The Penguins went through an intensified practice today at Southpointe and Sidney Crosby was a full participant in it and skating like a player who knows he’s close to returning to the lineup.
Crosby indicated after practice that there is no change in his status and he will be seeing the doctor tomorrow where he will learn at the visit if he has clearance to play Wednesday Night in Game 1. Even if Crosby isn’t cleared for game 1, the chances are strong of him playing at somepoint in round 1.
“I don’t have any control over it,” Crosby said of tomorrow’s upcoming visit. Crosby mentioned he is physically ready to play and is just waiting for the okay from the doctors.
Crosby in today’s practice was skating with more intensity than he was in Friday’s skate and even participated in some contact drills, most notably a 2-on-2 down low drill where he took some minor bumps (no contact up high) from defensemen. Crosby and Jarome Iginla worked together in this drill and on one situation Crosby made a great feed in front to setup Iginla for a goal against Marc Andre Fleury.
During line rushes, Crosby skated on a spare line with Beau Bennett and Dustin Jeffrey/Joe Vitale.
He was asked after practice if he preferred to play with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis when he returns to the lineup.
“We’re pretty comfortable together,” Crosby said of playing with Kunitz and Dupuis. “So, I think it will make for easier transition. Most comfort with those guys.”
Crosby later mentioned he will just be happy to be playing again regardless of who’s on his line. “When I’m able to come back I’ll be happy to play with whoever it is,” Crosby said.