It's a safe bet that Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman
had an uncomfortable Sunday afternoon in Vancouver as he waited for the Team Canada players to arrive.
In fact, Yzerman's worse nightmare almost played out before his eyes when Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby
-- the guy Yzerman called "our top player" in Saturday's opening press conference -- was struck by a slap shot in the second period of Sunday afternoon's loss to the Nashville Predators
The shot, off the stick of Kevin Klein
, struck Crosby in the right shin and sent him hobbling to the bench after his shift, wincing in pain. He remained on the bench for several minutes afterward, according to reports, before testing out the injury.
Crosby did eventually return to the game and left for Vancouver after its conclusion. Team Canada opens the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament against Norway on Tuesday afternoon. Crosby is scheduled to arrive here late Sunday night and be on the ice for Monday's afternoon practice session.
"I thought it was a great blocked shot," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
said. "Getting in the lane and preventing that from getting to our net. He was excited … a little emotional about the pain, but I think one of stingers that wore off for him."
Bylsma said the play was just part of Sid being Sid.
"We had this situation happen last year, too, where he went out to block a shot and blocked one that could have -- it was the top of his knee. And does the thought go through your head, that’s risky?
Yeah. But it’s also part of what you get from Sidney Crosby
, not just trying to score goals, but penalty-killing situations and blocking a shot. I don’t think you want anything less. I think it’s part of the package," Bylsma said.
Crosby finished the game with a goal -- No. 42 on the season, to tie him with Alex Ovechkin
for the League lead -- and an assist.