Pierre McGuire

Sidney Crosby

Video: Gauging expectations for Sidney Crosby’s comeback

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As you must know by now, Sidney Crosby will make his long-awaited return to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. (You’ll be able to watch it live on NBC Sports Network, by the way.) It’s a big game even beyond that with serious implications regarding the Atlantic Division title race, but you can be forgiven if your eyes are fixed on Crosby more than the standings.

With that – and his bombastic previous 2011-12 return – in mind, it might be tough to keep expectations in check. Mike Milbury and Keith Jones broke down what exactly we should (and shouldn’t) look forward to seeing from the biggest star in the sport.

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Pierre McGuire’s exclusive interview with Sidney Crosby

FILE: Crosby Out Indefinitely With Concussion
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Hockey fans – particularly admirers of the Pittsburgh Penguins – might just be crossing off the days until Sunday. It’s far from a guarantee, but that’s the soonest that Sidney Crosby claimed he might return.

With the Toronto Maple Leafs in town to face the Penguins, Pierre McGuire received the chance to engage in a lengthy interview with Crosby. Check out the Penguins star’s thoughts on his latest steps in recovery, his views on the team he captains and plenty of other issues:

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NHL attempts to cut down on headhunting

Nathan Horton

Versus ran a special episode of “NHL Live” that featured in-depth information regarding the league’s “concussion epidemic.” You can read some PHT pieces on the subject here, here and here. In the video below, Keith Jones and Pierre McGuire discuss how Rule No. 48 and other measures are sending a message to cut down on hits to the head.

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McGuire, Roenick discuss Jacques Martin’s firing

Jacques Martin; Pierre Gauthier
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It’s been a strange season in Montreal. First, a assistant coach Perry Pearn was fired when Jacques Martin “should have” gotten the axe. Now Martin is without a job and a significant chunk of the market is in an uproar because their interim boss can’t speak French. Yet as much of a mess as that situation has been, the real horrors can be found on that roster. Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick wonder if GM Pierre Gauthier should have been the fall guy instead of Martin.

(Martin isn’t the one who traded for Tomas Kaberle, after all.)

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Does Crosby make the Penguins the NHL’s best?

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins
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With about 25 percent of the 2011-12 season in the books, some folks might have a Stanley Cup frontrunner pegged. Is it the Minnesota Wild or Chicago Blackhawks – two teams that lead the West – or maybe the red-hot Boston Bruins? Could it be the surging San Jose Sharks? Well, if you ask Jeremy Roenick and Pierre McGuire, Sidney Crosby’s return makes the Pittsburgh Penguins the best team in the NHL:

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Which team gets your vote? (Feel free to name teams who weren’t listed, naturally.)

As a bonus, check out this nifty video that breaks down Crosby’s night. (I especially like the fancy graphic that shows his path; it’s like Donnie Darko for hockey.)

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