Insider Only Importance of having right group of wingers around Marcel Goc on 4th line & more in today’s TIOPSDailyFive

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. All this talk about the Penguins improving their fourth line, it’s all going to depend on having the right wingers around Marcel Goc. Goc could be one of the NHL’s best 4th line centers, but as we saw last season during his time with the Penguins, playing Craig Adams, Tanner Glass with him minimized his impact with the team.
It’s why Paul Bissonnette makes little sense for the Penguins as a regular or extra forward. You don’t want your No. 12 and No. 13 forwards being Bissonnette and Craig Adams.
Among the group of wingers who will be in the mix on the 4th line, Craig Adams, Blake Comeau, Jason Megna, Adam Payerl, Zach Sill (center/wing),maybe Dominic Uher, the Penguins need to develop an identity with their fourth line and the best wingers to mesh well with how Goc plays include Jason Megna, Blake Comeau, and Adam Payerl. The problem is Craig Adams is going nowhere. Team sources contend the coaches feel there is a role for Adams on the team.

2. Here’s what I wrote about James Neal on May 26th: [One feeling about Neal among scouts seems to be that he’s become too much of a perimeter player on the right side and has gone away from getting to the tough areas. A Western Conference scout who spoke very highly of Neal, said a switch back to “left wing” should be a consideration from whichever team Neal is playing for next season. “I saw a {more} hard nosed player in Dallas,” the scout said of Neal.]
The Predators reportedly giving strong consideration to moving James Neal to left wing is not a shock {despite his goal totals in Pittsburgh}, as Neal seemed to become too reliant on others to create offensive scoring opportunities for him. Nashville obviously see’s what many others did outside of Pittsburgh. I think a move to left wing will be good for him in becoming a player who gets back to driving to the net more like how he played in Dallas.

3. Watching the Steelers D-line through camp and one preseason game so far, there’s still a spot for Brett Keisel on this team, if he’s willing to play as a backup, limited depth role.

4. When you see the lineup the Pirates trot out there, these numbers are still hard to believe:
1st in NL in OBP (.333)
2nd in NL in OPS (.729)
3rd in NL in runs (501)
4th in NL in home runs (106)

5. Justin Verlander is a perfect example of why it’s such a gamble to invest a ton of money into pitchers. 5 years, $140 million left on his contract, the chances are pretty slim he ever gets back to his Cy Young level. For a team like the Pirates, the focus should always be on replenishing the system with pitchers, getting what you can out of them and then trading them for assets before they become in line for big money deals.
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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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