Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel is quietly turning into one of many staff’s most dominant gamers. His regular manufacturing this season has helped preserve the Penguins marching towards the playoffs and thought of contenders. It’s humorous to suppose earlier than the season there have been questions of how he would reply after solely enjoying 4 video games in all the 2020 calendar yr. He answered by selecting up the place he left off.
Penguins Main Purpose Scorer
Guentzel is the Penguins’ greatest participant not named Sidney Crosby this season. He has 46 factors this season, two factors shy of tying his second profession excessive with 40 fewer video games performed. His 20 objectives this season lead the Penguins and are ranked 11th within the league. It’s the fourth straight season he has scored 20 objectives and he’s one among 5 gamers within the league who’ve reached the 20-goal mark yearly for the reason that 2017-18 season. The opposite 4 gamers are Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Alexander Ovechkin. Elite firm, to say the least. The staff isn’t the one one who has benefited from his goal-scoring success. Followers are ingesting up Guentzel’s objective scoring by receiving half off Jake’s Shakes at a neighborhood Pittsburgh milkshake retailer the day after he scores a objective. Scoring has by no means tasted so candy.
If it weren’t for the shortened season, he can be giving his profession numbers a run for his or her cash. Guentzel has solely gone pointless in back-to-back video games twice this yr, the final time was Feb. 16 and 18. His and the first line’s consistency this season has helped the Penguins climate the most recent damage storms. Within the final 15 video games since Evgeni Malkin went down with an damage, Guentzel has recorded a degree in 13 of them.
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Pittsburgh continues to be simply three factors shy of first place within the MassMutual East Division and locked in a battle that’s positive to final till the ultimate days of the common season. The Penguins want him and the primary line to proceed their manufacturing in the event that they wish to make it previous the primary spherical within the playoffs for the primary time in two seasons.
Missed Most of 2020
Final season Guentzel suffered a shoulder damage on the finish of December 2019 and didn’t return for the remainder of the 2020 common season. It was the primary main damage of his profession. He solely suited up for 4 video games in all of 2020, which have been within the playoff bubble. The Penguins have been upset within the play-in spherical by the Montreal Canadiens. Guentzel was in a position to squash any questions of whether or not he can be rusty going into this season with all the additional time without work. He credited the extra recovery time with giving him extra confidence in his sport.
Because the numbers present, Guentzel is simply to start with of his prime. Even with solely enjoying 39 video games final season, he nonetheless completed third in objectives on the staff behind Malkin and Bryan Rust. There’s been a lot give attention to the veteran’s manufacturing, everybody has forgotten to reward Guentzel. He has emerged as one among their younger leaders. He’s the proper counterpart to Crosby, however he’s not simply the product of Crosby. His constant numbers since getting into the league have spoken for themselves.
The Penguins are clearly going for the win-now strategy, however he’s one among their keys to the longer term. He’s simply tapping into his full potential and the staff has lots of thrilling hockey from him to look ahead to. There may be one query that also stays, is he solely scoring objectives for the half-off shakes?