AP Sports activities Author WILL GRAVES
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby went down the tunnel and disappeared. The sense of safety the Pittsburgh Penguins had of their first-round playoff collection towards the New York Rangers vanished with their captain.
The celebrity’s standing in Friday evening’s Sport 6 is unsure after Crosby took a excessive however – within the eyes of officers – official hit from Jacob Trouba within the second interval of Wednesday evening’s Sport 5. He did not play the final 26 minutes and was nowhere close to the bench that despatched the collection again to Pittsburgh as a two-goal win become a 5-3 loss.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan gave little element, besides to say on Thursday that Crosby will proceed to be evaluated. Sullivan declined to enter particulars as as to if the three-time Stanley Cup champion suffered from one other concussion, saying solely that Crosby suffered an harm to his higher physique.
Whereas Sullivan pressured that the workforce has what it takes to win irrespective of who’s on the roster, the reality is that Crosby’s acquainted No. Penguins aren’t the identical when 87 of them do not do the little issues – and the large ones too. made it a singular power for twenty years.
This was evident within the turmoil that adopted instantly after Crosby’s departure. Pittsburgh allowed three targets in below three minutes and struggled to place constant strain on New York goalie Igor Shesterkin after the Rangers took a full lead within the third quarter.
Crosby had spent two years grappling with post-concussion points ten years in the past and was in the midst of his first time period. He is been largely wholesome since 2013, regardless of lacking a second-round sport towards Washington in 2017 after a cross-check on the top of Capitals defender Matt Niskanen.
Pittsburgh received a 3-2 victory in avenue gear with Crosby earlier than persevering with to win the collection in seven video games and a second Stanley Cup a month later. Whereas the penguins recovered from Crosby’s wrist surgical procedure, they held up earlier this season.
“We had a mentality right here that it was at all times the subsequent man method,” Sullivan stated.
Friday evening might be a primary for Pittsburgh, presumably Evgeni Malkin if Crosby is not accessible. Malkin, like Crosby, is among the pillars on which the franchise is constructed. Nonetheless, Crosby’s efficiency within the first four-plus video games of the collection proved he was a commanding presence in his fifteenth postseason, even within the again half of his Corridor of Fame profession.
Earlier than Crosby was injured, he had two targets and 7 assists. Earlier this week, he grew to become the sixth participant in NHL historical past to succeed in 200 post-season profession factors. However the leaderboard does not present an entire image of what Crosby has introduced in.
“It is the little issues that you must watch and that is what you admire,” stated former NHL ahead Anson Carter, now a Turner Sports activities analyst. However the nuances of his play are phenomenal. If you watch sufficient of him and see the little issues he does, you say, ‘Wow, it was a fantastic sport.'”