Drive to the Net: Guentzel hippest kid on block


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Jake Guentzel hits the ice to block a shot by the Jets' Patrik Laine Tuesday night in Winnipeg. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- No, Mike Sullivan hadn't lost his marbles.

Trust me, I double-checked: He really did size up all his options for the final 4.6 seconds of the Penguins' 4-3 victory over the Jets on this Tuesday night, he really did recognize that a man-child who'd just scored five goals in a single game a couple days earlier would be doing the gunning, and he really did send over the boards ... Jake Guentzel?

Damned right he did.


And man, did it work.

When Winnipeg's Brian Little lined up at the left dot across from Sidney Crosby, everyone inside Bell MTS Place knew where Little wanted to go. If only because, you know, Patrik Laine exists. And he was lined up directly behind Little just atop the circle, legs planted, stick cocked back. And, on top of all that, the only other point option was Blake Wheeler, a right-handed shot on the right side who'd have no chance to release in time.

Seriously, this part of the play might as well have been posted in red neon at Portage and Main.

Far less obvious was how the Penguins would counter.

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