Nov 16, 2011, 1:50 PM EST
TSN’s John Lu with the latest on Sidney Crosby: No. 87 won’t be playing in Tampa Bay tomorrow but will accompany the Penguins on their trip to Florida. Pittsburgh will play two games in the Sunshine State — in Tampa on Thursday, in Florida on Saturday — before returning to the Consol Energy Center for a three-game homestand against the Islanders, Blues and Senators.
We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time speculating which game will be Crosby’s debut. Many figured last night’s game against Colorado would’ve been the one (the Avs and Pens managed to put on an exciting show without Sid, mind you) but perhaps further perspective is needed.
Here are some things we know — or think we know — about the situation:
— Pens GM Ray Shero indicated he’d prefer Crosby make his return at home.
— Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune said the least ideal situation is for Crosby to return in a back-to-back scenario.
— The Pens don’t seem keen on making Crosby’s debut a dramatic narrative. They had opportunities to do that on Friday (home game against Dallas, best team in the West) and last night (home game, nationally televised on Versus and TSN2).
— Pittsburgh’s next back-to-back is Nov. 25 (vs. Ottawa) and Nov. 26 (at Montreal). So it’s unlikely either of those games will be the debut.
— After the three-game homestand, Pittsburgh hits the road:
Sat, Nov. 26 in Montreal
Tues, Nov. 29 in New York (Rangers)
Thurs, Dec. 1 in Washington
Sat, Dec. 3 in Carolina
Before coming back to Consol on Dec. 5 for a Monday night affair against the Bruins.
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