Brassard Returns to Penguins Practice

The Penguins begin their defense of the Stanley Cup Wednesday against the Flyers

Josh Rowntree
April 09, 2018 - 2:51 pm
Derick Brassard

Josh Rowntree

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Penguins center Derick Brassard was on the ice Monday morning in Cranberry as Pittsburgh prepares for Wednesday’s opening game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against Philadelphia.

Brassard, acquired from Ottawa before the trade deadline, has missed the last five games after suffering a lower-body injury in a 5-2 loss to Detroit on March 27.

“Feels pretty good,” said Brassard, who had an eight-game point streak snapped in thatr loss to the Red Wings. “It’s been a long week and a half or so. I feel pretty good out there. I’ve been working really hard to be ready for the playoffs. We’ll see what happens.”

Brassard’s presence on the third line could be a critical one, as the 30-year old notched eight points in Ottawa’s first round series win over the Rangers a year ago. In 78 career playoff games, Brassard has 22 goals and 55 points.

“I think it’s just the emotion and the atmosphere around the buildings,” he said. “That’s what you’re playing for, right? You’re playing to win a championship.”

Brassard skated on a line flanked by Conor Sheary and Phil Kessel.

“Derick had a good practice today,” Mike Sullivan said. “He participated fully. We’ll see how he responds and we’ll make decisions accordingly, but he had a strong practice today.”

That said, practice and regular season games move at a different clip than a playoff series against the team’s biggest rival in Philadelphia, so it’s understandable that Brassard may have to shake off some rust early on.

“I’ve been working pretty hard, trust me,” Brassard added. “We have a really good strength coach here and I’m working every day and trying to get on that pace. There’s going to be a lot of intensity out there, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.”