I know LTL will have more analysis on the game with the Pens, but I wanted to take a moment to share my views on John Moore.
First, let me say that this was probably not his best preseason showing. He did not record a point, and did not have any of the beautiful feeds that we have seen in the past few nights.
With that being said, the kid was one of, if not the best defender on the ice. Age and experience be damned, I couldn't help but think of another young American flying up the ice every time I saw #49 (wow, that's not Dan Fritsche anymore?!) moving the puck out of the zone... Brian Leetch.
Not lets not get ahead of ourselves. If this kid has 1/3 of the points that Brian had at the end of his career (1,028), he'll have become the greatest offensive defenseman in the history of the franchise and will be a perenial All-Star. Similarly, he has only played in 1 short series of preseason games.
But take a look at this simple evaluation and guess who this is:
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185
ASSETS: Has extraordinary vision from the back end, makes perfect passes out of his zone and can still act as a fourth forward on the attack. A fast learner and as always shown maturity beyond his years.
FLAWS: Has been prone to mental mistakes over the years, due to fatigue from logging too much ice time. Gets caught out of position frequently. Over aggressiveness in both ends has lead to increased fatigue at the end of seasons.
That is actually Brian Leetch's last scouting report from his final season in the NHL, '05-'06 (according to a Toronto newspaper website).
The young 6'2", 189lb. American dropped 'em tonight for the first time and held his own. He moved the puck out of the zone with flair and precision (most of the time). He was exciting at times, and impressively professional in his ability to clear the puck with aptitude that has been so rare on our blueline.
John Moore will not (okay, we're all 99% sure he will not) be in the NHL this year. But he will be next year. I can't wait...
And don't forget, Brian Leetch didn't crack the NHL fulltime until he was 20, either.