Penguins Notebook: Bylsma sees difference in trio
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is convinced forwards Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen and Tanner Glass have elevated their games from last season.
The reason is simple.
Sutter and Glass never had a full training camp in Bylsma's system, having joined the Penguins before the lockout-shortened season, which gave teams time for only a few days of practices before the 2013 season began. Jokinen was acquired in April, which forced him to learn a new system on the fly.
Now, the trio can receive the full education of the Penguins' system.
“It's so much nicer for us to have this camp,” Glass said. “I learned the system last year, but to have an actual training camp is very helpful.”
Bylsma has noticed the difference.
“If you've noticed their first three days of camp, they have been exceptional in their work and their speed and how they've practiced,” Bylsma said. “I see a comfort level, a confidence level and also a leadership quality to how they're practicing.”
Sutter and Jokinen, who may start the season together on the third line, already possess chemistry because they played on the same line in Carolina. Still, they said there is more of a comfort level this season.
“Honestly, just to have a full camp is kind of a good feeling,” Sutter said. “Last year was such a short camp, it didn't really feel like a camp at all.”
Jokinen said he learned the system early enough that he didn't feel out of place in the postseason but likes having camp to further familiarize himself.
“It's little stuff,” he said. “From the breakouts to stuff the forwards work on, even to getting to know the guys better. For guys like us, this camp is important.”
The Penguins begin the home portion of their preseason schedule Monday against the Red Wings, who will become more frequent visitors to Consol Energy Center. Detroit, along with Columbus, has shifted to the Eastern Conference.
This season will see the Penguins host the Red Wings once and visit Joe Louis Arena twice. Detroit will play at Consol Energy Center twice next season.
Sid to play Monday
Players who did not participate in Sunday's game in Columbus did not make the trip but instead worked out Sunday afternoon at Consol Energy Center. Many of those players — including Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and former first-round pick Olli Maatta — will be in the lineup against Detroit.