December 7, 2021

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Fit And Go Forward

Crosby practices; Habs’ Kulak tested positive for COVID-19

Sidney Crosby practicing with the Penguins and Canadiens defenseman Brett Kulak discussing testing positive for COVID-19 ranked among the biggest NHL training camp news on Friday. There are plenty of other tidbits, however, so let’s roll through various NHL training camp news.

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Habs’ Kulak discusses testing positive for COVID-19

On Thursday, we heard from Canadiens defenseman Xavier Ouellet (as well as Winnipeg’s Anthony Bitetto) about his experiences testing positive for COVID-10. It turns out that Ouellet wasn’t the only Habs defenseman to test positive.

Defenseman Brett Kulak did as well, as TSN’s John Lu reports.

Kulak told Lu and others that he dealt with headaches, a lack of energy, and breathing issues. On the bright side, Kulak said that he’s feeling back to normal. That’s especially good since, you know, Kulak returned to practicing with his Canadiens teammates.

While Kulak doesn’t contribute a ton of offense (zero goals, seven assists in 57 games this season), he brings some value to the table for Montreal. Good things tend to outweigh the bad when Kulak is on the ice, evidenced by some positive multi-season RAPM results via Evolving Hockey:

Brett Kulak Evo RAPM Chart, NHL training camp news
Brett Kulak Evo RAPM Chart, NHL training camp news

(Again, just don’t expect Kulak to light up scoreboards.)

Sidney Crosby takes another positive training camp step by practicing with Penguins

It was already promising that Sidney Crosby got back to skating after missing some time. Even so, you had to couch some optimism until Crosby actually skated with Penguins teammates.

That happened on Friday, so don’t blame the Penguins for being excited. Apparently Crosby’s Penguins teammates even celebrated the occasion with some stick taps.

Jason Zucker nails it when he praises the Penguins’ depth, cemented further by Crosby being back. At the moment, it looks like the Penguins will flank Crosby with Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary. Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin joined wingers Zucker and Bryan Rust. With Patric Hornqvist and other quality forwards in the bottom six, it sure looks like the Penguins can ice a formidable lineup.

(If Crosby and others can stay healthy. That’s sadly always been a big if for this team.)

More NHL training camp news and notes

  • The good news is that the Capitals have Braden Holtby. For all we know, Holtby is Todd Reirden’s choice as starter, anyway. Regardless, it’s bad news that Ilya Samsonov‘s status remains murky. Samsonov vastly outplayed Holtby during the regular season, so even if Washington leans toward Holtby, it would at least be nice to have a Plan B who might deserve to be Plan A.

  • Anders Lee said the Islanders plan a “Family Feud”-type thing for entertainment. I badly want to know more about this. What will the survey say about the fishsticks unis?

  • In case you missed it, Brent Seabrook won’t travel with the Blackhawks. Seabrook also wonders about his longer-term future.

  • While his lack of participation is concerning, at least Vince Dunn is set to travel with the Blues. Being that Dunn is a pending RFA, I’d guess the 23-year-old will play if he can.

  • It hasn’t been a great sign that Aaron Ekblad has missed time for the already defense-starved Panthers. On the bright side, Joel Quenneville expects Ekblad to be ready for the “real” games.

  • Matt Dumba returned to Wild practice on Friday.

  • For even more NHL training camp news, check out Rotoworld.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL Training Camp News: Crosby practices; Habs’ Kulak tested positive for COVID-19 originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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