Ramblings: Notes from around the league; play-in predictions – July 23

Michael Clifford

2020-07-23

In what is very good news for Penguins fans and very bad news for Habs fans, Sidney Crosby returned to practice on Wednesday. He had missed the last few practices with an unknown injury, but it appears it wasn't severe at all. A welcome sight, for some.

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Something I missed and noticed yesterday: Ross Johnston is skating on what is effectively the NY Islanders' second line with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. We'll see how long it lasts; my gut feeling is not very long.

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I know it doesn't mean a lot, but it's nice seeing Philly beat writers rave about Shayne Gostisbehere's play in practice. Yes, it's practice, but he had a really tough year, and appeared to be playing through some injury. The people who watch him every day would know his game best. Let's hope he can re-establish himself this postseason. That would be a big boost for the Flyers.

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In preparation for the playoffs – we're a little over a week away now – I wrote an entire Rambling series on the play-in teams. It was focused around how they fared over the course of the season, some relevant line combinations, production of top stars, and so on. It was just a way to get everyone caught up on what actually happened in the 2019-20 regular season, given it finished over four months ago now, and some things have been going on since. The last in the series is here, and it contains all the links for each play-in round.

After that, I reviewed the eight teams that are avoiding the play-in rounds with a bye. That was less of a season's round-up and more of a review of line combinations. They can be read