Blog Entry

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Posted on: November 20, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 11:34 am

By Brian Stubits

The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced the wait is over, Sidney Crosby will finally return to the lineup on Monday against the New York Islanders.

And the hockey world cheered.

"He's excited and anxious," coach Dan Bylsma said on a conference call Sunday. "I think the building's going to be going crazy."

When he returns, he'll be playing on a line with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, the players Bylsma said Crosby is the most comfortable with.

But don't expect too much from him in Game 1. Byslma said Crosby told him that he'll likely only be able to play 12 minutes, prompting Bylsma to laugh.

"Sidney's adrenaline will be going so high," Bylsma said. "When Sidney Crosby gets to 12 minutes, he's certainly going to want the 13th minute."

You'll be able to watch the game on Versus (or CBC for our Canadian friends) as the American network has swapped from Canadiens-Bruins to the return of Sid.

Crosby has been out of the lineup since January 5 when he suffered a second concussion in as many games. Since then, it has been a long and twisting road to his return with the hockey world waiting with bated breath for the return of arguably the NHL's top player. The wait is over.

It's a development that's exciting to everybody in the NHL. The fans of the game (and the Penguins, of course) are thrilled to have Crosby back on the ice. The rest of the people like Jeremy Roenick are happy the speculating and anticipating is done with.

Crosby was cleared for contact on Oct. 13 and has since been going through the normal rigors of practices with his teammates as well as traveling with the team in recent weeks. For the past two or three weeks Crosby has more or less been day-to-day and for their part, the Penguins have been very good keeping everybody up to date, announcing the day before the game if Crosby would be playing or not.

Pittsburgh will obviously welcome Crosby back with open arms, but it's not as if the team has struggled in his absence. They are still in first place of the Atlantic Division (tied with Philadelphia) with Crosby out. Assuming Crosby returns to his old form -- and there is no reason to believe he won't -- the Penguins are the favorite to win the East, something many people already considered them to be.

Before he went down with the concussions last season, Crosby played exactly have a season -- 41 games -- and had 32 goals plus 34 assists. So now the question becomes how many points will Crosby score this season?

Pittsburgh has 62 games left on its schedule. So assuming Crosby will play in most if not all of those games, I'm going to cautiously set the over/under at 65 points. Under normal circumstances, most everybody would take the over on that, but there remains some uncertainty on how Crosby will perform when he comes back on the ice.

Considering how careful the Penguins were with Crosby throughout his entire recovery, it's difficult to imagine that he won't becoming back near 100 percent physically. He's been practicing for a long time with the team, so perhaps there won't be a lot of rust to shake off. The most interesting part will be seeing how he reacts to playing by the boards and after taking his first couple of hits.

Oh, and if anybody wants to take a run at Crosby now that he's back, I'd like to remind would-be checkers that the Penguins just recalled Steve MacIntyre from the AHL and, well, he can fight.

"We know what he means to this team, this city," defenseman Kris Letang said. "He's a special player."

And what he means to the NHL. Like him or not, this is great news for the league.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: November 24, 2011 12:47 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

ravenmaniac is nothing but pure entertainment.  he couldn't even predict tomorrow's sunrise.  in the Penguins-Islanders game, sid got hit pretty solid by Hamonic (that team's best hitter, no less). no whistle, no fine.  so again, ravenmaniac was talking out of his sphincter.  it's hard to give RM any credit or value except for imagining the laugh track that plays when the egg hits his face over and over again.  just another raven-buffoon who trolls Pittsburgh games and articles.  go ahead raven, say something funny, so i can hear the laugh track again, just like on those mindless sitcoms.  that's how relevant you are.

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: November 21, 2011 6:50 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Ravenmaniac is a troll from the football boards, he once told me that the Capitals lead the league in 4th period goals.

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

No problem fitz......I'm betting I won't be concussed either. It would be fitting if the Pens wore those powder blue sweaters in memory of Cissy's return.

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:58 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Why not try to light it up with James Neal? Sid's better than post-surgical Evgeni Malkin. Gino hasn't been himself since winning the Conn Smythe...

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:45 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

By the way, I would like to see you go out and take a check from Sid or better yet, Brooks Orpik.  Would you still think he's a cry baby?

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:42 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Ravenmaniac, why jump to so all these conclusions?  Why don't you just watch the game and try to appreciate a great player and hope that he doesn't get hurt again?  He had a serious concussion that threatened his career which isn't a good thing for anyone that's a fan of the game.  You don't have to like it, but the guy brings fans to the game and you could atleast appreciate that.

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:09 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Do you feel better now Steelfool.

I still hope someone checks him tonight...more for the entertainment value but to see how big the fine Bettman levies since Sissy Crosby is the face of hockey.

Since: Aug 27, 2010
Posted on: November 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game


Really hope you don't have a kid, and if you do i hope he never gets a concussion because you'd put him right back on the ice and then he turns retarded. Then again, like father like son right??

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: November 21, 2011 2:50 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

man-o-man...these posts are all over the place... can there be more than a buckle your chin strap kid...and keep your head up!...oh, and good luck!

..if the NHL were to lose sid crosby to concussion i think the league would forever be tainted...

   I remember the first time I saw Wayne Gretsky laid out...motionless on the ice...all the hard hitting in an instant seemed brutal, and pointless...all that skill, and grace, the scoring machine, the good sport and gentleman, just laid out cause you got the chance to do really made the game stupid...

   You can't take the fights out of the NHL...and really, when certain lines are crossed, you need to get that pound of flesh...but gretsky?...and sidney crosby? he chippy, a little. But to damage his brain, and very nearly take him out of hockey for the rest of his life...the superstar!...and really, for what?..a highlite film at 11

...for as long as he was out, the league should sit the perp, and a player of similar value to that team til sid crosby returned...that might stop some of this pointless goonery...

...And who know, he may yet wash out as a shadow of his former self...

the NHL can't afford to lose the ticket draws they have...the very few they have..

good luck sid!

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 2:35 pm

Sidney Crosby to return to Pens for Monday game

Refs wil have Sissy Crosby wrapped in matresses in this one. There wil be no way anyone can even get within 5 feet of him or you''ll get a 5 minute major.

Can't wait to see someone smash his little red face into the boards. Bet he cries like a little girl.

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