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Sidney Crosby's absence: An NHL omen

The league can no longer afford to straddle the line on violence and concussions

Originally Published: May 5, 2011
By Howard Bryant | ESPN.com

The sports calendar is full, but the best show in town these days without much debate has been the NHL playoffs. Last year's Stanley Cup champion Chicago defended valiantly and nearly came back from a 3-0 hole against Vancouver. Cup runner-up Philadelphia twice faced elimination against Ryan Miller, the game's best goaltender, but scored 10 goals over the last two games to beat the Sabres in seven. And teams including the Bruins, the Canucks and the Sharks are playing with something to prove.

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