Morrow's value to Penguins should come in playoffs
By Josh Yohe
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013, 11:24 p.m.
Penguins winger Brenden Morrow hasn't scored yet for his new team, hasn't done anything especially flashy and hasn't received as much attention as some other new acquisitions.
Morrow isn't concerned, nor is anyone else in the organization. General manager Ray Shero brought Morrow to Pittsburgh because of what he will contribute in the playoffs.
“If we could add grit and leadership to our top nine, we wanted that element,” Shero told the Tribune-Review about the trade to acquire Morrow in exchange for former Penguins prospect Joe Morrow.
“That led us to the Morrow deal. His game is not so much about stats and goals, even though I believe he will chip in. He could be that battle-tested guy who comes up big for us in many ways.”
Shero and coach Dan Bylsma are hardly concerned by Morrow's lack of production since joining the Penguins. Rather, they see him punishing defensemen in corners and making his patented beeline toward the net and imagine the damage he will do in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The reality that Morrow possesses leadership skills that remind the front office of former right wing Bill Guerin doesn't hurt.
Morrow has delivered a team-high 15 hits during the past three games, including a number of punishing blows against the Rangers in Friday's 2-1 victory. He has been a steady, respected locker room presence from Day 1.
“He has been as advertised,” Bylsma said. “He's added some punch to our physicality. He's been a real factor.”
In the postseason, power-play opportunities and pretty goals typically decline. Dirty goals are often the difference, and Morrow figures to score his share.
“Of course, I wish I had already scored,” Morrow explained.
But he isn't the least bit concerned.
“Throughout my career,” Morrow explained, “I just do the simple things and I keep going to the net. Eventually, the hockey gods start sending the bounces my way.”
Bylsma has been quite pleased with Morrow.
“He's a straightforward player,” Bylsma said. “He gets to the forecheck, gets in front of the net, and he doesn't get far away from the net. He's been excellent there. I'm disappointed that we haven't cashed in on him being in front of the net.”
Morrow doesn't stray far from the net and doesn't figure to stray far from center Brandon Sutter and left wing Matt Cooke. If the Penguins' lineup is healthy in the playoffs — or even if it isn't — those three players figure to comprise the third line.
Bylsma wants a third line that will be physically disruptive and defensively responsible. In Sutter, Morrow and Cooke, he sees such a line.
“That's fine with me,” Morrow said. “With the depth that we have on this team, I don't really think anybody will be unhappy with who they play with. But if it's the three of us, that's fine. I think that can be a really good line.”
Scoring might not always be the priority for that line, but that doesn't mean Morrow doesn't intend on chipping in. The 34-year-old veteran has been around long enough to know that his style better translates to the postseason — and the postseason is why the Penguins acquired him.
“I feel like I'm getting to the right places to score goals and doing the right things,” Morrow said. “I haven't scored yet, but that's OK. Eventually, it's going to happen.”
Note: The Penguins have recalled winger Beau Bennett from Wilkes-Barre.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
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.
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Stempniak, Goc embrace trades to Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Kennedy struggling to find net in San Jose
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc