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First call: James Neal struggling as he prepares to face Penguins

November 10, 2018

James Neal struggling

After the Penguins play Edmonton tonight, they travel to Calgary for a game on Thursday. They’ll see former Penguin James Neal in his new city.

The one-time Pens winger is off to a slow start with the Flames. He has just one goal and one assist in eight games. His lack of early production is starting to become a talking point already.

One thing Neal mentions in that link is that frequent line-juggling has been an issue for him in Calgary. Neal was brought into Alberta to score. He has 20-plus goals in all 10 of his NHL seasons. The Flames made a significant investment in Neal, inking him to the tune of $28 million over five years.

As of now, the Flames have managed to win five of their first eight to start the season despite Neal’s slump. That’s good for 10 points, just one behind Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead. Edmonton has played only six games and has won three.

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