Penguins' Michalek is due back against Ottawa
Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek is a good bet to return from a concussion Friday in Ottawa.
While he returns to the lineup, many around the league will be exiting for the same reason.
The NHL is under siege by a concussion epidemic that continued league-wide Wednesday. It even struck the Michalek family for the second time in two weeks.
Michalek's brother, Milan, who plays for Ottawa and is the NHL's leading goal-scorer with 19, won't play against the Penguins tomorrow because he has been diagnosed with a concussion.
"I spoke with him," Zbynek Michalek said. "He's having some headaches. I think he'll be OK. But you still don't like hearing it."
Michalek knows the feeling. The Penguins defenseman was injured in Montreal on Nov. 26, suffering a slight concussion.
It appears that Michalek will return to the lineup tomorrow, while his brother watches from the press box.
"As long as I don't have symptoms," Michalek said, "I'm hoping to be back in the lineup for Friday."
Carolina forward Jeff Skinner became the latest star player to be removed from the lineup with a concussion yesterday afternoon. He was joined by teammate Joni Pitkanen, who is also dealing with a concussion.
The league's leading scorer, Philadelphia winger Claude Giroux, and the Flyers' star defenseman, Chris Pronger, also have been concussion victims this week.
A number of other star players, including Penguins center Sidney Crosby, defenseman Kris Letang, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and Kings center Mike Richards continue to deal with concussions.
"It's pretty bad right now," Michalek said.
Penguins center Jordan Staal played against Detroit on Tuesday, but he clearly wasn't playing at 100 percent. Staal, who missed a game and two practices before the Detroit game, again missed practiced yesterday at Consol Energy Center. Coach Dan Bylsma said there is a chance Staal, who is dealing with a lower-body injury, will play Thursday.
Bylsma rarely acknowledges his goaltender rotation in advance but said that backup Brent Johnson will get the start in Ottawa on Friday. Marc-Andre Fleury will start the following night when the Penguins host Buffalo.
Still no Sid
Crosby was in attendance at practice Wednesday and was in good spirits. When he will return to practice, let alone the lineup, remains a mystery.
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.
- Some of the top prospects in Penguins system to be in town for camp
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- Based on glowing recommendation, Pens hire Agnew as assistant
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals