Posted March 07, 2012 on AP on Fox
Sidney Crosby is nearing his much-anticipated return to the lineup, though the face of the Pittsburgh Penguins isn't about to rush anything. Given how well Pittsburgh has been playing without him, Crosby can take all the time he needs. The Penguins seek their seventh consecutive victory Wednesday night when they host the fading Toronto Maple Leafs, who could be without forward Joffrey Lupul for the rest of the season. Crosby went through a full practice including contact drills Tuesday for the first time since again experiencing concussion-like symptoms after a loss to Boston on Dec. 5, though he was hesitant to speculate about when he'll return. "I'm going to give myself days, for sure, of contact," Crosby said. "If you look at our schedule, we have two more practices, I think, this week. No sooner than Sunday (versus Boston) I would say, but I'm not going to sit here and put a date on it. It would be total guesswork." Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin are making sure the Penguins (39-21-5) succeed in the meantime. Fleury made 36 saves and Malkin's assist extended his point streak to eight games as Pittsburgh beat Phoenix 2-1 on Monday. The Penguins are 18-4-1 since Jan. 13, with Malkin scoring 21 goals and adding 15 assists during that stretch. Fleury has gone 16-2-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average in that span, including a 1.18 GAA while starting five games during the current winning streak. "He has been real solid in there," coach Dan Bylsma said of Fleury. "The consistency with which he's played has probably been the biggest thing for us." Fleury made 35 saves and Malkin scored a late equalizer and added the shootout winner in a 5-4 victory over Toronto on Jan. 31, marking the Penguins' only win over the Maple Leafs in three tries this season. The next day, Malkin was held without a point for only the second time in 19 career games against the Leafs when Toronto beat Brent Johnson 1-0 in the most recent meeting. The Maple Leafs also beat Johnson 4-3 on Oct. 29, though they probably won't face him again Wednesday as the backup goalie continues to deal with an injury. Fleury is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts versus Toronto, but he has a 3.19 GAA in that span. The Maple Leafs (30-29-7) are used to scoring some goals but still losing, having dropped 11 of 13 after falling 5-4 to Boston on Tuesday. They won their first game under new coach Randy Carlyle 3-1 at Montreal on Saturday, but couldn't carry over the momentum, allowing at least four goals for the ninth time in 12 games. Making matters worse, Lupul - second on the team with 67 points - suffered a separated shoulder in Tuesday's loss and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Fellow forward Colby Armstrong broke his nose against the Bruins, but he's listed as day-to-day. Phil Kessel and John-Michael Liles each had a goal and an assist Tuesday, and Mikhail Grabovski - who signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension earlier in the day - added a goal. Toronto has slipped to 12th place in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Winnipeg for the final playoff berth. "We had lots of positives in the hockey game," Carlyle said. "Any time you score four goals you should feel good about your offensive side of it. But defense wins at this time of year." Grabovski has five goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak versus the Penguins, including two goals and an assist in January's loss. Malkin, though, has nine goals and 29 assists - 2.0 points per game - lifetime versus Toronto.

Dreaming Of A Playoff Return For Crosby

from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Penguins fans dream about captain Sidney Crosby returning from his 14-month bout with concussions and ending the most challenging chapter of his life by lifting the Stanley Cup. Turns out some of his teammates share that dream. “We’re hoping it’s going to be like Christmas morning one day,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. ...

Sidney Crosby Cleared for Contact, Possible He May Return to Face Bruins on Sunday

Sidney Crosby is in a familiar position in his attempted return to game action, but he's not taking anything for granted this time around. The Penguins superstar was cleared for physical contact on Tuesday, but he was also quick to note that there still isn't a clear timetable for his return from lingering concussion issues. "I was cleared to do contact," Crosby...

The good and bad of Crosby being cleared

Only one clip that sums it up: Don't get us wrong this is great news. The thought of Sidney Crosby returning is enough to make your boner explode and your ovaries to fall out. But there are a **** load of issues that lie ahead. A brief breakdown after readmore.   The Bad It will be hard to get air from whenever he comes back until the Penguins...

Crosby Takes Some Contact In Workout Today

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star, There are no days off for Sidney Crosby. The concussed superstar worked out on Thursday with teammates Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi on a day when the rest of the team took a break. Cleared for contact since Tuesday, Crosby’s workout was tough. It was supposed to be. With a couple of coaches shouting encouragement, Jeffrey and Tangradi...

Crosby Cleared For Contact

Looks like Sid has been cleared for contact and could be playing soon. From the Penguins website, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been cleared for full contact, but there is not timetable for a possible return to the lineup. “I was cleared to do contact,” Crosby said. “We’ll see how that goes. There is no real timetable, but it’s a good step. Hopefully, I can keep...

Sidney Crosby Cleared for Contact

It feels like we're been here before. Post-Gazette: Penguins center Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact -- even getting a bit during practice today -- and said he could return to the lineup in a matter of days. He did not specify a comeback target but suggested that, barring a setback, he could resume playing as early as Sunday, when Boston will visit...

John Toperzer: Crosby cleared for contact

Crosby cleared for contact Ryan Wilson (aka Gunner Staal) First things first, I would like to thank John for the opportunity to write a couple of the gameday blogs/recaps while he is taking in Pirates spring training in Bradenton, FL with his father. It has been really enjoyable. **************************** Sidney Crosby addressed the media today and announced that he has been cleare...

This Kid In A Sidney Crosby Sweater Is A Party Foul

This picture came from theCHIVE last week. I'm not entirely sure what compels someone to grab a bottle of Jack Daniels while dancing with someone of the opposite sex. I'll chalk it up to real-Sid's concussion. This poser is lucky he has an out.

News & Notes: Crosby Cleared For Contact; Grabovski, Turco Ink Deals

Crosby has full-participation practice with Penguins As if the Pittsburgh Penguins weren't the hottest team in the League already, the surging Pens were blessed with even more good news: Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact. We assume the news comes as a result of Sid the Kid being bored of just doing this in practice for three months: Although there's still...

The Wraparound – Tonight at 9 p.m.!

The Wraparound is back tonight at 9! Luciana and Jim will be taking on Sidney Crosby’s potential return, key trades and deals that were struck last week, and the streaking Winnipeg Jets. Make sure to tune in, and of course, Luciana and Jim will be hanging out in the chatroom and talking all sorts of [...]

Wednesdays With Stoosh 03.07.2012

In which we force opposing fans into the harsh realization that it's time to come up with something better.   Staff did a great job recapping this earlier in the week, but there’s one loose end we’d like to tie up here in the wake of that  series of blog posts from Denver Post columnist Adrian Dater. Dater got to watch in person Saturday night as visiting...

LISTEN LIVE: The Two-Man Advantage Tonight at 6 p.m.

Listen to "The Two-Man Advantage" featuring Brian and Casey McCormack tonight on WGSU at 6 p.m. For the first time in the show's history, Western New York's hottest hockey talk radio show will be taking your calls live on the air. Also joining "The Two-Man Advantage" for tonight's show is special guest Maddie Klein. Interact in realtime with the...
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