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Insider Only Talking Points from Day 1 of Training Camp: Penguins to change way they attack offensively through neutral zone?

Rob Scuderi on returning to Pittsburgh
What played a big role in the Penguins being able to sign Rob Scuderi was because of his familiarity of the city and as we mentioned during the Penguins pursuit of Scuderi, Pittsburgh being on the east coast.
“Team is in a win-now mode,” Scuderi said of joining the Penguins. “Another big reason was on the East coast. “My family, were living out of Boston. My parents, in laws and extended family is in New York. Much closer than California. We also have a familiarity with the area. When it came time for free agency and Pittsburgh eventually came around with an offer, it was impossible to say no. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Scuderi was sought out by management as an ideal partner for Kris Letang and Scuderi called Letang’s ability to matchup against top lines a transformation from the last time he was here.
“Kris Letang has really gone through a transformation since I’ve been here,” Scuderi said. “Things he’s able to do with the puck and he’s always been a great skater, but his ability to play against top-lines and play well against them is a different role then he played when I was here last.”

Chuck Kobasew on joining Pens:
Chuck Kobasew said today coming to Pittsburgh on a PTO was a last minute thing and it came about over last couple days. “Kind of last minute thing” Kobasew said. “Fortunate to get opportunity to come here. Try-out basis, come here, work hard, try to do my stuff and see what happens. I’m trying to bring some energy, be physical. Don’t know of details of what they exactly need…… In the past I’ve killed penalties and if that’s a need, I’ll be there to help.”

*Bylsma claimed there is a lot of competition for third line roles and it sounds like the Penguins plan to explore a lot of different options. “I would say the third and fourth line situations, in particular third line,” Bylsma said on competition in camp. “A lot of competition in that area,” Bylsma said.
Meanwhile, Bylsma intends to give some of the Penguins young core defensemen opportunities to make an impression. “We have a lot of quality players, we have lot of quality players coming to our team, young players,” Bylsma said. “So the Opportunities will be there for them to make an impression.”
In particular, the organization is very interested in seeing how Brian Dumoulin matches up against NHL competition.

*Bylsma hinted at a possible bigger role for Robert Bortuzzo this season but I’d take that as just coaches talk at this point.
“When Robert played, we saw him play some great games against Ovechkin, and Capitals, was a physical presence, same thing against the Devils,” Bylsma said. “He plays with an edge, good defender, big sized guy that can add to our lineup. There will be some competition there with that particular role on our team. Deryk Engelland provides that for our defense as does Robert Bortuzzo,” Bylsma said.

*A viable criticism of Bylsma as a coach has been his lack of adjustments systematically. Against Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Penguins wouldn’t go away from the stretch pass when trying to attack offensively through the neutral zone.

Bylsma hinted today at adjustments in attacking through the neutral zone which caught my attention.

“We hope to continue to win 70% of games in regular season,” Bylsma said. “There are certain things we look to adjust to and always have and always will. Defensively there’s a few adjustments that were going to add to our scheme. Also I think the league has continually kind of changes and evolves, and I think we have to look at a transitioning to offense from the neutral zone a little bit differently than we’ve done in the past. So we’ll look at that in terms of making an addition there.”

*Bylsma on Beau Bennett: “There’s going to be a big opportunity for Beau.”

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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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