Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been suffering from a sports hernia injury since the start of training camp and tried to play through the pain, but after 17 games this season, Crosby finally opted to have core surgery to repair the hernia. He will be out for up to six weeks while recovering.
“Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent a successful muscle injury repair,” according to an official report from the Penguins. “The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. The expected recovery time is a minimum of six weeks.”
The Penguins (11-7-2) are currently in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. Their 24 points would secure the Penguins the #7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs if the postseason began today.
The unbeatable Washington Capitals (15-3-4) and red-hot New York Islanders (14-3-4) hold down the top two places in the Metro. The Islanders swept Crosby and the Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs last season.
in addition to the Crosby injury, the Pens are also dealing with injuries to defenseman Kris Letang (4 goals, 8 assists) and right winger Patric Hornqvist (5 goals, 5 assists).
Crosby Keeps Ticking
Crosby, 32, is playing in his 15th season with the Penguins. In 960 career games, he’s scored 451 goals and 782 assists for 1,233 total points
Last season, Crosby posted 100 points for the first time since 2013-14. He scored 35 goals and tallied 65 assists in 79 games.
This season, Crosby got off to a slow start with the hernia. He skated in 17 games, but only scored five goals and 12 assists. Crosby led the team in points and assists when he went on the IL last week.
Crosby re-injured himself against the Boston Bruins. He blocked a shot and left the game with what everyone thought was a foot injury. He actually aggravated the hernia.
Forward Evgeni Malkin finally returned to the ice after missing several games with a lower body injury. The Pens will lean on Malkin to help pick up the slack for Crosby.
Head coach Mike Sullivan will also look to Jake Guentzel to step up and fill the scoring void for Crosby. Guentzel leads the Penguins with nine goals. He’s second on the team with 16 points in 20 games.
“I’m stating the obvious when I say he’s a guy who is next-to-impossible to replace with everything that he does for our team, both in the locker room and on the ice,” said Sullivan. “He is a generational talent. But having said that, we still believe we have what it takes to win. That’s how we have to look at it.”
Sullivan will also have to tap into his reserves at center that include a couple of veterans, with Nick Bjustad and Alex Galchenyuk. Both Bjustad and Galchenyuk fought off injuries already this season.
Galchenyuk, an ex-Montreal Canadiens center, has yet to find the net, but he assisted five goals in 11 games this season.
Bjustada, a seven-year vet with the Florida Panthers, saw limited action in only 10 games, and he has just one goal.
According to William Hill, the Pittsburgh Penguins are now 22/1 odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.