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Forums :: Blog World :: Ryan Wilson: Training camp notes
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Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Rochester, NY
Joined: 06.13.2013

Sep 14 @ 11:10 AM ET
Ryan Wilson: Training camp notes Training camp notes
SuperHenderson13
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 10.13.2008

Sep 14 @ 11:30 AM ET
Sprong's problem is in his own defensive zone. Playing with Brassard is okay, but I think Crosby is the ideal guy. Sprong likes to shoot, Crosby will get the puck to him. Crosby is an ideal player for a guy like Sprong given Crosby's strong defensive play.
MacPatty
Pittsburgh Penguins
Joined: 05.21.2015

Sep 14 @ 11:39 AM ET
Guentzel, Crosby & Sprong would be a great regular season line. Playing with two very smart players who can dish the puck might really help develop the mental side of the game for Sprong.
Victoro311
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Washington, DC
Joined: 06.17.2014

Sep 14 @ 11:48 AM ET
I still think the best thing for Sprong's development would be to stick him on the 3rd line with Brassard. But hey, if the kid's already earning top line minutes then by all means. As long as he's in the top 9 I'm happy.

I think Rust's main position this year will be LW. He's equally effective on both sides and we have too many RWs. Sticking Rust on the 14th line and limiting him to 12 minutes a night would be a mistake. He is a clear cut top 9 winger and needs to be put in a position to produce according to his new, shiny cap hit.

I'm excited to see how ZAR goes this season. Feel like every time he was healthy for a stretch he'd start to look really solid and then get hurt. Starting off strong with the big club this year will be important for solidifying his role moving forward. Hagelin probably won't be around after this season and we'll be pretty thin at LW and PKers.

I don't think he'll be that good this season, but it will warm my heart seeing Cullen back in a Pens sweater. I love him the same way I love Dupuis. Hopefully Simon can push him to a 13th forward role, but if not you could do worse for a 4th liner.
taleisyreXIII
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: ON
Joined: 02.18.2012

Sep 14 @ 11:59 AM ET
Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist
Hagelin-Malkin-Rust
ZAR-Brassard-Kessel
Simon-Sheahan-Sprong

Dumoulin-Letang
Maatta-Schultz
Oleksiak-Johnson/Ruhwedel

You had sprong on the fourth line when everyone else was saying play him with Sid....now ur on board all of a sudden to give him proper minutes?
Rinosaur
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Joined: 01.21.2016

Sep 14 @ 1:15 PM ET
I honestly don't understand this knock on Sprong's defense. In his small sample size with the Pens I thought he looked fine and if I recall, he had very good possession numbers.

I know possession and defense aren't the same thing, but there's definitely a connection between the two. I hate situations like this because once players come under microscopes like this I think they get over-scrutinized by the coaching staff.

What one player might not get punished for another will. I really hope that isn't the case with Sprong. He's never going to a Hossa-type player as far as his two-way game is concerned.
Victoro311
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Washington, DC
Joined: 06.17.2014

Sep 14 @ 1:26 PM ET
I honestly don't understand this knock on Sprong's defense. In his small sample size with the Pens I thought he looked fine and if I recall, he had very good possession numbers.

I know possession and defense aren't the same thing, but there's definitely a connection between the two. I hate situations like this because once players come under microscopes like this I think they get over-scrutinized by the coaching staff.

What one player might not get punished for another will. I really hope that isn't the case with Sprong. He's never going to a Hossa-type player as far as his two-way game is concerned.

- Rinosaur

Honestly my biggest issue with Sprong from the eye test wasn't even his defense. It was his play away from the puck on offense. Felt like he looked lost a lot and didn't quite know what he should be doing to support the play. It wasn't necessarily laziness or compete level. It looked like a young guy legitimately not being quite ready yet to hang with the big boys.

His defense is whatever. Like you said, that's not his game. If he can use his speed to interrupt a couple of plays with his stick every now and then I'll be happy. Sprong's key to success will be getting to soft spots on offense with better regularity to open up the possession with his shot.
Rinosaur
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Joined: 01.21.2016

Sep 14 @ 1:44 PM ET
Honestly my biggest issue with Sprong from the eye test wasn't even his defense. It was his play away from the puck on offense. Felt like he looked lost a lot and didn't quite know what he should be doing to support the play. It wasn't necessarily laziness or compete level. It looked like a young guy legitimately not being quite ready yet to hang with the big boys.

