Schedule Allows For Recovery Time
PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Penguins forward Jordan Staal sat out of a 4-3 loss at Toronto Saturday night with a leg injury and coach Dan Bylsma has listed him as day to day.
Staal suffered the injury in a collision with New York Islanders forward John Tavares in the second period of a 3-2 shootout win on Thursday. He left that game and went to the locker room only to return and finish the game.
Staal’s status should be updated today after practice. The Penguins had a scheduled day off on Sunday.
Pittsburgh has already dealt with a slew of injuries to start the year with little time to recover, playing in a league-leading 13 games in 24 days to start the season. The Penguins now enter a light stretch in the schedule, having just two games in the next 10 days.
It could serve as valuable recovery time for injured players, specifically Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Crosby has been cleared for contact for weeks but hasn’t been able to take many hits, as the heavy schedule has paved the way for very few contact practices. Morning skates typically have very little contact, which hasn’t given Crosby many opportunities to gauge the next step in his recovery.
The next 10 days should provide him with the first legitimate contact he’s seen since his last NHL game on Jan. 5.
Despite playing in the last three games, Evgeni Malkin has been in and out of the lineup for the first month of the season with soreness related to offseason knee surgery. Bylsma noted the number of games to start the year has made it hard for Malkin to play every night, so this period of time should help to rest that knee.
Forward Tyler Kennedy (concussion) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (broken finger) are on the injury report as well. Kennedy has been listed as out indefintely while Michalek has several weeks left in his recovery.