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Insider Only Thursday’s Penguins Observations & Notes: On Krug, Cooke, & Kennedy

THURSDAY’S PENGUINS OBSERVATIONS & NOTES

*Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma continues to talk Bruins defenseman Torey Krug up as the second coming of Paul Coffey. Bylsma spoke very highly of Krug on Monday and spoked glowingly of Krug again today. Bylsma’s high regard of Krug on tape might not just be coaches talk as Bylsma loves those type of puck moving offensive defensemen.
The Penguins coach mentioned again today of the element Krug has added that the Penguins haven’t seen in person.
“In preparation and looking at their team, I’ve looked back at things from not only this year but last year, how they play, tendencies, faceoffs….. so you think you have a good feeling about the Boston Bruins and their team and how they play, players on their team, but that’s the one element {Torey Krug} you don’t really have much of an idea at all,” Bylsma said.
“We’ve watched him play, we watched the tape. He adds an element to the team that really hasn’t been an element for the Boston Bruins over the last couple years. They’ve won a lot of hockey games and that really hasn’t been an element. So, you can watch him, can do videotape on him, but the element of him skating for his team in the neutral zone, he added last series, him at the blueline, his mobility across the blueline, his shot, that’s something we haven’t quite seen.”

*It’s been over three years and some change since Matt Cooke pretty much ended Marc Savard’s career and with Boston reporters starting to venture into town with Game 1 starting to finally inch closer, the Cooke-Savard storyline is starting to pop up again in the past 24 hours. Cooke was asked about it today but the main storyline with Cooke is that he’s been one of the Penguins best players in the post-season.
“Not sure we’re ever going to get away from some of that reputation throughout the league but he’s put up a significant amount of hockey in between his last suspension, how he’s played last couple years for us and {he’s been} one of our best performers in the first two rounds,” Bylsma said when asked about Cooke’s reputation.
“I don’t think he needs to talk about it,” Sidney Crosby said of Cooke. “He did a great job against Ottawa of just blocking all of that out. That might bring out the best in him and that’s not a bad thing for us.”

*Tyler Kennedy has regained a firm hold on his 3rd line RW spot and a month from now the Penguins have a difficult decision on whether to tender Kennedy a $2.1 million qualifying offer or not. If there’s a few things Kennedy’s done to put himself back in position of returning next season is that the coaching staff has renewed confidence in Kennedy, and Bylsma & Co could be the ones at the end of the day to go bat for Kennedy to return in 2013-2014.

“TK was one of the good players that sat out for our team,” Bylsma said. “When he did get inserted back into the lineup immediately, he gave us speed on the third and fourth lines. It was a big factor against the Islanders and he continued to play well and add that to our team in the second round. In addition to that, he’s been up there at least in our tabulation of physical plays and hits for our team since he’s been added to our lineup and a series where we were able to affect the other teams defense in Ottawa and get on them and be on their toes,” Bylsma said. “He was a guy who led the way, not only with his speed but also physicality.”

PENGUINS TOP-4 LINES & D-PAIRS TODAY
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Iginla – Malkin – Neal
Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
Morrow – Jokinen – Adams
DEFENSEMEN
Orpik – Martin
Eaton – Letang
Murray – Niskanen

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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