Penguins Notebook: Team won't give daily updates on Crosby


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As of Thursday afternoon, Penguins center and NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby had not had a follow-up test to evaluate his concussion.

That was the only word coming from the team -- and it might be the one of the rare times any word comes from the Penguins until Crosby's recovery is further along.

"We're not going to give daily updates on Sidney Crosby," coach Dan Bylsma said after an optional practice at Southpointe.

"As we've stated, he needs to be symptom-free to move forward.... When there's an update, we'll give that to you."

Bylsma indicated Wednesday that Crosby would be tested again this week. Crosby has not skated and, apparently, has not worked out since he was diagnosed with a mild concussion Jan. 6.

The Penguins, who play Saturday at Boston, are 1-2-1 without Crosby, who leads the NHL with 66 points in 41 games.

Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos, with 31 goals, has moved to within a goal of Crosby's league-leading 32.

Staal a contender

With Crosby out and center Jordan Staal rounding into shape after playing his first six games of the season, Staal has picked up power-play time lately, including with the first unit. He got his first three points during the 5-2 win Wednesday at Montreal -- a goal and two assists, all on the power play.

With his big body, Staal had been penciled in to be a contender for the top power-play man positioned at the front of the net before foot and hand injuries wiped out the first half of his season.

"Now that he's back, he's still vying for that position in front of the net," Bylsma said.

"He gets more playing time there because Sid's not there, but he's also a guy who's been challenged to get to the front of the net on our power play, and he did that [Wednesday] night."

And when Crosby rejoins the power play?

"[Staal] is a guy who would be vying for the net-front position with Chris Kunitz," Bylsma said.

Just for a laugh

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was not trying to show up the Canadiens, or particularly Montreal goaltender Carey Price, at the end of the win Wednesday at Bell Centre.

Not publicly, anyway.

Fleury crossed his arms and struck the same defiant pose Price struck the previous week at the end of Montreal's 2-1 shootout win against the Penguins at Bell Centre.

"It was just for a laugh with the guys," Fleury said.

At that moment, it escaped him that he was on television.

"The puck was at the other end, so I didn't think the camera would be on me," Fleury said. "So, I just did it quickly for the guys.

"It kind of got blown out of proportion, I guess."

Godard not ready yet

Winger Eric Godard skated with conditioning coach Mike Kadar before practice. He is eligible to come off injured reserve, but he is not close to being ready to return to the lineup.

"He still has to do light workouts for some time before he gets into exertion," Bylsma said.

Godard's left orbital bone was broken Dec. 26 during a fight with Ottawa's Matt Carkner.

A day of reinforcement

Only eight players participated in the optional practice Thursday: forwards Mark Letestu, Mike Rupp, Chris Conner, Craig Adams and Tyler Kennedy, defenseman Deryk Engelland and goaltenders Fleury and Brent Johnson.

Bylsma, who did not go on the ice and rarely calls for optional skates, said not giving the team a full day off after two games in two nights in two cities served its purpose.

"I wanted the guys to come in," Bylsma said. "We did some video work. With the schedule, we haven't had a ton of those days where we can do reinforcement of foundation, things we need to work on. And we've had a couple of guys sick, a couple of guys banged up. They needed some time off the ice.


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com .


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