PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Sidney Crosby continues to recover from a broken jaw and his status for Game 1 against the New York Islanders Wednesday night is still unknown.
Crosby is expected to meet with doctors Tuesday afternoon, but whether he receives clearance to play in games has yet to be determined.
After the team’s practice at Southpointe on Tuesday, Crosby said he’s felt good on the ice in practices and looks forward to eventually getting back into the lineup.
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve been telling [doctors] I’ve felt pretty good here for the last little while. At the end of the day, I have to make sure things are healed and [the doctor’s] the one who knows that best, not me. So, I think if you ask any player, they’re always chomping at the bit to get back, but it’s going to be up to [the doctor],” Crosby said.
As for how long it would take for him to get back into games once he received clearance, Crosby said he’ll be ready to go immediately.
“As soon as he says the word. I’m not too worried about – as long as he feels confident that I can take a hit, I’ll be confident as well and I’m not going to take any more time. If he says I can play, I’m going to play,” Crosby said. “I’ll wear anything to play. If it’s a football helmet or whatever it takes.”
When he does get back into the lineup, Crosby will likely still need to wear a shield on his helmet to protect the jaw. While he struggled to get used to the shield initially in practices, he has gotten more comfortable with it.
“It’s getting better. It was tough the first few times, but the last few days it’s gotten a lot better and shouldn’t be a big issue,” Crosby said.
The top-seeded Penguins will be taking on the No. 8 seed New York Islanders in the fors round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While the Penguins are heavy favorites to win the series, Crosby said they are not overlooking the Islanders.
“I don’t think it’s something we’re thinking about too much. I think that we want to start well regardless if it was an experienced team or a team that doesn’t have as much and we respect them. They’re obviously here in the playoffs for a reason and they have been playing good hockey down the stretch. So, whether they’re young or experienced, I think we’re focused on what we have to do and making sure that we start well and go after them. Whether it’s them or anyone else, I think you want to send a message early that you’re going to play a tough and physical game and that’s what we want to do,” Crosby said.
Listen to the full interview here: