Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Sidney Crosby’s Hip Flexor Strain

It’s an exciting time. With the opening of the NHL pre-season last week (and football season starting), we know that our days of watching the same diving catch and double play ball on Sports Center’s Top 10 everyday are FINALLY coming to a close. This is also an exciting time of year because a lot of our Endeavor players are fighting for roster spots and commitments for various programs. In the last couple months, a few Endeavor hockey players received great offers:

John Gaudreau (’93): Full ride to Northeastern (NCAA D1)
Matt Gaudreau (’94): Full ride to Northeastern (NCAA D1)
Gabe Antoni (’92): Full ride to Clarkson (NCAA D1)
Charlie Vasaturo (’90): Union (NCAA D1)

Because Colby Cohen and Eric Tangradi are fighting for roster spots on the Avalanche and Penguins, respectively, I find myself following those teams a bit more closely than I usually would. During the Penguin’s pre-season opener against the Red Wings last Wednesday, Crosby left during the second period with a hip flexor strain.

If a hockey player told me they strained their hip flexor in the first game of the season, I’d usually chalk it up to a lack of off-season preparation. However, I’ve been told Crosby has an admirable work ethic, so I imagine that was not the case with him. Interestingly, reports have said that it was poor ice quality that may have contributed to the injury (which is very minor). I’m surprised that ice quality is a problem at the NHL level, but I can understand that heat and enormous buildings are a hard combination to counteract at this time of year.

Unfortunately, not every hockey player has the work ethic of Sidney Crosby…and not every pre-season hip flexor or groin strain can be chalked up to poor ice quality. In fact, many of these injuries are preventable if a few precautions are taken.  A while back I wrote a detailed outline of how to assess for hip injury risk. These posts were written in the context of adductor or “groin” strains, but the process is similar for hip flexor strains. I highly encourage you to read (or re-read) the posts below. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have Crosby’s skill if you’re injured!

Groin Pain 101
Groin Pain 101: Posture Analysis
Groin Pain 101: How’s Your Range of Motion
Groin Pain 101: Testing Muscle Function
Groin Pain 101: Movement Analysis
Groin Pain 101: Screen/Assessment Review

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.