PENGUINS MORNING SKATE LINES
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – David Perron
Sergei Plotnikov – Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel
Conor Sheary – Matt Cullen – Patric Hornqvist
Kevin Porter – Eric Fehr – Daniel Sprong
(Nick Bonino Illness- Game time decision)
Olli Maatta – Trevor Daley
Brian Dumoulin – Ben Lovejoy
David Warsofsky – Ian Cole
Jeff Zatkoff to start in goal
1. Trevor Daley requested a trade in mid-November which started the process of the Penguins considering him, though, they were targeting some bigger fish before the trade.
Once they reached the point where targets like Kris Russell just weren’t available, Daley became easiest acquisition to make. When preliminary talks first began last month, Chicago had very strong interest in David Perron due to his expiring contract, an NHL source says.
Daley is going to help the Penguins in the puck moving department but the vibe from scouts on Daley is if the Penguins think he can handle second pairing minutes 5 v 5 they are going to be in for a rude awakening.
“Disaster, “Horrific” is how Daley has been described by evaluators in his own end over the last two seasons.
Daley will play a top pairing role tonight with Olli Maatta.
2. Phil Kessel is not a Mike Sullivan type player? That’s a notion from folks around the league who have felt Kessel will drive Sullivan nuts just like Marian Gaborik did in New York.
With Sullivan having the security of a three year contract, Sullivan is not going to be shy about making Kessel uncomfortable.
We’re already seeing it.
After one game on the job, Sullivan switched up the Penguins lines throughout the four units in Tuesday’s practice.
He broke up the Evgeni Malkin line putting Sergei Plotnikov and Patric Hornqvist with Malkin. The three played together to start the year.
David Perron was moved to right wing with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
Sullivan tried to downplay the significance of the line changes in Tuesday’s practice but those who know Sullivan say he’s already sending a message to Kessel who was demoted to the third line for one day — he will be back with Malkin tonight –.
“Nothing is etched in stone here,” Sullivan said after practice. “I’m just trying to go through the process here, where we can try to create a spark and effect some change. They’ve had the same look for a long time here, and they’ve had limited success. Rather than continue to go down a road where we’re pounding a square peg through a round hole, maybe we have to make some change for the sake of change, just to see if we can’t tweak the mindset a little bit.”
Sullivan also talked about getting balance on the lines but Kessel skating with Eric Fehr was certainly making a point to Kessel that the battle level better improve or this is how it’s going to be.
3. One former NHL player who played for John Tortorella and Sullivan had this to say about Sullivan’s honesty as a coach.
“John played head games [in trying to send messages]. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"