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Insider Only Off-day news and notes: Kennedy progressing for second round return?

*The Pittsburgh Penguins had their second straight off-day as the team plays the waiting game on who will be their second round opponent.
Head coach Dan Bylsma who is now 5-0 in playoff series, met the media this morning. Bylsma indicated that the team has two or three different practice scenarios for this week and will be back on the ice Tuesday morning.
Bylsma touched base on a number of topics, including the Penguins power play unit which is clicking at 25% in the playoffs.
Bylsma has been pleased with his players using their strengths, most notably Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar.
Bylsma referenced the Penguins success on the power play over a 39 game period.
*A hot topic in Penguins headquarters was Bylsma’s decision to play Chris Conner over Ruslan Fedotenko in game 6.
Bylsma mentioned today that Conner’s speed in the neutral zone and his ability to beat guys out of the corners was a factor in getting him into the lineup for game 6 against what Bylsma considered to be a Senators defensive unit that was vulnerable against players with speed.

The way Bylsma talked today is that Conner remains ahead of Ruslan Fedotenko on the depth chart. Bylsma said he was pleased with how the Penguins 4th line played in game 6.
*Bylsma confirmed that Jordan Leopold and Tyler Kennedy skated this morning with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.
Leopold suffered a concussion in game two, missing the final four games of the Penguins first round series.
Leopold has not been cleared for contact but is slowly progressing.
The news on Tyler Kennedy is believed to be good. Kennedy does not have any serious damage to his right knee.
Assuming the next series doesn’t begin until Friday or Saturday, Kennedy could be available for the Penguins opening game.
Jordan Leopold will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis but his return maybe about a week away at the earliest.
Dan Bylsma made it clear today that Leopold will be back in the lineup when he’s healthy.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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