Sidney Crosby

Tom Brady recommended physical therapist to his friend, Sidney Crosby

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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.

Hitch’s recipe for more goals is a pretty simple one

Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund
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Ken Hitchcock wants the Blues to spend more time attacking and less time defending.

Because hockey isn’t rocket science, that’s why.

“To score and win games in the National Hockey League…you have to spend as much time in the offensive zone as you can,” Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch.

“When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, you’re forechecking more. When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, the goalie has to make saves. They’re having to defend more. And the opposing team takes penalties on you. So they’re all connected. … What I want to see from us is staying on the puck for longer stretches.”

According to the stats, the Blues have not been spending as much time in the offensive zone as we’re used to seeing from them. In fact, in their last 20 games, they rank in the bottom third of the league in score-adjusted Corsi. That compares to their first 20 games when they were in the top third.

The result is fewer shots, and more importantly, fewer goals. The Blues have fallen all the way to 25th in offense, averaging just 2.37 goals per game. Last year, they finished fifth (2.91).

Yes, some of that may be due to the absence of Jaden Schwartz, and he should be back soon. But there’s a reason people are watching GM Doug Armstrong as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. This team could probably use another piece up front.

The Blues host Minnesota Saturday.

St. Louis has scored just five goals in its last five games.

Goalie nods: Lindback ‘really excited’ for first start in almost three weeks

Anders Lindback
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Tonight in Anaheim, Anders Lindback will make his first start for the Arizona Coyotes since Jan. 16.

The Coyotes have been riding rookie Louis Domingue since just before Christmas, but Domingue has allowed five goals in each of his last three starts, including last night’s 5-4 loss to Chicago.

Lindback’s last appearance came Tuesday in relief, when he allowed one goal on 10 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Kings.

Lindback was in goal for one of Arizona’s three victories this season over Anaheim, stopping 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 9. However, his .896 save percentage ranks among the lowest in the league.

Frederik Andersen is expected to start for the Ducks.

Elsewhere…

— No word yet on a Penguins starter in Tampa, but Ben Bishop will go for the Bolts.

Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes in Winnipeg, where Connor Hellebuyck is expected for the increasingly desperate Jets.

— Joonas Korpisalo was solid last night in Vancouver, but the Blue Jackets have not announced their starter for tonight’s game in Calgary. Karri Ramo will be in goal for the Flames.

A ‘pretty solid two-way player,’ Sundqvist to make NHL debut for Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins' Oskar Sundqvist (49) collides with Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker (16) in the first period of a NHL preseason hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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The latest Penguins injuries, these ones to Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr, have led to an opportunity for Oskar Sundqvist.

Sundqvist will make his NHL debut for the Penguins tonight in Tampa. The 21-year-old center has five goals and 11 assists in 39 AHL games this season.

“Sunny’s a pretty solid two-way player,” coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Tribune-Review.

“I don’t think he’s going to dazzle you with flashy plays, but I think he’s a guy who plays the game the right way. He’s hard to play against because of his size. He’s got a long reach, and he’s got a good stick.”

Sundqvist was selected 81st overall by the Pens in 2012. He’ll become the fourth player out of that Pittsburgh draft class to make his NHL debut, after Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, and Matt Murray.

Veteran Matt Cullen will replace Malkin on the second line, skating with wingers Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel.

Related: Nick Bonino out ‘at least a month’ with hand injury

John Scott’s wife gives birth to twin girls

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As if John Scott wasn’t already having a great week, now he’s the proud father of twin girls.

The Montreal Canadiens shared the good news via their Twitter account today.

Scott, the unlikely 2016 All-Star Game MVP, is currently back home in Michigan; however, he’s expected to resume his career at some point with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

When, exactly, he suits up for the IceCaps remains to be seen, but it won’t be tonight or tomorrow.

Related: Therrien on Canadiens possibly recalling John Scott: ‘You never know’