With Crosby’s concussion history, it’s hard to believe he’s playing at 100%. After taking a hit to the head from defender Matt Niskanen in game 3, and being crushed into the boards in game 5, Sidney’s numbers have declined. Prompting many people to believe Sid’s playing with a concussion. But is he?
Using the May 1st incident as a divider between Sidney’s playoff stats, we can compare his performance before and after the collisions. Averaging 19:53 minutes per game before, and 20:41 after, he has managed to play about the same amount of time. A testament to how dedicated he is to winning a third cup, and a constant which enables us to compare the two time periods.
Leading the league in goals with 44 this season, Crosby continued into the playoffs averaging .57 goals a game. Since his concussion he hasn’t managed to find the back of the net. Although it does not prove he is playing with a head injury, it does indicate that there has been a change in the star forward.
While looking at his points per game, as well as his assists per game, another decline is noticeable. Dropping by 40% in assists, as well as an other 62% in points, Crosby doesn’t have the same impact on his team’s offence. These basic stats seem to paint the picture that Sidney is playing with symptoms of a head injury.
Let’s look back into his concussion history to see where this one ranks in regards to the time he took to recover. In January of 2011, Crosby took a hit to the head from David Steckel, ending his season with a concussion. The following December, eight games after coming back from said concussion, Crosby collided with Krejci, keeping him out until March 15th of the same season. This was reported as a neck injury but many believed it was an other concussion. Finally at the beginning of this NHL season, Sidney missed a couple of weeks due to a concussion he suffered in a practice on October 10th. I do understand that the stakes are way higher in the playoffs, but when you have a player who has a history of head injuries and has taken many weeks to recover from previous incidents, it becomes hard to believe that he can fully recover by missing only one game.
Due to his decline in stats and the pattern from his concussion history, I do believe that Sidney is playing with a head injury. It’ll be interesting to see if it ever comes out, but I highly doubt it. Hopefully, Crosby’s gamble pays off, and he wins a cup without hindering his future.