After scoring only three even strength goals through two games, head coach Dan Bylsma is looking to make changes at the forward position as the Penguins face the New Jersey Devils Monday afternoon.
Among the changes include Mark Letestu being elevated to the second line and Pascal Dupuis being demoted to the 4th line who Bylsma said today isn’t doing the things that made him successful last season.
Joining Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz on the top line was Mike Comrie who worked in at right wing. Comrie has been centering the 2nd line since the start of camp but Bylsma appears to be trying to jumpstart his top line.
Once Jordan Staal returns to the lineup, wing is where the Penguins eventually hope Comrie will lock down a top-6 spot.
The other big change this morning was Mark Letestu moving up to the second line center spot. Letestu centered Eric Tangradi and Evgeni Malkin on the line.
Letestu continues to show some offensive ability and his play has not slowed down. He will now be rewarded with a prime opportunity according to his coach.
Bylsma had high praise for Letestu and is looking forward to seeing him play with Malkin.
“The best asset Mark Letestu brings is his smarts in playing the game, ” Bylsma said. “His goal is an example of detail and smarts and knowing the opposition and knowing what’s going to happen on the ice and getting an opportunity because of it.”
One player Bylsma is looking to step up his game is Pascal Dupuis whose been demoted to the 4th line.
“Better puck management, a little more speed and getting on pucks and creating things, ” Bylsma said on what he’s looking for from Dupuis. “Some of the details of what made him successful last year have not been there and he’s gotten away from that in his game.”
Here were today’s lines
Kunitz – Crosby – Comrie
Tangradi – Letestu – Malkin
Cooke – Talbot – Kennedy
Rupp – Adams – Dupuis
Notes: Dan Bylsma kept his decision on who will start in goal Monday afternoon pretty guarded but indications are Brent Johnson is expected start.