Penguins Notebook: Crosby misses 3rd game in a row
Sunday, November 26, 2006
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
His sore groin is getting better all the time, Sidney Crosby said.
Fact is, he has made a lot of progress during the past four days or so.
But Crosby still is waiting for the day when "I'm not going to feel it much at all," and that hasn't arrived yet, so he sat out his third consecutive game when the Penguins faced the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena last night.
Crosby went on the ice briefly during the Penguins' game-day skate yesterday, but pronounced his groin to be "still a little sore" after he adjourned to the locker room.
"It's not ready," he said.
This is Crosby's longest absence from the lineup since he missed four games because of a sprained knee in his final season with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2004-05.
"Hopefully, [this absence] is done at three," he said.
The Penguins do not play again until Tuesday, when the New York Islanders will visit Mellon Arena at 7:08 p.m.
Crosby said his frustration is compounded because two of the games he has missed were against Atlantic Division opponents, but acknowledged that returning prematurely would cause more problems than it solves.
"It's not something you can really play through," he said. "The more you play through it, the worse it's going to get."
A lesson for Malkin
Center Evgeni Malkin, rocked by a hard hit from Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt late in the third period of the Penguins' 3-1 loss on Long Island Friday, was back in the lineup last night.
"If he would have been hurt in the first period, he would have come back [during the Islanders' game]," coach Michel Therrien said.
He characterized Witt's check as "a good hit," and noted that Malkin paid for getting caught looking down.
"It's part of the learning process," Therrien said. "You get to the blue line, make sure you keep your head up.
"We told him before, but it's like [telling] a little kid, 'Don't touch the stove. You're going to get burned.'
"[The child responds] 'Yes, Dad. Yes, Dad.' But one day, they always touch it."