The NHL has officially began Phase 2 in returning to play effective as of Monday. Some of the Pittsburgh Penguins players reported to the practice facility known as the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.
There are only six people that are allowed at the practice facility at the time nonetheless. No coaches are allowed at the practice facility and it most likely won’t be the case until Phase 3 begins nonetheless. This team is ready to roll and get going whenever the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. They will be facing the Montreal Canadiens.
They will not have Nick Bjgustad and they will most likely not have Dominik Simon either. This team has been dealt with injury problems all season long nonetheless. It will be an easier time for Head Coach Mike Sullivan and the rest of his staff to decide who will go in the lineup and who will go out of the lineup when the playoffs begin nonetheless.
Phase 2 is a positive sign that hockey is going to be here sooner rather than later. Training camps will not begin before July 10th, but let’s hope it can be earlier but time is going to tell. Players on the other hand, must wear masks when they are not exercising in the team facility. This may be the new norm or it could possibly be not the case.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel will be the top three players in the lineup nonetheless. Some other players that could potentially step up is Jared McCann, Bryan Rust, and Patric Hornqvist. It is still undecided on whether or not Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry will be the starting goalie for the Stanley Cup Playoffs nonetheless.
This is only the second phase, but a lot of decisions will still have to be made once the second phase is over. There are 24 teams that need to make other decisions, while another seven teams are preparing to get ready for the offseason nonetheless. At the end of the day, this team is going to have to make a ton of decisions and it will be interesting to see which route they are going to go with nonetheless.
I will have potentially more updates about this team moving forward, but Evgeni Malkin has been named the Pittsburgh Penguins nominee for the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy nonetheless. This would be a nice honor here now nonetheless.