Wednesday night is the chance for each team to confront its Game 7 demons as Washington hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim hosts the Edmonton Oilers with spots in the conference finals at stake.
However, when Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan was asked if he was concerned during the game and if Crosby had been evaluated, he simply answered "No" to both questions. "We can sit here and I can explain for 10 minutes what concussion protocol is and all that stuff but I don't really want to do it".
"The medical staff and spotters are responsible for identifying players that go through the protocol", Sullivan said. I did not. And so that's the process. "That's completely out of our control". "I say, 'No,"' Malkin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Sidney Crosby sitting on the bench following his crash into the boards.
"I just think with this group that I've been with, our game sevens have been pretty solid", Trotz said.
For his part, Crosby told an interviewer after the game that he had been checked after the first period.
"I was just going hard to the net", Crosby said. What happened next depends on whom you talk to.
A QUOTE: "I think we feel good. That can wear teams down, but overall as a group, no, I don't think we're exhausted". Yet everyone in the world saw Crosby go into the boards.
"That's how it goes". The second line had two of those three players with positive differentials, which makes sense because that line scored the Penguins only two goals.
The NHL revamped its policies entering this season by implementing a staff of Central League Spotters, positioned in the NHL's Player Safety Room in NY, who can remove a player if he displays any symptom or sign of a concussion.
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Ducks coach Randy Carlyle didn't blame Gibson and said it's about the entire team being better.
Crosby practiced without complications with the Penguins on Tuesday.
"We have no time to waste right now", Rangers forward Jesper Fast said.
"That was one of those moments where we could have just wilted - even in Game 5 we could have easily just packed it in - and said, 'Man, this ain't going well.' But we just kept playing and kept playing, and here we are".
Crosby then paused on his hands and knees, drew a deep breath and slowly got back onto his feet before skating toward the action. The NHL did this because players are obstinate and stubborn and singularly focused on playing the game. If he hits the ice or another player, he qualifies for removal; under the current policy, the boards do not qualify a player for head injury watch.
The protocol states that a player can be removed from play by the spotter after he is "slow to get up" or "clutches his head" following three mechanisms of injury: a blow to the head or upper torso from another player's shoulder, the player's head making secondary contact with the ice, or if the player is punched in the head with a fist during a fight. Crosby and Malkin will have to be no less than excellent on both ends of the ice Wednesday night.
Daly says the NHL's current concussion protocol - which doesn't account for collisions with the boards - isn't random, but based on a study that determined what events on the ice were "more likely indicators or predictors of (a) concussion". Hitting the boards has not been identified as such by the NHL's research, or grounds for the Central League Spotter calling for an automatic "acute evaluation".
After, the period ended, Crosby was evaluated for a concussion - if you believe him.
Monday's game was Crosby's second consecutive game since missing Game 4 on May 3 for a concussion he suffered on May 1.
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