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He knows one of the true tests will come the first time he takes a hard hit.

“You’re going to get hit again,” he said. “I think, if anything, you try to prepare yourself mentally.

“If you know you’re healthy, and you know you took the necessary steps to get ready, you’re not going to fear that nearly as much as if you rush into things and you know there’s still something wrong. I have been happy with the way things have gone.”

Crosby applauded the steep suspensions NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has handed out during the exhibition season.

“I think the best thing he’s probably done is treat each individual case differently,” Crosby said. “He’s really going over each part and making sure he plans it, as well.”

Still, Crosby doubts if hits to the head will ever be eliminated from the game.

“People are learning, and hopefully with time they’ll go down,” he said. “I don’t think anybody is out there expecting head shots are going to be totally gone. They’re going to happen (but) they’re going to be a lot less if we keep doing the same things we’re doing.”