Jason Brough

A good sign: Crosby joins Penguins teammates for practice

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In what has to be a good sign, Sidney Crosby is practicing with his Penguins teammates today. He started out skating by himself on another rink, but apparently felt well enough to join the regular session.

He did, however, put on a yellow no-contact jersey, according to NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. So don’t expect him to play tomorrow when the Pens open their season at home against Washington.

Crosby confirmed yesterday that he suffered a concussion Friday at practice, while insisting the concussion was not sustained during the World Cup.

“It happened Friday in practice,” he told reporters. “I think the team stated it happened Friday in practice so I don’t know why there would be speculation about it happening in the World Cup. How many people were here at practice on Friday? It happened. I’m not making this up.”

He added that he was just taking things “day by day” and that he “confident and comfortable” with the “structure in place for how to get back.”

Bruins to start season without Bergeron, McQuaid and Miller

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 12: Kevan Miller #86 of the Boston Bruins shoots the puck against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on May 12, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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The Boston Bruins will have to start their season without star center Patrice Bergeron and two defensemen, Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller.

Via team press release, here’s why:

Bergeron suffered a lower-body injury and is currently being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. He will not travel with the team to Columbus. McQuaid suffered an upper-body injury and is currently being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. He will not travel with the team to Columbus.

Miller underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his left hand by Dr. Matthew Leibman at Newton-Wellesley Hospital on Tuesday, October 11. Miller’s expected recovery time is six weeks.

The B’s also play Saturday in Toronto and Monday in Winnipeg before returning home to take on New Jersey on Thursday.

Update:

The injuries to the two defenseman, Miller and McQuaid, could mean that both Brandon Carlo and Rob O’Gara make their NHL debuts Thursday against the Jackets.

The B’s also announced today that they’ve recalled forward Tim Schaller from AHL Providence.

Related: Bruins hope to rebound with help of ‘new blood’

Price (flu) expected to miss Habs’ season-opener

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on November 20, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Islanders 5-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It looks like Carey Price‘s return to regular-season action will have to wait. The Montreal Canadiens announced this morning that their star goalie has the flu and will not be traveling to Buffalo with his team for tomorrow’s game against the Sabres.

If Price cannot play, Al Montoya is expected to get the start.

Price, of course, missed most of last season with a knee injury. He hasn’t played a meaningful game for the Canadiens since Nov. 25, almost a year ago.

The Habs’ second game of the season goes Saturday in Ottawa. Their home opener comes next, Tuesday against Pittsburgh.

Update:

Bruins hope to rebound with help of ‘new blood’

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 27:  Brandon Carlo poses after being selected 37th overall by the Boston Bruins during the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 27, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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BOSTON (AP) The Boston Bruins’ plan for making the playoffs this season involves adding young talent around their veteran core.

The Bruins, who missed the postseason the past two seasons, open the regular season on Thursday on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Their lineup could feature at least three rookies: Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Rob O’Gara and forwards Danton Heinen and Austin Czarnik, who is returning from a concussion suffered last weekend, have made the opening night roster.

Having first-year players to support the group of veterans highlighted by captain Zdeno Chara, forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and goaltender Tuukka Rask advances the plan general manager Don Sweeney put forth when he took over in the summer of 2015.

“That’s kind of been the plan is to try and do a better job with drafting and then do as good a job as we can developing and then seeing where that shakes out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said Tuesday during a news conference at Warrior Ice Arena.

“This training camp we probably had a couple surprises as far as guys stepping up a little earlier than maybe we anticipated. But that’s the thing that Don expressed when we interviewed him for the position about drafting, developing, getting these guys to understand the type of hockey we want them to play.”

The Bruins supplemented their veteran core by signing forward David Backes and backup goaltender Anton Khudobin as unrestricted free agents in the offseason.

But the major story in training camp was the emergence of the inexperienced players. O’Gara, Carlo and Heinen are first-year professionals, while Czarnik is in his second year of pro hockey.

A core that’s five years removed from winning the Stanley Cup could benefit from the rookies’ talent and their energy.

“We don’t give free passes to anybody,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “When they show they can play here, we give them the opportunity. We’re patient with them just like anybody else. When they make mistakes, we understand they have less experience and that’s where you’ve got work with them.

“It’s exciting there’s new blood. I think it’s exciting for the players too, the veterans. They’ve talked about it, they really feel that those guys want to be part of this hockey club and want to blend in.”

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs also said his goal for this season is to see his team return to the playoffs.

More: Jacobs expects B’s to go ‘deep into the playoffs’

But the Bruins are still trying to strike a balance between becoming winners again and making sure they don’t mortgage their future.

“We certainly don’t want to stray away from what we think is going to build us for some long-term success,” Neely said. “We feel like we’re on the path to do this in a way that’s going to give us some success for a long period of time. You’d like it sooner rather than later and we’ve had some surprises here at this particular camp.

“Who knows where it’ll end up by the end of the year, but I certainly feel like we’ve got some good young players who are knocking on the door or a couple years away from making an impact on our club while the core is still in a position to play at the level they’re currently playing at.”

Virtanen remains with Canucks, but AHL still an option down the road

Vancouver Canucks' Jake Virtanen, left, checks Ottawa Senators' Dion Phaneuf during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Anton Rodin‘s lingering knee injury will allow winger Jake Virtanen to remain with the Vancouver Canucks to start the regular season.

But general manager Jim Benning had a warning of sorts for the 20-year-old Virtanen — if his play doesn’t meet the NHL standard, he’ll be off to Utica.

Virtanen had an up-and-down rookie season in 2015-16, scoring seven goals in 55 games. He wasn’t eligible to be sent to the AHL last year, but he is now.

At his best, Virtanen can be a physical force on the forecheck, with scoring ability to boot. It’s just a matter of doing it night after night that’s been a challenge for the sixth overall draft pick in 2014.

Rodin, meanwhile, is expected to be placed on injured reserve as he continues to rehab the major injury he suffered in January while playing in Sweden.

“The injury got aggravated and so he’s going to have to take a step back,” Benning said recently of Rodin, per the Vancouver Sun. “We’re going to give him a few days or week off here to get the swelling down, and from there just rehab so he’s a 100 per cent for us. We’re going to need him at 100 per cent.”

Benning also said today that the Canucks intend to sign winger Jack Skille, who’s with the club on a PTO, and they intend to put winger Emerson Etem on waivers after a less-than-impressive camp and preseason.

Related: There’s one ‘vision’ in Vancouver this season, and that’s winning