Penguins notebook: Sutter gets shot on top line
Brandon Sutter has had a lot of linemates this season, ranging from competent NHL third liners to AHL veterans and journeymen the Penguins since have put on waivers.
But he hasn't complained about his situation.
Sutter was placed at right wing on the top line, alongside center Sidney Crosby and left wing Chris Kunitz, for the Penguins' showdown with Washington.
“I didn't think these would be my next two linemates,” Sutter said, having trouble hiding his smile. “But I'm hoping it goes well.”
Sutter has been a center since entering the NHL with Carolina in 2008. In fact, before Wednesday's switch, he hadn't played wing since his second season in the WHL while playing for Red Deer.
He minimized the positional switch.
“It's still the same defensive game we've all been playing structurally,” Sutter said. “Hopefully I can get a feel for it in the first couple of shifts.”
Should the Penguins ever get healthy, he figures to return to his customary spot at center on the third line. Many layers the Penguins normally would have for the right wing alongside Crosby — namely Pascal Dupuis, Beau Bennett and Brian Gibbons — are injured.
Sutter plans on making the most of the opportunity, no matter how long it lasts.
“I don't think too many people would complain about it,” he said. “It should be pretty cool. I'm actually looking forward to the opportunity. I don't know what the plan is going forward, but I'm hoping to get out there and have some fun.”
Another new guy
Right wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond — better known as PL3 in Wilkes-Barre — was recalled and suited up against the Capitals.
He isn't known for superb offensive play; he has zero goals in 40 career NHL games. However, Letourneau-Leblond is one of the most physical players in the Penguins organization and played on the fourth line with a couple of other physical players, center Zach Sill and defenseman/right wing Deryk Engelland, against the Capitals.
“I want to help out any way I can,” he said.
Neal misses game
Right wing James Neal didn't play against the Capitals on Wednesday. Neal was injured Friday against Edmonton but managed to play through the injury against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
He did not practice Monday or Tuesday but participated in Wednesday's morning skate. He hinted afterward that he was hoping to play against Washington.
The Penguins don't play again until Monday against Florida.
Around the boards
Washington dressed goalies Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby against the Penguins, making the rookie who has been their best goalie this season, Philipp Grubauer, a healthy scratch. Grubauer entered the game with a 2.06 GAA and a .936 save percentage. … Defenseman Simon Despres, who did not impress coaches with his performance in last week's 5-4 victory in Vancouver, was a healthy scratch for a third consecutive game.
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 notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together
- Penguins defenseman Oleksy brings nasty streak, toughness
- Ex-Penguin Kennedy skates with former teammates, hopes to catch on with a team
- Gonchar signs tryout contract with Penguins