Crosby participated in a morning skate after missing Thursday’s practice with an “undisclosed illness,” but he came out after the fact and said that he felt healthy enough to go against the Flames. Head coach Mike Johnston corroborated the story.
But then things changed and team doctors recommended that Sid sit out the weekend, which means he’s slated to miss Friday’s game against Calgary and Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This announcement was made after “further tests” took place on Friday.
So what’s wrong? Many have speculated that Crosby is the latest NHLer to fall victim to the mumps. This is a story the Penguins seem to want to get in front of for some reason.
“There is no indication at this time that this is the mumps, but we are going to hold him out as a precaution,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We’ll have additional test results in a few days.”
Many have cited a video interview out of Pittsburgh as evidence that Crosby does indeed have the mumps, with the young man’s “salivary glands” swollen like a chipmunk hiding a little something for the winter. But at this point, does it really matter?
For better or worse, Crosby has always been studied and scrutinized from every angle. Consider the fact that he’s got 35 points in 27 games and is tied for second overall in points. His 26 assists top the league, but this season is still considered a “slump” for Crosby.
Now, apparently Sid is slumping because he’s only got nine goals at this point and time when he’d ordinarily have 90 or something. The “slump” had been enough to frustrate Crosby into staying on the ice an additional 45 minutes after practice last Sunday (and beyond) to alleviate a “career-worst goal funk.”
So be it. For now, it’s time for the waiting game. Test results will determine what’s next for Crosby, who may or may not have the mumps. Call it Mumpgate.