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Insider Only Bylsma Post-Game Presser: Ability to defend difference from past seasons

Post-Game Notes
Jordan Staal’s impact as a dominant two-way player has been on display over the past three games and was once again tonight in the Penguins 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Consol Energy Center.
Following the game, Bylsma talked about what’s different about this year’s team and according to Bylsma, it first starts with the Penguins ability to defend compared to past years.
“I think it makes a considerable difference on the backend, head coach Dan Bylsma said. “Our matchups, the way we can defend against two and three lines with our defensemen. You know, We don’t really need to chase a matchup in that regard and get to defend that way.
The talk about the league from evaluators is that while the organization’s plan has been for centerman Jordan Staal to move into a scoring line role with Evgeni Malkin this season, there’s a strong argument being made that the three center model is the best route to go for the Penguins.
The reasons are Staal’s dominating two-way play and most importantly, the Penguins emergence as one of the best defensive teams in the NHL…..An area the Penguins dropped significantly last season from the Cup Winning year in 2009.
“I think just seeing we haven’t had Jordan and Sid back but seeing Jordan back and the way he can control the center role of the ice, play down low, be a force., ” Bylsma said.

“He played an outstanding game tonight. He was matched against their top line with Zetterberg and Franzen. He controls the middle of the ice, controls down low. You see on the PK, you see it at the end of the game when they pulled their goalies.”
“That’s something to add. We don’t have Sidney Crosby right now but that’s {Jordan Staal} something we didn’t have maybe earlier in the year when Sid and Geno were playing without Jordan. I think there’s more depth at the center position, were better in the circle, we’re better penalty killing, our defense so we can win games different ways and tonight when we didn’t play our best in the second period when we didn’t manage the puck well, we were still able to defend and I think it’s indicative on making it easier on our goaltender whose playing very well.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

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

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