Leave it to the monster that is the concussion to stop a player who appeared locomotive-like cold in his tracks.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins spoke publicly for the first time in over four months today about the concussion that has sidelined him since January. Sid and his doctors claim that he is roughly 90 percent recovered, and that a return to the game is "imminent."
Exactly how imminent is now the question.
When pressed for a rough time line, Dr. Michael Collins, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's concussion study unit, said that he had "no earthly idea" when Crosby could be set to play. But hockey season moves on regardless.
The Penguins performed above and beyond expectations while missing Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Crosby for long stretches last season. The team still managed one of the best years in team history, and that has to be reassuring to Pittsburgh fans and players alike.
A select group of players will need to step up again for the Pens to be able to turn the trick twice, however. Here are six guys that must play to their full penitential and then some to keep Pittsburgh's season on track while Crosby continues his recovery.