Sidney Crosby

Another dire Sidney Crosby recovery report, another denial by his agent, and why everyone should relax

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Another week, another report on how Sidney Crosby’s recovery from a January concussion is being hampered and will cause him to miss the start of the season.

Last week we had a report coming from XM Radio’s Josh Rimer saying that Crosby would miss the start of the season as he’s suffering setbacks in recovering from a concussion. Penguins GM Ray Shero quickly denied that report saying that everything is progressing as they wanted for Crosby. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hasn’t even asked Crosby for updates on how he’s doing as part of the treatment for concussions is to keep the stress level down. Having the coach getting in Crosby’s ear would be putting undue pressure on Crosby to rush back to the ice and put himself in danger.

Today, it’s CTV Atlantic out of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Crosby’s home area) reporting essentially the same thing Rimer did last week saying that Crosby is dealing with setbacks in his concussion recovery and will miss the start of the season as he tries to get back to 100% health.

Sources say Crosby’s concussion symptoms returned last week and he cancelled all of his scheduled on-ice workouts at a Halifax-area rink.

Penguins players are expected to appear at training camp in mid-September and it appears Crosby will not be one of them.

As we saw last week, these stories can start a wildfire of speculation and this time it is Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, who is sounding the call to refute the latest report and give his own update on what’s going on with Sid The Kid.

Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson says the center “hasn’t been shut down by anyone” and instead has adjusted his summer program to address the different needs for his recovery.

We could try to read between the lines on what it means that Crosby’s program has been “adjusted” and assume that means Crosby is still dealing with issues, but that kind of assumption is what causes everyone to get bent out of shape. While we’re all anxious and curious about what’s going on with Crosby as we haven’t seen him suited up with the Penguins since early January, this is the sort of situation where we’re just going to have to be happy with whatever news we do get and hope that it’s for the best.

With the new season approaching and Crosby being, perhaps, the best player in the game asking for patience is the hardest thing to do from fans and appreciators alike. In the past when concussions weren’t as apparent and easy to diagnose as they are now, post-concussion symptoms like headaches and dizziness would be played through and leave those players to be more susceptible to further injury and shortening their careers. The last thing anyone wants to see is to have Sidney Crosby deal with the issues that Eric Lindros had in seeing his career ended unceremoniously too soon.

Now that the Penguins and NHL are being more active in treating and diagnosing these problems, waiting for Crosby to be as well as he can be is the right thing, but also the most difficult thing to do. Until there’s anything more definitive from the Penguins, Crosby’s doctors, or from Sid himself we’re going to be left waiting to see when (or if) Crosby can come back to the ice.

Devils unveil ‘The Salute’ statue in honor of Martin Brodeur

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The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.

“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.

“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”

More on the statue from the Devils:

The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.

Video: Panthers furious after Abdelkader ‘cheap shot’ hit on Barkov

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The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.

Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.

The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.

Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.

“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”

“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.

“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”

The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.