Kukla's Korner

From the Point Too

Crosby’s Comeback a Special One

Sidney Crosby’s comeback is finally upon us, as he will skate in his first game in almost a year this evening against the New York Islanders. The interesting thing is that this comeback isn’t without precedent here in Pittsburgh…in fact, when it comes to the Penguins it was something of the norm during Mario Lemieux’s time in the league. I remember being in the crowd at the Civic Arena with my “Mario’s Back” sign, the nervous anticipation building as we all waited for the “big guy” to make yet another triumphant return.

Though we have lived this moment on numerous occasions, this one seems a little more special. That isn’t to diminish any of Mario’s comebacks, as they were all magnificent, especially his return on the final day of cancer treatments and his run to the Art Ross trophy, but this one is different.

Maybe it is that, honestly speaking, we got a bit spoiled with Mario and always sort of knew in the back of our minds that he would come back and be great. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Crosby was playing on a completely different plain last season before his concussion. Maybe it is the fact that Crosby’s absence was so magnified by social media and that the rumors that came with that magnification led to more fear of his never being able to return to the same level.  Maybe it is just that this has been such a special collection of talent and they haven’t been on the ice together – minus three games – in well over a year.

Whatever the reason, this one is pretty damn special and that point is further rammed home by the fact that the entire hockey world has again descended on Pittsburgh to cover it. There are reports that the team has issued upwards of 250 press credentials this evening, which is complete insanity for a regular season game.

The situation might have been frustrating for all involved, but the team handled this the way it needed too. There was no room for error in this recovery and all involved ensured that ll of it was handled the correct way. Crosby IS the Penguins at this point. He is the key to their marketing strategy, he is the focal point on the ice and he is a big reason why 18,087-plus citizens of earth spend their hard earned cash to fill the posh Consol Energy Center to capacity 41 wintery nights per year.

He also serves those same purposes for a league that was in need of a fresh face when he arrived. Sure, a case can now be made that Crosby has peers in selling the game, but for a time he was the complete and total face of the league – still is to a pretty big extent as evidenced by the coverage his return as garnered.

Most of what he does on the ice can only be described as magical and his skills are the best tools he could have as a salesman of the game. However, his personality and the fact that he knows how to handle all that comes with sitting on the mantle of one of the biggest professional sports leagues in North America only adds to his toolchest.

Crosby is a once in a generation talent that many thought might have been the latest casualty of post concussion syndrome. He has seemingly wandered into the haze that is PCS and has come out ready for action. The Kid that has spent the past six years selling the game has now sold that game on the proper handling of concussions.

The Kid devoted the same attention to detail and preparation that he typically puts into his game to his recovery process. Teammates have said that he is almost as well versed on the subject as a doctor would be. His efforts to follow care plans, to seek out additional specialists and leave some finger prints on the handling of concussions and head shots in general cannot be taken lightly.

It all adds to the special moment that we are all about to experience when the teams hit the ice this evening at the Consol Energy Center.

It doesn’t matter if you are one of the 250 covering the game as a credentialed media member, watching it as a rabid hockey fan from your seat in the arena, sitting at home or in a local watering hole watching on TV… all involved will remember this special moment… the moment Sidney Crosby came back…

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, | From the Point Too | Permalink
  Tags: crosbywatch, mario+lemieux, sidney+crosby

Comments

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Nah it ain’t that special.  Please write a story about the Red Wings having a two game win streak.  NOW THATS A STORY!!

Posted by tbassett on 11/21/11 at 04:23 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Awwww…someone’s angry they got their lunch handed to them on another thread! wink

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/21/11 at 07:22 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/21/11 at 05:22 PM ET

Go away, troll.

I’ve been excited about this all day!  It’ll great to see 87 back in action.  My mom and brother won tickets to go to the game Wednesday…so they’re pretty pumped that Crosby guy is back, too.

