A second week of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey has come and gone and for the first time of the season, the team looked human.
Despite big wins and tough losses, here are some of the winners and losers for the Penguins in the second week of the season.
A newcomer on third defensive line, Jan Rutta has had an impressive week offensively.
Scoring two goals and an assist for three points, Rutta has also been steady in collecting a standout +/- rating.
After seven games in the season, Rutta has been coasting around the league lead in that category with a +8 rating.
Rutta may be a two time Stanley Cup Champion with his former team in the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he isn’t known as an offensive threat.
In 245 career games, Rutta has only collected 64 total points.
This offensive upside isn’t expected to continue with the Penguins, but they will benefit from Rutta’s steady play all season.
A lot is riding on the 2022-23 season for Tristan Jarry, he is due for a new contract and is eying improvement from last year.
So far, Jarry has been pretty solid in net playing with a visible amount of confidence and ‘edge.’
Even if the Penguins played a brutal game in Edmonton, Jarry has put together an exceptional start to the season.
A record of 4-1 in five games and .923 save percentage is solid, but what makes Jarry’s game so impressive is the confidence he is exuding.
Jarry is making aggressive saves and taking risks, but they’re paying off with wins.
The season is still young, but Jarry has been one of the most important players for the Penguins so far this year.
Penguins on the Road
While the Penguins sport a perfect 3-0 record at home, they have been less then impressive in road games to start the season.
Through four road games, the Penguins are 1-2-1 following back-to-back regulation losses to the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.
They didn't just lose those two games, the Penguins looked ugly in those losses.
Giving up 10 goals in about 48 hours, it was a rough trip to the province of Alberta.
The Penguins have enjoyed the home cooking of PPG Paints Arena with a perfect 3-0 record, but haven’t been able to put together the same luck on the road.
When the Penguins are fully healthy, there are real threats on every line, but the injury bug is biting early.
Teddy Blueger hasn’t played a game all year and has been dropped to long term injured reserve; Jake Guentzel has missed multiple games; Jason Zucker recently listed as day-to-day.
Not only is that a tough stretch of injuries, but all three of those names are key pieces to the Penguins success.
Blueger brings a sense of consistency and skill with his defensive game; Guentzel’s goal scoring ability needs to introduction; and Zucker is in the midst of an important bounce back season.
The Penguins will look to turn there play around into the third week of the season and hope to have more winners that losers.
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