Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Letang Makes Some Progress but Bylsma Says Defenseman Not Quite Ready to Participate in a Game Yet

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Letang Makes Some Progress but Bylsma Says Defenseman Not Quite Ready to Participate in a Game Yet

Article excerpt

Injured defenseman Kris Letang took a major stride Wednesday toward returning to the Penguins' lineup.

About 50 minutes worth of them, actually.

Coach Dan Bylsma said that Letang, who missed the first three games of this season because of what is believed to be a knee injury, skated for roughly that long before the team practiced at Southpointe.

He added that Letang is scheduled to accompany the Penguins to Florida for a two-game trip that begins Friday night in Sunrise, but seemed to downplay the possibility that Letang will resume playing while the Penguins are there.

"Kris needs to progress back to practice before we'd think about putting him in a game at this point in time," Bylsma said. "I don't see him just stepping back into a game situation without a team practice."

Nonetheless, Bylsma said that Letang skated "at a pretty good clip, which is a progression for him from [Tuesday]."

Bylsma said two wingers with unspecified injuries -- James Neal and Matt D'Agostini -- also skated Wednesday, although Neal was just on the ice "briefly."

D'Agostini still is a candidate to go on the Florida trip, Bylsma said, but Neal is not and continues to be classified as "week-to- week."

WRONG TIME FOR FLORIDA TRIP?

One of the perks of playing in the NHL is making an occasional business trip to a warm-weather spot while winter grips Western Pennsylvania.

Going to Florida before the middle of October doesn't have the same appeal, though, especially given the conditions the Penguins will leave behind when they fly south today.

"It's been such a nice fall here," left winger Tanner Glass said. "It's been a pleasure to be around Pittsburgh.

"Honestly, it's nice when you see [Florida trips] come up in December, January, February, but, right now, it's just the first road trip of the year."

The Penguins, it should be noted, will return to Florida in late November and are expected to spend at least one extra day there after completing another two-game swing through the state. …

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