David Krejci loves watching Sidney Crosby play just as much as any other red-blooded hockey fan. The Bs center has an appreciation for Crosbys all-aroundexcellence so its been disappointing to Krejci that hes heard his name tied to the Pens centers latest concussion problems.
It kind of sucks that people want to blame me for Crosbys concussion," Krejci said. "It wasnt intentional. Anyone that watches the replay knows that it was just bad luck. If you watch the video you know I didnt do anything wrong.
Crosby hasnt played since last weeks loss to the Bruins with concussion symptoms, and the Pens' franchisetook a few big hits in a physical, emotional playoff-style battle with Boston. One of the biggest was a collision with Chris Kunitzwhen Crosby ran into his own player, and took some nasty looking knee-on-knee contact.But the Penguins center and theNHL's greatest activeambassador met with the media to give everybody an update on his condition two days ago, andCrosby made sure to finger Krejci as the player most likely responsible for his current concussion.
I dont know. I mean . . . I know I got hit in the head there. I felt like I was pretty good after that. It didnt feel like it was anything too major, but if you had to look at one hit that would be it, Crosby said when asked if the Krejci hit was the blow that knocked him back out of the lineup after only a handful of games.
If anything it was probably that Krejci hit. It was a good one.
Crosby said Krejci elbowed him in the head in the first period, and the video replay definitely shows the Bs center making some contact with Sid the Kid as he attempts to turn and reverse direction. But it was more contact of the incidental variety with Krejci quickly reversing direction, and having no working knowledge of exactly where Crosby was while tightly trailing him.Krejci said that the Pens center made him acutely aware of his actions immediately after the contacthappened, and it appeared Crosby didn't appreciate getting hit during a full-contact hockey game.
I remember after the play he went up to me and said, You elbowed me in the face. And I was like, What? I didnt even know. I asked him where I hit him. I saw it on a replay and you can tell I didnt even know he was behind me, said Krejci. I didnt even elbow him. It wasnt intentional at all.
After the hit, Crosby and Krejci yelled at the each other from their benches just as the period was expiring. Both Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic defended their center as the war of words escalated from the benches, and then the players retreated to their dressing rooms. Its actually much more understandable now why Crosby was so incensed after the period concluded, but it didn't stop the franchise center from finishing out the game.Krejci chalked plenty of that up to the heat of battle, and said hes actually one of Crosbys biggest fans outside of the Pittsburgh.
I hope hell be fine because I like watching him play, said Krejci. I want to see him on the ice playing and scoring goals because hes a fun guy to watch.
There wasnt anything approaching anger from Krejci about the accusations that he threw an elbow at the NHL's poster boy. Instead, he was sad that Crosbys career is again sidetracked. The B's center wanted to make sure it was clear that there was mal intent in the play, and it was simply an accident.
There was also concern from Krejci and many other hockey corners for that matter that such an innocent-looking play could have significantly affected Crosbys brain health and function.
There are way too many accidental plays causing concussions to some of the NHLs best players, and it appears that the CrosbyKrejci collision is just another one of those unfortunate events. But if those bright brushes with contact bring on concussions for Crosby, his future isn't looking all that bright in the brutal game of hockey.