Bylsma: Staal not injured, will play tonight vs. Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta -- Hockey teams have a colorful history of distorting the truth about injuries, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma made it clear Friday that center Jordan Staal really did leave Thursday night's season opener at Vancouver with cramps related to dehydration.
"I can try honesty if you'd like," Bylsma said after practice at Scotiabank Saddledome, which Staal did not participate in. "I tried it (Thursday), and I'll try it again. He cramped in the game (Thursday) night. That's why he didn't finish the game. The best thing for him is getting on the bike (Friday), and he'll be ready to go (tonight against the Flames)."
Staal, who left in the third period against the Canucks, also was given practice off Tuesday, which isn't necessarily indicative that a player is hurt but was a curious move since the team had been off the day before. Staal was spotted with a bandage on his foot, which led to speculation that a foot injury may have been hobbling him.
Bylsma, though, said Staal was rested for precautionary reasons. Other team officials confirmed that nothing is seriously wrong with Staal's foot.
Many of the Penguins said Thursday that the temperature at ice level at Vancouver's Rogers Arena was unusually warm. As a result of that, center Evgeni Malkin said he felt tired during the game.
"Just a maintenance day (for Staal)," Bylsma said. "We thought the best thing for him was to be off the ice. We expect him to be good."
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