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Penguins will let injured stars take time in recoveries

Apr 18, 2013, 9:03 AM EDT

Evgeni Malkin, James Neal Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins are without forwards Sidney Crosby (jaw), Evgeni Malkin (shoulder), James Neal (concussion), and defenseman Paul Martin (thumb), but they still defeated the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

In fact, the Penguins have now won 20 of their last 22 contests despite a number of major injuries along the way. They’ve all-but secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference, so they might as well let their injured stars take their time in their respective recoveries.

“There’s benefit in playing hockey games … when you haven’t played for a stretch of games,” Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report. “But we’re talking about players who are good hockey players and can get in games and be factors in games, (and) I think they’re going to do that in their first game whenever it is; be that Game 47 (of the regular season) or Game 1 (of the playoffs).”

Bylsma used defenseman Kris Letang as an example. Letang was out for 10 of 11 contests, but didn’t miss a beat when he returned on April 11. In fact, he has a goal and four points in his last three contests (Update: A scoring change gives Letang five points in three games, according to the Penguins).

“There’s going to be no thought of rushing those players back to get an opportunity to play that game before the playoffs,” Bylsma concluded.

Meanwhile, Malkin is participating in practices while the other three continue their on-ice workouts.

  1. jpelle82 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    i dont want to see malkin or crosby in a game sweater until the first round. martin needs to be out there though, different game for a defensman and he needs to be ready for game speed going into the playoffs.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Good point…..Malkin needs to be fitted for a tighter dress.

      • columbiannecktie - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        This team is by far the most talented in the league. Here’s to a hilariously embarrassing early playoff exit.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        You flightless bird fans are a riot…….really. Fleury’s time has come and gone he is NOT the goalie he was in your cup run. Your blue line is not good enough….LeTang is a check away from going down again and the rest are too slow for the speed and grit coming out of the West……you’ll see……

      • pens5829 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Keep dreaming laxman1944. Must be tough hating and dreaming at the same time. Hating the fact that this team is extremely dangerous, yet dreaming they played in your town.

        As for you columbiannecktie, you sound like all those Flyer fans that have been hanging on last year’s playoff fluke all year? Get over it and accept it. The three new vets will never let what happened last year happen this year. Guaranteed.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        pens5829…..you better hope the new kids can keep the other classless chumps in line. Their behavior in the playoffs last year was an utter disagrace to the game and Neal/Malkin in particular were pathetic and it didn’t help that you Captain acted like a spoiled brat.

        Philly beat your club get over it………now lets see how you do in the tournament this year.

  2. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Let them sit until they feel 100% and then sit them one more game. But if they can go after that, there’s no reason to sit them any further. I understand not wanting to expose them to risk, but at the same time you will want to get things clicking before the playoffs begin.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      If your boys can play……..THAN freaking PLAY…..it’s The NHL…..

  3. r8rbhawk - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    This is why Sid should not win the Hart trophy. The pens haven’t missed a beat without him. The Hart is for the MVP, not the best player, no doubt he is the best player in the game.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      So he gets screwed because he has a good team?

      Think about it this way – rather than taking him away, put him in the place of the star on another team.

      The Isles would be a better team with Crosby than Tavares.
      The BHawks are probably equally as good with Crosby than Toews.
      The Caps are worlds better with Crosby than Ovi….

      Crosby has not only been the best player this year, but he’s been the best against the best teams. He’s averaging 1.6 points per game against playoff teams…. http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/04/16/which-of-the-nhls-top-scorers-have-struggled-against-playoff-bound-teams/#more-80136

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        Exactly…..except when they have to play Philly in the playoffs and: He, Malkin and Neal turn into complete retards and start weilding their sticks like battle axes and try to take the heads off of every Flyer that comes near them…….

      • tsi431 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        laxman1944,

        You need to look at the stats.

        Crosby has 24 points in 17 games against the Flyers in the playoffs.
        Malkin has 22 points in 17 games.
        Neal has 6 points in 6 games.

      • pens5829 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        laxman1944. That was last year and the Flyers will be golfing and fishing in a few weeks. Not to mention Crosby OWNS the Flyers. That’s why they hate him so much.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Darn…..darn…….darn…..I wish my club could have sucked a$$ for a DECADE so I could have a shot at getting Sid…..whatever man

        Hey, I know my team needs a alot of work but we got a few we will be building around so our future is looking ok.

        So what exactly happened in the 2012 playoffs then???? Where was Sid??? Oh yeah he was telling everybody how much he hated the big bad Flyers…..please.

