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Crosby Watch: Sid won’t play Thursday, will travel to Florida

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TSN’s John Lu with the latest on Sidney Crosby: No. 87 won’t be playing in Tampa Bay tomorrow but will accompany the Penguins on their trip to Florida. Pittsburgh will play two games in the Sunshine State — in Tampa on Thursday, in Florida on Saturday — before returning to the Consol Energy Center for a three-game homestand against the Islanders, Blues and Senators.

We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time speculating which game will be Crosby’s debut. Many figured last night’s game against Colorado would’ve been the one (the Avs and Pens managed to put on an exciting show without Sid, mind you) but perhaps further perspective is needed.

Here are some things we know — or think we know — about the situation:

— Pens GM Ray Shero indicated he’d prefer Crosby make his return at home.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune said the least ideal situation is for Crosby to return in a back-to-back scenario.

— The Pens don’t seem keen on making Crosby’s debut a dramatic narrative. They had opportunities to do that on Friday (home game against Dallas, best team in the West) and last night (home game, nationally televised on Versus and TSN2).

— Pittsburgh’s next back-to-back is Nov. 25 (vs. Ottawa) and Nov. 26 (at Montreal). So it’s unlikely either of those games will be the debut.

— After the three-game homestand, Pittsburgh hits the road:

Sat, Nov. 26 in Montreal
Tues, Nov. 29 in New York (Rangers)
Thurs, Dec. 1 in Washington
Sat, Dec. 3 in Carolina

Before coming back to Consol on Dec. 5 for a Monday night affair against the Bruins.

So there you have it. We hope you’ve enjoyed your daily Sidney Crosby update. Brough should be chiming in with the latest Mike Green news soon.

Rangers get good news on McDonagh, bad news on Nash

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Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.

Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.

The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.

McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).

The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.

McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.

The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.

Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.

He’ll miss at least another week.

Video: Blandisi scores great between-the-legs goal vs. Flyers

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What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.

The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.

It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.

Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.

He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).

That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.

Some Twitter reaction to the goal:

Bruins’ Bergeron ruled out for Saturday’s game against Wild

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The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).

He’s considered day-to-day at this point.

Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.

“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.

“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”

After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.

Jets will take one more crack at re-signing Andrew Ladd

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd (16) and Blake Wheeler (26) celebrate Ladd's goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press
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Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.

According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.

Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.

At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.

Can they top that? Time will tell.

Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.

Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.

Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.

The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.