COLUMBUS, Ohio – Might the Penguins MVP not be Sidney Crosby?
Well, a case could be made for James Neal, who is turning out goals at an impressive rate when he’s not injured or suspended.
Neal has 14 goals in 21 games. Over 82, that would make for 55 goals. He also has 30 points, which would be a full-season pace for 117.
Consider that Evgeni Malkin has never posted that many in a full season.
Neal is getting his shot off often this season, something that coach Dan Bylsma figured would happen from the earliest of days in training camp.
“I’m not sure where or why I thought James (Neal) was going to have a breakout year – I’m not sure it would be a breakout year because he’s got 40 (before),” Bylsma said.
“The first time we saw him in preseason, in this building, it was, like, ‘It’s too bad it was a preseason game,’ because it was an unbelievable performance in what he can do with his shot, getting open and shooting the puck.”
Neal’s most impressive stat this season is simply to understand.
He has played in 12 road games. He has that many goals in them.
Rob Rossi, ClearChannel’s Penguins Insider, cover the NHL for Trib Total Media. In addition to this blog, his articles can be found here: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/