        But that was than……..The Flyers will be on holiday soon……you’ll be dealing with the pressure that is on their collective shoulders to deliver the cup…..

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        It’s hysterical that you cling to last year’s playoffs so tightly.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Agreed

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      I have heard the “Hawks are nothing without Toews” cries and seen the “Pens are good without Crosby” pedastol, and really I’m surprised! The Hawks have clinched the damn conference, and you’re all saying the Hawks are NOTHING without Toews? That’s a great team, and well put together, and their own fans don’t believe in them…they just believe in Toews? Is everyone drinking from the same damn KoolAid bowl up there?

      Not buying it. Crosby broke his jaw a while ago – and the rest of the league has STILL not caught up to where he was. That’s amazing. Toews might be the MVP on his team – so give him a pizza party and a little medal. Crosby is the MVP of the league.

      I have no doubts that Crosby will get screwed over, even if he wins the point race (and he really shouldn’t win that, if he’s sitting out), but all the rationalizing and spiritualizing and justifying…SHEEZE!

      • r8rbhawk - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Just because I have included my fav team in my name does not mean I am advocating for Kane or Toews to win the Hart. The Blackhawks have proved that they are deep enough to win no matter who they lose. They have been without Hossa and Sharp for decent periods of time and still rattled off wins. I don’t think any Hawks player or any Pens player deserves the MVP. The MVP is the player who takes a lottery team and makes them a playoff team. Clearly the Pens and Hawks would be playoff contenders even if their best player went down. Think about teams that if their best player went down they really would not be in the hunt, that player is the one who deserves the Hart. Honestly I could not care less if a Hawk wins the Hart or even the Conn Smythe, that is, as long as they take home the Cup.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        In the last five years, which of these Hart winners took a lottery team and made it a playoff team? Ovi didn’t – not then, they were a great team at that time. These are all good teams – not lottery teams. By your explanation (and it really seems to differ from person to person!) then maybe Tavares? Bob? I’m actually ok with either of them.

        2007–08 Alexander Ovechkin
        2008–09 Alexander Ovechkin
        2009–10 Henrik Sedin
        2010–11 Corey Perry
        2011–12 Evgeni Malkin

  4. thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Smart call o Danny boy, the Cup, the Cup is calling…

    [ Quenneville should be doing the same with Sharp and others in Chicago...there is much to lose with tired hurting players gutting it out in pointless games. ]

    A healthy Penguins bunch will be tough, no doubt! Of course the Penguins may still be devoured whole by a highly motivated sleuth of Bruins…

    Eat ‘em raw!

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Sleuth 

      1. a detective. Synonyms: investigator, private investigator; private eye, gumshoe, shamus.
      2. a bloodhound, a dog used for tracking.

      Hey! Speaking of tracking, last I checked, the Bruins were tracking downward – just not as quickly as the Habs. 5-4-1 in their last 10. Pens have also played them well…but you say they’re going to be ‘highly motivated’ though, so that’s something I guess?

      No doubt, Pens vs. Bruins would be a great series – would need to watch some of the bigger thugs (er…players) on the B’s early in the series, looking to knock guys out for a while. I know…couldn’t imagine anyone on the B’s doing those things, right?

      • thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        The collective noun for a group of bears is ‘Sleuth’ or sometimes ‘Sloth’. A group of bears can be called either a Sleuth, or a Sloth.

        However, a group of Polar bears is called a ‘Celebration’…

        Something the beautiful city of Pittsburgh will not see without a healthy ready for battle Sidney Crosby, a complete collapse from any team coming out of the west, and a lavish dose of League favour on the scale of what it was provided in 2009 when Mario had us all weeping in his need to rationalize help in building a new igloo, then filling it in need to pay for the never-ending draft wins from the less crafty and more lucky Shero…?

        In the meantime, who was the fool who decided Sid should pass through puberty living under Mario’s roof to the kid’s disgrace and to the team’s eternal resentment and suspicion,

        and who was the fool who came up with Penguins when Hornets would have been apropos…?

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        I’m not sure whether it’s more appropriate to respond, or call your doctor for a refill of your meds, my friend.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        If it comes down to it that should be an excellent series…….Bruins in 7 (stronger on the blue line). And after Pitts meltdown last year they need to prove they can keep their sh*t together and not run around like a bunch of highschoolers……You listening Sid??? Keep your boys in line you ARE the leader……

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        They’ve played Boston this year, a few times….you do know that, right? After what I’ve seen lately, I do not agree that Boston is stronger on the blue line, either. Boston hasn’t been doing well, lately, either…it’s a bad time to slump, isn’t it? Out of gas, maybe?

      • thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        hockeywithdrawal: you’re clearly capable of turning on a computer and addressing its keyboard…

        Follow this link and read the article while attempting to draw parallels with behaviour often exhibited in these boards:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/23/noam-chomsky-guardian-personality

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Crafty! And I don’t disagree – point taken.

        “Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.” – Jim Butcher

        I still disagree on any conspiracy to allow the Pens to stockpile #1′s – and it should be noted that the general consensus from Hawks’ fans (all of a sudden) is that Pittsburgh doesn’t need Crosby or Malkin to win. It is also weird that fans from 29 other teams love to hate the guy, but blame him going to Pittsburgh on a conspiracy, which sounds like bitterness.

        It’s actually a really interesting article though, thanks – “Chomsky is a sarcastic, angry, soporific, scowling, sneering self-hating Jew, devoid of hope and speaking from hell, whose alpha-male brutality drives him to win at all costs, and who imposes on the world disappointingly crude and simplistic arguments to the point where he is so inconsequential that one wonders whether he has ever changed even a single thing in his 60 years of political work.” WHEW!

    • thehighcountrybear - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      hockeywithdrawal: brilliant rant, I love it…my kind of dude to be sure!

      Did I mention Noam’s my dad…?

      Best of luck to Penguins by the way…I wheeled all my bets to them during my February Vegas jaunt incidentally!

  5. nicknyhc - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Haha remember how well this “don’t rush Sid back” strategy worked out last year?

    Let the Pens sit these guys and then try to fit 4 rusty players back into a lineup in the first round of the playoffs with 3 or 4 new acquired pickups. What has Crosby played 2 games with Iginla thus far? Tons of talent on this team but I’m doubtful trying to shake things up with the lineup in the first round of the playoffs to readjust to a few players returning from injuries is gonna work out for them.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Noted.

      It’s a valid point, as obnoxious as it’s delivery was. I’d be willing to bet that IF they are ready, they’ll be in the last two. They are already practicing, not quite full speed with the team.

      Yes, I’m sure it’s very hard to get accustomed to playing with a rookie like Iginla, eh? They did seem to struggle in the Olympics, right?

      I’m pretty sure Sid had the highest point per game total in the league last year, by the way. I don’t think anyone was blaming the playoffs on Sid not coming back earlier, if that’s what you are implying (actually I don’t even think YOU know what you are implying), he played in quite a few games before the playoffs.

  6. jeffersonkostilnick - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Flyers Suck!

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      They just want to be loved….is that so wrong????

      • jeffersonkostilnick - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        Apparently so does Hartnell’s wife…

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        uh Jeffwhatevertag….such a tool….now be a good little smacked a$$ and get back in the shed…..good boy….

      • jeffersonkostilnick - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        I was just in the shed… with Hartnell’s wife. I guess I can get back in there with your wife, mother-in-law, your mom and your sister. There’s enough to go around.

      • rtrmusic - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        This laxman dude has to have set a record for most thumbs down ina day.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Only reason for a record ladies is that this is clearly a zealot flightless bird drink the juice forum…….and Jeffwhatever get off the mom shots….been in yours all night…..LOL….zing!!…you tool….

      • jeffersonkostilnick - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        @Laxman1944 how hard is it to copy and paste someone’s name? Clearly way to sophisticated for your simple mind. I’m beginning to think PHT is too complex for your simple mind and your fallacious responses.

        I know your still embarrassed about the time you walked in on Carter doing blow off your mom’s @$$ while Richards was going to town on her. It’s okay man, we’re here for you. We all saw the video. We all know your crapped your pants at the end. Its honestly okay man. We don’t think any less of you because of that. We think less of you because of your asinine posts.

        ZING.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Settle down Jeff…….

      • jeffersonkostilnick - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        Settle down? This is coming from the guy who stood outside Hartnell’s window, holding up a boombox, wearing a trench coat ala John Cusack in Say Anything.

  7. Stiller43 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Most valuable – if you take it as strictly that – could be some jagoff that never plays a game and the team sucks because of that like Peyton Manning two years ago. Was there any doubt he was the clearly the most valuable player in the NFL then? His value was never so obvious!!

