It was a very productive day for Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Crosby went through a rigorous on-ice individual workout with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar in the 9:30-10:30 a.m. hour than participated fully in today’s practice.
Crosby was a full participant, participating in every drill, skating on the 5th line with Mike Comrie and Eric Godard, and even taking some reps on the 2nd power play unit during 5-on-3 situations.
Crosby looked tremendous on the ice but the Penguins remain cautious and are downplaying his progress.
“There is no change in Sidney Crosby’s status, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said today following practice. “The fact that he’s practicing with the team has not changed his progression. He’s not been able to progress to the next point yet.
“In terms of it being a full practice, he’s not participating in the contact portion of the drills. The players are aware of that and know to stay away from him in practice, ” Bylsma said.
The Penguins had an uptempo practice with some “bumping” going on during line rushes and such but there wasn’t any real contact in the skate. However, Crosby did not sit out any of the drills today.
The way Crosby participated in today’s practice was different than his past skates with the team.
If there was no early word from Penguin officials that Crosby hasn’t been cleared for contact, you wouldn’t have known based on his participation in the skate.
There is some chatter that he could still be a possibility for this series, at somepoint mid-or-late next week. I still wouldn’t rule that out at this point.
Whether he gets clearance to take that next “step” in the next couple days will dictate his availability following the first handful of games.