Phoenix coach tips his cap to Penguins' Neal, Niskanen
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett was an assistant coach in Dallas when right wing James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen entered the NHL. He isn't surprised to see the duo having success following their trade to the Penguins last season.
"There's a lot of players in this league who envy Nealer's position," Tippett said. "He's a young player that grew and comes in and gets to play with (Evgeni) Malkin. That's a great spot to be in. But the thing that makes Nealer special — there's a lot of people who get that opportunity. There's not many that take advantage of it. Nealer's taken advantage of it. He's a good player and a good person."
Tippett said the Penguins have used Niskanen perfectly.
"I don't think he's a front-line player," Tippett said. "He's a very good complementary player, just how they've used him here. The expectations, being a first-round pick in Dallas, maybe got out of whack after his early success. Sometimes change is good for a player."
> > Penguins right wing Tyler Kennedy returned to the lineup after missing one month with a high ankle sprain. He played on a line with center Joe Vitale and left wing Matt Cooke.
> > Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland did not play against Phoenix and is listed as "day-to-day" with a lower-body injury. He was replaced by Brian Strait.
> > Penguins defenseman Kris Letang visited doctors on Monday regarding the concussion symptoms he has been dealing with for the past few days. No report was given on his condition.
> > Penguins center Dustin Jeffrey was unavailable yesterday because of a 101-degree temperature that forced coach Dan Bylsma to send him home early from the morning skate.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Penguins minor league notebook: WBS players eager for possible NHL playoff call-up
- Penguins notebook: Johnston stays with team despite mother’s death
- Downie’s goal, fight spark Penguins to win over Coyotes
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Penguins’ Letang proving his worth
- Penguins notebook: Ehrhoff exits early again after hitting his head
- Penguins defensemen Letang, Martin embrace heavy workload
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina