Sidney Crosby

Baby steps: Sidney Crosby cleared to practice without contact

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We’ve all been tracking Sidney Crosby’s recovery from the concussion he suffered back in January with an almost obsessive nature. Seeing the game’s biggest player get back on the ice to perform at the highest level is something everyone should hope to see. As players headed to their team’s respective training camps today and tomorrow, that also means it’s time for physicals. According to Josh Yohe of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Crosby was cleared to practice with the Penguins without contact.

Crosby’s progress in coming back from the concussion(s) suffered in January thanks to a collision with David Steckel and a hit from Victor Hedman in separate games has been closely monitored and very carefully measured. When Crosby spoke with the media recently, he said there was no way he was going to be retiring from hockey despite the extreme care taken to make sure he can come back and that he can’t wait to get back out there. Now he’ll get to do just that.

Being able to practice without contact is pretty self explanatory but it also means he gets to do all the drills and workout with the team at full speed, he’s just not going to be going absolutely full blast the same way everyone else would be. It’s a small step in his recovery but a big moment just the same as the Penguins and their fans look forward to getting Crosby back on the ice.

The key part now is how Crosby’s health responds to taking this next step. If there are any setbacks, that will again slow the process down and make sure that Crosby is reevaluated. With how far along he is now, everyone is hopeful that won’t happen.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: