Crosby's comeback complete, NHL players say awareness, rule changes are proof game is safer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Crosby's comeback complete, NHL players say awareness, rule changes are proof game is safer

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2011 file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby sits on the bench during a time out in an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators in Pittsburgh. A year after his return from concussion-like symptoms, Crosby is his old self. And due to the fallout from the devastating hit he took more than two years ago, the NHL may be better off for it.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
March 21, 2013 - 12:15 PM

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A year after his comeback from concussion-like symptoms, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is on top of his game. Crosby leads the NHL in points and says he no longer worries about taking another hit to the head.

The NHL has taken steps to eliminate the kind of dangerous hits that threatened Crosby's career, and players say heightened awareness plus stiffer penalties have made them more mindful of how they use their bodies.

While players say dangerous hits and concussions will always be part of the game, they see fewer elbows and sticks being used to cause harm.

Cleaner play appears to be leading to fewer penalties too. Teams are averaging just 3.6 power-play chances per game, down from 5.8 per game during Crosby's rookie season in 2005-06.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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