Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal

Sidney Crosby’s agent: Crosby’s post-concussion symptoms returned during heavy workouts

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We’ve heard a lot about Sidney Crosby lately and with training camp coming up in just a few weeks we’re only going to hear more about whether or not he’ll be able to get back out on the ice sooner or later.

Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, did give an informative update about how he’s handling his workouts in preparation for a comeback to action on the ice. The word from Brisson is discouraging for Penguins and Crosby fans out there.

Matthew Sekeres and Dave McGinn from The Globe & Mail in Toronto get the update from Brisson.

Mr. Crosby’s agent surfaced late Wednesday night to say his client’s symptoms resurfaced at the 90-per-cent exertion level, which was an important clue to the status of his recovery for doctors who specialize in treating concussions. According to experts interviewed Thursday, Mr. Crosby’s inability to exercise symptom-free at the 90-per-cent exertion level could mean that he will have to start his comeback from square one, but it most certainly means that the Penguins superstar will have to back off his recovery with training camp less than one month away.

News like this is especially disappointing to hear given that it’s been more than eight months since Crosby’s been injured. While we’ve only heard a little bit from Sid himself and have stressed that it’s best to just let him do things at his own pace to get back on the ice, fans are going to be eager to see him back on the ice as soon as possible.

With Crosby having issues like this, however, it stresses how important it is for guys dealing with head injuries to be fully healthy before trying to come back to action. Picture what would happen if Crosby ignored these symptoms and said, “Screw it, the team needs me. I’m playing.” All it takes is another hit, even one that doesn’t appear to be one that targets the head (much like the hit by Victor Hedman that put him out of action) that can set everything back to square one and then extend how long it could be before he returns to action.

That’s a scenario the Penguins don’t want to face up to. It’s one that the NHL doesn’t want to see happen either. Putting the face of the franchise (and the league) in danger like that is not something anyone wants to see. For Crosby, let’s hope that he continues his comeback at his own pace and won’t feel stressed out by feeling the need to get back to action.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.