Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Symptoms, No Protocol for Crosby

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Symptoms, No Protocol for Crosby

Article excerpt

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby clarified any confusion about his health status after practice Tuesday afternoon.

Crosby said he was evaluated by Penguins team doctors after the first period of Game 6 against Washington Monday night but did not exhibit any concussion symptoms and thus was not placed into the NHL's mandated concussion protocol.

Crosby - diagnosed with a concussion last week - returned to play Games 5 and 6 and took two apparent hits to the head in the first period of Game 6 and was slow to get up after both. The first was a tangle with teammate Patric Hornqvist and Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, the second was a collision into the boards with Washington defenseman John Carlson.

"I don't know if I tripped on a stick or someone else, I just got tripped up there going pretty fast, went into the boards pretty awkwardly," Crosby said. "Felt fine, just kind of knocked the wind out of me."

The NHL has independent concussion spotters in place to remove players from games if they appear to exhibit visual symptoms, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA Today Sports that Crosby's hit did not fit the specific criteria necessary for removal.

There are specific "signs" the spotters look for when identifying if a player should be removed, including "slow to get up" or "clutches his head."

After that, the situation must fit one of the predetermined "mechanisms for injury," which include a blow to the player's head or upper torso from another player's shoulder, the player's head making secondary contact with the ice, or the player being punched in the head (including any part of his face) by an ungloved fist during a fight.

Coach Mike Sullivan said the Penguins were not in contact with the league's spotters after the first period Monday night. Sullivan confirmed that Crosby was not placed in the concussion protocol.

"The medical staff and the spotters are responsible for identifying players that go through the protocol," Sullivan said. "If they go through the protocol, then I usually get notified by our medical staff. I did not. So, that's the process. …

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