Sidney Crosby

Crosby skates with Kunitz-Dupuis, practices on power play


While he’s yet to officially receive medical clearance from his broken jaw, Sidney Crosby continues to look like a player prepping to get back into the lineup.

On Thursday, Crosby again participated in Pittsburgh’s practice — but this time, he skated with usual linemaes Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, a promotion from the “fifth-liners” he was skating with yesterday.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Crosby was also practicing with the first power play unit.

The Pens opened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Isles on Wednesday with a 5-0 win and won’t play again until Friday, leaving Crosby and the organization another day to update playing status.

While Wednesday’s blowout might suggest there’s no need to rush him back, the Pens did lose forward James Neal to a possible ankle injury (currently listed as lower-body) on a hit from New York defenseman Travis Hamonic.

Neal left the game and didn’t return, and didn’t participate in Thursday’s practice.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.