Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar is currently skating at Penguins practice as the team is holding an optional practice at SouthPointe.
The practice started at 11:30 a.m. and Gonchar has been on the ice during the entire practice and is participating in all drills.
As i mentioned last night, the injury is an upper right leg contusion (bruise) not a MCL injury.
Scouting Report on Gonchar and Live Updates
11:45 am – Gonchar is currently working with a mock up
power play. He is taking a lot of shots, while his skating seems to be improving throughout the practice.
12:01 p.m. – Gonchar is starting to take harder strides. Based on everything I’m seeing right now, Gonchar is likely going to play tomorrow night. His lateral movement looks okay but his skating is improving throughout the practice.
A scenario I see happening is dressing seven defenseman again, with Goligoski being a healthy scratch.
Also participated in 3-on-3 down low drills. All positive signs right now.
12:05 p.m. – A total of 11 players skated today.
Gonchar, Satan, Boucher, Sykora, Goligoski, Kennedy, Godard, Dupuis, Garon, Thiessen, Gill
12:15 p.m. – Team Officials are claiming that Gonchar will be a Game Time Decision. It’s going to depend on how he responds to treatment but based on what I saw from him this afternoon, I’d have to guess were going to see him in the lineup in a power play specialist role.
12:31 p.m. – Bylsma worked on the side with Miroslav Satan for about 10 minutes early in the practice as Satan worked on shooting pucks in the slot. Strong emphasis on using a quick release.
12: 33 p.m. – Petr Sykora is still not speaking to the media. He skated today.
12:40 p.m. – Sidney Crosby was in the Facility getting some treatment on his ankle. It was swollen following the game. Crosby is fine though.
Quotes From Dan Bylsma and Sergei Gonchar
Gonchar on his playing status: “I have to wait and see how my body reacts to it. It’s going to be a game-time decision. I don’t want to say anything else. It’s too early. I’m waiting until tomorrow and then we’ll make a decision.”
Dan Bylsma on Gonchar
“He looked good out there. He’s been progressing. We knew at some point he would get back on the ice. This is the first step and we’ll see how he reacts. We’ll see on Wednesday and go from there. We’re evaluating day-by-day. Today was promising but tomorrow could totally change with swelling or something like that. It’s just day-by-day. That’s a conversation we’ll have after the morning skate and the evening time as well.”
Analysis: The way Gonchar was shooting the puck, if team doctors can keep the swelling down he is going to play tomorrow night. He was shooting the puck very well. Obviously his skating is not 100% as he struggled a bit with his lateral movement but the encouraging sign that I saw is that Gonchar’s skating was improving throughout the practice. By the end of practice he was taking much harder strides.