"Contact is the big step. It's nice to be symptom-free, but it's not as fulfilling as when you're out there (playing). I just want to make sure that I take the right steps here and get back out there soon." -- Sidney Crosby
On if Crosby could return Sunday:
Itís more in tune with how he feels as he goes through a few days of practice. Today wasnít extensive in terms of getting a lot of contact. He had some extra drills after practice with some contact. Weíll see over the next days before we decide when there might be a date.
On if the contact is similar to that used in his last comeback:
A lot of the situation is where the person is conditioning-wise. Heís been skating real hard for a number of days, if not weeks. In terms of contact, there are a couple different types of contact. Everyone feels like running into the wall is contact, but we had a couple faceoff drills where youíre in and around people. Youíre winning faceoffs. Youíre getting tossed to the ice and a little bit of D-zone coverage. He also had a 2-on-2 drill that was man-on-man bumping and puck battles in the corners. Those are different levels of contact that weíll put him through and continue to try and implement drills where he gets those types of situations where he does get contact in traffic, in the faceoff circle, taking draws and one-on-one battles. Today was Day 1 of that. Weíll see where we progress in Days 3, 4, 5, 6.
On if guys will lose focus waiting for Crosby to return:
We talked about practice and Sid being in practice with contact, that was the first time the guys on the ice knew that was coming. I donít think any more than normal with the anticipation of getting Crosby back in our lineup and what that means for our team with the playoffs 17 games away. Those questions are swirling around. You see those questions every time they talk about our team is the possibility of that happening. When that happens, itís not due to our players.
On if the coaches will give Crosby contact:
There are levels of contact in the coaching staff. I donít know which goes first or second, but Tony (Granato) is the third level of contact. That may be a part of it as we'll go along. Today you saw Todd (Reirden) jump in on the defense with only five defensemen being out there.
On balancing the games and practicing in March:
It is a challenge. Iíve tried to learn the 20-25 minute practice. Itís a challenge to get something positive, work on details of our game and still be within that smaller timeframe of 20-25 minutes. Get on with some real purpose and get off without taxing our team too much. You saw some maintenance days, thatíll be a part of it as well. We play every other day here. Next week we are in a three (games) in four (days) situation. We have that again at the end of the month. In March we play a lot of hockey games. Optionals for morning skates and still trying to get something positive from our team and what we need in those 20 minutes, thatís a big challenge. Coaches like to have more practice time and be on the ice longer. Being off the ice may be the best thing for our team at times.
Head coach Dan Bylsma had a few player updates...
"Kris Letang is feeling better, but still has some symptoms. He is feeling better though and had light exercises off the ice today. ... Going through the tests that you go through, heís feeling better and doing well. Heís still having symptoms in some areas. But he is continuing to feel better. They progressed him to light activity. He did that today. I donít quite know what that means for him in terms of timetable, short term or long term. (A concussion) hasnít been diagnosed at this point in time. Heís still having symptoms.
"Deryk Engelland is still day-to-day
"Brent Johnson joined the team for his first practice. He's still rehabbing. That does include practice for Brent.
"Jeffrey is still ill.
"Everyone else was maintenance days."
Have at it.
Again, welcome back, Lirit.
I know you'll do us proud for the GDT.
Last edited by Ugene Malkin: 03-06-2012 at 03:04 PM.
Grabo's will be lucky to score 60 points all season & is 28. Neal is going to score around 80 & just turned 24. I'm willing to bet there is a 20 point difference in their totals yet they will make the same money.
Praying for 6 million? Unless the new CBA is a lot different there is no way the Pens can afford that without Crosby retiring.
Yes, they can. There's a reason Shero has been drafting high end defensemen. It's to work them into the lineup over the next one to three years on rookie deals, which will enable him to ship out Martin and Michalek. Either that, or Staal walks as a UFA/is traded before then. No way after the Grabovski deal that Staal doesn't come in at 6M, and frankly I could see someone offering him 7M, maybe more.