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Penguins' Crosby Smiling Again

AP Photo

The Penguins' locker room was a bustling place Tuesday morning — players packing, bags getting tossed on carts, orders being barked. The team was bound for Vancouver, where its 44th NHL season will open Thursday, and everyone seemed to be in a rush.

And why not?

This is a shout-it-out-loud Stanley Cup contender, maybe the favorite out of the Eastern Conference.

It's easy to list all of the reasons for that, from Evgeni "This is a new me" Malkin to hope for a vastly improved power play to the sport's premier penalty-killers to a seven-deep defensive corps to a better-than-ever Marc-Andre Fleury backing it all up.

I'll settle just for this: The Kid is smiling again.

Sidney Crosby lingered on the ice 15 minutes beyond the hourlong practice...

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