Penguins' injured players quickly getting healthy
TAMPA, Fla. — It is rare for a hockey coach to be pleased that his team had too many men on the ice.
The Penguins' Dan Bylsma couldn't have been more thrilled Sunday afternoon when injured defenseman Zbynek Michalek (upper body) took part in a full practice. His participation gave Bylsma 25 players to work out at St. Pete Times Forum.
"It was more like a college team than a pro team," Bylsma said. "We're getting guys back, and that's a good thing."
Right wing Arron Asham (left shoulder) will try to play Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bylsma said Asham, who has yet to play this season, would likely play "up and down the lineup" upon his return.
The Penguins have had to scratch a healthy forward for each game this season. Eric Godard has not played in six games; Craig Adams missed two, and Mike Comrie sat out one. Another forward would need to be removed to insert Asham into the lineup, and rookie left wing Eric Tangradi — lately playing mostly on a checking line — might be a candidate.
Bylsma said clearing a spot for Asham on Wednesday is "a possibility."
The Penguins yesterday practiced with three extra forwards, including center Jordan Staal, who remains out indefinitely while rehabbing his right foot. Those players were on the injured reserve list as of yesterday. The return of Michalek, out since Oct. 11 with an apparent left-shoulder injury, bumped the defense total to eight players.
Conceivably, the Penguins could reassign defenseman Andrew Hutchinson to the American Hockey League to clear a roster spot for Asham. Hutchinson did not dress Saturday in an overtime loss at St. Louis — a game that marked the return of defenseman Brooks Orpik from a six-contest absence with a groin injury.
Michalek said he returned to practice sooner than expected. His prognosis had been missing two to four weeks.
"The injury is progressing fairly fast," he said, declining to identify its specific nature. "I'm sure we'll still be feeling it out the next few weeks ... but it's going to be two weeks (today), so I'm happy with how it's progressing."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
- Penguins notebook: Team celebrates ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event
- Penguins’ defenseman Maatta confident of full recovery
- Penguins veteran defenseman Scuderi’s game looking up
- Starkey: Hockey hypocrites, unite
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet marvels at Maatta’s demeanor
- Penguins notebook: Bennett close to returning