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Insider Only Post-Practice Buzz: Bylsma intrigued about Kennedy at the center position


When Sidney Crosby went down Saturday afternoon vs the New York Islanders, Dan Bylsma’s first thought on who would replace him was Tyler Kennedy. “When Sid left the ice, I immediately thought {about} TK going to the center position,” Bylsma said.
On Saturday Bylsma didn’t have the opportunity to plug Dustin Jeffrey into Crosby’s spot as Jeffrey was in the press box. Today in practice Bylsma had Jeffrey at his disposal but he didn’t go that direction and it was status quo on the lines as the Malkin (Neal-Malkin-Iginla) and Sutter (Morrow-Sutter-Cooke) units stayed the same and Kennedy centered Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, a spot he saw some time at on Saturday.
Kennedy is a former center in juniors and Bylsma at least appears intrigued about what Kennedy can do at the center position between Kunitz and Dupuis.
“I played center in juniors,” Kennedy said. “It’s a little more work going back and protecting the net and getting pucks down low. I’ve got two linemates to help me and I’m looking forward to it.”
Bylsma indicated that Dustin Jeffrey could also see some time there  depending on faceoff “circumstances” but Kennedy figures to get an extended look with Kunitz and Dupuis as the Penguins would like to keep Neal – Malkin – Iginla and Cooke – Sutter – Morrow together going into the stretch run.
*After the coaching staff got a look at Jarome Iginla on left wing, James Neal will be moving back to left wing vs the Buffalo Sabres with Iginla going back to his natural position. “It’s more natural, I’d be lying if it wasn’t,” Iginla said of playing right wing.
*James Neal on losing Sidney Crosby. “It’s a huge loss.”
*Marc Andre Fleury talked today that he expects Tomas Vokoun to start tomorrow night.

*Sidney Crosby was named the NHL’s first star of the month today. Crosby who leads the NHL with 56 points, had 25 points and a +19 rating in March. Crosby by the way has yet to be released from the hospital.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

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

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