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Kevin Allen's Notebook: Crosby's status unknown heading into Game 6

May 12, 2022, 5:26 PM ET [20 Comments]
Kevin Allen
Blogger •HHOF Writer's column on the NHL • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Ek's Note: Update—Per Coach Sullivan, Crosby will not be playing game 6 tonight.
I love Kevin's notebook columns. awesome insight...I will be back with a blog this afternoon with some thoughts heading into this all-important weekend....

Two days ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins, leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, looked in charge of their playoff matchup against the New York Rangers.

Today, their status seems less secure because Sidney Crosby suffered an upper body injury during a Wednesday night loss to the Rangers. Crosby’s availability for Game 6 is unknown. Crosby was rocked by a high hit from New York’s Jason Trouba. No supplemental discipline was handed out.

"We believe we have a group that's capable of winning games regardless of who is in our lineup," Sullivan said. "That's the way we all look at it.

The Penguins recalled Radim Zohorna from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Thursday

Crosby recently became the sixth NHL player to record 200 playoff points. The list:

1. Wayne Gretzky - 382
2. Mark Messier - 295
3. Jari Kurri - 233
4. Glenn Anderson - 214
5. Jaromir Jagr - 201
6. Sidney Crosby - 200

2. Talk about having an immediate impact: Defenseman Troy Stecher has played two playoff games for the Los Angeles Kings and boasts two goals, two assists and a plus-minus of +5. He also drew the only assist on Adrian Kempe’s overtime winner in Game 5.

3. Dave Christian turns 63 today. Coach Herb Brooks’ decision to move Christian to defense was an important factor in helping USA win the 1980 Olympic gold medal in Lake Placid, New York. Christian’s NHL career as a forward was also noteworthy: 1009 games, 343 goals. He scored 41 for the Washington Capitals in 1985-86.

4. It is not surprising some scouts are wavering about whether Shane Wright is still the No. 1 prospect for the 2022 NHL draft. When a player has been No. 1 for as long as he has, you start to only see his blemishes. Would bet on Wright going to Montreal, followed by Juraj Slafkovsky to the Devils and Logan Cooley to the Arizona Coyotes.

5. Sometimes you don’t have to dig deep to determine a team’s problem in a playoff series. The Dallas Stars are averaging 1.60 goals per game in five games against Calgary in this series. They are averaging 25.4 shots per game.

6. It is supposed to be more difficult to score in the playoffs. But not this season. Thus far, power plays and scoring is up from the regular-season. Do you like that?

7.Entering postseason play, Carolina forward Vincent Trocheck had never enjoyed a multi-point game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He's counted two of them in the ongoing series against Boston. That's including a 1-2-3 performance in Game 5. With 3-4-7 numbers, he's garnered more points in this series than in his first 19 NHL playoff games (2-4-6).

8. Florida’s Carter Verhaeghe became the second player in NHL history to factor in all of his team’s goals in a three-goal comeback win. What makes it more interesting is the other player was Montreal’s Toe Blake who did it in the 1944 Stanley Cup Final. Verhaeghe ended up with five points in the game, which is a new Panthers team.

9. The Panthers’ three-goal comeback win against the Capitals was their sixth comeback of three or more goals this season. They had five in the regular-season. You can do that when you lead the NHL in goal scoring.

10. If defenseman Moritz Seider wins the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, he will be the first Red Wing player to win that award since Roger Crozier in 1965. In case you were wondering, Buffalo goalie Tom Barrasso won the Calder in Steve Yzerman’s rookie season of 1983-84.

11. Filip Forsberg said again this week that he wants to stay with the Nashville Predators, but I think I hear the Final Jeopardy music playing.

12. Jarome Iginla’s daughter, Jade, was awarded a spot on Team Canada’s U18 Selection camp roster. The U18 Women’s World Championship is scheduled for June 6-13 in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin. She has 18 goals and 28 points in 22 games for Rink Hockey Academy in Kelowna, B.C. this season.

13. Toronto’s Ilya Mikheyev will be an intriguing UFA this summer. He had 21 goals in the regular-season, and four points in five games thus far in the postseason. And he’s not the kind of UFA that will break the bank.

14. Wayne Gretzky, as a TNT broadcaster, was invited to vote for trophy awards by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He is believed to be first former Hart Trophy winner to cast a Hart Trophy ballot. I would say that no one on Twitter can say he doesn’t deserve to vote. But you can never rule out anything on Twitter.

15. According to IcyData.hockey, Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger has been the most impressive goalie in the postseason. He has prevented 10 more goals than the average goaltender in the postseason. No other goalie is better than 6.50.

16. By the way, Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, usually one of the NHL’s most consistent performers, owns a GSAA(Goals Saved Against Average) of -2.80. That means he has given up almost three more goals than an average goalie.

17. The Los Angeles Kings confirmed Victor Arvidsson (upper body injury) won’t play in the first round. That’s bad news for those hoping he might be close to being ready

18. Unsung contributors in the first round: Florida’s Gustav Forsling is averaging 21:27 minutes per game. He has two assists and is+9; Colorado’s Erik Johnson has three assists in four games and is +7.

19.The firing of coach Barry Trotz is likely the first step in the Islanders’ offseason plan to improve the team’s offense. The presumption is that Lou Lamoriello is going to move some players to add some goals.

20, Are the Nashville Predators on the competitive threadwell where they are good enough to compete for a playoff spot, but not good enough to contend? The problem with that scenario is you don’t get the early first-round draft picks that allow you to improve.

21. Vancouver Hockey Now reported that Bruce Boudreau said he is close to finalizing the details on a new contract. Should be done next week.

22. Would you rather have the players on the Sabres’ roster or the Canadiens’ roster? Once the Habs land Wright, I think their collection of young talent will be strong. But I prefer the Sabres with Owen Power, Jack Quinn, Rasmus Dahlin, Peyton Krebs and whoever they draft at No. 9. But my endorsement is conditional: the Sabres have to upgrade their goaltending for next season.

23. Will the Boston Bruins take a half-step backwards next season? Feels like that is a possibility, no matter what happens against Carolina. Seems like they are growing stale offensively.

24. Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinsson has received most of the attention this season as a player who could make the Detroit Red Wings roster next season. But the Red Wings will also bring over 6-foot-8 Swedish forward Elmer Soderblom and defenseman Alber Johansson who also have a shot at making the Detroit roster next fall.

25. Forty-nine years ago today, May 12, 1973, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Swedish players Borje Salming and Inge Hammarstrom. Defenseman Salming played his way into the Hockey Hall of Fame and Hammarstrom produced 150 goals and 787 points. Salming, 71, recently revealed to the Swedish media that he is suffering from a mysterious illness that causes loss of breath. He must sometimes stop in mid-sentence to catch his breath. Doctors haven’t yet determined the cause.
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