Winger Eric Tangradi is backup with the big club and he’s not going to be relegated to the 4th line this time around
Tangradi skating on the second line with Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy figures to get an extended look as the team’s second line left winger with James Neal out for at least three weeks.
Tangradi needs to show something as long term questions remain about his fit in Dan Bylsma’s system
The loss of Staal and Neal puts an emphasis on the Penguins getting more out of Steve Sullivan and Tyler Kennedy at even Strength. Kennedy flourished in this type of role last season and is now set to get top power play minutes. He scored 7 power play goals last season. Sullivan has been largely ineffective at even strength. He’s skating on the top line at right wing with Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz
Elsewhere on the injury front, the swelling in Arron Asham’s knee is down and he’s back on the ice and close to returning to the lineup as is Dustin Jeffrey who would be a big addition if he can provide the type of goal scoring punch he showed late last season before getting injured
While things remain quiet on the Sidney Crosby front, Kris Letang went through a hard workout this morning and things are on the upswing for him