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Insider Only Bylsma: Morrow to initially play with Malkin and Neal

PITTSBURGH — Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said after tonight’s 2-1 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers that he can envision newly acquired Brenden Morrow playing on the second or third line.
“I can envision him playing alongside Malkin and Neal. I can also envision him in a third line role with Sutter and Cooke, being a gritty, tough line,” Bylsma said.

Bylsma, though, indicated that the initial plan is for Morrow to play on the left side with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
“Initially see him playing left side with Malkin and Neal,” Bylsma said.
The Penguins wanted to add a gritty presence with Malkin and Neal, most notably a player of Morrow’s ability to go and win puck battles for Malkin and Neal as neither player is a forecheck player first.
Whether Morrow can succeed in a second line role remains to be seen as some evaluators feel he’s better suited with Sutter and Cooke and not being relied on as playing a full-time top-6 role.
With the addition of Morrow, Beau Bennett falls out of the top-6 from the start. Tonight was one game where Bennett was invisible most of the night in a physical game, aside from his assist on Crosby’s power play goal.
Once Evgeni Malkin gets back the Penguins hope Malkin gets James Neal going down the stretch who has looked lost of late and is not making smart plays with the puck.
Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby gives a thumbs up to the Morrow acquisition.
“That’s a great acquisition for us,” Sidney Crosby said of the Morrow addition. “Guy who has ton of experience. Plays well on both ends of ice.”

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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