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Sidney Crosby Continues Improvement, Morrow Impresses, And More Penguins Preseason Notes

A potpourri of Penguins this and that to wrap up your Wednesday...

· Sidney Crosby continues to improve, and believes that he is nearing contact drills.

"Obviously, the more good days you have, the nearer you get, and, hopefully, we'll get there shortly," said Crosby, who is recovering from a concussion that occurred more than eight months ago.

Thus concludes your daily update on Crosby's status.

· While Simon Despres and a handful of other Penguins prospects have been sent to the minor leagues, one player who has managed to stick with the Penguins has been 2011 first-round pick Joe Morrow.

Morrow, still only 18, has impressed during camp, particularly in the skating category. While it's hard to imagine the Penguins will burn a year of his eligibility immediately, especially considering the blue line depth the club boasts, it's now at the point that it's hard to imagine Morrow not getting his nine-game maximum taste of the NHL before being sent back to juniors.

· Brooks Orpik continues to miss practice due to offseason surgery, and there appears to be some uncertainty as to whether the Penguins' blue line leader will be ready for the start of the regular season or not. The less likely Orpik is to be ready, the more likely it is Morrow will stick around for the start of the regular season.

· Dan Bylsma seems to be pleased with the progress James Neal has made since being moved to right wing at the start of training camp.

Neal was switched from his natural left side to the right at the start of the preseason in hopes of providing a boost to the sluggish numbers he posted after coming to the Pittsburgh from Dallas last year. Though he has played at both wings during camp and exhibition games, it's clear that Bylsma would prefer Neal establish himself on the right side.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.