All right so Crosby’s first game back was just about everything anyone who is a fan of his or the Penguins could’ve hoped for. Scoring two goals and adding two assists after missing nearly a year of action makes for a pretty special night no matter how you look at it. What can we take away from his first game in general though? There’s a few things.
1. There’s no doubt about Crosby’s legs. The speed in which Crosby got around Andrew MacDonald to score his first goal must’ve taken MacDonald by surprise because he was slow to react on the play and got blown right by before Sid finished with a backhand roof shot to beat Anders Nilsson.
2. Dan Bylsma stuck to his plan after letting Crosby run wild in the first period. Crosby played 7:10 of the first leading us to believe that there was no way he was going to just play 12-15 minutes. He finished the night just over 15 minutes of ice time cycling Crosby out of his line at times with either Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal. Nice options to have.
3. Sid looked a bit winded at times and hey, who can blame him. Yes, he’s had nearly a year away from the game but spinning your wheels for the first time in a real game sequence can burn you out fast. It happens to the best of the players out there and definitely happened to Crosby. The Penguins might be most thankful to Travis Hamonic for not treating Crosby with kid gloves.
4. I’ll be the party pooper a bit here. Yes, Crosby lit up a emotionless wet blanket of a team in the Islanders who were more than happy to throw out 21 year-old rookie Nilsson in goal to deal with that circus atmosphere last night. We’ll get a slightly better judgment of how far along Crosby is when the Pens face the Blues on Wednesday night and Ottawa on Friday.
There’s plenty to like out of what Crosby did in his first game, now we’ll get to see how he follows things up on Wednesday night.