by Tony on 05/03/11 at 12:49 PM ET
During last week’s final media scrum, Sidney Crosby not only admitted that he suffered a setback in his recovery from the concussion(s) he suffered in January, but that “my expectation probably wasn’t that I’d play”.
So, Crosby didn’t expect to play this season. Therefore, a reasonable assumption is that Penguins’ management knew he wasn’t expected to play this season.
Which makes me wonder: Why, then, heavily publicize Crosby skating around the rink?
Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see at the time. Lightning-quick hands, pinpoint precision and powerful strides, all coming from someone who admitted that he was not 100%, conditioning-wise.
Also, I want to add that the Penguins are perhaps the leader amongst NHL teams in providing behind-the-scenes video for its fans, whether it’s in the locker room, on the ice or in the community. It’s fantastic to see, both as a blogger and as a fan.
The videos quickly traversed hockey’s niche of the online world. Twitter feeds promulgated Crosby’s on-ice sessions even faster.
Sure looked like it was just a matter of time before Crosby hit the ice for the Penguins in the playoffs. Wasn’t it?
Giving them complete credit, Penguins’ management did absolutely nothing to fuel the Crosby speculation. At every opportunity, either HDCB or GMRS tampered down Penguins’ fans expectations, stressing that Crosby “wasn’t even close” to returning. Moreover, at the time of his setback, Crosby had not yet been cleared for contact in practice.
But again, if he wasn’t close to returning, and Crosby didn’t expect to be back, and management knew chances were he wasn’t coming back, then why make all the hubbub with Crosby practicing?
Was it to provide a diversion towards the opposition’s gameplan? After all, planning a defense for a Penguins starting lineup with Crosby is surely more difficult than one without him. It’s possible, I suppose. I know that Guy Boucher expected him to play, at least that’s what he kept saying to the media. Perhaps that was Boucher’s own psychological ploy.
Just one schmuck’s opinion, and hindsight is 20/20, but I would imagine in retrospect if the Penguins had to do it all over again (and let’s hope they never actually do), they would let his recovery take its course. Without the cameras.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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