After playing in his 8th game of the NHL season after missing 61 due to a concussion, Sidney Crosby wasn’t feeling quite right. They had just played the Boston Bruins, and while there wasn’t a collision in particular that had him feeling “off,” he was. He had been hit by David Krejci, he ran into his teammate – this stuff just happens.
Rather than push it, the plan was to sit out the next two games, then return tomorrow night against Detroit. That would mean a return to practice today, yet he didn’t. Crosby’s not ready to get back on the ice as mild symptoms still persist, much to the dismay of the hockey world. We’re all a little nervous for the guy.
Here’s what he told the media in Pittsburgh today, first on the question of whether he’s experiencing symptoms:
“Yes. If I didn’t I would be practicing. I’ve been doing light exertion stuff and seeing how that goes. It’s that whole routine again, but hopefully not as long. When I wasn’t doing something for six, seven months that process was a little longer. Hopefully, that’s not the case here.”
And secondly on his overall status:
“Not bad. I’m not happy about watching. But I have to make sure with these sort of things that I’m careful and making sure I’m 100 percent before coming back. No timetable.”
As Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports put it…
Crosby says he wants to make sure he’s 100 percent before returning. But that’s why he waited 10 1/2 months before, and that’s what’s scary.
While I’ve had my “bell rung” a number of times (I told a story about one of those times in today’s Backhand Shelf podcast, actually), I’ve been fortunate enough to never have to miss a game due to a concussion. But still, I’ve seen enough teammates struggle through the fog to know that there’s something different about the Crosby situation.
Usually, once a guy returns from a concussion, he’s just full-on returned. He may have some headaches (hell, I used to get the odd headache just from the physical exertion after a tough game), but he just keeps playing. Whether that’s wrong or right, that’s what I’ve seen.
Players like that are more susceptible to future concussions, so occasionally you’d see someone return, get clocked again, and need to sit out until they can work out all over again. It must be horribly frustrating.
But this “I have some mild symptoms, should be fine, just gonna sit out a few games thing” is either A) suuuuuuuper cautious, to a level I’ve never seen before (which I would applaud), or B) another case of an NHL team straight lying, and the Kid is concussed again. If you can be ”sorta concussed,” which seems to be what’s implied here, I’d wager there are a number of other NHLers who could use a few-game sit-down for that too.
For now, I’ll say this: I think it’s probably A), super-cautious. I think the Penguins know what he means to their organization, and they’re going to do their best to ensure they aren’t creating an Eric Lindros situation by giving him rest anytime he feels any bit less than perfect.
He’s probably fine, but we’re all going to have to just be patient, and let this thing run its course. Hopefully he’ll be back on the ice soon, and this will just have been a little blip on the radar of the Penguins season.