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Tuesday’s Penguins Buzz

— Sidney Crosby’s frustrations towards Patric Hornqvist hit a tipping point Saturday night and Crosby’s linemate roulette will continue tonight vs San Jose as the coaching staff puts the two wingers Crosby is most comfortable with, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.

Maybe this combo works for a game but it has no sustaining power. While Kunitz has become a whipping boy among the fan base, it’s Pascal Dupuis’ game that has been more concerning. There’s more left in the tank for Kunitz than Dupuis. Dupuis is more of a No. 12/No. 13th forward than a top-6 winger at this stage in his career.

No way around it but the Penguins are back to their annual top-6 winger search.

— The James Neal trade was always going to be one that maybe didn’t sting in the short-term but would in the long-term. Starting to see signs of it already as the Penguins sold low.

— The Penguins whole off-season was living a fantasy of becoming the Tampa Bay Lightning and having four skill/scoring lines. Nine of the Penguins current top-13 forwards have 2 even strength goals or less on the season.

Even Strength Goals: Eric Fehr (0), Sergei Plotnikov (0), Matt Cullen (1), Daniel Sprong (2), Pascal Dupuis (2), Chris Kunitz (2), Nick Bonino (2), Sidney Crosby (2), Beau Bennett (2)

— Penguin scouts felt coming into the season that 2015 5th round pick Dominik Simon was so advanced with his two-way game he’d be a candidate to be an NHL regular by next season. 19 points in his first 18 games for Wilkes Barre. He’s catching attention of other teams too. Might not get the chance to be see action in Pittsburgh as he could become a key trade asset for Jim Rutherford at the deadline who has authority from ownership to do whatever he has to do to pursue a Stanley Cup this season.

— The Penguins pursuit of defenseman Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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