Sidney Crosby

Top 2012: Not one, but two Sidney Crosby comebacks

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When Sidney Crosby went on the shelf in early January 2011, few expected him to need until late November to return. The Pittsburgh Penguins star was worth the wait, though, as he made a bombastic return – and then did it again after another setback.

Let’s reminisce about his triumphant comeback(s) from concussions.

Echoing Mario

Crosby’s four-point reemergence against the New York Islanders on Nov. 21 reminded many of Mario Lemieux’s triumphant comeback in 2000.

One of Crosby’s four points came on his first shot – and second shift – against the Isles:

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Crosby indeed left Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick flabbergasted after that memorable night:

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Overall, Crosby produced two goals and 10 assists in an eight-game span that ended with a Dec. 5 game against the Boston Bruins when his concussion issues resurfaced after a collision with David Krejci. Crosby eventually returned to the injured reserve on Dec. 12.

Another comeback

Kris Letang accompanied Crosby off the injured list on March 15 as the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 5-2. Amazingly, that victory pushed Pittsburgh’s streak to 10 straight wins.

For a while, Crosby was piling up far more assists than goals, but that didn’t stop him from becoming the seventh-youngest player to hit the 600-point mark on March 30.

Sid the Kid’s second regular season set of games was truly impressive; he scored six goals and 19 assists in 25 games to finish the season. Overall, he had eight goals and 29 assists for 37 points in just 22 regular season games.

A wild (and ugly) postseason

Crosby’s production in a 4-2 series loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was just fine, particularly on paper. He had eight points – all in the first four contests.

Still, to many, that series was all about Claude Giroux getting the upper hand, with this hit saying the most:

Those matches often brought out the dark side of Crosby and the Penguins. Here’s some video evidence:

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(There’s also the claim that Crosby’s slashes forced Giroux to undergo surgery. Crosby sort of denied that.)

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Overall, Crosby has shown that he can return with aplomb. Just imagine how he’ll react to coming back from a lockout, not injuries …

Sidney Crosby: Voice of the lockout?

Sidney Crosby
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Something we’ve learned through past labor negotiations is that often times you won’t see the game’s biggest stars say or do much while things get figured out. From what we’ve seen and heard from Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, that hasn’t been the case.

He’s been front and center with Donald Fehr at many meetings and lately he’s been more open about speaking his mind on the lack of progress in talks.

As he tells Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he’s still trying to figure out where everyone’s head is at through all this.

“It’s been tough because you have to try and understand both sides, but on top of that I’m a player,” Crosby said. “Being all these things combined, and I’m a fan too, you have to try and weigh all that.

“I’ve really tried to understand everyone’s position. That’s why, after doing that, it’s been pretty frustrating — because I really believe this could have been an easier process.”

The only other people aside from Gary Bettman to frustrate Crosby like this are Claude Giroux and Henrik Zetterberg but at least that’s when they’re on the ice.

Seeing Crosby being more active with the players’ union is a good thing as he’s always going to be front and center with the game when it’s being played. He should have a hand in how things are figured out off the ice as well.

Happy 25th birthday, Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby
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Given that it’s the seventh day of the eighth month, it can only mean one thing:

Sidney Crosby’s havin’ a birthday!

Yep, 25 years ago today — 8/7/87, in case you’re wondering how the “87” infatuation came to be — Sid the Kid was born.

Here’s a quick rundown of the things he’s accomplished in his first 25 years on the planet:

— Stanley Cup
— Richard, Art Ross, Hart and Lester B. Pearson trophies
— Olympic gold medal
— World Junior gold medal
— Four All-Star Games

In a related story — when I was 25, I worked graveyard shifts as a hotel security guard.

Sidney Crosby is a fan of the Kentucky Derby

Sidney Crosby at the 138th Kentucky Derby
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Getting knocked out of the playoffs early can be a huge bummer, but if there’s an upside to it at all it’s that you’ve got free time to hit big time events. For Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, it meant heading to Louisville, Kentucky and Churchill Downs for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Our friends at NBCSN’s Twitter account spotted Sid the Kid mingling about during the day’s races looking dapper. Wonder if the Kid enjoys a good mint julep?

Crosby isn’t the only hockey guy with a thing for the ponies as NBC’s Ed Olczyk gave his thoughts on who might take today’s Run for the Roses. If only we could’ve gotten Crosby’s pick on a winner for the day’s big race to compare it to his old head coach in Pittsburgh.

Gary Roberts believes Sidney Crosby wasn’t 100 percent in playoffs

Sidney Crosby
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For all the criticism that Evgeni Malkin received for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first round series to the Philadelphia Flyers, he ultimately had the same amount of points (eight) as Sidney Crosby. It’s not a popular thought – two early goals in particular made it seem like everything was fine – but some might have wondered if Crosby was “all there.”

Gary Roberts is one of those people. Here is what he told The Canadian Press.

“Sidney Crosby needs to be in elite shape to perform at the level that he needs to perform at,” Roberts said. “I haven’t talked to him, but I don’t think he was feeling great. You can’t miss that much time in a season, even Sidney Crosby.”

Roberts knows fitness and Crosby (he briefly played alongside him in Pittsburgh), so he carries some extra credibility. The imposing ex-NHLer draws on his experience with another great center as an another example.

“Look at Mats Sundin,” Roberts said. “He took six months off, went back to Vancouver and he told me ‘Holy crap, I worked hard off the ice and I can’t believe how bad I feel out there.”‘

Interesting stuff. Finally, Roberts quite reasonably gave Crosby the benefit of the doubt about skipping the 2012 Hockey World Championships.

“Players can’t afford to be healing in the summer,” Roberts said. “You’ve got to be getting stronger and preparing for the next year. The summers are not for relaxation to the point that you don’t work.”