PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Sportsnet hockey analyst Nick Kypreos joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to share his theory regarding Sidney Crosby’s struggles — which doesn’t involve an unreported injury.

“I don’t buy the injury factor here,” Kypreos said. “I think that most often when guys hide injuries, they’re not on the ice as often as Crosby was in terms of practices or situations where you need therapy or a couple of days off of rest. So I never really saw that or heard about it.”

Kypreos did see clear symptoms affecting Crosby’s play, though, leading him to come up with a different hypothesis for Crosby’s struggles.

“I didn’t see the power in his game,” Kypreos said. “I didn’t see the explosiveness. I didn’t see that lower-body strength where he can just absolutely dominate and drive to the net and get those opportunities. To me, he did look weaker than I’ve seen in quite some time, so when I look at what he’s been through just in the past three or four years, you wonder whether or not he’s played too much hockey in a short period of time when he played very little hockey for two-and-a-half years.”

He told the guys that Crosby’s mentor never seemed to show this type of rust during the playoffs.

“Mario was very smart in terms of just making sure that he was ready to play the games,” Kypreos said. “I don’t think Mario practiced very often because he just knew what was needed the most- and that was just show up for the games, and do what you do best.”

On a different note, when asked what might happen should Dan Bylsma be fired, a few names that Kypreos brought up as potential replacements are Barry Trotz, Mike Keenan and Rick Tocchet, pointing out that Tocchet is an especially intriguing possibility because he’s a former Penguin that played with two all-time greats himself in Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.

As for Mike Babcock, Kypreos says that other teams have called the Red Wings to inquire about his status, and the general consensus is that the Red Wings aren’t going to let Babcock leave, at least until his deal expires next year. He thinks it’s possible that a team could find a guy to hold them over for a year until Babcock becomes available.

The full interview can be heard here:

(Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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