Healthy, Jeffrey hoping for an opportunity with Penguins
There aren't many available spots in the Penguins' lineup, but Dustin Jeffrey will happily take one.
Jeffrey, who saw portions of the past two seasons destroyed by a torn ACL that hindered him for 18 months, is finally healthy.
He's also ready to make an impact.
“When I came back last year,” Jeffrey said, “I wasn't 100 percent. Then, I had a couple of bad games, and that was it. I was a scratch.”
Jeffrey intends on turning things around this season. Precedent suggests he has an opportunity to become a reasonable NHL contributor.
During the 2010-11 season, the Penguins lost centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to season-ending injuries. This opened the door for Jeffrey, a natural center. He responded by scoring seven goals in 25 games, including a memorable overtime-winner in Boston.
Then, Jeffrey tore his ACL in Philadelphia.
“It took awhile to get it all back,” he said. “I wasn't the same for a long time.”
His decision to play in Europe during the NHL lockout has greatly altered his outlook on this season with the Penguins.
Playing in Austria, Jeffrey put up 11 goals and 23 points in 20 games with Zagreb Medvescak. The competition wasn't strong, but Jeffrey needed the work.
“It was a smart career choice,” he said. “I needed to get my confidence back. That was the big thing for me. I was able to test my knee. The league isn't what it is here, but to play in-game competition was huge for me.”
Jeffrey can play center and wing. Given that Crosby, Malkin and Brandon Sutter are penciled in as the top three centers — and Joe Vitale or Craig Adams figure to start as the fourth line center — Jeffrey will probably be used at wing.
“Doesn't matter to me,” he said. “I just want to play.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- Penguins’ Fleury surrenders 7 goals in 1 period of NHL All-Star Game loss
- Crosby, Malkin dazzle fellow All-Stars
- NHL All-Star Game notebook: Columbus, Johansen make strong showing
- All-Stars consider it a privilege to take part in game
- Fleury’s All-Star play has coincided with joy of being a father
- Fleury’s relay team struggles in NHL skills competition
- Injured Crosby, Malkin to miss NHL All-Star Game
- Penguins’ Crosby receives injection for lower-body injury
- Penguins looking to get back on track heading into the All-Star break
- Penguins limp into All-Star break, welcome chance to recuperate