When put on the spot about the timetable of Sidney Crosby's return to the Pittsburgh lineup, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma did a little research of his own.
"I looked at my quote; I said about a week," Bylsma said, as his star player missed Wednesday's game against the Canadiens - his fourth straight game - as he deals with a concussion. "I did see people who were pinning me to a week. About a week was the first time (I made the statement), we're about there right now. Again, we're not going to move forward until his symptoms go away."
After posting an assist in just over 19 minutes of action in an 8-1 win over Tampa Bay last Wednesday, Crosby has missed the last three contests with a mild concussion. Pittsburgh has gone 0-2-1 in that span, scoring just three goals. Crosby continues to lead the league in scoring with 32 goals and 66 points but is not yet symptom free. And the Penguins don't intend to force their captain back until he is fully cleared.
"I believe he's getting tested this week again. And he's getting better, but, again, we're not going to progress forward until the symptoms subside," Bylsma said.
Prior to their matchup with the Habs on Wednesday, Bylsma said that while they would like to have Crosby back in the lineup, the players were also accepting the challenge of continuing to compete without him.
"I think this group of guys in the past, not all these guys, but some, have played without Sid for some period of time and I actually sense a determination to try to win hockey games without him there," he said. "We are a good team, we have good players and those players in there want to prove it and get to the business of winning hockey games."
Pittsburgh entered Wednesday night's action trailing the Flyers by three points for first place in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.