Jarome Iginla came to Pittsburgh looking for a Stanley Cup. And, once he started to settle in, something else. A full-service grocery store Downtown. His prospects for winning a Cup remain to be seen, because much can happen between now and the time some team piles up 16 playoff victories. That regulation-sized grocery store? Iginla obviously hasn't been with the Penguins long enough to realize that he has a better chance of turning up a unicorn wearing hockey pants in Market Square. Brenden Morrow, acquired from Dallas a few days before Iginla came over from Calgary, knows the feeling. Sort of. He's still living in a hotel and is trying to figure out the best place to buy gasoline. That wasn't an issue when he was in Dallas, where he spent the first decade-plus of his pro career. "Things you don't really think about when you're in a city for 14 years," Morrow said. "Those are the things I'm dealing with now." Such real-life issues often make newcomers' off-the-ice transition to a new team more challenging than anything they have to adapt to on the ice, although there are significant adjustments to be made there, too. When the Penguins face Tampa Bay tonight at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Iginla and Morrow -- along with a couple of other recent arrivals, Jussi Jokinen and Douglas Murray -- still will be striving to absorb some of the finer points of coach Dan Bylsma's system, so that they can react to developments without taking a split-second to run through their mental playbook and remember their assignment. They still are getting used to the nuances of their linemates' games, too. Like learning who can be counted on to turn up in a particular part of the ice in certain situations and how the guys with whom they play tend to throw passes and how they like to receive them. But, while getting acclimated remains a work in progress, the process has accelerated. "There still are some things within the system, coverages and stuff, where you go back to your old habits," Morrow said "That's still taking time, but, as soon as it happens, I know the problems, the adjustments." Morrow had his best showing in seven games with the Penguins in the 5-3 victory Tuesday at Carolina, when he was a physical presence and scored a highlights-caliber goal in the first period, throwing a shot past Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters from near the left hash. Morrow hadn't exactly predicted that goal after the game-day skate, but made it clear he was expecting himself to start contributing more offensively. "I don't know if I've ever been looked at as a skilled player, but I've always been able to score some goals, chip in that way," he said. "I haven't done that yet, so I would think that, at some point, those will start going in for me."
Newcomers to Penguins adjusting fast while shopping for Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Apr 11