Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby created a small stir in the Penguins fanbase and probably caused a tense moment in the organization on Saturday when he left the Penguins intra-squad scrimmage early in the second of two periods. Wednesday, Crosby was on the ice 30 minutes before practice.
But he left the ice as practice began, indicating he’s not yet ready to resume full activity. Crosby missed Sunday practice and the scrimmage on Monday, too.
An organization source told PHN, as many sources said to others, the injury was minor to the point of non-injury, and the absence was precautionary. This season, Sidney Crosby scored 47 points (16g, 31a) in just 41 games.
However, the Wednesday absence will do little to quell worries that Crosby tweaked something. He missed two months this season due to a sports hernia and core muscle surgery.
During the Phase 3 training camps and Phase 4 games, teams and coaches may not comment on injuries, as the NHL controls that information. Coaches may only say the player is “unfit to play.” So, an update on Sidney Crosby is unlikely until he is back on the ice as a full participant.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not been full strength since the first two periods against the Boston Bruins in November.
Some good news on Wednesday morning was Patric Hornqvist, who returned to practice with the big group, as did spare defenseman Juuso Riikola. Both were part of the nine players whom the Penguins voluntarily quarantined due to secondary exposure to the coronavirus.
Hornqvist had a resurgent season with 17 goals in just 52 games. Riikola played in 36 games, including several at forward as the depleted Penguins were short on forwards.
The Penguins added one more scrimmage later this week, so the nine quarantined players can get into game shape. The team invited 34 players to camp, but only 31 players will make the trip to the bubble city in Toronto.
The Penguins lone exhibition game will on July 28 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Phase 4 Qualifying Round when the Penguins face the Montreal Canadiens begins on Aug. 1.
PHN is quarantining in Toronto in advance of the NHL Qualifying Round and NHL playoffs and was not at practice. The news was derived from Twitter reports from the team.