Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The speculative news that sounded so positive initially today is now depressing (Way to go, Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi):

"As a manager, I have no expectation that he's coming back to play in the regular season. I don't believe that's going to happen. In terms of playing in the playoffs for us, that's still two or three weeks away. I don't want to take away any hope from (Crosby), but to return to game action for the Stanley Cup playoffs takes a certain level of fitness and game-(readiness), and he is certainly not close to that at this point."
--Shero's comments today

The question everyone is asking is why all the practice-video for public consumption if there is little likelihood #87 is coming back this year. I guess it's not too much of a stretch that the Pens want to ensure that season ticket holders purchased their playoff tickets and then renew for next year. (Clearly, he isn't retiring.)Yeah, that can sound absurd, considering the sellout streak and season-ticket waiting list. But Pens fans have also seen a pretty good player in his day, #66, take the ice in a less-than-packed Civic/Mellon Arena, even for some early-round playoff games.

Make no mistake, without #87, Pens are a Cup longshot at best as most experts agree. For all the recent hype about the team's resilience, let's face facts: Pens are 11-9-4 post #71's knee injury, not even a playoff-worthy pace, and of those 11 wins, seven came in a 4v4 OT or a SO, which doesn't exist come playoff time. One series win MAYBE without #87 if #29 can steal it; two series wins would be OVERACHIEVING; after that...

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