Crosby has been nearing a comeback, and there was hope that he would be cleared in time for the start of the postseason against the same team he was sidelined against, but Game 1 is officially a no-go.
The news comes from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari:
Crosby, whose jaw was broken by a deflected puck March 30, was examined Tuesday and told that the fracture has not healed enough for him to resume playing.
"He said everything was good," Crosby said. "He just wasn't prepared to declare me (ready) to play. Obviously, I would have loved to have had a chance to play tonight, but that's not the way it is.
Crosby's presence in the lineup could very well be the difference between great and Stanley Cup great for the Pens.
Consider the following.
The game in which he got hurt—although he only played 50 seconds—was the Penguins' 15th straight win.
Immediately following his departure, they followed up an undefeated month of March with two straight losses and an 8-4-0 April.
Granted, 8-4-0 is a month that many teams would take in a heartbeat. But it's apparent that Crosby, who has a video game-like 56 points in 36 games, has the ability to take this offensively dominant squad to an otherwise unattainable level.
Despite this being Sid The Kid's 13th missed game in a row, however, it's still not time to hit the panic button.
Crosby has been practicing for several days (as shown here by CJ Fogler), and his medical clearance is only inevitable.
CJ Fogler @cjzero
Sidney Crosby practiced today with half shield over jaw guard http://t.co/jsvFHP5x2g5/1/2013, 5:39:52 AM
The No. 1-seeded Pens should have little problem with the No. 8 Islanders, against whom they went 4-1-0 in the regular season.
While a return to the ice for Crosby would do more than just improve the Pens' first line (see: ease the concerns of everyone in Pittsburgh), rest assured in the fact that he is not far away.
Nor is his revenge.