There has been intense media speculation that Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby would play in his first game since January tonight against the Dallas Stars.
But Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced Thursday that the concussed captain is still sidelined, at least for this weekend.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday afternoon Crosby will not play Friday or Saturday and that his status remains uncertain. Crosby hasn't played since being diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms in early January.
"He's had a good week of practice and is progressing, but he will not be playing this weekend," Bylsma said.
Anyone shocked? No? Bueller?
Well even without Crosby's return, there are plenty of compelling reasons to watch tonight's game, not the least of which is the first meeting of Alex Goligoski, James Neal and Matt Niskanen since the trade at the end of last season. Plus there's that whole "The Stars take on the top teams in the East to see how they stack up" angle. You know, not that that matters.
After the jump, more on today's game, pictures from the Stars go-karting adventure and jerseys that summon the spirit of "The Little Mermaid."
Kari Lehtonen will start in net for the Stars tonight, according to coach Glen Gulutzan. I assume, as does Mike Heika, that this means Andrew Raycroft will get the start against the Detroit Red Wings. [DallasNews.com]
- Poor Matt Niskanen. James Neal and Alex Goligoski get to talk about what playing against their former teams will mean to them, but all Niskanen gets is a throwaway mention. I'd joke about how that is proportional to his importance to the Stars defense when he was here, but that would be mean of me, and I made a New Years Resolution to let his play speak for itself without my commentary on it. [ESPN Dallas]
- Even the NHL is getting in on the action for tonight's game. It's only like two paragraphs, but I can't remember the last time a Stars game got top play in terms of "game of the night" type of talk. [NHL.com]
- There isn't any video, at least that I can find, of the Stars adventures at the go-kart track. However, the behind-the-scenes camera guy took loads and loads of photos, which reveal things like Team Sweden walked away as the winner. [DallasStars.com]
- If you have a friend who isn't quite sold on the team yet, have them read this article by Mike Heika, who lays out five reasons why this is a team anyone can get behind. [DallasNews.com]
- The Stars and Kari Lehtonen get some positive attention, at least in terms of fantasy hockey, in this weekly column from CBC. [CBC.ca]
- I thought this was an interesting piece about the possible under-reporting of concussions in hockey. For a while, I thought it might be a little bit of semantics (what does it matter if they call it concussion-like symptoms rather than a concussion?) but there is an interesting point to be made about willful ignorance of possible consequences if the injury isn't properly labeled. [New York Times]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Instead of Crosby back in the lineup, Pittsburgh will feature Eric Tangradi, who has been tearing it up in Wilkes-Barre. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Okay, like all the other Penguins news is about the non-return of Sidney Crosby. So I bring you this little roster move from a few days ago when the Penguins acquired a fourth-round pick from the woeful Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Mark Letestu. [The Hockey Writers]
- Around the Pacific Division, the winner: The San Jose Sharks used a three-goal outburst in the second period, two of those from Patrick Marleau, to defeat the Minnesota Wild 3-1. [Yahoo]
- Around the Pacific Division, the losers: The Phoenix Coyotes got themselves another loser point after coming back to tie their game against the Montreal Canadiens in the third period before losing 3-2 on a Josh Gorges overtime goal. The Los Angeles Kings were the only team in the "no points for you" category as they allowed three goals in the first period of a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. [Yahoo/Yahoo]
- The hockey jerseys you really want to laugh at even if that makes you feel like a horrible person. [Puck Daddy]
- Alex Goligoski talks trade, Green Bay Packers and Dallas as a hockey market on the eve of his return to Pittsburgh.