His defense is whatever. Like you said, that's not his game. If he can use his speed to interrupt a couple of plays with his stick every now and then I'll be happy. Sprong's key to success will be getting to soft spots on offense with better regularity to open up the possession with his shot.

- Victoro311


Totally agree. He didn't look he knew how he should always engage himself in the offensive zone. That could come from the fact he doesn't want be too alpha playing with Sid or simply isn't sure what type of role he should play.

It could also like you said not ready to hang with the big boys. His instincts right around the net were great IMO, but as far as cycling goes he was seemed a bit lost.
VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Sep 14 @ 4:18 PM ET
So, the season hasn't even started, hell, the training camp hasn't started, and we have alreay the first injured players. Not good!

@taleisyreXIII: Sheahan is currently injured, and even when healthy, be sure that Cullen is set on the 4th line. And when Hagelin produces like last year, he shouldn't play 2nd row.
Grinder47
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Somerset, PA
Joined: 10.20.2013

Sep 14 @ 4:28 PM ET
Lineup is sofffffffff! Is it written in the Pens mission statement that we can’t draft physical players who can play?
VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Sep 14 @ 5:54 PM ET
Lineup is sofffffffff!
- Grinder47




Injury updates from Coach Sullivan: Brassard: Illness, hoping to be back soon Sheahan: Nagging lower-body injury Czuczman: Offseason shoulder surgery, out until December. https://mobile.twitter.co...s/1040666889201041408?p=p

Guentzel-Crosby-Sprong working as a line on day one of #Pens Camp https://mobile.twitter.co...s/1040594148020113408?p=p

Coach Sullivan on Sprong: “I think Daniel just has to play his game. I think, to his credit, he’s really taken it to heart and made a concerted effort to get better in the areas we asked him to get better in.” https://mobile.twitter.co...s/1040665022362529792?p=p
powerhouse
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: cumberland, MD
Joined: 11.28.2006

Sep 14 @ 6:18 PM ET

You can always drink to ease the pain.
madmike71
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12.21.2006

Sep 14 @ 6:19 PM ET
Honestly my biggest issue with Sprong from the eye test wasn't even his defense. It was his play away from the puck on offense. Felt like he looked lost a lot and didn't quite know what he should be doing to support the play. It wasn't necessarily laziness or compete level. It looked like a young guy legitimately not being quite ready yet to hang with the big boys.

His defense is whatever. Like you said, that's not his game. If he can use his speed to interrupt a couple of plays with his stick every now and then I'll be happy. Sprong's key to success will be getting to soft spots on offense with better regularity to open up the possession with his shot.

- Victoro311


I agree with this. He just looks confused sometimes. It reminds me a little like DP. There's a half second delay in his reaction and it appears he's not focused on defending.

People want to compare him to Kessel but I don't necessarily see the parallel. Phil is pretty damn aware when he needs to be and he can backcheck with the best them. Sprong is only 21 too. It would be nice to have the option to send him to WB if he falls on his face. Unfortunately they screwed up by playing him for a couple extra games a few years ago.
VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Sep 14 @ 6:25 PM ET
{Sprong} He just looks confused sometimes.
- madmike71


In his NHL-stint he got cold a little, but don't forget that he added a point-per-game AHL-season (65gp 32g 33a 65p) after that - in his first prof. season at all... think he has a good chance to make the show.
madmike71
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12.21.2006

Sep 14 @ 6:40 PM ET
In his NHL-stint he got cold a little, but don't forget that he added a point-per-game AHL-season (65gp 32g 33a 65p) after that - in his first prof. season at all... think he has a good chance to make the show.
- VeryModernMan


Sully praised Sprong a little in his post practice discussion. It's a good start I guess.

DK had some good notes... He said Riicola looks really good. Not out of place at all. He sounds like a good puck mover with better than expected strength.

He also said Oleksiak was the best dman on the ice. Which is a little surprising. Obviously it's just one practice, but these are 3 guys that seemingly performed well that are under the microscope to some degree.

