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The Penguins in their first game without Crosby for the season rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit to get a point in a 3-2 OT loss to the New York Rangers.
That was the good in a game that had some good but also a lot of bad in an unwavering performance from the Penguins.
So where do things stand with Crosby?
The Penguins on Tuesday remained quiet on details surrounding Crosby’s injury because they don’t have a definite answer yet if it’s a going to be around two week absence or 6-8 weeks.
Penguin players left for the road trip on Monday with the belief that Sidney Crosby’s injury from a blocked shot was more week-to-week than day-to-day.
Imaging did not tell a clear story that saw Crosby this week visiting renowned specialist Dr. William Meyers who is regarded as best in the business for identifying and treating core injuries. He is the go-to doctor for professional athletes for getting the quickest recovery when you’re dealing with a sports hernia/abdominal core injuries, something Crosby is believed to be dealing with.
What’s at play here is Crosby weighing to have surgery, per The Athletic’s Rob Rossi Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
That has the timeline right now anywhere between 2 weeks (rest/rehab) or Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
The Penguins have succeeded this season with a next man up attitude. No matter who has been in the lineup, the team has been playing with better pace this season and have been a quicker team without the puck that has them being more efficient in putting teams on their heels.
That said, navigating a multiple week absence for Crosby would be a much different ball game than the quantity of injuries they’ve dealt with.
A longer term absence of Crosby will lead to a multitude of matchup problems.
Coaches do not fear Evgeni Malkin at this stage of his career and thinking Malkin is getting to catapult into 2011-2012 Malkin is wishful thinking but the depth down the middle is where problems arise without Crosby. Pittsburgh is getting nothing on a consistent basis from Nick Blugstad at both ends of the rink and Jared McCann is just a different player 5-on-5 when playing center compared to wing.
—- One thing to watch as the season progresses is the Penguins trying to establish a line that can take the tough minutes away from Crosby.
A worry in the organization is that Crosby had to play so many tough minutes last season and as he gets older it’s something they want to try to avoid more in the regular season.
That’s had the experiment of the Teddy Blueger line with Brandon Tanev on the wing getting top line matchups like was the case vs the Blackhawks.
— What’s another Penguins season without Kris Letang being week-to-week. When Letang was initially injured vs the Bruins 9 days ago, coaches were told Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
—- Bryan Rust has always been an excellent North-South skater. What scouts see in Rust this season is more explosiveness as a puck carrier in turning east-west plays into high danger chances. Whatever training he did in the summer has paid big dividends as Rust looks stronger and more explosive.
— 0 goals in 9 games, pressure starting to mount on Alex Galchenyuk. He was unplayable 5 vs 5 against the Rangers and the lack of impact on the power play has added to the problems.
Galchenyuk was always going to be involved in the Kessel deal because Arizona needed to move a salary but one player Penguin scouts pushed hard to be included was 22 year old Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"