Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby

Can Sidney Crosby match Mario Lemieux’s comeback?


The atmosphere has been crazy in Pittsburgh, but pundits cannot say that the mood is unprecedented. Mario Lemieux’s health issues and premature retirement created plenty of comeback opportunities to rival Sidney Crosby’s, so it’s tough not to make comparisons. In fact, some might want to be literal about that.

To keep it simple, here’s what Super Mario did in his return from retirement on Dec. 27, 2000:

Lemieux: one goal and two assists for three points; +3 rating with five shots on goal in 20:46 minutes of ice time.

Crosby (through one period): one goal and one assist for two points; +2 rating with four shots on goal in 7:10 minutes of ice time.

No doubt about it, Crosby matches Lemieux’s sense of the moment. Just for fun, let’s take a look at how the two star center’s partners in crime fared out of the limelight.

Jaromir Jagr: two goals and two assists for four points; +4 rating, seven shots on goal in 22:11 minutes of ice time.

Evgeni Malkin: zero points, even plus/minus with zero shots on goal in 7:14 minutes of ice time.

Oh, and for what it’s worth: Marc-Andre Fleury needs 28 saves to match Garth Snow’s 40-save shutout.

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.