Post-Morning Skate Updates
— Evgeni Malkin returns to the lineup tonight and he said that he “hopes to play well” and indicated that he’s healthy. “Knee is 100% ready, ” Malkin said. The Penguins were 4-1 without Malkin. Malkin will center Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis on the top line tonight.
The Penguins have to get him going heading into the stretch run.
— Chris Conner was the extra forward in the morning skate during line rushes and was the odd-man out…. but Eric Godard was the last player on the ice with defenseman Ben Lovejoy going through on-ice workouts with coach Todd Reirden that the scratches go through as everyone else whose scheduled to play has already exited the ice.
— Knee surgery for Mark Letestu is not yet scheduled, Dan Bylsma said this morning. Letestu is expected to miss 4-6 weeks but the surgery can’t be scheduled until the swelling goes down.
— Sidney Crosby is back home visiting his parents and Dan Bylsma saw this week as a good opportunity for him to take his mind off of hockey. “I think if you see Sid around the rink he’s still thinking about hockey maybe more now and looking at games, this was opportunity to kind of take a step back from that, ” Bylsma said.
— Head coach Dan Bylsma predicted a Steelers win in the AFC Championship game and gave his take on the Super Bowl XLV.
Bylsma said special teams will be key again but did say if the Packers can spread the Steelers out, it’s going to cause Pittsburgh problems.
However, Bylsma pointed that the Steelers group of playmakers will be the difference and of course predicted a Steelers win.
Bylsma predicted Pittsburgh 27 – Green Bay 24 in Super Bowl XLV.
— How about this, the Islanders just announced that goaltender Rick Dipietro will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks due to facial fractures, steeming from his fight with Brent Johnson.