Crosby Is Officially Back, Letang Too

Dec 1, 2011; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with center Evgeni Malkin (71) after the game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center. The Penguins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Penguins gave and official word on Sid today, and that is that he will be playing on Thursday In Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.     There is also a chance they will be able to get Letang back also, though Coach Dan Bylsma is more up in the air about Kris.

For Sid, we knew there was a chance for this to come on Thursday but Letang, not so much.     That said I think the real surprise, and it is early in the week, but the real surprise is what Line Sid was practicing on.    With the top line scoring the way it is, even he was for not breaking that line up.     And the second line with Sullivan, Staal and Dupuis is also at this point not an option.   Could it honestly be possible that Sid Crosby is a Third Line Center?    As of right now, you bet.

Today at practice, he centered a line with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy.     Both talented of course, but nothing like the 2 lines in front of them.    Bylsma, the mad scientist has some method to his madness.     If he puts Sid on one of the top 2 lines, that would require lots of ice time for Sid or less ice time for the others on the lines that are playing very well.    By keeping him on the third line to start, there is a chance to keep his minutes down.

That’s right, they are trying to hold him back a bit.    Pretty smart I’d say.      They need to give him time to get back into the swing of things so they can have him strong for the Playoff run.     Now couple that with the fact that Kris Letang could possibly be returning for Thursday or definitely Saturday, this makes this team extremely potent and  primed for a ridiculous run as long as they can say healthy.     These were the lines today at practice, credit this to Sam Kasan of the Penguins Report.

Kunitz-Malkin-Neal
Sullivan-Staal-Dupuis
Cooke-Crosby-Kennedy
Asham-Vitale-Adams/Park

Also, one other little tid bit from today’s practice, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby were used at the points on the first power play unit with Kunitz, Neal, and Malkin.     If you were counting, that makes 5 forwards, no defense-men on the number 1 unit.

If you would like to follow me on twitter you can at Sports Monger and of course, you can listen in to the Penslabyrinth.com Pens Lab Report every Friday Night at 11pm on Sports Monger Radio.

 

Topics: Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

Want more from Pens Labyrinth?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.