Sidney Crosby is going to be a bit more streamlined during the Eastern Conference finals. At this morning’s practice in Pittsburgh, he skated for the first time without the large, plastic mouthguard attached to his helmet.
During the first two rounds of the playoffs, Crosby looked more like a guy ready for football than hockey by sporting the added protection for the broken jaw he suffered during the regular season. Now that he’s skating in practice without it, you’d have to assume his jaw is back to full health.
Of course, it’s not as if the extra equipment hindered his game. During the first two rounds of the playoffs, Crosby has seven goals and eight assists in 10 games, including two power play tallies. If skating without that added plastic makes him feel more comfortable on the ice, the Bruins are going to have a lot more to worry about than they thought.
(Photo: Penguins’ Instagram)
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
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.