Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates during the first day of NHL hockey training camp, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP

Uh oh: Sidney Crosby’s day-to-day with lower-body injury

21 Comments

Pittsburgh Penguins fans might be wise not to ask the question: “Can it get any worse?”

The answer’s just about always “Yes.”

Sunday presented the latest evidence, as the team announced that Sidney Crosby is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. As you likely know, this word comes a day after the Penguins lost their fifth straight game, with Mike Sullivan still lacking a win as their new head coach.

Woof, that’s a paragraph loaded with sadness. Almost a factory of sadness, even.

Allow a few bits of mild optimism, then.

Yes, this isn’t good. Some might even cite this as evidence to why No. 87 has suffered from such a puzzling lack of offense.

Could the Penguins just be picking a smart time to give Crosby a much-needed breather, though?

During this holiday week, the Penguins will get a big break. They face the Blue Jackets in Pittsburgh and then go on a siesta until a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday.

Wouldn’t that be the perfect time to sit their embattled leader?

No, this isn’t a good thing. Even so, it might not be such a bad situation in the big picture.

Let’s nitpick Sidney Crosby’s slow start

Sidney Crosby
AP
15 Comments

The responsible, reasonable thing is not to make a big deal out of two games. Not when the Pittsburgh Penguins have 80 more.

What about the fun thing, though?

After two games, the Pittsburgh Penguins have zero standings points, two losses and a single goal (by Phil Kessel).

When you’re not getting production from an entire team, everyone deserves some blame. Sports talk doesn’t always work that way, though, which is why the Hockey Internet is gaping in awe at Sidney Crosby‘s meek start.

Goals don’t go around very often in the extremely tight-checking NHL, so many times one can point out that a cold player is getting his chances. Crosby’s been unusually quiet even in that regard, with zero shots in those first two games.

Just notice how rare that is for Crosby, even taking into account that he may still lean a bit toward passing.

Is he just missing the net, though? Well …

Crosby is rarely an interesting quote, so it’s not surprising that his take might as well have been taken from @BoringMonahan:

… But at least he’s not in denial.

Let’s not forget that the Penguins boast plenty of other talented players, so to some extent, it might come down to finding the right mix. Evgeni Malkin saw a different linemate in David Perron as the Sergei Plotnikov experiment was placed on hold, for instance.

It’s early, and both the team and Crosby can make adjustments. There’s at least one that seems pretty obvious:

The Penguins must stew on these problems for some time, as they won’t play again until they begin a five-game homestand by hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Maybe Crosby just needs some home-cooking?

Video: Cause for concern with Sidney Crosby after collision with Hagelin?

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins
26 Comments

Sidney Crosby was slow to get up after being involved in a collision with Carl Hagelin during the third period of Game 2, but the Pittsburgh Penguins captain remained in the game.

Is it enough to cause concern for Crosby, who has a history of concussions and missed 68 games after being on the receiving end of a similar hit in the 2011 Winter Classic?

Crosby had a big game for the Penguins, scoring twice to bust his personal playoff slump in their win over the Rangers on Saturday to even the series.

Afterward, Crosby said he was caught in the jaw but thought the collision might have been accidental, as per Tom Gulitti of The Record.

“I don’t know what hit me, if it was shoulder, stick, his head. It could have been anything,” said Crosby.

“Just two guys collided. That’s basically what it is,” he added.

Video: Sidney Crosby strikes twice to bust personal playoff scoring slump

11 Comments

Sidney Crosby had just one goal in 19 playoff games before Saturday’s clash between his Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers.

Then, within the span of 4:39 late in the second period, Crosby struck twice to give his team the lead in Game 2 of that first-round series, which the Penguins trail 1-0.

Pittsburgh was down a goal after the first period, but erupted with three in the middle period to take a 3-1 lead, despite being short-handed five different times in the game. Crosby had two of those goals on three shots through 40 minutes.

(Video) PHT Extra: On the ‘nitpicking’ of Sidney Crosby

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins
16 Comments

Sidney Crosby only has 71 points in 64 games.

He may not even win the scoring race.

What a disaster!

He should probably just retire.

OK, fine, maybe Jim Rutherford is right and we’re “nitpicking” a bit.

Maybe Crosby’s numbers are down (slightly) because he isn’t “cheating” defensively and he’s more committed to playing a two-way game.

And perhaps he’s a victim of an evolving NHL, where there’s “less room” to operate and fewer power plays than there were a few years ago.

That being said, it’s no secret the NHL is a young man’s game; a league in which players are considered “genetic freaks” if they’re able to remain dominant into their 30s. At 27 years old — and with around 700 games, regular season and playoffs combined, on the ol’ body odometer — Sid the Kid is well into middle age by hockey standards.

So…are his most prolific scoring years behind him?