Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Bylsma: Neal needs to learn from Marchand hit

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 29, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Getty Images

In retrospect, Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal realizes that kneeing Brad Marchand in the head wasn’t too bright.

What compounds it though, and what might have contributed to his suspension being five games, is the fact that this isn’t Neal’s first run-in with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Prior to this incident, he had previously been suspended twice before.

That’s a cause for concern for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“There needs to be some education there,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There needs to be some learning in how he needs to play the game and how he can play the game.”

Bylsma has already talked to Neal at length about the incident and it seems likely the subject will be brought up again.

For his part, Neal acknowledges that in addition to it not being his “smartest decision,” he hurt the Penguins with his actions by removing himself from the lineup.

“He’s a 40-goal scorer and has to be able to play that way without crossing that line,” Bylsma said.

Follow @RyanDadoun