Just when you thought you have seen it all with the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ depth in their minor league system, they somehow keep coming out of nowhere.
Brian Gibbons was the latest of the young talented forwards who made his debut Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks. He started the game playing on the third line with Brandon Sutter and Jussi Jokinen on a day where head coach Dan Bylsma decided to switch things up. Over the past week and a half the Penguins have been struggling to score goals on a consistent basis.
During the first period things did not seem to work out well as Pittsburgh did not register their first shot until late in the frame with just a few minutes remaining. They came on stronger in the second and lit it up scoring three goals on their way to victory.
Gibbons scored the first goal of the game in the third period when he one-timed a pass from Evgeni Malkin while crashing the net to score his first NHL goal. Moments later, he picked up an assist on Sutter’s goal.
“I didn’t really know what to expect but I just came in and tried to work hard and keep things simple,” Gibbons said of his debut. “I’m just taking it all in right now, I usually don’t show a lot of emotion but on the inside I’m pretty happy.”
His goal served to be a big one in a game that had the potential to be a 1-0 final. Both goaltenders, Marc-Andre Fleury and Viktor Fasth, were solid throughout the entire game.
There is no telling how he will serve Bylsma in the upcoming week, but Gibbons’ two-point performance definitely helped his cause. And ironically enough his first goal seemed to light a fire within the other lines which was exactly what Pittsburgh needed.
Gibbons will wait to see if he gets another start Wednesday night when the Penguins take on the Washington Capitals in what will be a battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
At the end of the day this just continues to prove the young talent that the Penguins have is what seems to be an endless list of stars. The question is: of all those we have seen to this point, who will stay and who will be expendable?