Crosby Gone for Game One vs Islanders
This is why the Pittsburgh Penguins loaded up at the trade deadline.
As many expected, Sidney Crosby has yet to be cleared to return to active duty. He'll miss tonight's Game One against the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Assuming doctors give Crosby the green light within the next two weeks, this series will mark his return against his personal bad luck charm. It was the Pens' 30 March game against the Islanders where teammate Brooks Orpik fired a rocket from the left point that got deflected and nailed The Kid sharply enough to break his jaw. Previously, on 5 Feb against the Islanders, he also suffered a facial injury on a similar play.
Crosby has been practicing, so he feels his return is imminent.
Until then, the Eastern Conference favorites will still have an ample arsenal. General Manager Ray Shero spent the bartering period collecting captains, adding Brenden Morrow from Dallas and Jarome Iginla from Calgary. Finn Jussi Jokinen was acquired from Carolina, and will most likely be Crosby's replacement on the first line.
It's enough to keep the Islanders focused. A late-season slump sealed their pairing with the top-seeded Penguins, but if they regain their prior form, this could be quite a series. John Tavares remains in high gear and has enough accomplices to keep the Penguin blueliners wary. What remains to be seen is if the Islander defensemen can step up on a consistent basis.
And tonight, Crosby will have a bird's-eye view of the proceedings, no doubt while ordering rounds of milkshakes and soft food.