Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This All-Star soap opera is terrible... change the channel!

I have to say I'm a little surprised by the swirling mess surrounding Sidney Crosby's appearance at next weekend's All Star game in Carolina.

Crosby has been out since taking a sequence of hits to the head dating back to the January 1 Winter Classic. In that game he took a hit to the head from Dave Steckel near the end of the second period.
I was watching in real time and I absolutely thought Crosby was concussed. He looked confused and disoriented. However, he came back for the third period and then was in the lineup for the Penguins' next game against the Tampa Bay Lightening where he took another head shot -- this time a hit from behind by Victor Hedman.

The Penguins came out and said Crosby would be out for a week -- which was optimistic in my view. I would put good money on the fact that Crosby was injured in that first hit and the second hit ended up compounding the problem...one week was a BIG underestimation and I kind of doubt the Penguins ever believed he'd be back that soon.

So I had quite a laugh when I read David Shoalts' commentary on Crosby's situation in the Globe and Mail last night. Especially when I read the first paragraph:

"Even though Sidney Crosby is a shoo-in to be chosen Tuesday as one of the captains who will pick the teams for the NHL all-star game, do not be surprised if he declines to participate, even if he recovers from his concussion," Shoalts writes.

Shoo-in? I'm sorry Mr. Shoalts, but if the captains were picked in December -- certainly Crosby would be a shoo-in. However the NHL wasn't about to pick a captain who potentially might not play in the All-Star game. Let's not forget he has yet to be cleared to even practice. It's laughable to have thought on Monday that Crosby would be named captain.

This morning, Eric Staal and Niklas Lidstrom were named captains.

Shoalts then goes on to say that Crosby is 'angry' that the dishers of the head shots never faced any reparations from the league -- and because of that Crosby was going to refuse to play whether he was better or not.


I have a feeling that Mr. Shoalts has never had a concussion. Head injuries are tricky things. They can linger. You can feel fine one minute and the next minute you're not. One minute everything is clear as water -- the next you're putting milk in the oven. And stepping back into physical activity too fast can turn you into ... well... Eric Lindros.

I also have a feeling the concussion is a little more than a 'mild' one as Shoalts described it in his article. I have a feeling the Penguins haven't been fully forthright with the severity of the injury.

I fully agree there should've been a suspension for both of the hits. The Steckel hit was deemed an accident by the NHL -- But WHY were his elbows up? To me it doesn't matter if you MEANT to hit someone in the head. You still did. Treat it like a high-sticking penalty. Even though you may not have meant to hit someone in the face with your stick, you're still expected to have control of it. It should be the same for elbows.

But do you seriously believe Crosby will forgo the All-Star game in protest?
If Crosby plays against the Islanders on January 25, which is the last game before the All-Star game, then he'll play the All-Star game. If he is ready for that Islanders game he isn't about to sit out. He's too competitive (remember, he still leads the scoring race after being out for two weeks), and the Penguins' play hasn't exactly been stellar since Crosby's injury.
Enough with this foolishness, okay?

Jennifer Casey was born and raised in Halifax. She loves all sports but tries to stick to writing about hockey for sanity purposes. You can follow her on twitter @jenncaseyhfx or find her on her blog National Passtime

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