The Pittsburgh Penguins set off alarms yesterday when they announced that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would be out at the beginning of training camp due to minor injuries, and it came (halfway) without merit since Crosby was able to pop in and participate for most of the practice.
"It started to get pretty intense there at the end, so [trainer Chris Stewart] said [stop]," Crosby said. He would add that he probably expects to skate with the team again tomorrow, provided there are no flare ups of his otherwise undisclosed injury.
Aside from the good news on that front, the biggest takeaway from the players was the speed and tempo of Johnston's practice.
"High pace, I was surprised," defenseman Kris Letang said. "I don’t think you can get faster and harder than that. It was fun to see that [Johnston] bangs everything quick."
Crosby and Olli Maatta both pointed out there was a lot more skating and quickness as compared to years' past with Maatta remarking, "As you saw, we were skating a little bit more."
Johnston was happy with his team, "you look at the conditioning results, and I like where we're at. It's getting your skating legs under you."
Johnston also laid out his plans for what he described as the crucial first three days to lay the foundation- tomorrow will be 45 minutes of practice and then a controlled scrimmage, and Sunday the team will focus on special teams.
The Pens certainly had their first day that with a high tempo and paced practice. It's a good thing, the first pre-season game is just a few days away. There will be plenty more practices and games to determine the roster.
From Pens Report, here's how the lines went: