Home » Blog » Let the NHL Playoffs Begin, Crosby Still Questionable for Return

Let the NHL Playoffs Begin, Crosby Still Questionable for Return

On Tuesday, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin with three games kicking things off. This includes the President Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Minnesota Wild series; the reigning champ Los Angeles Kings vs. the St Blues and the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

Three games will follow on Wednesday with two additional ones on Thursday.

In Wednesday’s matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins, Toronto will break its May 4, 2004 Stanley Cup Playoff drought out.

But a top question swirling around these first string of games is whether or not Pittsburgh Penguins capital Sidney Crosby will return to play in Round 1 against the New York Islanders.

Penguins Sidney Crosby

Penguins Sidney Crosby

Crosby practiced on Monday but he has missed the team’s last 12 games after breaking his jaw in March. He’s had dental work performed and just last week he received the green light for non-contact workouts. On Tuesday, the player will return to the doctor, waiting to receive medical clearance to return to play.

Lucky for him, the Penguins played well without him, amassing an 8-4 record to take the Eastern Conference’s top seed.

Prior to his injury, Crosby was at the top of the league for scoring and after missing a dozen games, he was still tied for a third place finish in NHL scoring with 15 goals and 41 assists over 36 games.

There’s still expectations for Crosby to perform in the postseason as he sits at 10 to 1 for 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy while his team is 7 to 2 to win the Stanley Cup.

Here’s a look at Tuesday’s games:

Wild at Blackhawks (-220, 5 o/u)

Kings at Blues (-118, 5 o/u)

Red Wings at Anaheim (-145, 5 o/u)

Wild vs. Blackhawks

After Monday’s practice, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that forward Dave Bolland and goalie Ray Emery will not play in Tuesday’s game due to lower-body injuries. They’re day-to-day.

Both players have missed the last few games while Bolland had also been injured earlier in the season.

Goalie Corey Crawford will get the starting nod and is 19-5-5 with a 1.94 GAA and a .926 save.

For the Wild, they entered the season as a Stanley Cup contender but struggled before ending on a high note. They’re hoping right wing Jason Pominville will return on Tuesday.

It’s been five years since their last playoff appearance and to win it all, the Wild are 22 to 1.

Kings vs. Blues

Blues Brian Elliott

Blues Brian Elliott

It’s been two years since the Blues have beaten the Kings but they’re still confident about entering this series. They won their last 12 of 15 games thanks to strong goaltending, tight checking and offense. They play well at home, winning their last six games that enabled them to grab the Western Conference’s fourth seed–one point above the Kings.

The Kings are looking for a repeat and don’t have a chip on their shoulder as the fifth seed.

Both teams bring talented goalies with the Kings’ Jonathan Quick set to take on the Blues’ Brian Elliot for Game 1. They’re also both 14 to 1 to win the Stanley Cup.

Red Wings vs. Anaheim

For Detroit, going to the postseason is business as usual for them with their 22nd appearance.

It was a challenge to get there this year as they’re the seventh seed but it won’t deter them. These teams have met before in the playoffs–most recently in 2009 as the Red Wings won the series. The teams will bring many of the same players to this year’s matchup.

During the regular season, Detroit won two of the three games and who will they will go up against in the net on Tuesday is yet to be determined: either the Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller or Viktor Fasth.

The Red Wings will have goalie Jimmy Howard on the ice. They are 28 to 1 to win it all.





  • 100%