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PHT Morning Skate: Neal hopes to ‘do different things’ now that time’s served

Dec 19, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT

James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes a shot in the first period against the New Jersey Devils during the home opener at Consol Energy Center on October 3, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Devils 3-0.
(October 2, 2013 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

James Neal feels he “can do different things” now that he’s served his five-game suspension. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $4,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

After firing former Flames GM Jay Feaster, team president Brian Burke reached out to Boston College prospects Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold to make sure they know that they are still part of Calgary’s long-term plans. (Calgary Sun)

Questions were raised about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ toughness and the strength of their fourth line after it was revealed that Jared Boll might be done for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. (Columbus Dispatch)

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma thinks that Philip Samuelsson has “developed the most in our organization of any defenseman in the last three years.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Matt Moulson has adapted to life with the Buffalo Sabres. (

Colorado Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon talks about his experience with a concussion that sidelined him for 22 months. (CBC)

Highlights from Pittsburgh’s 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers:

  1. whiskytango333 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    All James Neal needs to do is focus on that devastating wrist shot he has and keep putting up the points. He’s entirely too valuable to be siting out because of stupid shenanigans.

  2. jasolecki - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    maybe he should learn not to be such a piece of shi*t.

    • ironyisadeadscene - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Exactly. If he wants to be a tough guy, man up….don’t knee or elbow people in the head and skate to the bench.

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        Man up to a bunch of anonymous internet commenters? How about this – he did something stupid, served his time, and most importantly no one got hurt. The NHL is a better place with Neal’s talent in it.

        He needs to remember that while most players in the NHL probably want to knee Marchand in the head, it’s not ok. Not “man up”. All that man-up BS is getting so old and stupid.

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Also – if I remember correctly, Neal was available for “manning up” the entire rest of the game…instead Boston gave him a goal and then left him alone. Game’s over, move on.

      • mgp1219 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        hockey412 –
        I guess you’re correct about this “man up” phrase. Neal would actually have to be a man to do so. He has nice hair, though.

        I hope my punctuation and grammar are correct. I wouldn’t want to offend you.

      • flyerspsu - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        ironyisadeadscene has a point, not only does Neal deliver these dirty blindside headshots, but every time he scurries to the bench right after to avoid the scrum he started and then claims he did nothing wrong when he gets called out on it

        if you remember game 3 of the Flyers series in 2012 when it was 7-4 at the end of the game, Neal delivered blindside head shots to Couturier and Giroux on back to back shifts so the Flyers challenged him, both Simmonds and Hartnell, and Neal chickened out and claimed he still did nothing wrong to them and the media after the game

        im sorry hocey412, but that is the definition of coward, he needs to man up in some way, take responsibility and admit your wrong doings or defend your actions, either one for gods sake

      • drewsylvania - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Being a cheap-shot artist makes you not a man. I’m sorry.

    • 7mantel - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Neal is a gutless puke !

  3. jasolecki - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    you make it seem as if this is the first time this scumbag has done something like this. it shoulda been neal getting his head rammed into the ice and not orpik.

    • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Hmmm, lack of punctuation, name calling, belligerent tone, bringing up goonery in a classless way…let me guess which team is “home” to you….

  4. terrier92 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Watch the NHL 36 show on James Neal. Knew nothing of the guy before I watched. Came away thinking this guy is a total DB. These shows always put guys in good light and you come away most time thinkin…nice kid. Not this time. Every time Bruins played Pens after that I would focus on Neal when he was on ice. He is a DB . Shame doesnt need to be as he has big time size and skill but you cant fix DB. lol

    BTW I am not a fan of our rat Brad either. Kid has skill but 0 class.

    • dirt2013 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      That would mean the Bruins would have to spend less time mugging Sid and Geno and I doubt they would be willing to do that.

  5. dynamitelarry - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    James Neal says he “can do different things” when we all know he’s just waiting for the next chance to cheap shot someone.

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