If he scores tonight, the place might implode…

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 11/21/11 at 08:55 PM ET

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@Red Winger

Lunch handed??  Hmmm no idea what your talking about.  Sid’s put up 1g 2a after 2.  He’s 12 pts behind the greatest player in the world Pavel Datsyuk.  In about two weeks he’ll be ahead of any Red Wing.  He might even have more points than Lidstrom’s age by the end of the year!!  Now that’s gangster

Posted by tbassett on 11/21/11 at 10:46 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I expected the islanders to go easy on him tonight, but has anyone in white been within 5 feet of him??? Could the islanders really be this soft?

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/21/11 at 10:48 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

It’s ridiculous to see how soft Islander are told to play ...If you breath the same air as Cindy you’ll be suspended for life…This is not Hockey..

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 11/21/11 at 10:58 PM ET

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and the red wing nut-huggers come in droves to hate on Sid.  I am so proud the red wings put together a 2 game win streak.  Kukla should make a headline on that

Posted by tbassett on 11/21/11 at 11:29 PM ET

LiteWork's avatar

and the red wing nut-huggers come in droves to hate on Sid.  I am so proud the red wings put together a 2 game win streak.  Kukla should make a headline on that

Posted by tbassett on 11/21/11 at 09:29 PM ET

Enjoy sucking Crosbys d*** much?

Posted by LiteWork on 11/21/11 at 11:40 PM ET

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Posted by LiteWork on 11/21/11 at 09:40 PM ET

Is this not a Pens blog?  Would you expect Pens fans in the blog to hate their captain?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 11/21/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

2 goals.  2 assists.  After 320 days of not playing hockey.

Best. In. The. World.

Is this not a Pens blog?  Would you expect Pens fans in the blog to hate their captain?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 11/21/11 at 09:45 PM ET

Penguins fans are not allowed to praise Crosby and other fans are allowed to criticize him at every opportunity.  When Penguins comment in sections not dedicated to the Penguins, they’re trolling - when it’s a fan of the great red and white commenting in Penguins blogs, it is not trolling…even when they’re trolling.

Two sets of standards.  That’s how things go, here, at Red Wings Korner.  You should know this…you’ve been around here long enough.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 11/22/11 at 12:01 AM ET

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Posted by Flashtastick56 from Milford, CT on 11/21/11 at 10:01 PM ET

Yeah.  It’s not everyone though.  Like I said in the other thread, it’s just a couple that ruin everything.  It’s a shame, but I still come here to get hockey stories I wouldn’t find on my own or for some good debate (as long as they don’t involve the Pens or the Wings…there’s just no point anymore). 

Great game tonight though.  I thought other than Sid’s line, the rest of the team looked like crap in the first, but they pulled away in the 2nd and 3rd with a solid effort from everyone.  Some of the line combos they were trying later in the game were just plain scary.  The sequence with Malkin-Crosby-Neal towards the end was just amazing.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 11/22/11 at 12:12 AM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 11/21/11 at 10:12 PM ET

Dude…when they’re healthy, you can argue that they roll out the best top three lines in the league.  That Sullivan-Malkin-Neal line has been outrageous this year.  If the Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis and Cooke-Staal-Kennedy lines are as good as they have been in the past…look out, NHL.  Man.

Staal has been playing some really, really, really good hockey, too.  Seems like those sessions with Gary Roberts in the summer have paid off?

And…Michalek comes back, Fleury notches a shutout?  Probably not a coincidence, huh?  Haha.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 11/22/11 at 01:19 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

I’m glad he’s back and healthy. No one should suffer as he did with dizziness and headaches. It’s great to see him back. Now then, let’s all get a grip and realize this was one game against the Islanders (who are something like 0-11 recently). I believe the Pens office was smart to bring him back for this one instead of one of the more physical teams they could have faced. Probably only Columbus would have been a safer bet. Watch how he does against real teams and see/hope that his skills are still what they were before the head injury. That will be the real test. I hope for Pens fans that his recovery was 100%, but I wouldn’t base that off a game against the Isles if I were to be honest with myself.


(Disclaimer: I don’t like the Penguins and I’m annoyed with Crosby’s media saturation, but I refuse to buy into the polarizing discourse surrounding this talented forward. He’s a good hockey player, but he has no play in me forming my identity as a person or hockey fan.  )

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/22/11 at 10:58 AM ET

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