Tuesday’s Camp Tidbits
*Penguins captain Sidney Crosby went through another hard full exertion practice on Tuesday, skating for over 75 minutes. Crosby has participated in four straight on-ice sessions and he continues to look strong on the ice and has yet to have any kind of setback or symptoms thus far, since camp opened on Saturday.
While Crosby is feeling good on the ice, there has yet to be any discussions with team doctors about integrating contact but if things continue on the upswing as they are, integrating light contact could come a lot sooner than many expected just a few weeks ago.
A big key for Crosby so far has been getting through strenuous skates and dealing with the motions of 20+ other players on the ice. Something he had troubles with for several months, up until now.
Today’s skate had a strong focus on 5-on-5 play and Crosby took line rushes with Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy. Crosby replaced Steve Sullivan on the unit, who wasn’t able to give it a go due to guess what…groin tightness
*Ryan Craig got a look in today’s scrimmage as the 4th line center with Craig Adams and Arron Asham. The line combined for two goals. Craig scored in the second period and Arron Asham scored a beautiful one-timer goal just a few minutes later.
Craig played well but he has tough sledding to win the 4th line center spot.
Richard Park goes into the preseason as the front runner for the 4th line center spot and extra forward spot for when Sidney Crosby returns. The Penguins really like what he brings to the table.
*Don’t look for Dustin Jeffrey to play in the preseason until next week at the earliest. Saturday was a big outside chance and it’s likely not happening.
Jeffrey did not skate today and despite optimism from the team that he will be ready for the season, I have my doubts and get the sense that it’s going to take Jeffrey another 3-to-4 weeks to get back to full strength and in game shape.
*The Penguins like enforcer Steve MacIntyre a lot more than I thought they did from the standpoint of the team wanting to keep an enforcer on the roster, which I’m told they do. I wouldn’t write him off as the team has the cap space to carry 14 forwards, unlike previous seasons.