Sidney Crosby (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Penguins could be without Sidney Crosby Monday as the Pittsburgh superstar is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Crosby, 28, is in the midst of the most disappointing season of his career with six goals and 22 points in 32 games.
The Penguins’ season has gone much differently than most expected with Pittsburgh near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, and the Penguins got some bad news Sunday as it appears superstar Sidney Crosby could be forced to miss a few games.
Crosby, 28, was absent from the team’s practice Sunday, and following the skate Penguins bench boss said that Crosby is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Sullivan didn’t go into more detail about the ailment, but it comes as a surprise as Crosby was third among all Penguins forwards in ice time in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Crosby’s outing included a shift of 1:38 to close the contest.
The Penguins don’t play Sunday, but they do have a contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday evening in Pittsburgh. If Crosby isn’t able to play, it will be the first game he’s missed in what has been a disappointing season thus far.
Crosby has struggled all season and is in the midst of the worst season of his entire career. Through 32 games, Crosby has six goals and 22 points. While that’s good for second on the Penguins, his 0.69 points per game is nearly half a point worse than his previous career-low in points per game. If he maintained that pace, Crosby would end the season with only 15 goals and 56 points — and that was before hitting the shelf with injury.
Crosby has had a tough time staying healthy throughout his career, though much of his time on the injured list has stemmed from concussions. Early in his career, however, he went through a number of lower-body injuries, including two ankle injuries that forced him to miss 28 games, three groin injuries kept him out of eight outings and, most recently, an undisclosed lower-body injury in January 2015 that made him miss one game.
Pittsburgh could ill afford to lose Crosby at a time when seemingly nothing is going right for the Penguins. They’ve lost each of their past five games and only the Montreal Canadiens have a worse record in their past 10 games. Pittsburgh has dropped seven of their past eight games and have only picked up three points over that span.
The Penguins have yet to pick up a win in four games under Sullivan, who took over as coach on Dec. 12 after Pittsburgh fired former bench boss Mike Johnston.