Crosby says he’s ready for Olympics

Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Canada star Sidney Crosby said he was

unhurt and headed to Vancouver for the Olympic tournament despite

wincing in pain shortly after he took slap shot in Pittsburgh’s

loss to Nashville on Sunday.

“I will be there,” Crosby said after the 4-3 shootout loss to

the Predators. Team Canada was scheduled to practice Monday and

open against Norway on Tuesday.

“I’m on the flight tonight,” he said.

Crosby, who earlier tied Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal lead

with his 42nd, spent several minutes on the bench with his head

down after blocking a Kevin Klein slap shot about seven minutes

into the second period of the last game before the NHL Olympic

break.

Crosby led an offensive rush up ice immediately after

blocking the shot with what intially appeared to be his lower right

shin, though Crosby said it went off his foot. It wasn’t until he

lost the puck that he showed any sign he was hurt.

During the ensuing television timeout, Crosby appeared to be

gingerly testing his right leg with light skating. But he did not

miss a shift the remainder of the contest – later adding an assist

and an unsuccessful attempt in the shootout – and after the game

downplayed the shot when questioned by reporters.

“The shot off the foot?” he said. “That happens. That’s part

of the game.”

Crosby was asked if he was limited at all the rest of the

game.

“No,” he said. “How many minutes did I play?”

Although he appeared tentative during his first shift after

the shot, by the end of the game the 22-year-old Crosby showed no

visible signs the foot was hindering him.

The Penguins likewise downplayed the situation.

“He was excited and emotional about the pain,” Penguins coach

Dan Bylsma said. “But I think it was one of those stingers, and it

wore off for him.”