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At the Rink blog

Tangradi earned way back to Pittsburgh

Friday, 11.11.2011 / 4:07 PM

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Tangradi earned way back to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- Even with Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy sitting out with concussions and Evgeni Malkin missing seven games with knee soreness, the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't recall top forward prospect Eric Tangradi.
 
Tangradi didn't take it as a slight, however, just as he didn't when he was one of the first players cut during training camp. He didn't speak out. He just kept producing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), with 7 goals and 5 assists in 12 games.
 
That steady production led the Penguins to call up Tangradi for their game Friday against the Stars, even though they could have recalled Dustin Jeffrey or Steve MacIntyre, who are in Wilkes-Barre on conditioning assignments.
 
"I don't think I need to do anything different," said Tangradi, who has 1 goal and 2 assists in 16 NHL games the last two seasons. "I'm here for a reason. I'm here to play my game and not worry about anything else. Not be too nervous, not do more than I'm capable of doing and just play my game."
 
Coach Dan Bylsma said Tangradi is up for a reason.
 
"Eric's game has really come on strong the last eight games or so with Wilkes-Barre," Bylsma said. "He's playing strong down low. He's protecting the puck. He's been a physical presence. He's really improved his puck management in the neutral zone. That's something that he's been inconsistent on in the past. We're looking for him to continue that and be a force in the offensive zone, hold on to the puck, get to the net."
 
And show why he is Pittsburgh's top prospect.

Quote of the Day

It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.

— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday