Obviously, that was a tough way to start the season.
In case you’re just catching the result for the first time, the Penguins got goals from Daniel Sprong and Thomas Di Pauli. However, they took a lot of penalties in the second period and allowed two shorthanded goals, ultimately dooming them.
Some quick hits that I took away from the game:
— The box score won’t show it, but Tristan Jarry was fantastic. He was under fire for the entirety of the second period and kept the Penguins even for most of it. Three of his goals allowed were off a turnover, on a breakaway or the result of a 2-on-1 rush.
— The line of Christian Thomas, Adam Johnson and Dominik Simon was the best for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton all night. Although it did not score, it created plenty of chances around the net and generally controlled possession.
— Sprong’s goal was pretty, and it came via an excellent outlet pass from Jarry. His angle really wasn’t great; it was simply a snipe that the forward has become known for.
— Charlotte has a nice core of young forwards. Lucas Wallmark and Warren Foegele were active all game and were ultimately named the top stars of the game. And the team has shown plenty of resiliency. The Checkers could play spoiler in the division.
Don’t sweat the end result too much, and don’t panic. It’s only Game 1 of a long season. But I think it’s obvious the officiating will be much more strict this season, and teams will have to adjust. Until then, we’ll see special teams playing a huge role.