All parities involved remain mum on whether Sidney Crosby will be in the lineup for Game 1 of the playoffs, but the buzz in the Penguins locker room among some of Crosby’s teammates the past couple days seems to be a sense among them that Crosby is very close to playing and will play in Round 1.
“You’re talking about the best player in the world,” Winger Brenden Morrow said Saturday night about Crosby. “It’s exciting times. We’re all feeling pretty good right now.”
Crosby skated with the team Friday and Saturday and a source says Crosby is likely to get clearance for full contact this week, and doctors are said to feel he’s close as there has been no setbacks with the healing of his broken jaw. When Crosby had a checkup this past Thursday, doctors felt comfortable enough to clear him to practice with the team and he is expected to be re-evaluated prior to Wednesday’s game.
Whether Crosby gets fully cleared in time for Game 1 or Game 2 is up in the air, but there is a sense of optimism in the organization emerging that Crosby will be cleared to play at some point in Round 1.
April 30th will mark a month since Crosby had jaw surgery and the Penguins expect to open the playoffs Wednesday, May 1. The feeling from those close to the situation has been that Crosby’s recovery timetable would fall anywhere between four to seven weeks. Players normally don’t return from broken jaws that require surgery for six to eight weeks.