Just about anyone who saw David Steckel’s hit on Sidney Crosby during the Winter Classic couldn’t help but at least furrow a brow when he ended up with (what the Pittsburgh Penguins claim) concussion problems unrelated to that check later in the week.
(Yet, as Joe pointed out, it’s pretty silly to accuse the Penguins of any foul play or foolishness without actual evidence of such.)
It’s hard to suss out the right train of thought regarding this situation. On one hand, it’s dangerous to jump to the conclusion that the Penguins would throw their most important player to the wolves while he was dealing with concussion problems. On the other side, professional sports teams are notoriously secretive regarding injuries and when you consider the fact that many athletes want to play even if there are health risks involved, perhaps both the team and the player erred here.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma addressed such commentary today, disputing the notion that the team played Crosby while he was dealing with concussion issues. Bylsma said that Crosby did not go into the team’s Thursday game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with any (clear) concussion symptoms.
“After the Winter Classic Crosby did not have concussion symptoms. After the Tampa Bay game he was not feeling right. Per our doctors orders if he woke up in the morning feeling the same way, he would need to get evaluated. He woke up in the morning and still wasn’t feeling completely right. The only reason he left Montreal was because he was able to get on a flight with Matt Cooke, who had to deal with his family issues.”
However you feel about the situation, the bottom line is that Crosby is dealing with what might be a mild concussion. We’ll keep you up to date regarding the health status of the league’s leading scorer as more information surfaces.