This preseason game was not televised, and I was quite bummed out because 1) I could not watch the game and 2) I would not be able to write a blog about it. So here I am, shopping in Market Square, and a well dressed man walks up to me and my girlfriend, Abby, and says “Hey are you guys Penguins fans?” I was wearing a Penguins jersey (as I usually am), and my response was quite easy: “Well yeah, I’m a huge Penguins fan… why do you ask?” The man responds, “Well I have season tickets and I cannot go to tonight’s game. I have 4 tickets that are center ice, Captain Morgan Club, 10 rows up. Do you want them? I’ll give them to you for free.” I couldn’t believe it. Shopping could wait until tomorrow. So I start calling up my buddies and I ended up going to the Penguins game. What a lucky day! (Although, I didn’t win the 50/50 tonight, so I guess it could have been luckier, but hey, it’s a start).
I arrived a bit late, and the Penguins were already in a 2-0 hole. About mid-way through the game, it was 5-0 Red Wings, but my friend, Abby, and I didn’t care: we had free tickets at center ice. Preseason or not, it was just an awesome experience. One of my friends Dakota, who just saw the Penguins play for the first time in Pittsburgh, looks at me in the 2nd period during this ridiculous 7-2 blowout and says “Brad, this is my first game in Pittsburgh seeing the Penguins. Whoever scores the first Penguins goal is my new favorite player.” … Cue Daniel Sprong:
The Penguins lost 7-2. Their penalty kill took a 180 degree turn from last night and looked awful. Pouliot had another below average game; one can only wonder if he is going to make the roster, especially considering he will not have to clear waivers to go back to the AHL. Crosby refused to shoot the puck when he could have and should have. But… You heard it from me: this Sprong guy is going to be special. I think he can earn himself a spot on this team as early as this year. Of any players that were on the ice tonight, including Kessel, Crosby, Perron, Letang…Sprong stood out the most. The puck just finds this guy. He has speed, he has grit, and he can shoot the puck. He even showed he can dangle too from the goal he scored tonight. He is young, and he does have a lot to learn, but he will only get better. I would love to see Sprong get a chance to play in the NHL this year, but the Penguins will need to decide that soon. Either Sprong gets a 9 game tryout, or he gets shipped off to juniors for another year. Regardless, he is going to be something special.
Dakota, the right guy scored to be your new favorite player. This guy is going to be good.