Pittsburgh Penguins: In the absence of Sidney Crosby

The jury is still out on why Sidney Crosby left the Pittsburgh Penguins intra-squad game last weekend. Regardless of why they still need to be ready.

If you believe everything you read, then Sidney Crosby has anything from the mumps, to COVID-19 itself. The truth is unless you are incredibly close to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, you’re probably not going to know. However, there are several that are close and have come out with some light to shed on this current predicament.

Rob Rossi from The Athletic, reported that “it’s only a precaution.” Mark Madden from 105.9 The X said that “this is no big deal.” Both Rob and Mark have solid credibility about them, so it does seem legit that we have nothing to worry about. However, in the meantime, until he returns, what should we look for in the absence of Sidney Crosby?

For starters, Sid didn’t participate in Sunday’s practice skate, and Mike Sullivan made a few exciting changes to the rotation and the lines. Evan Rodrigues went from splitting time with Lafferty on the third line, to taking over Crosby’s role in between Guentzel and Sheary. What is unknown still is the length of Sid’s absence, and what line will be the first one.

Pittsburgh Penguins: In the absence of Sidney Crosby

Geno’s Line has been on fire as well and didn’t really show any space between them and Sid’s Line after the first intra-squad matchup. If this is a long term deal, you might expect Evgeni Malkin and his gang of Zucker and Rust to take over the top line. Rodrigues is a far cry from Crosby, but after Monday’s intra-squad scrimmage, he’s shown that he can perform at a similar level.

He helped Team Black take the early lead today stepped up right where Crosby left off. The scrimmage ended in a 3-3 draw and you could see a difference in Crosby’s absence. Not a big one, but as expected, when you are missing your captain and leader, things might look different.

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Just like everything, we really don’t know when he will be back, or what the actually status is. So, we wait to see what kind of magic Coach Sullivan pulls out of his hat. If it isn’t anything too big, then we will see our captain again soon. If it is, the Penguins have the roster to back fill and continue to press on.