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Staal progressing for a likely return by the Eastern Conference Finals
Guerin sits out for second straight day
Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal took another step towards a potential return this post-season, participating fully in the Penguins optional skate this morning in Montreal.
Staal who skated for a few minutes in sweats prior to yesterday’s morning skate, was in full equipment and participated in all drills today, according to reports.
Staal skated with more authority today which was another positive sign after his brief skate on Tuesday.
The Penguins remain highly optimistic that Staal’s return to the lineup is weeks not months.
Word around the team is that Staal is progressing to the point where a return is likely within 7-to-10 days. A scenario that didn’t appear possible just days ago.
Because the injury is not to Staal’s achilles which was first speculated and reported, I’m told that team doctors believe he can play with this injury without doing any further damage. The major issue is whether he can play through the pain and that appears to be the case thus far.
Head coach Dan Bylsma continues to indicate that Staal is day-to-day. A return for this series remains unlikely and would be shocking to some but if the series drags on into next week, there’s a slight chance Staal could become available for a game 7 Wednesday night.
Penguins forward Bill Guerin did not skate for the second straight day. 13 players participated in today’s skate. Multiple team sources continue to indicate that Guerin remains bothered by sore back that has bothered him throughout the season since late January. The injury is not serious but he will go into tomorrow’s game as a game time decision once again.