Five Penguins storylines to watch
1. Disco fever
Dan Bylsma isn't on the hotseat, but his team has lost three consecutive playoff series, most recently allowing 30 goals in six games against the Flyers. He never has changed his positive approach nor his up-tempo system. Will that change in his fourth full season as head coach? To complicate matters, he now must deal with a training camp that will only last a few days.
2. Flower wilting?
Marc-Andre Fleury has been to the top of the mountain in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He also has lost three straight series and has been pulled from a playoff game in four of his past five series. No one questions his talent, nor the success he has produced. But after such a humbling performance against the Flyers — and with a talented backup in Tomas Vokoun now in town — how is Fleury's mindset?
3. The sixth forward derby
The Penguins are blessed with numerous third- and fourth-liners who produce quality work. But who will be the wingers to play alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin? James Neal, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis are locks. But one position at wing is open. Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy are the likely candidates to start the season on the top two lines. Don't be surprised if GM Ray Shero makes a deal for a scoring winger before the trade deadline. Eric Tangradi and Beau Bennett would love a crack at the top-six. But the question is, “are they ready?”
4. New guys learn on the fly
Brandon Sutter and Tanner Glass will be counted on heavily this season. Both guys will have about five training camp practices to learn Dan Bylsma's system. The good news? Glass is a Dartmouth graduate and Sutter has hockey instinct in his DNA. Perhaps learning Bylsma's system won't be so difficult for these two.
5. Solving special teams
Think special teams are important in the postseason? Two years ago, the Penguins scored only one power-play goal in a seven-game series loss against Tampa Bay. Last season, they let Philadelphia score 12 power-play goals in a six-game series loss. Special teams can make or break you in the playoffs, and Bylsma intends on giving both units a long look during this week's camp.
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.
- Starkey: Farewell to NHL fighting
- Hard-hitting Penguins veteran winger Kunitz is last of a dying breed
- Penguins notebook: Optional practice yields unusual defensemen demographic
- Penguins can’t solve Sharks’ defense in defeat
- Penguins break through, hold on for win over Wild
- Wild times for ex-Pens assistant Yeo
- Dumoulin-Lovejoy combo emerges as Penguins’ go-to defensive tandem
- Penguins’ Maatta out 3-4 weeks with upper-body injury