this is just one preseason game, but for him to get a shutout is a big deal - especially since he's looking to win that backup spot behind Marc-Andre Fleury to start the season. if he can keep this up, he'll be putting himself in a prime position to be that guy.
"I think we've got to watch him go through the camp here and we'll see how his game grows," Sullivan said. "But certainly we're encouraged by what we saw tonight. He was real solid."
Tonight Chris Kunitz did what he did best - be a productive net-front presence. He posted up in his usual spot around the crease and got both Pens goals as a result, one at even strength and one on the power play. Sullivan has said over and over that he wants this to be a competitive camp. Guys like Kunitz know that despite their veteran status, they have to continue to prove themselves night in and night out and this was a strong game for him in that regard.
"It's great for Kuni," Sullivan said. "He's a guy that when he's as old as he is I think he's more of an ageless wonder for me. He's 37 but plays like he's 27. He's full of energy. He keeps himself in such great shape. He lives his life the right way. That's what allows him to play into his age level that he's playing. Certainly he was inspiring for our group tonight."
Trevor Daley looks ready to play. He said he feels like his ankle is strong as ever, and it definitely looks it as he was his usual mobile self. Daley also said this morning that he was approaching this like it was a regular game, that "you want to go out there and do all the things you do on a regular night to get yourself into it." He certainly did that. Every time he took the ice he dictated the play. He was jumping up every chance he got, even shorthanded, and didn't hesitate to shoot the puck when the Pens had the offensive zone.
"It was good to get back into some competition out there," Daley said. When asked if he felt as fast as he looked, he laughed, "I hope so. I don't know. Sometimes. It was the first game. Hopefully the speed can pick up a little bit."