Saturday, January 19, 2008

No showcase for sidelined Sid

The NHL’s marquee player will most likely be missing his all Star appearance and more importantly will most likely be out of his own team’s line up for a month.

Sidney Crosby suffered a hyper extended ankle injury in Friday nights match up with the Tampa Bay Lightning, crashing into the boards at 7:37 of the first period; Crosby was done for the night and now apparently for the month.

The injury is more than just a setback for the Penguins, who went on to lose the game against the Lightning, but for the NHL’s marketing campaign, which has heavily focused on the rising star of the Penguins.

From next week’s all star game to the NHL on NBC, Crosby was set to be the face of the NHL in America, now all of those plans will be put on the back burner while he convalesces.

While its probably not the way he might have wanted it, Evgeni Malkin is most likely to be the nominee to fill in for Crosby, should his injury as is expected keep him from the All Star game. Malkin who has been overlooked by the NHL twice now when it comes to all star appearances, has been providing a fair amount of offence for the Penguins in the last few weeks and would be a deserving if now uneasy candidate to step in for Crosby.

The Penguin's star's absence will also impact on the CBC, which had switched national games for Saturday from the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs, to the Penguins - Montreal match up; the prime time game will now go on without the star attraction.

Friday night’s game was a much anticipated showdown between Crosby and Vincent Lecavalier; the two players who are both dominant members of their respective clubs were expected to provide some of the fast paced river hockey that they like to showcase from time to time.

Friday night’s untimely accident brought that plan to an end, what the NHL must desperately be hoping is that the recuperation time won’t be as long as presently feared.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette--Crosby hurt; Penguins fall, 3-0
Pittsburgh Tribune Review--Pens lose Crosby in loss to Lightning
Beaver County Times--Penguins lose game, Crosby
National Post--Crosby leaves game after crashing into boards
Globe and Mail--Crosby hurt, could miss a month

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