«Oh no. Still another concussion?»
Virtually everyone watching was believing it in Game 3 when Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby attempted to sit , a grimacing wince of pain on his face, following Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen cross-checked him at the head.
The fears were confirmed on Tuesday. Crosby suffered the fourth concussion of his NHL career and it will leave him out of Game 4 Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
Big blow for the Pens. And for hockey fans.
«I still think he’s the best there is due to everything he does for the players around him, which is the largest thing about this harm. How does this impact the rest of the lineup?» Asks NESN’s Mike Cole (@MikeColeNESN), that has seen lots of Crosby up shut while covering the Boston Bruins lately. «Jake Guentzel’s been amazing, but what will he be able to do without Crosby? He just makes everyone better.»
Can the Penguins win without their best player and two-time Hart Trophy winner? And if so, how much is he worth to the chances?
The short reply to the first question is yes, the Penguins could acquire without Crosby. They just have difficulty doing it against the Capitals.
Pittsburgh is 90-65 SU (58.1%) with no Crosby in the lineup since 2006-07. However they are 0-5-2 with no against the Caps in games where Washington sniper Alex Ovechkin extended up.
Later slating them for Game 3 Monday night as -115 favorites oddsmakers have the Penguins as +105 underdogs. That suggests a move of 20 pennies, which is significant by baseball criteria. However, is it enough?
«We’d ordinarily value Crosby about 20 pennies on the moneyline,» says Derek from NHLTips (@NHLTips_ca), a baseball website that puts out solid puck betting content. «He is obviously valuable, but the Pens do not have to rely as much on him because the Oilers do on McDavid or the Senators on Karlsson. We actually think this injury may open some great worth on Pittsburgh.»
I agree that there might be some value on Pittsburgh here. The Pens are at home and one could be stolen by Marc-Andre Fleury . But I believe Crosby ought to be worth — at least 25 cents and as much as 40 cents to the Pens line for Game 4 if you believe he is not Pittsburgh’s only injury concern.
«The Penguins might be with no Conor Sheary,» Cole points out. «It certainly feels like there ought to be a larger movement when you’re down two-thirds of your line.»
Keep a close eye on this line. We could see motion before the puck drops on Game 4.
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