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Sutter to play with Crosby and Kunitz versus Caps

Jan 15, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

Brandon Sutter AP

Sidney Crosby will have another new linemate tonight when the Penguins host the Capitals.

This time it’s Brandon Sutter, normally Pittsburgh’s third-line center, who will play on the right side with Crosby and Chris Kunitz. That job formerly belonged to Pascal Dupuis before he was lost for what’s likely to be the rest of the season.

Per NHL.com, Sutter will be the fifth right-winger to try out on the Pens’ top line in the last nine games.

“I think it’s obviously a new look,” Crosby said. “Given the situation, the circumstances here, we have a lot of guys playing different roles. We have to find a way. [Sutter] is a smart player and I’m sure he’ll find a way to adjust.”

Nick Drazenovic is expected to take Sutter’s 3C spot.

None of this will help quell the speculation that general manager Ray Shero will try to land a replacement for Dupuis before the March 5 deadline. If Sutter finds some chemistry on the top line, maybe Shero goes out and gets another third-line center (we mentioned Olli Jokinen‘s name yesterday on PHT Extra, though that’s pure speculation with regards to the Pens), instead of a top-six winger.

  1. c9castine - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    i can guarantee you sutter won’t be vacating the 3rd line center spot longer than he has to.

    as much as they want Bennett to play with crosby and kunitz, i feel like they ultimately will have him and megna playing 3rd line duty with Sutter (when healthy) and put a more seasoned top 6 guy up there for the playoffs.

  2. csilojohnson - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    I agree. Kind of.
    Everyone they have put on that line has had some lvl of success. Without time to gel. Based on that.
    I see it being more vital to fill a third line spot. Maybe more important to team to get a good fit their. Which Sutter is…. Hard to say. Probably come down to who is available for what price.

    • c9castine - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      i agree its not that he wouldn’t succeed. but if you want to win a cup you have to play roughly 25 or so really hard grinding games under a lot of pressure.

      it may not be a good idea to hang all that on a guy who at the end of the day has only played like 35 NHL games. thats just reality.

      i think it would be a mistake to get a 3rd liner when you have a really good group of them already when healthy. with dupuis going down however, the hole is now a veteran top 6 winger.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      at first glance, I wondered what the M in “M of success” stood for.

  3. jaybaileys - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Bennett may be a first liner someday but right now Beau don’t know how to stay healthy. Shero needs to get a solid veteran forward in the mold of Guerin, who that is I’m not sure but pinning hopes on BB to stick there and stay healthy I think are a long shot.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      ryan smyth maybe?

  4. rushledger - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Good for Sutter he has talent and is more than just a third line center.

    • basedrum777 - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      As you’ll recall a 3rd line center on the Pens the last few years hasn’t been a 3rd line center.

  5. hockey412 - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Clearly this is just a reward for his full frontal nudity stunt after last game. Bravo.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      “We think you have the balls, nay, we KNOW you have the balls to play on one of the top lines in hockey.”

      • hockey412 - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        hahahahaha well played. In an age where everyone is going with composite sticks, it’s nice to see Sutter is sticking with wood.

  6. hazlydose - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Its not because they are trying to find a RW for Sid. Its because our bottom two lines have officially become a mediocre AHL team due to the injuries.

  7. basedrum777 - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Two points: I think its funny that we could put an AHL player on that line and it probably still the best front line in hockey.
    Second, can we please get someone on this team who can punch people in the face for roughing up crosby? We need a Jaque Laroque type of guy. Just to intimidate. Seriously.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      they aren’t the best top line BEFORE Sutter. thoughts on Getz/Perry?

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