    MVP should be a mix of best player and one that has a ton of value to his team. You don’t say to Tom Brady, “ehh your numbers are great with the 50 TDs and all, but you had Randy Moss and Wes Welker there…and also that one year Matt friggin Cassel had a good year with the same cast…so…its going to someone else because even though you were the best player by far, we cant say your value is unmatched…”

    Its clear Crosby is the best player and his value is also clear. They may be able to win some regular season games without him, but if you think the same will be true in the playoffs, you’re dead wrong. Crosby is your MVP.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Sergie Bobrovsky…….He should be in the discussion. For he is clearly THE most valuable player on his team. Pitt is still winning hockey games with out Sid…….just sayin

  8. Stiller43 - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Nicknyhc,

    Crosby hasnt and wont play on a line with Iginla (save for the PP)…his linemates are the average joes (Kunitz and Duper) that he turns into big names and big scorers (and also the ones that he’s played with for a couple years…AND skated with during the lockout).

    But back to the point, as soon as each guy is 100%, they should play immediately.

  9. ironman721 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I don’t think it matters. This team is steam rolling the Eastern Conference. Let them rest. Let’s go Pens🐧❗

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      Your blue line is weak and goal tending is a concern…if you are not seeing what everybody else sees….well…..see you on the course. “Hey Sid…..wake up it’s time to cut the grass”…Mario

      • pens5829 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Keep believing the garbage you type. I highly doubt anyone with actual hockey knowledge does.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        I speak the truth…..you may not like it but hey….that’s ok…..this is America baby!!! Land of the free….Home of the brave….Y’all have a good day and good luck in the tournament….Hope Sid stays healthy…no fooling on that one…

  10. myroncopesflask - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Anybody that looks at this Pens team and would even consider comparing it to last year is one of two things. They are either mouth breathing window lickers wearing Orange and Black googles or they are just plain old mouth breathing window lickers.

    The leadership that this team has added at the deadline is only comparable to what the Pens added in 91 when the got Francis. There is no chance of a melt down like last year as there are too many veterans one of which is a HOF lock that is getting his first legit chance at a cup in a long time.

    The only way the Pens to don’t make a deep run this year if they run into a crazy hot goalie or a tragedy such a plane crash/ bus accident on the way to an away game.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Talk……Talk……Talk…….put down the Pirmanti’s your stuffing your fat face with and see what happens with your “Dream Team”……LOL…..it’ll be fun to watch The flightless bird’s become the sacrificial lamb to the west coast…..assuming they make it that far.

      • myroncopesflask - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        I don’t eat that crap 1st of all. Take a look at how the Pens have faired vs West Conf teams since Disco Dan has taken over the Pens. And this includes vs the Red Wings while they were in their prime in 09 Cup.
        This is not the “Dream” Team this roster far exceeds anything any fan or GM would dream about having going into the playoffs. I understand you are a fan of another team but if you say that you would not be excited if your team looked like the Pens than you are either 14 years old and still suck your thumb, a 7 gram a day creakhead, or just plain ole stooooooopid.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Good point Sir, I am niether of the aft fore mentioned though and thinking about t it a bit more I would be excited….but the reality is its a lot of new faces on the roster. Sid is banged up and lost quite a bit of weight. And your roster is pretty banged up (be honest) sh*t I look at my teams roster and see every other guy has a concussion. Just being a tad real that is all and tell me you not worried about the first soft one Theo lets in……..

      • theageofquarrel - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Good thing you keep it real Exlax. Real stupid is as real as you get. Theo? Do you think Theo Fleury is the goalie for Pittsburgh? Yeah keep it real…real stoopid.

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        My apologies Marc-Andre…….whatever……still is not going to get it done.

        You’re very scared…….I mean look at that roster….how can you lose????

        But it’s the NHL and you never know just because it’s the Dream roster and you’ll be the talk of NBC and how you should just be handed the cup……tell that to the other teams you’ll be facing.

        Yep……you can’t help but be a little worried…..

  11. myroncopesflask - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I am not worried anout Flower one bit. The 1st step in Shero’s master plan was to aquire Vokoun and sign him 2 year deal. Vokoun has been lights out lately, in all honesty I would prefer to have starting so I’m not real worried if he has to come in to replace a delicate flower.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Playoff pressure…… especially for goal tenders…….it’s a different beast than the regular season…..

      • theageofquarrel - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        You do realize that Fleury has been to 2 SFC and winning 1. So how did that happen?

      • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        So what……….this is 2013……you don’t win cups for PAST performance.

  12. myroncopesflask - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Playoff pressure is for rookies and cream puffs… Vokoun is a part time goaltender and full time cold blooded hit man for the czech republic. He will not be impacted by simple playoff pressure like us week americans or canadians.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Well……..This is not the Czech republic either…….pressure……

      “We’re All in”….Sid

      Pressure……got to deliver the cup……The NHL world is watching……don’t screw it up

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