CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa — The Penguins won a pair of Stanley Cups with Matt Cullen, a fourth line center who produced over 30 points in both 2016 and 2017. Last season, the Penguins fourth line center, Carter Rowney scored five points in 44 games. Five. And so it should surprise no one the Penguins overloaded with depth, especially at center this offseason. And now the fruits of that depth could bear a fourth line capable of significant offensive production with the return of Cullen and the arrival of Daniel Sprong. Or Zach Aston-Reese.
At practice Tuesday, the Penguins rolled out lines which look suspiciously like those which could start on opening night.
“(The fourth line) is a spot you have to be ready for anything,” said Cullen.
Cullen took the left wing, while Riley Sheahan centered and Daniel Sprong was on the right.
“Nowadays, the way the game is played, (the fourth line) is about generating offense, playing in the other team’s end and creating momentum with every shift you get,” Cullen said. “The way our team plays, if you don’t have that (goal scoring) mentality, you’re going to be flat-footed and not effective in our system.”