Somehow, the Pittsburgh Penguins are just going to have to make the best of it. They're going to have to get by with the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow. Also James Neal, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and assorted others.
Sidney Crosby won't be playing Wednesday. He's still not recovered from the broken jaw he suffered on March 30 and that means Pittsburgh has to open its first-round series against the New York Islanders without its captain and best player.
Does it matter? Not a lick.
If ever there was a game Crosby could afford to sit and work on his recovery, its tonight's tilt against a team the Penguins have owned this season. Five times Pittsburgh and the Islanders met with the Penguins winning the last four by a combined score of 16-5. Even without Crosby on the top line, Pittsburgh won eight of 12 games and has enough depth and firepower to overwhelm the Islanders.
Besides, the Penguins should be looking at a long run in the postseason and the healthier Crosby is, the better he'll be when the competition goes up a notch. When will that be? There was no word on precisely when Crosby will be back, but no matter.
He can relax and so can the Penguins. Did we mention they also have Matt Cooke, Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen?