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Video: Crosby erases some worries with backhander

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Whenever Sidney Crosby doesn’t score a goal for a while, the hand-wringing and rumor-mongering starts. The Pittsburgh Penguins star often takes the opportunity to tell everyone to relax with his play soon after.

He did it again on Monday, as he scored a beauty of a backhand goal against the New Jersey Devils:

In other words, don’t worry … unless you’re facing him.

Crosby back for Pens after missing three games with the mumps

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Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup tonight when the Pens take on the Avs at Consol, the team has announced:

Crosby’s missed the last three games with the mumps, during which the Pens have gone 2-0-1. No. 87 heads into tonight’s game looking to snap a seven-game goalless drought, though that’s not to say he hasn’t been productive; Crosby has 35 points through 27 games this year and is one back of Philly’s Claude Giroux for the NHL assist lead (27).

Penguins doctor: Crosby’s mumps ‘came about as a bit of a surprise’

sidcros
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However you speculate about how the Pittsburgh Penguins handled Sidney Crosby’s case of mumps, they’re at least being fairly transparent about the situation (right now).

The team shared a detailed feature on the situation, including some insight from the team’s head physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas.

“It came about as a bit of a surprise to us,” Dr. Vyas said Sunday afternoon. “Every indication was that he was well protected against the disease.”

Here’s the team’s timeline for Crosby’s mumps, verbatim:

Illness Timeline

Pre-Winter Olympics, 2014

Crosby is given immunization and a booster shot to protect against diseases, including the mumps, prior to leaving for Sochi, Russia.

Nov. 24-28

Entire Penguins team was immunized and tested for mumps as an outbreak continues to grow in the NHL.

Nov. 28 vs. Carolina

Crosby suffered an injury to the right side of his neck – the salivary gland. He was tested with a CT scan and for mumps. All blood tests came back negative. Was given medication to bring swelling down.

Dec. 10-11

When medication for the salivary gland was stopped, Crosby developed swelling next to the injured area. Another series of tests, including mumps, were conducted. The tests showed no indication of an infection.

Crosby showed no symptoms of mumps such as fever, chills or generalized body aches.

Dec. 12 vs. Calgary

Crosby’s swelling and condition worsened. Crosby’s DNA was sent to the CDC for a sophisticated test. He was held out of the game until the CDC test results come back.

Dec. 13 at Columbus

Crosby’s CDC test results came back positive for mumps.

Friday, Dec. 12 is maybe the most interesting day in that timeline, as that’s when the 27-year-old was cleared to practice with teammates. It’s also when this jarring image surfaced:

source:

Yeah, it certainly seems like his swelling had “worsened” by then.

Crosby is now being quarantined by CDC guidelines, yet there’s the concern that mumps already spread through the Penguins team and maybe beyond.

Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this, as the league seemingly cannot shake the mumps.

Crosby indeed has the mumps, won’t play Monday

crosbyface
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Even for hockey’s “shrouding everything in mystery” standards, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ reluctance to admit that Sidney Crosby has the mumps has been pretty odd. They confirmed as much today, shortly after TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported it as such.

Maybe most importantly, the team revealed that his “infectious period” will end on Monday, although he won’t play against the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow anyway.

As PHT noted earlier this week, it was hard to think of anything else upon seeing Crosby’s face:

source:

One interesting tidbit to add:

The real question is: who’s next in “The Year of the Mumps?”

Read more about it here.

Pens’ Maatta could miss weeks, no update on Crosby yet

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Mumps or not, it doesn’t sound like Sidney Crosby will be out much longer for the Pittsburgh Penguins, even if he’s missing tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The same cannot be said for defenseman Olli Maatta, however.

The Penguins released two updates regarding the 20-year-old blueliner on Saturday, noting that he’s still undergoing testing and seeking a second opinion on an upper-body injury that has him on IR. He could be out “weeks.”

It’s been a trying season for Maatta, to say the least.

He had a cancerous tumor removed via surgery earlier this season and managed to come back much earlier than expected. He then got injured once again last weekend, leaving many worried about his outlook for at least the short-term future.

The waiting game also continues with Crosby, as the team didn’t provide an update (aside from there being no update).

With Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist back in the mix, the Penguins are getting healthier. That doesn’t mean they’re at full strength yet, though.