Shelly Anderson's Penguins chat transcript: 01.13.14

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2:29
 
Comment From The Chief 
Shelly, you just mad the 3 game Western Canada swing with the Penguins. Did you see anyone that would look good in Penguin Sweater, if so who you trading?
2:30
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Well, the Sedin twins as part of the best third line in hockey would be great. In all seriousness, I’d be lying if I said I watch Penguins games with that in mind. Not only is it just a one-game slice, but in particular on a west coast trip, deadline is far too pressing to analyze the opposing team too heavily.

2:30
 
Comment From The Chief 
Shelly lots of chatter on making the penalized player serve the full time he has earned from the infraction and/or eliminating the ability of the penalized team to ice the puck. Your thoughts on these issues?
2:31
 
Shelly Anderson: 
That’s not chatter I’ve been tuned in to. The scenarios you describe would seem to be a further attempt to produce more scoring. While increasing scoring might be a good promotional thought – and we’ve seen some changes aimed at that – I’m fine with the way things are handled now in terms of minor penalties ending if the victimized team scores and allowing penalty killers to ice the puck.
2:31
 
Comment From Tom 
Adams and Glass are offensive non-factors, they don't have the puck protection to maintain possession in the opposition end, and their defense is compromised by their lack of speed. It seems they hurt the team more than they help it. So why do they get so much icetime, even when the team is healthy?
2:34
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re hurting the team, but the fourth-liners in general are not producing at all, and it’s glaring. Craig Adams, in particular, seems to be having a tough season beyond penalty killing (and even there, a mistake by him helped lead to an overtime loss in Edmonton). With the salary cap, you’re not going to get star-quality skilled players throughout the forward lines, but you’re right that the Penguins need a little more from the fourth line.
2:34
 
Comment From Tom 
How can Orpik call out the team's defensive play when he's been the most defensively suspect on the blueline? I understand that he's the "conscience of the team", but doesn't it ring hollow when the guy who's saying the team has to play more responsibly is the same one who recently gave Evander Kane a breakaway trying a spin-o-rama at the opposition blueline?
2:36
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Brooks Orpik is keenly honest, whether he's being critical or complimentary. He's certainly including himself when he's been critical of the team. He has struggled in some games. The play you mention was several games ago, and it was ill-advised. It also was uncharacteristic of Orpik.
2:36
 
Comment From Billy Madison 
The penguins bottom six play has been uninspiring as of late, other then menga, I don't see any other players who could be real contributors as third line wingers. This is also assuming bennet is playing on the first line. Who do you see as potenial fits for the bottom six that the penguins could acquire. Personally I think Jamie McGinn would be a great pick up, not sure if he's aviable, but just an idea.
2:39
 
Shelly Anderson: 
The bottom two lines have been disappointing, but in fairness, those lines have had a pretty extreme rotation of personnel because of injuries. If the Penguins make some moves -- and that's a real possibility -- I could see them addressing the bottom-six among the forwards. I honestly have not looked at salary cap hits and checked to see what players might be available and at what price.
2:39
 
Comment From Billy Madison 
Do the penguins need to replace Adams? And Is engellend the answer?
2:41
 
Shelly Anderson: 
The feeling among reporters who are around the Penguins regularly is that coach Dan Bylsma is a Craig Adams fan. I don't see him coming out of the lineup. Deryk Engelland has actually done all right when he's played as a winger on the fourth line. He's handled it pretty well in games where he converts to defense for penalty-killing purposes. But is he a permanent answer? I doubt it.
2:41
 
Comment From Tony 
Can you explain Simon Despres sitting in the press box rather than getting a regular shift in the AHL? Do you get the sense that there's a power struggle between Bylsma and Shero over a play like Engelland and players like Bortuzzo and Despres? Do you think Bylsma feels a sense of personal triumph when he sends Tanner Glass, Craig Adams, and Brooks Orpik out to kill a 4 on 3 penalty against one of the fastest, skilled teams in the league?
2:44
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Lot of questions there. If for no other reason, Simon Despres is still around because the Penguins want to keep seven or eight healthy defensemen on the roster. He has played pretty well at times this season, but it seems as though a costly mistake here or there leads to time on the bench. Despres might be one of those players who just isn't going to get that much better playing in the AHL. By all accounts, he used his time there very well by honing the defensive side of his game.
2:44
 
Comment From Guest 
Are the Pens coaches losing patience with all the injuries to Beau Bennett?
2:45
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I highly doubt it. He's 22, was a first-round draft pick and has skill to be a top-six forward. It is frustrating that he's had injuries -- for him, too, no doubt.
2:45
 
Comment From Kirk 
Bylsma said Bennett would be out another 4 weeks which means he'll likely not play again until after the Olympic break. Do you think this will push Shero to make a trade sooner rather than later, or do you feel like he won't want to break up the family?
2:47
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Bennett is out of his cast after hand/wrist surgery and is skating, but it still limited. The original timetable was 8-10 weeks, but it’s almost been eight weeks, and now the revised timetable is four weeks. As you point out, that means it’s doubtful he will play until after the Olympic break. And now Brian Gibbons, who had been playing on the top line, is out on a week-to-week basis with an injury.
So the question becomes, how feasible is it to bring in someone who is good enough to be a top-six forward but who might be only a short-term fill-in? Doesn’t seem like a great scenario to me. A lot of the “rental players” might not be available, and particularly at an affordable price, until closer to the trade deadline, which is March 5. Lastly, and I've expressed this before, general manager Ray Shero does not do business based on emotion. Just look at the Jordan Staal trade.


