Penguins Notebook: Retirement not part of Crosby's agenda


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Sidney Crosby has seen a lot of concussion specialists lately.

Likely has heard something a bit different from each of them.

But what Crosby has not been told by any, general manager Ray Shero said Saturday, is that he should consider sitting out the rest of this season, let alone walking away from the game for good.

Crosby is in California, where he is being tested and treated by Dr. Robert S. Bray , a neurological spine specialist, after spending most of last week in Atlanta with Ted Carrick , a specialist in chiropractic neurology.

He is expected to undergo tests on his neck and its support structure and to receive soft-tissue treatments from Bray, the founding director and CEO of the D.I.S.C. Sports and Spine Center.

Shero said everything Crosby does is designed to help him "get back [in the lineup] as soon as possible," but that there is no target date for that to happen.

GETout spotlight
Scouting report


Matchup: Washington Capitals at Penguins, 12:38 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center.

TV, radio: WPXI-TV, WXDX-FM (105.9).

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. Tomas Vokoun for Capitals.

Penguins: Are 1-2 against Washington, including 3-2 shootout loss here Oct. 13. ... RW Tyler Kennedy has one goal in past 10 games. ... Do not have power-play goal in past six home games, going 0 for 15.

Capitals: Are 8-13-1 on road. ... LW Alex Ovechkin has 19 goals, 14 assists in 27 career games against Penguins. ... Are 13-2-2 in past 17 regular-season games against Penguins.

Hidden stat: Capitals have chance to clinch season series for fourth consecutive year.

"We haven't gotten that far," Shero said.

Crosby practiced with his teammates several times during the second week of this month and has continued to skate since going to Atlanta. The next step in his recovery, Shero said, will be to receive clearance to have contact in practice. It is not known when that will happen.

Crosby is expected to remain in California until around mid-week.

Asked if consulting with Bray could be interpreted as evidence of a setback for Crosby, Shero said, "I don't think so at all."

That echoed the sentiments expressed by coach Dan Bylsma , who responded to the same question by saying, "In no way would I say it's a bad thing."

It's not so fine with Kunitz

Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban was fined $2,500 for what the league described as a "dangerous trip" of Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz late in the third period of the Penguins' 5-4 shootout victory Friday night at Consol Energy Center.

That is the maximum amount allowed under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.

Subban was not penalized on the play, although that's the punishment Kunitz would have preferred.

"I was obviously upset at the time," Kunitz said Saturday. "I felt like it was worthy of a penalty ... but you can't really control anything. ... I'd rather get the power play [than a fine]."

Ovechkin's game the same

Left winger Alex Ovechkin , who will lead Washington into the game today against the Penguins at Consol Energy Center, has been one of the NHL's most prolific point-producers and goal-scorers in the post-lockout era.

He is having a relatively lackluster season so far, however, with no hat tricks and no more than two points in any game.

Before Saturday, Ovechkin, who has nine goals and five assists in his past 15 games, was tied for 16th in the league in goals (19) and 43rd in points (36) while holding down the fifth spot in shots (169).

But, while those are uncharacteristically modest numbers for Ovechkin, Bylsma said he does not see any major changes in Ovechkin's game.

"I am surprised that his numbers aren't there, because, when I watch, I don't see a significant drop in his play or where he gets his shots from or where he is on the ice," Bylsma said.

"He's still very dangerous, still doing a lot of the things that he did when he was the top goal-scorer in the league, coming off the wing and making the move to the middle, getting his shot off."

Tip-ins

The Penguins hired former Atlanta general manager Don Waddell as a pro scout. He joins another former NHL general manager, Randy Sexton , on the staff. ... Eleven players, headlined by Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang , participated in an optional practice Saturday at Consol Energy Center.


Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG. First Published January 22, 2012 5:00 AM


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