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Insider Only Bylsma hints at big role for Steve Sullivan on the power play

Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma met with the media today at the team’s annual summer youth clinic, and while most of the media members were there for any potential comments on Sidney Crosby (nothing new, he’s 3-4 weeks from being evaluated), the most intriguing comments from Bylsma was about free agent signee’s Jason Williams and Steve Sullivan.
Bylsma hinted today that the team has high hopes for Sullivan to play a big role on the power play.
Sullivan has not scored more than 6 power goals since the 2006-2007 season, collecting just three power play goals last season, but the Penguins believe Sullivan can add a different dimension on the power play that they don’t have.
“See him {Steve Sullivan} fitting in with some skill, real playmaking ability, can score some goals, ” Bylsma said on what Sullivan brings to the table.

“Fitting in with a good centerman and his forward line, but really, possibly adding a dimension on the power play that we haven’t had. Bringing puck up the ice, and a right shot on the point as a forward but still on the point on the power play. Kind of offering another right shot for Malkin and Crosby, ” Bylsma said.
Sullivan’s best season from a power play standpoint came in 2005-2006, when he scored 13 power play goals and added an impressive 21 assists.
That year, his primary spot was playing down low on the goal line, showing great chemistry with Paul Kariya. Since then as Sullivan indicated during a brief media session in July, he had played the left point in Nashville for the past several seasons.
The Penguins are expected to use four forwards on their first power play unit, assuming Sidney Crosby is healthy for the start of camp (very much up in the air).
A primary focus for the Penguins will be giving the opposition several different looks.
Meanwhile, with there being a chance that Sidney Crosby won’t be ready for the start of camp, coming up with plan B’s and C’s in camp won’t be anything new for Bylsma.
“I think pretty much everyday as a coach whether it’s summer or during the season, you think about those scenarios, you understand your going to have people in an out of the lineup, ” Bylsma said. “Talk about what those things are, defensive side of things, what six defenseman are going to dress in those games, depth we have there and same thing with forward lines.
“Different scenarios, see a lot of that in training camp and it carries right over and lot of things you do there are in case your missing a guy or you don’t have everybody in the lineup and those things kind of get you ready for what one of those scenarios might be.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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