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.
Keith Urban sang the national anthem for Game 3. Kelly Clarkson did the honors for the Nashville Predators before Game 4. Next up: Trisha Yearwood for Game 6.
The Predators hope to close out the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and they got off to a nice start with Austin Watson scoring a quick 1-0 goal. Not long after, the Predators added another to build to a 2-0 lead.
Garth Brooks spoiled Yearwood’s appearance a bit before the contest.
Brooks also revealed Yearwood’s early fan creds:
Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie scored a goal in Game 4, but he won’t be able to provide such a scoring boost for his team in Game 6.
That’s because he was ejected during the first period after hitting rising Nashville Predators star Viktor Arvidsson from behind, bloodying the slick Swede.
Ritchie was whistled for a game misconduct and major. Remarkably, the Ducks killed the entire five-minute power-play opportunity, with Ryan Kesler‘s shorthanded chance being one of the better opportunities for either team.
It’s still a big blunder, but if the Ducks can get back in it, remember that big kill.
Video of the hit is coming soon. For now, check out the GIF:
Oddly, Arvidsson left the ice with a wound that more or less spelled out “R,” presumably for Ritchie, maybe celebrating the return of “Twin Peaks.”
(Such an obvious move might not be surreal enough for David Lynch, though. Alex Prewitt’s Zorro reference might be more, um, on the mark.)
It was already loud at Bridgestone Arena, but the Nashville Predators are making it a madhouse with a strong start against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6.
First, it was Austin Watson, who sent a puck off a Ducks skate to score a 1-0 goal on Nashville’s first shot on Jonathan Bernier, who is starting instead of John Gibson. That came about 90 seconds into the game, really revving up the crowd.
Colton Sissons scored his first goal of the Western Conference Final – on his first shot on goal of the series – to make it 2-0. At that point, Bernier had allowed two goals on three shots on goal. Bernier’s made a few stops since then, but it’s a shaky start for a Ducks team facing elimination.
There’s some solace in that Anaheim’s often at its best in dire situations, though you have to wonder how many times they can bounce back from this?
The Anaheim Ducks won’t have John Gibson back, but the Nashville Predators are dealing with some injury-related letdowns, too.
Craig Smith skated before Game 6, but he opted not to play on Monday. Mike Fisher is also unable to go for the Predators as they aim to eliminate Anaheim.
The Ducks also won’t have Rickard Rakell back in the mix, so this physical Western Conference Final continues to feel like a battle of attrition.
Click here for the official roster report.
Game 5 is airing on NBCSN right now. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App.
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