Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 11/2/11

The Pens headed for the West coast today to square off with the Sharks on Thursday and the Kings on Saturday.  Both games should be a tough test for the Pens as the Sharks have won 5 of their last 6 and the Kings are anchored by one of the best goalies in the NHL, Jonathan Quick. 

West coast trips are always difficult for east coast teams but for the Penguins, it may be especially difficult due to all the injuries the team has been dealing with in recent weeks.  Crosby, Kennedy and Michalek more than likely will be sitting these ones out, but Staal and Letang appear like they are ready to give it a go after missing a couple days of practice.  On the plus side though, Kennedy has started practicing once again so it’s possible that we might see TK back on the ice for the Pens in the near future.

As for Sid, many have speculated that a November 11 return against the stars is a reasonable target date because of all the practice time that Crosby will have between now and then with the Pens only playing 2 games, but that still might be wishful thinking by the Pittsburgh media.  Realistically speaking though, it appears that Crosby’s return might not be very far off.  He continues to be the Crosby of old in practice, but he still has seen only minimal contact.  Physically, it sounds like he’s there, but my big concern is how he is mentally.  Will his play be altered out of fear, or will he be the same Sid that lead his team to the cup?  That’s the question everyone wants to know.  Honestly, after watching Sid play since he was drafted, I can’t imagine that he will be playing with any fear, and from the way his teamates talk about him, he is as tenacious as ever.  If I were a betting man, I’d say that Crosby’s return will happen sometime this month, and we could possibly see him by the 15th against Colorado.

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