Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan announced on Tuesday morning that Penguins center, captain, and the center of their universe, Sidney Crosby will be unavailable for Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers because he has been placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.
“Sid will not be available for tonight’s game. He will be listed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. We didn’t have a morning skate this morning due to the NHL’s COVID protocol.
Crosby, who recently played his 1000th game with the franchise, has been the Penguins’ clear MVP this season. In 20 games, he is the team’s leading scorer with 18 points (7g, 11a). More specifically, the Crosby line has factored on nearly 40% of the Penguins offense this season.
The Penguins did not hold a morning skate due to the situation, though Sullivan did perhaps offer a little cryptic response.
“Just because a player is on the list doesn’t mean he has COVID, right” Sullivan rhetorically asked.
The NHL releases the list but does not specifically differentiate players with the virus or players who may have come into contact with the virus.
Earlier this season, Penguins defenseman John Marino was placed on the protocol but cleared to play just a few days later. The NHL does not have a game minimum or set number of games players must miss due to being placed in the protocol. Local and state regulations also play a role when determining a player’s eligibility.
The NHL recently invested in more rapid testing which can also be slightly less reliable. However, upon a positive test, a player is to immediately isolate.
According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Sidney Crosby has been on the ice for 27 of the Penguins’ 60 goals this season (45%). At 5v5, Crosby has been on the ice for 36% of the Penguins’ goals.
The Penguins may make corresponding roster moves. Sullivan said he and the hockey operations department would discuss it today.