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Pens Push: Latest on Crosby, Kennedy updates status, and lines from practice.

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A quick update after the Penguins returned to practice Wednesday at Consol Energy Center:

= C Sidney Crosby did not speak, but coach Dan Bylsma reiterated there is “no timetable, no date” set for his return to NHL games. Crosby appeared irritated at a group of reporters, which included representatives from national outlets such as TSN and ESPN, gathered at his locker stall waiting for him to address his status. Later, though, he jovially chatted up a couple of the national reporters.

His sense of irritation, presumably, is the on-going speculation about when he will return from a concussion that has kept him from playing since Jan. 5. A lot of people, fans included, have pinpointed Friday as his return.

Crosby, speaking on that very topic Monday, did not dismiss the possibility of a Friday return. However, having been involved in that interview session, I can offer that he was in no way suggesting that a Friday return was likely.

Also, the moves made Tuesday by the Penguins, which included the rehab assignment of C Dustin Jeffrey and the trade of C Mark Letestu, sparked instant social-media speculation that Crosby was set to return Friday.

Speaking specifically about the Letestu trade, GM Ray Shero said Tuesday night that it “has nothing to do with Sid.”

Again, for those who missed it, the only thing I’ve heard from people close to this situation is that the least ideal situation if for Crosby to return in a back-to-back games situation. The Penguins play at home Friday against Dallas and at Carolina on Saturday.

Crosby may not speak publicly – to the media, basically – until there is an update on his status, a senior member of Shero’s hockey operations staff said today.

= Bylsma said D Ben Lovejoy (wrist) will miss at least six weeks then be re-evaluated after his casting is removed. That is a tough blow for the Penguins, who are also down D Zbynek Michalek (finger) for a least a couple of weeks. Lovejoy was injured last Thursday at San Jose.

= RW Tyler Kennedy worked practice on a line with C Jordan Staal and LW Chris Kunitz. Kennedy said a return for games this weekend is unlikely. He is out with a concussion.

“I’m still trying to get in a little bit better shape,” Kennedy said, adding that he is symptom free. “Your brain is the most important thing in your body and you’ve got to take everything more serious, take more precautions.

“I didn’t do much at all, just sat around. You always say it’s a mental battle when you get hurt, and with a concussion it definitely is.”

= LW Steve Sullivan playfully withheld details of the club’s two-day bonding trip, but he did note that it included players’ wives and significant others.

“You get to learn a lot from the guys… a little more about the person, something that you would just learn over time being on a lot of road trips,” he said. “It just kind of crams it into a 24-hour period.

“We’ve been on the road so much at the start of the year that it just kind of magnified what I already knew of the guys. This is a really close-knit group. There is a lot of leadership here. I got to see it just a little bit more.”

= Lines and defense pairings, for those who care:

Cooke-Crosby-Dupuis/Sullivan-Malkin-Neal/Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy/Asham-Vitale-Adams-Park/Martin-Letang/Orpik-Engelland/Niskanen-Picard

 

Cheers,

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Comments

  1. sabu says says:

    Why doesnt the media just leave Sid alone? The guy will be back when he’s ready. Im sure there will be plenty of heads up before it happens. Meantime, give the guy a break

  2. Skip says:

    So does Sid have a significant other?

  3. sjb says:

    So he’s healthy enough for contact and has been for weeks, has been participating in team practices for months and must realize at this point he’s not going to get any real contact until he actually plays a game? I say if he doesn’t play Friday already, he shouldn’t play at all.

    Exactly what sign from God or the doctors is he waiting for to get back out there? Enough already. If he’s gonna play, play already. If he still has some lingering symptoms, he should be up front about it, let everyone know why and what it is, or go home.

  4. tomas says:

    When will Crosby come back? When he gets angry enough about not playing or gets over the anxiety he might have about the potential for setback in a real live game.

  5. Frank says:

    It’s not his or the Penguins fault the media and fans jump to conclusions. This entire week was a perfect example of people making assumptions. Many automatically assumed the five days off and a home against the Stars was a good time for him to return and they ran with it. Meanwhile, Crosby’s camp never stated or even hinted that Crosby would return this Friday.

    It’s a fairly simple concept…

    If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. If he doesn’t feel like he’s 100% ready to go and his doctors agree, then he shouldn’t play. Why rush him back? Better yet, why rush him back when we are playing exceptionally well? People need to chill out and have some patience. Quite frankly, I don’t need him to give me day-to-day or second-by-second updates on how he’s feeling. When he’s ready to play, he will play. Until then, I will continue to thoroughly enjoy watching this team win games and hold down the fort.

    If some don’t like it, go watch the Capitals or Flyers.

  6. Pat says:

    His first practice with real contact was on Wednesday? People really think they’re going to evaluated him for two days and automatically assume he’d be perfectly fine to continue playing? He’s waited months, they’re going to examine him for a lot longer than a day or two after he gets hit to see how he responds. Coming back by Thanksgiving might even be optimistic.

  7. JZ says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is upset. Name me one person from the Pens organIzation that said we are planning for Sid to be back in the line up on Nov 11. Bet you cant find one.

    Its been all media speculation since he was cleared for contact.

    Now with that beig said, and given the history of this great organIzation. I would expect Sid to be back on Nov 21st, as that is the start of a 3 game homestand.

  8. go Irish says:

    We all know Sid’s desire to compete.

    We all know they have proven to be a playoff caliber team without him

    We all should enjoy the team that almost left knowing that if and when Sid returns this year,things are only going to get better!

 
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