Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Coaching Staff has two different lineups in mind for playoffs: One with Sid & one without

Sidney-Crosby-Post-Game-Media-150x150 PENS STAFF WORKING OFF TWO DIFFERENT LINEUPS FOR PLAYOFFS
Sidney Crosby practiced today with the team for the first time since breaking his jaw on March 30th, and while it was another step in the right direction for Crosby, there remains uncertainty on when he will be cleared for contact and cleared to play.
Doctors on Thursday felt comfortable enough for Crosby to start practicing with his teammates but not yet to start taking contact.
“Returning is not really up to me,” Crosby said this afternoon. “I’ll just keep talking with the doctors. It’s something they have to feel comfortable with the healing. As soon as they say the word I’ll be ready to go.”
Crosby avoided contact in today’s practice and the NHL playoffs begin in four days on Tuesday, April 30th, but the Penguins will be opening up at home on Wednesday, May 1.
“There is no timetable on Sidney Crosby,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said. “There’s not a timeline on Sid and his injury right now.”
With the Penguins still not having an exact timeline in place on when Crosby will return, the coaching staff has two lineups in mind for the start of the playoffs; One with Sidney Crosby and one without, Dan Bylsma explained today.
If Crosby is not ready for the start of the playoffs, the Latest Buzz is the Penguins planning to reunite Chris Kunitz with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal on the top line, something we’re expected to see tomorrow night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“We’ve practiced and been in games with different combinations based on what could be the possibility if everyone’s in lineup and {if} everyone’s not in lineup and gone through those possibilities and will continue to do that with game tomorrow,” Bylsma said.

“So, we’re preparing for both of those type of scenarios where Sid would be in the lineup and where he wouldn’t be in the lineup. Using both practices and games as preparations for those type of situations,” Bylsma said. “We’ve kind of made a lineup with and without and what we’d do in those situations.”
The lines the Penguins used in today’s practice could very well be the lineup in Game 1 if Crosby is unable to go:
Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Jarome Ingila – Jussi Jokinen – Pascal Dupuis
Brenden Morrow – Brandon Sutter – Matt Cooke
Tanner Glass – Craig Adams – Tyler Kennedy
Meanwhile, the Penguins use of Jarome Iginla at left wing continued in today’s practice.
“He’s played a few games on the left, been good there, comfort level has grown and comfortable on both {sides} right now,” Bylsma said of Iginla. “Can possibly see him playing on both sides.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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