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Penguins Report: McKee Out 2-4 Weeks

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins

Defenseman Jay McKee will be sidelined two-to-four weeks with an infected finger. See 12:25 PM entry for details.

2:10 PM:
Captain Sidney Crosby will be carrying the Olympic Torch Wednesday night in his native province of Halifax, Nova Scotia as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

"It’ll be nice to be home and run a few hundred meters," Crosby said. "I think it’s 300 meters I get. So I’ll get a good little trot in. It’ll be a good experience.

"I think a lot of people are going to participate in it and be there. And why not? We’re talking about the Olympics being in Canada. That doesn’t happen very often. So I think everyone wants to be a part of it."

Crosby is especially excited because of what his torch-bearing means to his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

"Just talking to my parents, they were saying that a lot of people are going to be there," Crosby said. "I think everyone’s just happy to participate in it.

"It’s something that’s across Canada. The people there are very proud of having the torch and want to show their support. It’s a great opportunity and I’m happy to be a part of it."

Check later tonight for more on Crosby's day carrying the Olympic Torch.

1:59 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma addressed reporters following practice Wednesday. Here is what he had to say:

On WBS defensemen:
I think it’s one of the strengths with what we do with our farm team in Wilkes-Barre, what (WBS head coach) Todd Reirden and (WBS assistant coach) John Hynes are doing down there. They play the same way. They know how to play the game the way we want to play it. When they come into the room, here players speak, go through practice and go through the pre-game routine. They should be very comfortable with what we’re saying, what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do on the ice because they’ve been doing it for sometimes up to three years in our system, and that means they get to go out and be real confident about what they’re going to do on the ice. Then it’s up to them going and playing the game. It’s difficult not playing with certain guys, and you get more comfortable knowing what to expect from certain people. But when you know what the game should look like, partner-to-partner, it doesn’t matter as much. That’s agood thing we have going for our guys.
On Bill Guerin:
Billy Guerin’s game has always had an edge to it, whether it’s him ripping the puck 100 mph, or whether it’s driving the net, playing with an edge, going to a corner. You leave the game knowing you played against Bill Guerin, and that’s when he’s at his best. He leaves a dent on the game.
On injuries, injury policies:
I don’t bother myself with worrying about whether we need a policy or not from the NHL. This portion of the day for me has turned into an injury report more than it has been a press conference about our team and who we’re playing and what we’re up against. But you’re always dealing with (injuries) throughout the year. Certainly we want to make sure that the players are protected by how we report the injuries and what we talk about, but really everyone expects to deal with injuries. Everyone expects to have guys out of the lineup, and it’s good teams that can stay consistent through that. We’ve called up guys that fit right. We expect them to execute and do the job. It’s their opportunity. We expect them to come in and help our team play the way we want to play.  We’ll deal with them, we’ll move on and we’ll wait to get guys healthy as well.

12:42 PM:
Despite what seems to be a never-ending quest to regain full health, especially with today's news that Jay McKee will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a finger infection, there were positive signs from Wednesday's practice. Brooks Orpik joined Sergei Gonchar in getting cleared for contact, while Kris Letang hit the ice sporting a red non-contact sweater.

Head coach Dan Bylsma gave an update on the possible returns of Orpik and Gonchar following practice.

"Brooks is progressing along, but not ready for (Thursday) night we think," Bylsma said. "Both Brooks and Gonchar are moving along in the right direction, so hopefully we get one of those guys back for (Thursday’s) game. It’s possible and we can someone up if need be."

Gonchar talked about still feeling some pain in the shoulder, but he feels good overall as he looks to get back into the lineup.

"There is some pain, obviously," Gonchar said. "We kind of expected that so it is nothing major. Going into contact we knew there would be some with that kind of injury. It is nothing abnormal.

"There is progress. Every day I am feeling better and better. It is going to happen very soon."

While Gonchar looks forward to getting back into games, Letang was happy just to be back on the ice .

"It feels good to be back," Letang said. "But I’m in the red jersey. I’ll just keep working hard to get back to where I was. It’s day-to-day. But I’ve been getting better every day."

Letang went on to praise the efforts of Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Nate Guenin, recent recalls from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton who have stepped up to deliver winning performances on defense with all the regulars missing.

"I think we have five D-men out right now. Obviously the (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) guys did a great job so far. It’s always nice to see that they can fill in and do the job. It’s tough to see (injuries), but you can’t do anything about it. But right now we’re doing good things and getting better."

12:31 PM:
Defenseman Mark Eaton left Wedesday's practice early, although no update was given on his status. Defenseman Jay McKee will be sidelined two-to-four weeks with an infected finger. See 12:25 PM entry for details.

12:25 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma announced after practice Wednesday that defenseman Jay McKee will be sidelined the next two-to-four weeks with a finger infection.

"Jay McKee has an infection in his finger and he needed to get that cleaned up and it’s going to be two-to-four weeks," Bylsma said.

10:35 PM:
Here are shots of Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik returning to practice:



10:30 PM:

The Penguins have hit the ice for practice at Mellon Arena and a few new faces have rejoined the fold, while yet another body appears missing.

Defenseman Kris Letang, out the past four games with a shoulder contusion, is on the ice in a red non-contact jersey. Fellow defenseman Brooks Orpik, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, is sporting a black jersey.

Shot-blocking specialist Jay McKee is not on the ice, however. Head coach Dan Bylsma will provide an update on his status following practice.
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