Awesome news so far coming out of the Pittsburgh Penguins training. Captain Sidney Crosby skated at “full exertion” for the fourth straight day and has so far reported no setbacks or recurring symptoms.
Sid skated for about 75 minutes today, participating in team drills which don’t involve contact.
The biggest positive in this case is Sid’s ability to successfully integrate the “motions of 20+ other players” simultaneously playing on the same ice, and not come away with headaches, as he did when he tried to return to the ice last postseason.
– Richard Park seems to be the front runner for the Penguins’ final forward spot at the moment. He’s really impressing the coaches, and the team thus far seems to believe he can contribute as a fourth-line center and penalty killer.
– Center Dustin Jeffrey is still a few weeks away from being in game shape. He may end up sitting out the entire preseason and quite possible a few games to open the regular season.
– Winger Steve Sullivan was left practice today with groin tightness. Sullivan has a colorful injury history so the move was likely just precautionary and the injury is probably not serious.
– Head coach Dan Bylsma stated that defenseman Ben Lovejoy is “on another level” compared to last season, but that Matt Niskanen and Deryk Engelland are also having good camps.
The Penguins open up preseason play tomorrow night at the Consol Engergy Center against the Detroit Red Wings at 7PM.
Bylsma said the team will split into two different squads for their first two preseason games, with one squad playing game one against Detroit and the other playing the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. No player will play both games.