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Insider Only Post-Tampa Thoughts: Bylsma uses Asham extremely well in debut

Post Penguins-Tampa Bay Observations & Analysis
— At age 35 Martin St. Louis is showing no signs of slowing down and continues to impact a hockey game in all areas.
It’s a shame Pittsburgh wasn’t able to pry him away from Tampa in the 2008-2009 when GM Brian Lawton was in talks with the Penguins about Ryan Whitney. St. Louis though had no interest in coming to Pittsburgh and it’s believed he would have only approved a trade to the New York Rangers at that time.
— I’m sure there will be some excuse making for Marc Andre Fleury but he just wasn’t good enough again. Not much else to say. His shaky play in the first period was concerning when the Penguins had all of the momentum after jumping out to a 3-1 lead. Even while the Penguins were controlling the play early on, Fleury just never looked comfortable.
Arron Asham was officially on the 4th line with Craig Adams and Mike Rupp but Dan Bylsma used Asham extremely well. He had him playing up and down the lineup, and he’s going to make an immediate impact on this team.
The way Bylsma used Asham tonight is how I think the staff is going to use him on most night’s. Asham led the Penguins with 4 hits and didn’t look out of place on one of the top-2 lines. He’s not a player who can have a permanent top-6 spot but he can make an impact in “situational play” with Malkin or Crosby.

— I keep hearing the Penguins want to give Mike Comrie the first opportunity to solidify a spot with Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin but by then, Comrie might have his spot in the press box or Wilkes Barre solifidied.
It was another minimal impact game from Comrie who was benched in the second and third period. He had a shift here and there but had the least amount of ice time, recording 7:17 of ice time and 5:07 at even strength. Not sure how he won’t be a healthy scratch against Philadelphia.
As I mentioned in a feature on Tuesday, I don’t see Comrie’s struggles as a short-term problem.
— The Penguins were 0-for-5 on the power play and the Lightning were very effective with their aggressive style and Pittsburgh was careless with the puck at times giving up several shorthanded breaks.
Tyler Kennedy’s continous play to the outside is something that the coaching staff hasn’t been shy about calling him out on. It remains a problem on a nightly basis and Kennedy gave Tampa Bay a free breakout pass on St. Louis’ game winning goal.
Notes: The Penguins will unveil their winter classic uniforms, following tomorrow’s practice at the Consol Energy Center.

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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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