Beau Bennett isn’t James Neal. Neither is Jussi Jokinen, Tanner Glass or Craig Adams.
But those are the fellows Evgeni Malkin will spend more time with now that Neal is sidelined on a “week-to-week” basis with an undisclosed upper body injury.
“I don't think a replacement or a guy next to (Malkin) should think about trying to be a James Neal,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh media. “He scores 40 and does certain things for a reason.”
Since the 2011-12 season, Neal has scored a team high 61 goals. He was also first in power play goals (27) and shots (465) and second in points (117) for that span.
Of the potential replacements at right wing, Bennett has the most upside. But the Penguins coaching staff likes the idea of the lad generating some offense on the third line to balance the attack.
Jokinen looks like a good fit on the left wing. He is a talented scorer off the rush, but he doesn’t create space and opportunities for Malkin as Neal does.