Capitals overwhelm Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

Capitals overwhelm Penguins 5-2 to force Game 7

After watching the replay and seeing Crosby's head smash into the boards, the questions on everybody's mind were obvious.

Also after the game, in an interview that aired on the NHL Network, Crosby was asked if he was evaluated for a concussion. According to a report from the USA Today, the concussion spotters had no authority to pull Crosby off the ice after that Game 6 incident.

But as we are learning today, those protocols can often be confusing, and on occasion, may be leaving players vulnerable. They are still in a good position to win now, but they need one or two more players to round out their roster. The franchise of course being Sidney Crosby, the captain, the Hart Trophy finalist, and all the rest.

Dr. Nelilank Jha, a Toronto based neurosurgeon who has consulted with the National Hockey League, believes player input is important. "I believe in this group and we're going to rely on our experience". "If he decides he wants to go out there and play it's his choice once he is aware of the risk".

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Fleury kept Pittsburgh in the game with several strong saves, including one he smothered from Alex Ovechkin in the left circle during a power play, a reaching glove save on Carlson and a pad save on Lars Eller from the slot. The wise words of Derek Stepan correctly point out Henrik Lundqvist needs to stay true to form from games one, three and four rather than the 11 combined goals he allowed in overtime losses in games two and five. That leads all players in the playoffs.

"I see a couple of hundred concussions a week and am keenly aware that even if you have a history of concussions it doesn't necessarily mean that if you hit your head or take a blow that you will have another concussion", Jha explains. "Think about it from his perspective, he doesn't want to suffer for a year and half again".

If that evaluation happened, it didn't take place immediately. One of those visible signs is "slow to get up".

Crashing headlong into the boards is not on the list.

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Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the centralized concussion spotter made the determination that the play did not meet the concussion protocol criteria for mandatory removal from play.

"The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal", Daley told the newspaper. "Ice" as opposed to "boards is in there for a reason. "Ice" has been found to be a predictor of concussions-'boards' has not been". Daly's explanation here is essentially that concussion spotters - the people designated by the league to pull players from games, taking that choice away from guys potentially suffering head injuries - don't have that authority when the potential injury is caused by the boards.

Now, another matter - what good are the concussion spotters that the National Hockey League has in place if their abilities and what they're allowed to do is neutered? A number of in arena spotters were also brought in to help the league's staff in NY.

Even Capitals players didn't blame referee Steve Kozari for making the call he thought he saw against Oshie, but center Lars Eller said the only way to prevent those situations is to make embellishment and diving subject to video review.

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Saying "take fewer penalties" is about as profound as saying "score more than the Penguins", but for the Caps they need to need to be as disciplined as possible not just to avoid giving up power plays, but also so they can avoid going 4-on-4. I would say yes.

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