Saturday, October 16, 2010

Young Penguins Off To Fast Start

 After scoring the game winning goal last night to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders, Alex Goligoski is the man being talked about around Pittsburgh. Goligoski, a 25 year old defenseman, is off to a fast start scoring three goals and recording six points through the team’s first six games. On a team that has elite talent like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Crosby, Goligoski and fellow defenseman Paul Martin lead the team in points this season. Evgeni Malkin has four points. The beginning of Goligoski’s season is almost a replica of last season. He scored six goals and recorded thirteen points in the first fifteen games. In mid-November, Goligoski suffered a lower-body injury and never returned to form after he returned. He went on to score only two  goals and record 24 points in the other 54 games he played in. Penguins fans hope that Goligoski can play the way he has been consistently throughout the season. If that happens, the Penguins will be a tough team to beat when everyone is healthy. Malkin and Crosby will also need to start producing more as the team is already without Jordan Staal and Arron Asham due to injuries. Goligoski’s goal on Friday night clinched the first Penguins victory at the Consol Energy Center. Fans in Pittsburgh hope that this is only the beginning of a good season for Goligoski, who is hoping to replace veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who signed with the Ottawa Senators on July 1st as an unrestricted free agent.

Centre Mark Letestu is another player who is performing above expectations this season. Letestu, who has spent the last four seasons mostly in Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, has scored three goals and recorded five points thus far. Letestu earned a spot on the roster this season after impressing the coaching staff during training camp. He is filling in for Jordan Staal, who is recovering from a foot injury. Left winger Eric Tangradi, who has been considered one of Pittsburgh’s top prospects in the past, scored his first NHL goal last night. The Penguins hope that these young players will continue to develop into the players that fans want them to until Staal and Asham get healthy.

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