Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sidney Steps back on stage

Christmas came early for Gary Bettman, as the most recognized name in the NHL today finally returned to the ice, his lengthy convalescence from concussion now seemingly complete.

The Penguins announced the much anticipated and hoped for event yesterday, sending into action a battalion of media members to descend on Pittsburgh for Monday's pre game skate and game night contest between he Penguins and the New York Islanders.

Crosby last saw action in January of this year, the victim of a concussion that many still believe first had its origins during the NHL's marquee non playoff event the New Years Day Winter Classic.

In that game, Crosby took a blow to the head from the shoulder of the Capitals David Steckel,  a few games later another hit this time at the hands of Tampa's Victor Hedman, shut down Crosby's season.  It was an interruption that lasted 320 days, through a training camp and the season launch in October,  moving some eight weeks into the 2011-12 NHL season, before Crosby was finally declared fit to play.

A lengthy absence it was and one that had many fearing that the league's top player might never play again, something that surely must have struck fear into the heart of Gary Bettman, who by now we hope understands how important the players, especially those highly skilled and entertaining ones are to the sport.

It's especially important to note that this year, the league's top players of recent years seem to be struggling, leaving the league with few in the way of players to hang the brand on at the moment.

Washington is a prime example of that where Alexander Ovechkin, currently is mired in a slump of epic proportions, tied in with that slump the nature of what seems to be a bit of feud with this head coach and well the good feeling buzz isn't happening out the Capitals dressing room this year.

If nothing else we imagine that Bruce Boudreau is hoping that the return of Sid the Kid (who probably isn't really a kid anymore we guess) will light a fire under his own recalcitrant star.

We imagine probably the only ones who wish that the Crosby return had been deferred a day or two were the New York Islanders, who had the unfortunate task of providing the competition (such as it was) for the Penguins on debut night, a task that despite their pre game observations, they clearly didn't have much interest in, at least judging by the final score of 5-0.

As for the debut, a four point night with a goal on his third shift of the night, is the kind of thing that makes for a pretty remarkable story line, the Penguins already a very good hockey team obviously get a whole lot better with their Captain back in the line up.


One night in and he's already on track to head back to head to the top of the pack in NHL points totals, Mr. Kessel look over your shoulder, that's Crosby coming hard up the ice.

Watching the excitement on the Penguins bench, you have the feeling that Pens coach Day Byslma must feel as though he just won a Lotto Max Jackpot,  the energy on the bench spurred on by that of the home crowd pushing the Pens to total domination over the hapless Isles.

And sharing in those smiles around the rink in Pittsburgh were NHL fans around the world, fans who at times have been starved from showmanship for far too long, finally can get back to watching the highlight shows and enjoy the Crosby show.

Welcome back, we're hoping it's a long run Sid, we're hoping that it's a long run...

Pittsburgh Tribune-- Crosby 'magnifigue' right away
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Crosby dominates in comeback vs. Islanders
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Crosby returns surprises teammates, coaches
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Relax, the Kid will be just fine
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Sidney Crosby's return welcomed by hockey world
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Bylsma: Sidney Crosby could play first game 'on adrenaline'
Pittsburgh Tribune-- Crosby cleared for comeback
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Crosby shakes off "rust" in easy Penguins victory
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Crosby dazzling in return to ice
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Crosby fabulous in his return
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Excitement building for Crosby's return tonight
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Crosby taking ice tonight for Penguins against Islanders
Globe and Mail-- Hold your tears on Crosby's comeback - he couldn't lose
Globe and Mail-- Crosby makes sensation return
Globe and Mail-- Crosby gives hockey a much needed boost
Globe and Mail-- Sidney Crosby emerges out of the darkness and into on-ice spotlight
National Post-- Sidney Crosby celebrates the first day of the rest of his life
National Post-- Penguin's Crosby in fine form in rout
National Post-- Sidney Crosby's concussion will change the NHL
Toronto Star-- Sid-sational! The Kid is back
Toronto Star-- True greats can handle the moment
Toronto Star-- Sidney Crosby quickly shifts into high gear
Toronto Star-- Penguins vs Islanders live with Kevin McGran
Toronto Star-- First game back: Crosby's day in pictures
Toronto Sun-- Crosby, Pens cruise past Islanders
Toronto Sun-- NHLers say Crosby should be targeted
Toronto Sun-- What a return for Sid
Toronto Sun-- Bylsma had no inkling of Crosby's return
Toronto Sun-- Long-awaited return gives Sid the jitters
CBC-- Sidney Crosby returns to lead Pens' romp over Isles
CBC-- Crosby exhibits emotion and excellence in return
CBC-- Crosby talks to Ron MacLean
TSN-- Crosby has four points in return as Penguins blank Islanders
TSN-- Crosby's return a chance for something special
Sportsnet-- A night to remember
Sportsnet-- So much on the line
Sportsnet-- A Triumphant Return

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