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Jet fuel can't melt steel beams

November 23, 2021, 9:18 AM ET [138 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Penguins 11
Canada 1

The first leg of Pittsburgh’s road trip in Canada went great. They come back home with a 3-0 record and are now tied with Columbus with 20 points in the standings. Those 20 points are good enough for the second wild card spot at the moment.

Tristan Jarry’s shutout streak ended, but he had another very strong showing only allowing a single goal. He has now stopped 79 out of his last 80 shots. He continues to successfully navigate his heavy workload this year. His .930 save percentage is good for ninth in the league.

Jake Guentzel scored a goal for his fifth straight game. While only an empty net goal it is tough to ignore that the Penguins best goal scoring winger is heating up. He’s now up to a 39 goal pace. While Guentzel is starting to pull his own weight another Penguins winger, who is in a contract year, could stand to chip in more offensively. Bryan Rust is stuck on a single goal so far. He is not unlike any other NHL player. The goals eventually dry up for stretches of time. IT just so happens for Rust it is at the beginning of the year. I think the dam will eventually break and he will go on streak at some point. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t given his quality of teammate, power play time, and his regression from shooting 3.2% to his career average of 12.4%.

The Heinen seinen has paid off so far. He scored his sixth goal of the year. His career high is 16 goals. He is currently on pace for 27. He was a nice low risk medium to high reward type of signing. It isn’t just the goals so far. He has an xGF% of 59.56.

Evan Rodrigues picked up another two points with two assists last night. He’s having himself a career year and has made the most of his opportunities. If the Penguins were ever fully healthy Rodrigues will have earned a full-time spot with how he’s played this year. He leads the team with an xGF% of 66.41. He has six goals and 13 points in 18 games. He has been a much needed boost to depth scoring this year. We’ll see if it holds up.

Jason Zucker was having himself a bad game up until he opened the scoring for the Penguins last night. The opposite has been true most of the year. Zucker has played well this year and sometimes hasn’t had the tangible offensive rewards for doing so. Last year he shot 13.4%, but wasn’t earning a lot of chances so his goal total remained in single digits. This year his play is much better and he is only shooting 7.7%. I like the chances of Zucker going on streak of goals at some point. His process has been good and for 5.5M the team needed it to be.

It looks like Kris Letang is turning a corner and in a good way. His last four games he has had positive xGF% (61.02, 78.19, 56.58, and 66.26). It was a rocky start to the year and if he is gaining some traction in his ability to drive play it would be huge for the team and his pocketbook

The Penguins are back in action tomorrow night at home against the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Thanksgiving eve.

Thanks for reading!
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