Tonight is the start of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and to kick off the festivities the Pittsburgh Penguins are taking on the New York Islanders. There was speculation that Sidney Crosby would be able to make his return tonight. However the Islanders caught a break.
Crosby did skate this morning during the Penguins practice. Reports state that Crosby was working hard, and seemed ready to play. Kevin Allen of USA Today Sports is also reporting that Crosby’s doctor said his jaw needs more time to heal, and there is no target date for Crosby’s return. All Crosby would say is he believes that the his injury will be monitored closely this week.
Crosby’s absence could be just what the Islanders need to find their footing in this match up. The young Islanders needed something to believe in. This is their chance to catch the Penguins with their heads down.
As for Pittsburgh they will need to prove they can handle the young Islanders. For Pittsburgh tonight will be a test of resolve. The Penguins have shown they are able to win without their captain, now they need to show they can win in the playoffs with out him. Pittsburgh has the fire power and experience to win tonight. They will need to put the Crosby’s injury out of their mind for at least 60 minutes.
The NHL Playoffs are often unpredictable. Tonight will be nothing short of a show. It’s the 1 seed vs. the 8 seed. Who wants it more? We will need to wait until the last horn to see. It’s time to drop the puck on the Eastern Conference Playoffs.