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Penguins Report Card: Grinders & Jarry Carry Pens over Canucks (+)

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NHL trade, Pittsburgh Penguins, Evan Rodrigues

You’d expect more fight from the Vancouver Canucks, with their season slipping away and the pressure cooker beginning to boil around the team and GM Jim Benning. The Pittsburgh Penguins were tired from travel, they were loose, and they were still the much better team in a 4-1 win.

We will again end the suspense surrounding Tristan Jarry’s grade. He’s seeing beachballs and looks like a brick wall.

I dare report that he’s playing even better than the first half of 2019-20 when he made the All-Star game. Jarry is controlling the puck and gobbling up scoring chances like Pac-Man after a power pellet.

His rebound control is exponentially better than it has been. Perhaps we should be doing a story about Andy Chiodo. Louis Domingue sang Chiodo’s praises in training camp. Jarry’s growth isn’t a solo effort, either.

Vancouver had a bit of a meltdown following the game as players questioned themselves and the buy-in to coach Travis Green. It’s getting ugly. Check out the comments on Vancouver Hockey Now.

It was a mixed bag game for the Penguins, but the positives outweighed the negatives, mainly because the negatives were born of circumstance.

“I thought we came out with a lot of energy. As a coaching staff, we were a little concerned about this one after a tough travel day coming back and just a quick turnaround,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “And so I thought the guys played with a lot of energy–I think, we weren’t as tight defensively as we’ve been. And I think that that’s something that I think we’ve got to take from this and just make sure that we make better decisions with the puck.”

The Penguins had hop and drive. A few themes are also emerging, which could make this an interesting season, too.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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