Can Sidney Crosby match Mario Lemieux’s comeback?

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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.