VIDEO: David Krejci Elbows Sidney Crosby

It’s all a guessing game.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Wednesday that star forward Sidney Crosby would not travel with the team on an upcoming road trip and plans to miss the next two games for precautionary reasons.

The official statement from the Penguins and GM Ray Shero:

“Sidney took a hard hit during our game against Boston Monday night and wasn’t feeling 100 percent,” Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. “He saw Dr. Micky Collins of UPMC today and took an ImPACT test, which showed no problems. However, we all think it’s best that he sits out the next two games as a precaution.”

So after a magical two weeks we’re back to square one.

What’s wrong? How long is he out? What happened?

Dr. Collins is not the Penguins’ team physician, but he has been part of Crosby’s so-called ‘concussion team’ for the past year.  Shero points out that Crosby passed an ImPACT (baseline concussion) test which seems to indicate Crosby’s head or functionality was at least a minor concern.

But of course, it’s all a guessing game.

The Associated Press interpreted Shero’s use of the phrase ‘hard hit’ to mean the late game collision between Crosby and teammate Chris Kunitz:

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby’s will miss the next two games as a precaution following a collision with teammate Chris Kunitz in Monday night’s loss to Boston.

General manager Ray Shero said Wednesday the former MVP wasn’t “feeling 100 percent” after inadvertently running into Kunitz in the third period and will sit out Thursday’s game in Philadelphia and Saturday’s visit to the New York Islanders.

The referenced hit left Crosby hunched over and limping off the ice favoring his right leg, but to my knowledge, Shero never singled out that hit as the root of Crosby’s problems.  An inadvertent elbow from Boston’s David Krejci on the second shift of the game is what caught my eye:

(Video via @Allie874)

On the play, Krejci attempted to shoot the puck into the offensive zone with his back to Crosby.  The puck ended up bouncing over Krejci’s stick and his left elbow followed through into Crosby’s face, causing his head to snap back.

Crosby talks with reporters after Monday's game (Mike Colligan/THW)

It’s never easy to determine principal point of contact — especially watching the game in person or even a video without Brendan Shanahan’s super slo-mo camera angles — but Crosby was left with a visible mark on his right cheek after the play and took an opportunity to remind Krejci what happened later in the first period.

After a neutral zone faceoff, Crosby slashed Krejci in the leg causing the Bruins center to chop back.  The two scuffled and barked at each other after the shift was over before returning to their respective benches to continue the banter.

Based on facial expressions, Krejci didn’t understand why Crosby was so incensed until Crosby pointed to his elbow and then the bruise below his right eye.

“Yeah, I feel fine,” Crosby said after the game when asked if he felt okay.  Crosby missed the Penguins full practice on Tuesday before returning to the ice Wednesday for a light skate prior to the team leaving for Philadelphia.

All we — and maybe anyone — know at this point is some combination of the accidental elbow from Krejci, the Kunitz collision, and other physical confrontations later in the game with Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley left Crosby not “feeling 100 percent”.

Eleven months ago, Crosby was in a similar situation after absorbing an elbow to the head from Washington’s David Steckel in the Winter Classic.  Crosby later admitted that he didn’t feel right after the game, but attributed the neck pain and headaches to whiplash.  Victor Hedman delivered a second blow to Crosby just days later that eventually ended his season.

With all the uncertainty surrounding concussions, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

In the end, it’s all a guessing game.

Mike Colligan

Mike Colligan

Managing Editor
Mike Colligan is an NHL analyst at Forbes SportsMoney and The Hockey Writers. Email: MJColligan@gmail.com
Mike Colligan
@fangdali1 yep, exactly - 1 day ago
Mike Colligan
Mike Colligan

10 Comments

  1. He clearly got hit by Krejci’s back. I don’t know wtf everyone else is looking at.

  2. Oh my god – this is funny!

  3. Crosby isn’t playing for the next 2 games b/c the team is being cautious about a slight headache Crosby experienced following Wednesday’s (yesterday’s) practice…not a slight headache experienced immediately after the BOS/PIT game. Now Crosby didn’t feel 100% after that Monday game. Also, in one report Bylsma is quoted as having said that Crosby took a hard hit during the BOS/PIT game, and in another report quoted as saying that Crosby took a couple of hits in that game. Nevertheless, Crosby apparently did not report his slight headache until after the Wednesday practice. Crosby skated full speed during the Wednesday practice and reported that his knee that collided with Kunitz was fine. Moreover, Crosby apparently was administered an ImPACT neurocognitive test after Wednesday’s practice, and Crosby did pass that test. It is unlikely that the Kunitz/Crosby knee-on-knee/groin collision on Monday caused the slight headache on Wednesday. There is no evidence one way or the other about whether the Krejci/Crosby collision caused Crosby’s headache two days later. I am willing bet though that if you asked a group of doctors (particularly neurologists) for their medical opinion about what is more likely to be associated with a slight headache, they probably would aver that an elbow to the head is more likely to be associated with a slight headache than a knee-on-knee/groin hit. Now the bruise doesn’t look pretty, but Crosby really doesn’t have to worry about shaving that area of his face yet. Can Crosby register a complaint with another player about the mark left without fans (especially fans who love hating Crosby) getting their panties all in a bunch? Sure, hockey players are supposed to settle these things among themselves. Heck, I’d be mad too if someone did the same thing to me, accident or no accident; I probably would have gotten at least a minor. Bottom line though: Teams should be extra cautious about players with a history of concussions, and that is what the Pens are doing by making Crosby sit out two games, just like the Pens did with Kennedy for his concussion earlier this season and have been doing with Michalek and Letang for their concussions.

  4. Wow…you’re really reaching here, right?? Does this seem a better “story” than the Kunitz collision?? Sid was CLEARY hurt on that play…unexpected contact, slow to get up.

    • It’s not a reach. Crosby got hit hard there.

      It’s not like Colligan is saying “Oh, suspend Krejci blah blah blah”. He’s just simply saying “Hey, the Kunitz collision wasn’t the only time Crosby got hit hard”.

  5. Maybe we should just put Crosby in a bubble so no one can touch him. On a personal note, I wouldn’t mind Crosby so much if he didn’t mouth off to the refs all the time. Not to mention his great diving capabilities.

  6. They are going to burn Krejci in Bettmans front yard for that.

    • This elbow was an accident and is just a great excuse for writers to pump this non issue story up. There was no intent but now we will see Krejci depicted as the villan.

      • “accidental elbow from Krejci”

        You read the article, right?

        Or did you just glance over it so you could fume in the comments section about Crosby?

        • While he said it was accidental, the rest of the article was trying to make it look like Krejci was guilty of something by pointing out that Crosby took issue with it and pointing to his face as evidence and how it was an elbow shot that shelved him before.

          I see the hit the another way though. Crosby sure looked like he was trying to line up Krejci to take him into the boards when Krejci turned away from him. If Krejci didn’t turn he was going to get hurt.

          The Kunitz hit though, which felled both of them, clearly looked like the hit that he got hurt on.

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