Penguins notebook: Despres could see more time on 'D' with Letang
The Penguins were 12-4 with defenseman Simon Despres in the lineup entering Monday's game against Tampa Bay.
Despres has recorded six points in 16 games and entered the game leading all Penguins defensemen with a plus-8 rating.
Given those numbers — and coach Dan Bylsma's assessment of Despres' recent play — the youngster's days of being a healthy scratch might end. And he might start seeing more time with defenseman Kris Letang.
Bylsma said Despres' performance Saturday in Montreal may have been his best in the NHL. Despres set up center Brandon Sutter's overtime game-winner, was sound defensively and continued his trend of playing a more physical game.
Despres and Letang played together at times during the first six weeks of the season.
Seeing the ups and downs of Despres' first lengthy stint in the NHL reminds Bylsma of a young Letang.
“It was really helpful for Simon to play with Kris,” Bylsma said.
• Defenseman Paul Martin remains out with an injury that Bylsma called “day-to-day.” There is a chance that Martin could return to the lineup when the Penguins play Thursday in Philadelphia.
• Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was incensed with officials early in the third period when a blindside hit from Tampa Bay captain Vinny Lecavalier was not penalized. Lecavalier said the hit was essentially an accident. “I saw him at the last second,” Lecavalier said. “I was going for the puck. It was kind of a collision. He didn't see me. I didn't see him. It was a heavy hit or both of us. We kind of surprised each other, I think.”
• Don't expect left wing Beau Bennett to remain in Wilkes-Barre. In fact, he will probably be back with the Penguins by Tuesday. The organization sent Bennett to the AHL on Monday, but it was a procedural move. Right wing Zach Boychuk was placed on waivers on the same day that center Evgeni Malkin was activated. Because Boychuk's status was unknown Monday afternoon, the team needed to clear a roster spot.
• Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, wingers James Neal, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, and defenseman Deryk Engelland welcomed Monday's student rush line with pizza. Bylsma joined his players by greeting fans who waited for 500 available tickets.
• Former Penguins left wing Ryan Malone remained out of Tampa Bay's lineup with a lower-body injury. He is expected to return within a week.
— Josh Yohe
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.
- Penguins centermen enjoying better faceoff success rate this season
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Hard-hitting Penguins veteran winger Kunitz is last of a dying breed
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis’ intangibles provide 1st-line value
- Pens’ Pouliot cited for public drunkenness
- Rossi: Just like old times for Penguins’ Crosby, Malkin
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues