In January, Crosby's long-presumed double-concussion was essentially re-diagnosed as a neck injury that was mimicking concussion symptoms (headaches and balance problems) that wouldn't go away because it was being rehabbed like a concussion instead of neck damage.
Today he was cleared for contact in practice and said if he gets through that symptom-free, he could return in a number of days. Optimism is at an all-time high for him because a neck injury (specifically, soft tissue damage) can be (has been?) fixed pathologically with a real timetable instead of the concussion waiting game. And if it really has been a neck problem and not the long-presumed super-concussion, the exponential future susceptibility to more concussions won't be there. Fingers crossed.
Only problem for Sid is that Malkin stole his linemates and there's no givebacks.
Preds and Coyotes is the easiest series, yeah. Preds should take it easily, in no more than 6 games. Mike Smith is capable of stealing two, but Pekka Rinne is a lot better than Corey Crawford. I think St. Louis can handle the Kings.