Saturday, July 12, 2014





Grit


February 19. 2013 2:07PM
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Paul Thompson stood in the Penguins locker room and spoke to the media about the game-winning goal he had just scored for a 5-4 overtime win against Rochester.
He answered questions about the play - a breakaway resulting from a Simon Despres pass, and the importance of getting that first win after starting the season 0-4.
But no one needed to ask Thompson about the price he paid to score the goal.
That answer was written on his face in the form of a large welt under his right eye.
In the final minute of overtime, Thompson carried the puck in front of the Rochester bench and was leveled by Americans defenseman T.J. Brennan. from the press box, it looked like a shoulder or maybe even an elbow caught Thompson in the face.
He went down, obviously seeing red.
But Thompson quickly composed himself, jumped back into the pay and collected the pass from Despres to score the game-winner.
The second-year pro has upped his physical play significantly this season. He's often involved in scrums around the net, has thrown his body around and paid the price in front of the crease.
Thompson has the size, hockey smarts and ability, and now he has the physical upside - elements that will surely propel the winger up the Pittsburgh prospect chart.

- After Friday's game Eric Tangradi spoke about the last Rochester goal that occurred after he was knocked down by an opponent in the neutral zone. The play had interference written all over it, but no call was made. Tangradi said he feels like he has a target on his back at times. He surely isn't getting the calls.
In fact, they're going against him. In the first period he clipped a Rochester player with a high-stick. It wasn't intentional and it looked like Tangradi's stick rode up on his opponent. Not an excuse however, and it's still a penalty.
On his first shift out of the box, Tangradi was whistled for tripping when he tried to steal the puck from a Rochester player and bumped skates. Clearly unintentional, yet Tangradi headed to the box again.
Maybe Tangradi does have a target on his back, but it's not necessarily opposing players that are zeroing in.


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