“Always had a next-man-up mindset” – Penguins coach Mike Sullivan believes team ready despite Sidney Crosby’s probable absence against Rangers

Sidney Crosby suffered an injury after he received a hit from defenseman Jacob Trouba at 9:15 of the second period Wednesday.

Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby

Veteran Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby‘s status of availability for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round remains unclear. However, this is set to have no impact on the confidence of his wife against the New York Rangers, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Penguins skipper in the National Hockey League (NHL) will continue to be evaluated for an upper-body injury once the Penguins return home on Thursday. Pittsburgh is set to host the Rangers in Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena on Friday after a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Playoffs series.

We believe we have a group that’s capable of winning games regardless of who is in our lineup,” Sullivan said, as quoted by NHL.com. “That’s the way we all look at it. We’ve always had a mindset here that it’s a next-man-up approach. We believe we have capable people.”

“We’ll try to put the best lineup on ice”

Penguins' Players
Penguins’ Players

Although the Penguins lead the series 3-2, they are coming off an embarrassing 5-3 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday. Notably, they have not advanced past the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2018. On the other hand, the Halifax native Crosby has not missed a playoff game since May 3, 2017, a season which marked Pittsburgh’s second consecutive Cup championship.

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We’ll make decisions on a game-to-game basis based on who is available to us,” Sullivan said. “We’ll try to put the best lineup on the ice that gives us the best chance to win.”

He added: “It should just give us confidence that we can win games regardless of who’s in our lineup. We have a lot of depth in a lot of positions and we believe we have what it takes to win. We’ve got a capable group. This group has always had the next-man-up mentality. We’ll continue to do that moving forward here.”

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