The buzz after the game centered around top forward prospect Eric Tangradi. With roster cuts coming on Wednesday, the Penguins face a difficult decision regarding Tangradi and there are believed to be mixed opinions in the organization on whether the best move long-term for Tangradi and the team is to give Tangradi more seasoning in the minors
What the the Penguins have wanted to do during camp was to give Tangradi the experience of playing with a Malkin or Crosby and see how he responded. From what Dan Bylsma said on Tuesday, Tangradi has earned an A+ in that area.
Following the game Bylsma spoke at length about Tangradi and praised Tangradi’s ability to know his role. Bylsma also spoke about Evgeni Malkin’s transition to wing and how Malkin is taking the initiative to learn the position defensively.
Bylsma on Tangradi: “I think a challenge for anybody who plays with Crosby and Malkin and that type of player to think that you have to change your game, Bylsma said.”
“The first goal is a perfect example for Eric…..he knows what he’s supposed to do. Goes right to the net, stands in front of the goallie and he’s a factor on the goal that way. Not making a saucer pass at the blueline or trying to dangle and make a play because he’s playing with a good player. He’s just been effective on the forecheck, he;s been good with the puck down and gone to the net and created space. That’s what training camp is a great opportunity to do. He’s doing exactly what he brings to the table.”
Bylsma on Malkin’s D-zone play: “Coming into d-zone play, not going to be perfect right now, :Bylsma said. “I’ve been encouraged with what I’ve seen from him. Playing defense and getting in that position, wing position coming out of d-zone.”
“I’ve also been encouraged by his willingness, he’s asking questions….. he’s wanting to know exactly what’s right and wrong and being in the right spot and what to do. There was a couple instances tonight where he played it just perfectly and the way he needed to in the wing position.”
Bylsma’s comments on Malkin shows how the former Art Ross trophy winner is preparing for this season. He appears to be paying more attention to details, putting extra effort in at practices and the move to wing could pay off. The Penguins believe the switch will get Malkin back into the 45+ goal range.