Sidney Crosby

Tom Brady recommended physical therapist to his friend, Sidney Crosby


Just how big is the Sidney Crosby concussion/neck story?

It came up at Super Bowl Media Day.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review caught up with Patriots QB Tom Brady on Tuesday and asked him about Alex Guerrero, a Utah-based physical therapist he recommended to Crosby through a mutual friend.

(The Trib also reports Brady and Crosby are buddies, which is equal parts awesome and adorable. It’s like a modern-day ProStars!)

“I trust him,” Brady said of Guerrero, who helped the reigning NFL MVP recover from a knee injury three years ago. “I know I wouldn’t be here today without him.”

Crosby made an unannounced trip to Utah to see Guerrero in between visits to Atlanta to see Dr. Ted Carrick (a chiropractic specialist) and Los Angeles to see Dr. Robert S. Bray (a neurological spine specialist that revealed Crosby had fractured vertebrae in his neck.)

In a 2009 Boston Globe article, Guerrero is described as Brady’s personal trainer who “spent the winter months [of 2008] in Southern California directing the quarterback’s rehab.”

Part of Brady’s trust in Guerrero is probably because, after tearing the ACL and MCL in October, the knee was back at full strength by February.

More, from the Globe:

[Brady] also did plenty of core work. And he continued with an innovative shoulder program that he and Guerrero devised, something that’s off the board enough that Guerrero politely declined to describe it. What he would say was that Brady’s diligence with that work is a big reason the quarterback says he no longer gets the arm soreness he did earlier in his career.

To Guerrero, Brady’s ability to sustain the kind of hit Albert Haynesworth laid on him in the preseason – crumpling the quarterback under 350 pounds – was proof positive that the quarterback’s hard work was paying off. If he’d just worried about rehabbing his knee, the result might’ve been uglier. Because he worked his shoulder and core, it wasn’t.

What Guerrero called “the transformation’’ came in Week 4, when the Ravens visited Foxborough, and Brady completed 66 percent of his passes for 258 yards, a touchdown, and no picks.

“His confidence with his body was back, you could see it,’’ Guerrero said. “He’s totally confident with the program, how the knee feels, how his arm feels, how he’s going to feel after the game.”

That season, Brady was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.