"You know what? That could happen," Crosby said today of missing the rest of the season. "But am I sitting here packing it in? No. I hope I'm back and, geez, I hope I play this year."
Is there a chance #87 won't be back this year... yes. But if you consider all his remarks or even just that quote above, he seems optimistic that he will return.
For the long-term paranoia, it's true concussions did derail the careers of Lindros, Primeau, LaFontaine, and perhaps Savard, but they were all in their 30s, and all took much more ferocious hits than #87. Remember, #87 (unwisely in hindsight) finished both the Winter Classic and the Tampa Bay game. My point being, he didn't get carted off like the others (and Heath Miller for the Steelers).
Look, too, at Patrice Bergeron for the Bruins. He had two concussions 2007 (knocked unconscious) and another in 2008. Today, he is the alternate captain of the Bruins, their leading scorer, and arguably their best player. Relax with the career-ending apocalyptic predictions posters!
As for the season being over without #87 and #71, boy when the going gets tough, some fans reach for the remote. This team can still win (8-5-1 since the concussion), and can still do damage in April, May, June by tweaking its game slightly and riding #29 as far as he can take them. That means HCDB reigning in the ferocious forecheck (i.e., my Rope-a-Dope post) to make sure there are no odd-man breaks that no goalie can stop consistently. #29 has shown us he may be the best in the NHL between the pipes right now, let this be his team until further notice. (Remember with #87 and #71 and no commitment to defense, the team didn't get beyond the 2nd round last season).
Sports doesn't always play out the way we'd script it. That's what makes it so appealing to follow.