Scotty Bowman, a special consultant to the Detroit Red Wings who lives in Sarasota, Fla., scouted the Flyers on Saturday. Here's his take on 20-year-old rookie defenseman Joni Pitkanen: "He is awfully good for his age. He is going to be better than most. He is not afraid to go up into the play and he's big. I saw him play last year in Halifax. I didn't think he would come up right away.
"I don't think it will take him five years [to excel]. He is playing a lot and playing regularly. It took [Nicklas] Lidstrom about three years. You've got to play to learn, and they play him a lot. There is so much to learn on defense, and Pitkanen's averaged 17 minutes. That's good for a rookie."
It doesn't say a ton, but it's great to hear the best coach ever say that Pitkanen is going to be better than most. Then he also compares him to Lidstrom (I can only hope. ) This was also after watching the Flyer's worst game of the year, where Joni was a -2.