Is it a maintenance thing or an injury thing? That will be the question Pittsburgh Penguins fans ask until they see Sidney Crosby back on the ice. Crosby left the Saturday morning scrimmage early in the second half and did not return. There were several stand-out performances and one really not-so-standout performance on Saturday morning at the UPMC Lemieux Complex.
To follow the Crosby absence story, click here.
The Penguins Team Black, who coaches loaded with the top two lines and the top defensive pair, won the scrimmage 7-0. Jake Guentzel had a couple of goals, while Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each scored once. Conor Sheary had three assists, but the score mattered far less than how players were skating, who had their hands, and who seemed to have some chemistry.
For matchup purposes, the Penguins top line with Guentzel, Crosby, and Sheary matched against the Penguins third line with Patrick Marleau, Jared McCann, and Sam Lafferty. The Penguins second line with Jason Zucker, Evgeni Malkin, and Bryan Rust skated against the Penguins fourth line with Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, and Brandon Tanev.
One interesting line formed late in the scrimmage was Marleau-McCann-Tanev. Wouldn’t that be an interesting line to watch with speed, jam, and just a bit of offense dashed into the recipe?
There were several surprising performances, too.