First, the bad news. Sidney Crosby was missing from Penguins practice this morning after leaving the team’s scrimmage midway through on Saturday. The Pens did not give an update on Crosby, citing the NHL’s new policy about not disclosing any information currently in the pandemic atmosphere.
On one hand, that’s kinda to be expected to not see Crosby. He obviously twinged or tweaked something on Saturday, there’s no need or purpose for him to practice the very next day. Nothing heals within mere hours and the Pens still do have some time. Though not too much considering they’re less than one week away for leaving for the bubble in Toronto and less than two weeks from Game 1 of the Play in round against the Montreal Canadiens.
With the Pens not giving any official updates, we’re left to speculation. Media members like Mark Madden and Josh Yohe have suggested unnammed sources saying Crosby’s injury is not significant by any means.
But, all we can do at this point is just wait and see, being as the league is just saying players are “unfit to play” whether they are asympomatic with the coronavirus, have a day-to-day injury, are out for months with a major injury or have been hospitalized by the virus. No matter what, they’re just “unfit to play”.
There was a sign, however, that shows this Crosby injury is what the initial whispers were as a minor one. It’s in the lines that the Pens used today:
Here is the #Pens workflow in Crosby's absence:— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) July 19, 2020
Evan Rodrigues is a placeholder for Crosby today, skating along Sid’s normal linemates in Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary. Had Crosby been removed from the lineup for a meaningful amount of time, Guentzel would have slid up to play with Evgeni Malkin, much like he did when Crosby had hernia surgery.
It’s not much, but reading between the lines here tells us a little more than the Penguins can or want to. We didn’t see Sidney Crosby on the ice, but some signs and whispers are hinting towards this being a minor, short-term issue for the Pens and their captain to deal with.