Pens' Orpik closer to returning to action
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — There is a chance, albeit a small one, that defenseman Brooks Orpik will play Wednesday night when the Penguins open the season against the Canucks.
Orpik, who had hernia surgery this summer and did not play in any exhibition games, has practiced with the team three times in the past week and reported no lingering issues with the injury.
Although it would register as a surprise if Orpik plays against the Canucks, it would not be a shock.
"I wouldn't say there's zero chance I'll play," Orpik said Wednesday.
He has stressed all along that he won't force the issue with this injury. Given the Penguins' depth on the blue line and the reality that the postseason doesn't begin for another six months, there is hardly a need to force the veteran into the lineup until he's completely healthy.
Still, Orpik made it clear that his return is coming soon. Maybe even tonight.
"You never want to miss opening day," Orpik said.
• A Sidney Crosby appearance in western Canada is always a big deal, even when he's not playing. Crosby practiced with the Penguins on Wednesday and then was swamped by dozens of Canadian reporters. As Crosby has told local reporters for weeks, he continues to feel healthy but isn't sure when he will return. Crosby did shed some light on the timeline of his symptoms, saying he has been symptom-free for "less than a month."
• If Wednesday's practice is any indication, the Penguins will use these line combinations in their season opener: Steve Sullivan-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal, Chris Kunitz-Jordan Staal-Tyler Kennedy; Matt Cooke-Mark Letestu-Pascal Dupuis; Joe Vitale-Craig Adams-Arron Asham. In this alignment, forwards Richard Park and Steve MacIntyre would be healthy scratches.
595 — Number of days since Crosby scored in overtime to win the Olympic gold medal for Canada, which is the last time he appeared in Vancouver
200 — Number of days since Matt Cooke's last NHL game, after which he was suspended for 17 games.
46 — Team owner Mario Lemieux celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday.
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.
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Penguins break in new Cranberry training facility
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together
- Penguins defenseman Oleksy brings nasty streak, toughness