With perfect timing to rebuttal my argument, Brandon Sutter gave us a performance that would make Jordan Staal proud.
After struggling to begin the year, Sutter put in one of his best performances while donning the Black-N-Gold. Sutter scored the go-ahead goal in what you could easily say was the best game of the early season.
For Sutter, this is a huge stepping-stone in the right direction after a rough start to the year. I wrote earlier in the week on how the Penguins will always miss Staal in big games, as his big-dominating two-way style is hard to replace, pretty much downing Sutter’s play in the process.
Good for him for shutting me up so quickly. While not possessing the shear size Staal has (6-foot-4 isn’t a height that grows on trees), Sutter brings another element to the third line: speed … and lots of it.
Using another gear, Sutter beat Torey Krug to the puck and blew by him and put the puck perfectly inside the post for the first of the season. His game was impressive far before his goal, as his play in the defensive and neutral zone easily made him one of the shining star of the game.
Maybe it’s something about the Bruins that bring out the best in Sutter. In a meeting last March, Sutter scored two third-period goals in the last 10 minutes, including the game winner to lift the Pens to victory. When all else failed (literally) in the playoffs, Sutter scored one of the team’s two goals.
Still not the player teams projected he might have been, Sutter is still only 24 and playing behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin does have its advantages, the limelight is almost never on you, so you can afford to take your time developing.
Sutter will need to find a consistent balance in his game, but for now, if he saves those moments for nights like Wednesday night, the fan base will be more than happy with that.
Anthony Murphy is a contributing writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.