On the same morning that Alex Ovechkin was skating on a third line (potentially for double shifting duties) with his Washington Capitals teammates, Sidney Crosby took to the ice and participated in a full practice.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain skated with teammates for the first time since suffering a concussion as a result of a hit during Game 3 of their second-round series. Crosby did skate by himself at the team’s practice facility on Thursday, with head coach Mike Sullivan saying, “It’s a day-to-day process, and we’re taking it each day as it comes.”
He didn’t just skate, by the way. Judging by his participation in practice, you wouldn’t be wrong to believe Crosby could return for Game 5 Saturday night in Washington.
Sidney Crosby looks pretty contact-y in this drill. pic.twitter.com/ViObGDAcpj
— Bill West (@BWest_Trib) May 5, 2017
“We’ll see,” Crosby said to reporters. “I don’t want to rule it out. It’s not really up to me. You just relay how you feel and direct it from there. … I felt good right from the next day until now. I feel as good as you could expect.”
Sullivan said that Crosby is still considered “day-to-day.”
Of course, with concussions it’s not just the matter of Crosby practicing to get one excited. Now comes the important part of this process – how his body reacts to that skate between the end of practice and game time Saturday night. He knows his body having been through this before, so he won’t rush himself back if he doesn’t feel right.
Crosby was also asked about the play that kept him out of the Penguins’ Game 4 victory.
“(Ovechkin) is just trying to prevent a goal. That’s a pretty common play,” Crosby said. “There are different levels of how hard, but that’s standard as far as going to the net with the puck, guys are trying to prevent you from shooting. The other play (with Niskanen) is hard to say. I’m not going to sit here and guess. It’s not one that happens too often.”
Also joining the Penguins for their Friday skate was Conor Sheary, who suffered a concussion following a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist in Game 3. He’s also “day-to-day” and called himself a game-time decision.
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