Speaking of being out of place, apparently Jimmy Hayes was the dog of the practice. Very slow and sucking wind a lot.
Barnaby36
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Former Orpik44
Joined: 02.22.2013

Sep 14 @ 11:51 PM ET
Why am I not surprised by RW missing this impression on Jack Johnson?

Defenseman Jack Johnson was paired with Justin Schultz, and Johnson was really impressive today. He skates so well for a big guy. At one point he skated up to a defender, slammed on the brakes, spun around and whipped a backhand pass to a teammate. I know it's only one day and it's only training camp, but Johnson looks like the real deal.
Aussiepenguin
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Sydney
Joined: 08.02.2014

Sep 15 @ 12:27 AM ET
Why am I not surprised by RW missing this impression on Jack Johnson?

Defenseman Jack Johnson was paired with Justin Schultz, and Johnson was really impressive today. He skates so well for a big guy. At one point he skated up to a defender, slammed on the brakes, spun around and whipped a backhand pass to a teammate. I know it's only one day and it's only training camp, but Johnson looks like the real deal.

- Barnaby36


Well there's a glimmer of hope after the first day.

You'll find positive comments about JJ in the comments section only me thinks.
VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Sep 15 @ 7:03 AM ET
Why am I not surprised by RW missing this impression on Jack Johnson?
- Barnaby36




But the sad truth its also: It's just a lot of talk, in all the training camps we could now follow in social media-age there were always some praised on the first days, just to be resent to juniors/AHL/bench a few days later. Start of regular season will tell us the real picture, we should (due better roster/schedule) definitely have a better start than last year.
Victoro311
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Washington, DC
Joined: 06.17.2014

Sep 15 @ 8:43 AM ET
Why am I not surprised by RW missing this impression on Jack Johnson?

Defenseman Jack Johnson was paired with Justin Schultz, and Johnson was really impressive today. He skates so well for a big guy. At one point he skated up to a defender, slammed on the brakes, spun around and whipped a backhand pass to a teammate. I know it's only one day and it's only training camp, but Johnson looks like the real deal.

- Barnaby36

Johnson being impressive and Oleksiak being the best defender on the ice is something that desperately needs to continue into the regular season.
Barnaby36
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Former Orpik44
Joined: 02.22.2013

Sep 15 @ 12:23 PM ET
Johnson being impressive and Oleksiak being the best defender on the ice is something that desperately needs to continue into the regular season.
- Victoro311

Please. This would do wonders for the team.
Rinosaur
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Joined: 01.21.2016

Sep 15 @ 1:16 PM ET
Johnson being impressive and Oleksiak being the best defender on the ice is something that desperately needs to continue into the regular season.
- Victoro311


This times 1,000. Lest anyone think me, you or any other JJ detractors want him to fail, we don't. We'll all be happy to be wrong.
Victoro311
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Washington, DC
Joined: 06.17.2014

Sep 15 @ 2:14 PM ET
This times 1,000. Lest anyone think me, you or any other JJ detractors want him to fail, we don't. We'll all be happy to be wrong.
- Rinosaur

One my happiest moments as a Pens fan was admitting I was dead wrong about the Schultz acquisition.
Rinosaur
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Joined: 01.21.2016

Sep 15 @ 5:07 PM ET
One my happiest moments as a Pens fan was admitting I was dead wrong about the Schultz acquisition.
- Victoro311


Same. Also for Daley.
madmike71
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12.21.2006

Sep 15 @ 5:31 PM ET
One my happiest moments as a Pens fan was admitting I was dead wrong about the Schultz acquisition.
- Victoro311


On the day we acquired Schultz some guy on Sports Net said he was literally the worst player in the NHL. You weren't the only one. People under estimate what a new system/team, coach, surroundings can do for players. In any sport really. It happens all the time.
madmike71
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 12.21.2006

Sep 15 @ 5:42 PM ET
Same. Also for Daley.
- Rinosaur


I think Daley is a classic case of going to a new team (Hawks) and never getting comfortable. I read the Hawks blog fairly regularly and they say the coach didn't like him from the beginning. Furthermore, we traded the bones of Scuderi for him so It was virtually impossible for the Penguins to lose that deal.
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