With the Penguins losing a couple of veterans in Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz to injuries, some have wondered if left winger Carl Hagelin would see a bigger role over the next few weeks, including time on the man advantage. As head coach Mike Sullivan told Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune, that’s not likely to be the case:
“We’re trying to cast guys in certain roles on the team for a number of reasons, so we can spread the minutes appropriately, so we don’t overtax guys in certain situations where they don’t have the ability to sustain success.”
In Hagelin’s case, he’s a key member of their penalty kill and evidently Sullivan is worried that asking him to play meaningful minutes on both special teams units may take away from his ability to play shorthanded.
One forward who could make a push for some time with the man advantage is Jake Guentzel, who had quite the NHL debut on Monday night, scoring twice in the first period. He played with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, a pretty good pair to play with at any time.
[Related: Penguins Depth Chart]
More from the Metropolitan Division:
- With Lars Eller (upper body injury) out of the lineup, Capitals rookie winger Zach Sanford is being shifted back to the middle, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. While that is his natural position, the Caps had been playing him exclusively on the left wing this season in an effort to ease him into the pro game. He has just one assist in 16 games so far this year but head coach Barry Trotz isn’t worried about his lack of production, particularly since he has spent a lot of time this season on the fourth line.
- After a quality rookie season, Rangers center Oscar Lindberg’s sophomore campaign hasn’t exactly gone as planned. He has played in just eight games this year and has spent time as a healthy scratch. As Newsday’s Steve Zipay writes, New York is being cautious and patient with Lindberg as offseason hip surgery cost him his offseason training as well as training camp. Although he isn’t playing much (which could change with Mika Zibanejad’s injury), the AHL isn’t an option as Lindberg is waiver eligible.