Sidney Crosby never guessed he would be going through this again -- not this soon, not this season, and especially not the way he was playing.
The Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar is experiencing concussion-like symptoms again, only three weeks after returning from a 10-month layoff. For now, he's not practicing or playing, and he isn't certain when he will be back.
Crosby emphasized Monday that he is feeling much better than he did when he was diagnosed with a concussion nearly a year ago -- and better than he did a few weeks before training camp began. But after being out for so long, he's not about to risk returning too soon.
Crosby, who missed the Penguins' last two games, won't play again until he feels 100 percent and can engage in a full-contact practice without experiencing any symptoms.
"I'm not (feeling) bad," Crosby said Monday. "And I'm not happy about watching. But I've got to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and (I'm) aware of making sure I'm 100 percent before coming back."
Crosby passed the initial baseline concussion test last week, a day after he absorbed several hits during a 3-1 Penguins loss to Boston. While the test result was good news, and he has exercised moderately the last few days, he has been bothered by the concussion-related symptoms, including headaches.
NEW YORK (December 12, 2011) – Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Minnesota Wild goaltender Matt Hackett andWashington Capitals defenseman John Carlson have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Dec. 11.
FIRST STAR – JAROME IGINLA, RW, CALGARY FLAMES
With six points (4-2--6), Iginla tied for second among scorers for the week and tied for the lead in goals as the Flames recorded three victories. On Dec. 6, Iginla notched two goals, including the winner, and one assist in a 7-6 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. He recorded one assist in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 8 and finished the week by tallying two goals as the Flames defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 3-0, on Dec 10. Iginla leads Calgary with 11-10--21 in 29 games and he is five goals shy of becoming the 42nd player in NHL history to score 500 career goals.
SECOND STAR – MATT HACKETT, G, MINNESOTA WILD
Hackett had a 2-0-0 record, a 1.01 goals-against average and .974 save percentage to help the Wild improve to 20-7-3 on the season -- first in the overall NHL standings. Hackett made his NHL debut on Dec. 6 against San Jose, replacing the injured Josh Harding at 1:11 of the first period (with the Wild trailing, 1-0) and stopped all 34 shots he faced to backstop a 2-1 victory. In his second appearance and first start, Dec. 8, Hackett made 42 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Hackett set a record for the longest shutout streak by a goaltender to start an NHL career, shutting out the opposition for 102:48, before Los Angeles scored.
THIRD STAR – JOHN CARLSON, D, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Carlson tied for the League lead in points for the week with seven (1-6--7), recording back-to-back three-point games as the Capitals (15-12-1) won two of three. Carlson began the week by notching three assists in a 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers, Dec. 5. On Dec. 7 he recorded 1-2--3 in a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators and he finished the week with an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dec.9. The Natick, MA native was the Capitals' first choice in the 2008 Draft. In his third NHL season, Carlson is tied for sixth among NHL defensemen with 20 points (5-15--20) in 28 games.