Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Crosby skates at Penguins practice, concussion recovery remains 'day-to-day process'

His brain foggy. His immediate future uncertain.

"It means everything", Penguins forward Chris Kunitz said of winning without Crosby. The diagnosis came the next morning: Crosby is sidelined indefinitely with yet another concussion.

Going to the net with the puck, Crosby was initially thrown off balance by a slash from Ovechkin, then cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned to the ice Thursday, skating with teammates Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin at the Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa., as he recovers from a concussion. "It's a tough play", Skjei said. "You know, you care a lot about him ..." "I haven't felt that way in a long time". "He working hard like everybody".

Whether the Penguins are the better team or not doesn't matter, which is good, because they're not, and they haven't been for much of this series.

"He's elevated his game at an important time", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

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The Penguins blocked 18 shots a game on the way to the championship last season and are averaging 19.3 so far in these playoffs.

Oscar Lindberg was one of the standouts of Game 4, collecting two goals.

"We had good chances and we didn't bury them", Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "Sometimes they come around quickly".

The real question on the minds of fans across the league though is pretty simple: assuming the Penguins can finish off their opponents, could this become a blow-it-up situation for the Capitals?

Especially in the second half of the season, when injuries just kept piling up, the Penguins kept plugging away, and they'll try to keep that attitude again tonight. He sat out two weeks after being diagnosed with another concussion last October, returning in time to play in 75 games and score an NHL-high 44 goals.

Ray Shero, The Hockey Executive, will always be grateful to Sidney Crosby for helping bring the '09 NHL crown to Pittsburgh.

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This, however, is something different. "But at this time there's probably not much I can say to him that's going to make him feel better about it or believe me". "We love the (resilience) that this team shows in the face of adversity". A common refrain is to let the players decide the outcome, reflecting a general reluctance on the part of referees to call penalties when policing the game.

Niskanen was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking, though it was reported Tuesday he won't be subject to suspension for the hit.

The league decided against holding a hearing to determine whether the hit should be subject to review from the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

"Alex Ovechkin is a great hockey player".

Ovechkin "hits him in the head, that's why he falls down", he said. "It's just unfortunate there was an injury from it", Smith said. "They need to be top players, and step up right now". There is no hard data to prove this, but your trusty correspondent would venture to guess that the ratio of penalties called to those ignored is larger for crosschecking than any other infraction in the rulebook.

Even Don Cherry, known for his Rock'em Sock'em Hockey highlight videos, has referred to the cross-check on Crosby as a "cheap shot" that warrants a suspension for the remainder of the series. "It's sad. Hope he's going to be fine and get back in the series". Against those even strength shots in the playoffs, Holtby has posted a.773 save percentage, compared to.822 during the regular season. He has 1.32 points per game when Crosby is not in the lineup, compared to 1.15 when Crosby dresses.

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