It was an eventful day in the world of hockey, and that was even without all the fallout from the Don Cherry situation.
Sidney Crosby is expected to miss at least the next six weeks following surgery to repair a core muscle injury. As much as Sid the Kid was known for missing extended time due to concussions earlier in his career, he’s actually been the picture of health in recent seasons, having played a minimum of 75 games over each of the last six seasons. Given the expected recovery time, he won’t likely reach that number this season. Crosby had been held without a point with a minus-7 over his last four games, so it appears that the injury just became too unbearable after he reportedly declined the surgery last month.
The proof is Malkin’s lifetime 1.33 points-per-game average without Crosby, which works out to 109 points over a full 82-game season (although we know Malkin can’t possibly play a full season). In fact, that pace parallels the 2011-12 season, when Malkin exploded for his only 50-goal season and 109 points while Crosby played just 22 games. Since Crosby and Malkin only ever seem to meet up on the power play, one’s fantasy value is helped to a degree when the other is injured. Now just cross your fingers that Malkin doesn’t get injured himself!
Crosby’s absence will be a moment of truth for Jake Guentzel, though. The bulk of Guentzel’s even-strength and power-play minutes this season have been with Crosby. Guentzel has been at least a semi-regular linemate of Crosby’s throughout his career, although that amount increased during Guentzel’s brea