Is Sidney Crosby’s Slump and Sickness Cause for Concern?


It has been 18 days since Sidney Crosby last scored a goal. He has only scored twice since October after scoring seven goals in the first eight games of the season.

Granted, Crosby is still playing well, with 19 assists in the past 19 games. But with more and more Penguins coming down injuries, it is important for the remaining core players to carry the load as the team weathers the storm.

Crosby is well aware of this and his lack of production is beginning to bother him. Over the past several practices, he has spent more extra time on the ice and is working hard to regain his form. But he is still finding himself frustrated with his play.

"“You still want to score,” he said. “You look at the chances. It’s more frustrating when the chances aren’t there, and there have been times where the chances haven’t been there. That’s frustrating. When you’re getting them, you believe and you trust that they’re going to go in.”"

But to make matters even worse, Crosby has recently come down with an undisclosed illness. An interview conducted today after practice has led many to believe Crosby has the mumps, due to his obviously swollen salivary glands.

Shortly after practice, general manager

Jim Rutherford

announced that Crosby will be held out of the next two games

as a precautionary measure

, while also denying the the superstar center had been afflicted with the mumps. “There is no indication at this time that this is the mumps, but we are going to hold him out as a precaution,” Rutherford said. “We’ll have additional test results in a few days.”

The Penguins are not going into shock just yet, as injury-rattled defenseman Kris Letang, who has been out since November 28 with a groin injury, and winger Patric Hornqvist, who has been out since December 4 with an undisclosed ailment, are set to make their return tonight against the Calgary Flames.

But considering that the team has been going through a rough patch in terms of health and Crosby has been slumping, should fans be worried that the #87 is no enduring both curses at the same time?

It is hard to say as of this moment, but history has shown that Crosby will not succumb to adversity. A brief goal drought and illness are much more easily overcome than, say, the severe concussions that Crosby has dealt with in the past.

There have been plenty of bumps in the road this season for the Penguins, far more than most of the fans, players, and executives are surely comfortable with.

But even as the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy deals with a bout of sickness, it is important to remember that the Penguins are atop the Metropolitan Division with 39 points, Crosby is still amongst the league leaders in points with 35, and the young players filling in the holes in the roster, such as Jayson Megna, have helped hold the team together.

Things are not perfect and could easily get worse, but the Penguins have proven that they deserve the confidence of the faithful. For now, I think it is safe to say that Sidney Crosby and the Penguins will rise to the occasion.