Apparently 4:27 of ice time Wednesday night was just the beginning of Dan Bylsma expressing his thoughts on Eric Tangradi’s play.
Thursday morning, Tangradi found himself practicing on the fourth line with Joe Vitale and Craig Adams. Winger Tyler Kennedy moved up to the right wing on a line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
“I think just stick my game,” Kennedy said of playing on the second line after Thursday’s practice. “Skating and shooting pucks and try to get to the net. I know both of them are shooters, so I’ve got to get to the net and jam in some rebounds. … Obviously if they’re open I’m going to pass, but if I’ve got a shooting lane I’m going to shoot. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing with.”
Here are the line combinations from today’s practice:
Tangradi has been underwhelming through three games this season. He was kept on the roster out of training camp to fill a top-6 role alongside Malkin and Neal. However, he has yet to produce a single point and appears to have a lack of aggressiveness and vision.
A play from Wednesday night that highlighted Tangradi’s ineffectiveness came in the second period. Tangradi took a loose puck and carried it over the blue line only to have Malkin streak through the slot to create a 2-on-1 rush. Tangradi failed to recognize Malkin in the zone until it was too late and the rush crumbled into a blown chance.
He saw little ice time from that point forward.
Now it’s Kennedy’s turn to audition on the No. 2 line. He has been active and effective so far this season, scoring a goal and helping create another in games against Philadelphia and the New York Rangers.
Bylsma said Kennedy will get considerable time on the second unit, as may Tanner Glass.
“In different situations, you may see another player go there as well whether (we’re) up or down in the game,” Bylsma said. “Last night, we were down in the game and Tyler got inserted there as a result for a little bit more of a jump than Eric was providing. In defensive situations, Tanner Glass has been there. We would expect to probably see them both there again the next two games.”
Chris | Penguins Report
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