Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sidney Crosby's return means Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman can finally stop hearing questions about hit

TAMPA — One byproduct of Sidney Crosby's return is the end of questions for Lightning D Victor Hedman.

Hedman's Jan. 5 check that pushed Crosby's head into the glass was portrayed by some as causing the concussion that sidelined the Penguins superstar for almost 11 months.

That narrative, though, ignored Crosby being brutalized four days earlier by a vicious shoulder hit to the head by then-Capitals C David Steckel.

"It's going to be a relief to put that behind me, even though it hasn't bothered me as much as people think," Hedman said. "It's just good that (Crosby) is back. You never want a guy to be out for so long."

Hedman was approached by television and print reporters on Monday, when Crosby played his first game since Hedman's relatively light hit from behind.

Hedman also was asked about it Thursday, when there was speculation Crosby might play that night against Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"I can understand people asking me about it," Hedman said. "The last body contact on the ice he had was against me, so it's natural I'm getting a lot of attention about having the last hit on Sidney. It's just one of those things you have to handle."

MORE CROSBY: Lightning coach Guy Boucher, asked about Crosby's four-point game in his return against the Islanders, said, "He looked like the junior I coached in Rimouski, just having a ball out there."

"Good for him and his team," C Steven Stamkos said. "I don't know if it's good for the teams in the East."

MEDICAL MATTERS: RW Steve Downie (upper body) did not play the third Tuesday. He is day to day.

BIG CHANGE: With a goal and assist Saturday against the Devils, W Ryan Shannon was promoted Tuesday to a line with C Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis — at least to start.

"One thing I've learned about the way things go is (Boucher) picks the guys as the game goes on, so every shift is a competition to play well," said Shannon, who has a goal and five points in 14 games and finished Tuesday with 15:33 of ice time and zero shots on goal.

The move acknowledges Shannon finally is catching on to Tampa Bay's system.

"Being hesitant and always thinking about playing the system takes you out of the instincts you're supposed to have," Shannon said. "Once I become more familiar with the system, I can just play."

NO CHANGE: The defensive pairing of Matt Gilroy and Eric Brewer will remain for now, Boucher said.

Hedman had been Brewer's partner, but Gilroy stepped in Nov. 6 after Hedman was injured. Hedman has been paired with Brett Clark in the four games since his return. Gilroy has stayed with Brewer.

"The fact that Gilroy is able to do it, it's given us more depth," Boucher said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay has been outscored 24-12 in first periods and allowed the first goal in 13 of its 20 games. … Bruno Gervais and F Blair Jones were scratched.

Sidney Crosby's return means Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman can finally stop hearing questions about hit 11/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 12:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  2. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  4. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

    Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.
  5. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener


    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

    Oleg Sosunov's ability to skate for his size, his reach, and his style have drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara.