First, it is important not to make any long-term judgments/decisions based on only 2 games, but when a player is first called up I do watch him closely to get a first read on his style of play, readiness, strengths/weaknesses, etc.

Here are my quick impressions of Phil Di Giuseppe through 2 games:

1) Capable speed-wise. As I originally expected, I think he can handle the speed of the NHL game at least in terms of getting up and down the ice and to pucks. This is incredibly important because if you cannot skate the NHL game, you cannot play it. I think this continues to be the albatross dragging Chris Terry down. Terry is a similarly gifted AHL player but just has not been able to transfer his skills to the NHL level.


2) Still work to do without the puck. His play without the puck in all 3 zones is still a work in process. This is not a huge negative or a major surprise for a player who exited college and hopped to the AHL ranks before the 2014-15 season labeled as an offensive player who needed to improve defensively. The positive here is that he does do his best to finish checks and bang bodies and skates hard coming back to play defense. His limitations are not effort related. He gets the message of what he needs to do and is trying, but there is still a significant gap between working hard to come back through the neutral zone versus doing the same with precise decision-making on who to go to, how to close off passing/skating angles, etc. like Victor Rask did incredibly well even as a rookie.


The key for him short-term is to play the game with pace and assertiveness offensively and to either create or finish a few offensive chances. His upside and strength is his offense and skill, so he needs to produce to justify a roster spot. Over the next 4 games on the road, Peters will largely lose the ability to pick and choose match ups, so the run starting Tuesday could provide a deeper measure of whether he is ready or near ready defensively.


Go Canes!

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