Sullivan: Chad Ruhwedel has a concussion

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with yet another injury on defense.

Chad Ruhwedel left Friday’s Game 4 against the Ottawa Senators after getting hit into the boards by Bobby Ryan. The hit occurred in the final minute of the first period. Ruhwedel didn’t return and Pittsburgh played the rest of the game with five defensemen.

Following his team’s 3-2 victory to even the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece, head coach Mike Sullivan announced that Ruhwedel has a concussion and will be evaluated when the team returns to Pittsburgh.

Sullivan also didn’t want to offer his opinion of the hit, which officials didn’t penalize.

“It’s not my job to evaluate how the call was made or not made,” said Sullivan. “You know, the referees are going to see it the way they see it, and they do the best job they can. We’re just going to play the game.”

The Penguins have been without Kris Letang for the entire post-season, and Justin Schultz has missed the last two games of this series due to injury. In Game 3, Trevor Daley returned to the lineup, as Pittsburgh went with seven defensemen, including Ruhwedel and Mark Streit.

Crosby couldn’t have been removed by concussion spotters

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Even though he looked shaken up, and even though he was just diagnosed with a concussion, Sidney Crosby was not eligible to be removed from the game by concussion spotters after he went crashing into the boards last night in Pittsburgh.

From USA Today:

Crosby was slow to get off the ice after he became entangled with Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Caps in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. Under the current concussion policy, the league’s central concussion spotter only would have been able to force Crosby out had his head hit the ice or another player.

“Depending on the mechanism of injury, ‘slow to get up’ does not trigger mandatory removal,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports. “The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal. ‘Ice’ as compared to ‘boards’ is in there for a reason. It’s the result of a study on our actual experiences over a number of years. ‘Ice’ has been found to be a predictor of concussions — ‘boards’ has not been.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan confirmed after the game that Crosby was not evaluated for a concussion, while Crosby said he just got the wind knocked out of him.

Irrespective of the league’s study, it seems bizarre that concussion spotters were powerless to do anything last night simply because Crosby went crashing into the boards, as opposed to hitting his head on the ice.

Boards are pretty hard, too.

Sullivan: Sidney Crosby wasn’t evaluated for a concussion after head-first crash

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Sidney Crosby wasn’t evaluated for a concussion during Monday’s Game 6 between the Penguins and Capitals, despite a dangerous head-first crash into the end boards in the first period.

That is according to multiple reports quoting coach Mike Sullivan, after the Penguins were crushed 5-2 by the Capitals, which forces a seventh and deciding game in this second round series.

The Penguins captain and the face of the entire NHL has a history of concussions, including his most recent one suffered exactly one week ago when he was cross checked in the head during Game 3.

On Monday, Crosby took a stick to the face in the first few minutes of the opening period. He went to the bench and received repairs but stayed in the game. Later in the period, Crosby went crashing into the boards after he came into contact with the left pad of Braden Holtby while chasing a puck near the Washington net.

And yet, he remained on the ice to finish his shift and, despite slowly getting back to his skates, he stayed in the game — a development that raised plenty of criticism on social media for the league’s concussion protocol.

Although, there seems to be somewhat conflicting messages between Sullivan and Crosby.

Crosby, Sheary pass baseline concussion tests, will be game-time decisions

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The Pittsburgh Penguins could have Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary back in the lineup on Saturday night for Game 5 of their second-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Coach Mike Sullivan announced on Saturday morning that both players passed their baseline concussion tests and will be game-time decisions. Sullivan added that Crosby has “had a number of positive days.”

Both players missed Game 4 of the series — which the Penguins won 3-2 to take a 3-1 series lead — due to concussions. Crosby was injured when he was cross-checked in the head by Matt Niskanen early in the first period of Game 3. Niskanen was given a five-minute major for cross-checking and ejected from the game but received no additional discipline from the NHL.

Sheary was knocked out of the same game following a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist in the second period.

Both players were full participants in practice on Friday, with Crosby taking his spot on the top-line between Jake Guentzel and Hornqvist.

Sheary skated on the third line alongside Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust.

Crosby has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight playoff games, including two goals and two assists in this series.

Crosby has concussion, but Penguins ‘optimistic’ he’ll be back soon

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Sidney Crosby has a concussion. He won’t play tomorrow in Game 4 of the Capitals-Penguins series in Pittsburgh.

“We will evaluate him from there,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said today.

“He’s very upbeat and positive,” Sullivan added. “We’re very optimistic and hopeful we’ll have him back in a timely fashion.”

Crosby was hurt last night when he took a cross-check to side of his head from Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen. An instant earlier, Crosby had taken an Alex Ovechkin stick to the back of his head.

Ovechkin was not penalized, but Niskanen received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Crosby stayed down for a while and had to be helped off the ice. He did not return to the game.

“He will go through the protocols that we always put our guys through when they’ve been diagnosed with a concussion,” Sullivan said, per the Washington Post. “The nature of these things is that they are all very different. Sometimes they come around quickly, other times they don’t.”

Crosby, of course, has a well-documented history with concussions. He missed six games in October with one. He missed many more games earlier in his career with the same injury.

Read more: Capitals, Penguins reflect on Crosby’s ‘gut-wrenching’ injury

The Penguins also announced that Crosby’s sometimes linemate, Conor Sheary, has a concussion. Sheary was hurt last night when he collided with teammate Patric Hornqvist.

No word when Sheary might be able to play again, but he did skate this morning on his own.

The Penguins lead the Capitals, 2-1, in the series.

Related: Trotz calls accusations against Caps ‘ridiculous’