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‘Real Significant,’ Zucker Skates, Timetable Accelerates?

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Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker

Jason Zucker missed the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular-season finale last Friday, and most of their next-to-last game, too.

And he won’t be in their lineup when they open Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, either.

But after having a vigorous on-ice workout at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before his teammates practiced Monday, Zucker might be ready to return sooner than many have been expecting.

“It’s real significant (that he’s resumed skating),” coach Mike Sullivan said. “There is a chance that his timetable could be accelerated. The fact that he’s on the ice is a big step.

“We’ll go from there, but we’re certainly encouraged that he’s back on the ice.”

Zucker left the Penguins’ 5-1 loss to Edmonton last Tuesday late in the first period because of an unspecified lower-body injury.

He appeared in just 41 games during the regular season, with most of his man-games lost resulting from core-muscle surgery.

He finished with eight goals and nine assists in 41 games, with only one of those goals in his final seven games.

When he was injured, Zucker was working at left wing on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second line, with Evgeni Malkin and Rickard Rakell.

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charmaine dawso
charmaine dawso
7 months ago

i am hoping he’s back in the line-up soon.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

Hope so, too. I think he adds a fair bit to the lineup, and I haven’t seen a player have this type of bad injury luck since a certain former first round pick. Be great if he could get back and contribute to a playoff run.

Dan Kingerski
Admin
7 months ago

It’s tough to do any sort of projection when you don’t know a guy’s medical details — or even the precise nature of his injury — but I was surprised by how good Zucker looked during his workout. He obviously did not have any contact (and there will be plenty of that in the playoffs, of course), but there was absolutely nothing about how he looked that would make one believe that he was injured. Just a hunch, but I won’t be surprised if we see him back in the lineup relatively early in the series.

Kris
Kris
7 months ago

And just like that, this website gets a huge shot in the arm. Dave Freakin’ Molinari. Now I just might have to subscribe to the full site. Good luck sir.

Dan Kingerski
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  Kris

How did you know my middle name, Kris?

Marc Badger
Marc Badger
7 months ago

real bummer Zucker’s injuries have him looking like a liability since Rutherford traded with Billy G

Michael Hanczar
Michael Hanczar
7 months ago

Welcome Dave! Couldn’t figure out why you played 3rd fiddle over at the other site. You are a HOFer!

Dan Kingerski
Admin
7 months ago

Thanks for the kind words. I’m very happy to be here.

James
James
7 months ago

Much better writer than Dan. I get sick of all the cutesy references and puns and all that. Not interested in personality, just the pens.

Dan Kingerski
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  James

Well that just hurts. Not even the Letterkenny references?

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
7 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Can’t please everyone Dan! You please this reader!

cary
cary
7 months ago

I actually think Malkin was pretty good this year. He has been spotty, but he’s always kind of streaky. When he’s on he’s really on. He would have been on pace for a 40+ goal 80+ point season if he played a full 82 games (not that he would). That’s without consistent wingers or even strength play.