2:47
 
Comment From Ross 
If this hasnt already been asked, with Joe out, who are the leading candidates for Sid's line? Could we be looking at jumbling 1st and 2nd and giving opposing coaches fits? Thanks!
2:49
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Good question. After a week of travel, I wasn't at practice today and don't know if they did line rushes that would offer any hints. Chuck Kobasew apparently is close to returning from injury, and Jayson Megna might not be far behind him. Those two offer in-house possibilities. But I don't see Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin-James Neal being broken up.
2:49
 
Comment From Ross 
Do you have any early favorites for the Olympics?
2:51
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Haven't given it deep thought yet. Most of the teams were announced during the hectic road trip. Certainly, the pressure is on Russia, and that should be one of the favorites, but I'm not familiar with the loads of KHL players on that roster. Canada, the U.S. and Sweden would be my other early picks. Not going out on a limb, I know, but, again, I haven't dived into that yet.
2:51
 
Comment From Dan 
Any idea of call ups for Caps game ? They will miss Vitale...
2:52
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Not yet. With Zach Sill available, Deryk Engelland able to play wing and perhaps Chuck Kobasew coming back -- and just one game this week -- perhaps no one will be recalled.
2:52
 
Comment From Dan 
Did it surprise you Zatzkoff got the start in Edmonton and not Calgary ?
2:54
 
Shelly Anderson: 
No, I guessed it would go that way, but I didn't think it would be shocking either way. The bigger question is, will Zatkoff get a bigger share of games after the Olympic break and into the stretch drive of the season?
2:54
 
Comment From dave 
Why do they keep using Engelland as a winger? Why not call up a true winger from WBS?
2:55
 
Shelly Anderson: 
You have to clear a roster spot to call someone up, and Engelland gives them flexibility. He can kill penalties as a defenseman in the same game as he plays winger five-on-five, and he can jump back to defense for a game or in-game if needed.
2:55
 
Comment From Drew 
Shelly, have you seen the Pens jerseys to be worn in the stadium series game with Chicago? I kind of like them, but was hoping for more of an old-school twist, what do you think?
2:56
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I saw them on budding male supermodel Chris Kunitz. I kind of like the metallic aspect. Beyond that, honestly, I don't pay a lot of attention to such things. It's all about whether the fans will buy them, isn't it?
2:56
 
Comment From dave 
When Martin and Bennett return from injury, will the team be over the salary cap?
2:57
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Really depends on how they clear roster space for those two, and who else might be hurt. They can go over the salary cap by Tomas Vokoun's cap hit and anyone else who is on long-term injured reserve, so that helps.
2:58
 
Comment From Sam 
Despite the 2-0-1 result of the Western Canada roadtrip, the Pens have been playing terrible of late. They really have to learn to hold onto the lead or at least capitalize on it. We had that Oilers game and we're lucky to have gotten a point out of that.
3:01
 
Shelly Anderson: 
If you read today's Post-Gazette, Sidney Crosby expressed the same thought. He looked beyond the results and noted that the team has better to offer, especially in terms of putting teams away when they have the chance. I thought Crosby was pretty passionate about that and seemed to be doing some soul-searching as he sat for a while at his stall after Saturday's game.
3:01
 
Comment From JamesinNYC 
Nice roadtrip to the west coast...getting 5 points out of six, I don't care if it was pretty. Actually Flames game was thanks to Fleury. Besides that give us one up and one down from the trip?
3:02
 
Shelly Anderson: 
One big down was losing a couple of leads, including a 2-0 lead, in Edmonton. You called the biggest up, the play of Marc-Andre Fleury in Calgary.
3:02
 
Comment From Bob 
There should be some concern over Bortuzzo's careless plays. He's lucky he didn't get a closer look with the hit on Giordano on Saturday.
3:04
 
Shelly Anderson: 
There's no luck involved. The NHL takes a close, hard look at hits, and particularly those that result in a match penalty. Although it looked bad and left Mark Giordano shaken up, it really was a shoulder hit, with his elbow coming up afterward. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma called it a clean hit, Calgary coach Bob Hartley pretty much dismissed it, and the NHL has not taken any action.
3:05
 
Shelly Anderson: 
OK, everyone, we had great participation. Sorry I couldn't get to the final handful of questions. Please come back next Monday

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