There was no Sidney Crosby on the ice for practice on Monday, after leaving the third period of Saturday’s game with an undisclosed lower body injury. Crosby was doubled over along the boards in a weird fashion then soon after blocked a shot with his foot and left the game.
Coach Mike Sullivan provided very little update today, only saying that Crosby officially is “still being evaluated” with no further details besides the announcement he will not play tomorrow night against the New York Rangers. Being as he didn’t practice today, that’s not really breaking a ton of news, but it still does answer the question to not expect him for at least tomorrow.
Here’s how the Penguins’ lines did look as they prep for life (for at least one game) without Sidney Crosby:
McCann fills in Crosby's vacancy. Here is how the #Pens lines shook out...— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) November 11, 2019
Patric Hornqvist (week-to-week) was spotted at the arena but not on the ice. Same with Kris Letang, whose status has been moved to week-to-week as well.
The above is probably the best the team can cobble together; it gives Jared McCann a chance to keep up his great play so far this season, keeps the red-hot Evgeni Malkin + Bryan Rust duo together and keeps the team’s preferred Aston-Reese-Blueger-Tanev fourth line together, a decision the metrics certainly support. Youngster Sam Lafferty slots back into the lineup and he’s looking to play tomorrow for his first NHL game since October 26th.
The Pens will have it tough without Crosby, but they’ve been lucky to have supporting players like McCann and Rust be very productive in recent games, as well as Malkin looking like the superstar he is after a return from injury by himself.
Pittsburgh plays tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden, then gets another extended break between games until Friday. It remains to be seen when or if Crosby will be back by that point, but if nothing else at least this week is still while the Pens are in a lull in the schedule.