After today's game, Bruins goaltender Marty Turco was asked to assess the development of Penguins forward James Neal. The two were teammates for a few seasons with the Stars and Turco actually allowed Neal to live with him as a rookie in 2008-09. Today, Neal collected a goal and two assists against his former landlord.
"I was a little more than a teammate. I was more like a surrogate dad, brother. From the onset, I got to know him well. He stayed at my house when he turned pro, just to help him along the way. I had help. I went to college, I wasn't young like he was. James is a great player. When he plays with confidence and he's high stepping, uses his speed and size like he has been all season ... he's a more than effective player. He's a danger every time he's on the ice. You got to know where he's at. He's got a little different release than most guys.
He's good. He's a heck of a hockey player. I think the maturation of him here in Pittsburgh has really come full circle in terms of his total game. I think their coaching staff, in particular Dan (Bylsma), has done a great job just letting him know where to be. And you probably get more chances, that's they way the game is. You play better defensively and you're in position more often, you'll get those chances. And he gets them anyway because he has a little sneaky speed and his long reach and good stick. He likes to shoot it from anywhere.
He almost got me sleeping on one. On his assist there, I was expecting him to shoot of course. I'm sure he'd love to beat me. It's no surprise to me anyway of the year he's having and going to the all-star game. He deserved that. He's going to stay on the horse. He's a well-rounded kid."
(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)