BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek has always been among the NHL's most tantalizingly talented players.
This season, he has played with a consistency that has never been his hallmark.
Vanek will enter Sunday's game against the Penguins as the NHL's leading scorer with 23 points.
“Vanek has started off extremely hot,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “It's not something new. He's a dangerous player, a skilled player. He can make plays, score goals.”
Bylsma said that any reputation Vanek has garnered for merely being a perimeter player is unwarranted.
“He doesn't have the reputation for doing it inside, but he is good at the net,” Bylsma said. “He's a dangerous guy that you have to watch.”
Marc-Andre Fleury has played in six of the Penguins' past eight games and might continue seeing a heavier workload.
Fleury played a terrific game in Winnipeg, and given that the Penguins' schedule isn't quite as busy as it was in January, Bylsma might alter his plans and let his starter play more than planned.
“The first two weeks were easy to map out,” said Bylsma, explaining that back-to-back games made splitting responsibilities between Fleury and backup Tomas Vokoun easier.
“Right now, there's a little more flexibility. We've certainly got it mapped out. But you see that Flower has played two really strong games in a row. You do look at that.”
Penguins radio broadcaster Mike Lange asked Bylsma if Craig Adams' two-goal performance in Winnipeg was a “Dan Bylsma” kind of game.
Bylsma's skills as a player were similar to Adams' during the former's playing days, but Bylsma waved off the suggestion.
“Any time somebody gets two goals,” Bylsma said, “it takes a Dan Bylsma game out of the story.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
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.