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What can we expect out of Sidney Crosby tonight?

Nov 21, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury AP

It’s been over 10 months since Sidney Crosby has played in a NHL game thanks to his concussion, but he’s playing tonight against the Islanders. After such a long layoff it’s only natural to expect there to be some rustiness in Crosby’s play, but just how is he going to shine tonight with the eyes of the hockey world all dialed in on his return?

What we know about tonight is that coach Dan Bylsma will look to play Crosby for about 15 minutes worth of ice time. It’s enough to get him going well enough and not be more of a wallflower in his first game back. It also means that he’s not going to be thrown into the same play dominating role we’re accustomed to seeing out of Sid as well.

Crosby will be eased into things and have a pair of familiar linemates in Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. What will be curious to see is just how much Bylsma plays Crosby on the power play. The Penguins’ power play has long had issues but this season they’ve done well clicking along at 18.4%, good for 11th in the league. It would make sense that if there’s a time for Sid to get in a groove the power play would be it.

Will Crosby score in his first game back though? Anything is possible, but he’s dominated in the past against the Islanders (62 points in 33 games) and the Isles are mired in a miserable start to their year with Rick DiPietro likely getting the call to start. If ever there was a set up so that Crosby could have the story book comeback game and shine, this is it.

  1. eagleswineagleswin - Nov 21, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    I hope someone drills Crosby tonight.

    – Flyers Fan

    • miketoasty - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      You didn’t need to put that you were a Flyers fan because your stupidity says it all. First off to wish injury on a player is just wrong, when the Pens play the Flyers I don’t sit there and say “Oh man I hope Pronger get’s hit in the eye again!”. That’s just wrong and disrespectful.

      Second, as long as Crosby has no more symptoms (He wouldn’t be playing if he did) then he is no more susceptible to concussions than anyone else on the ice.

      • hystoracle - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        I actually would think people in the Pens organization are hoping he gets hit once or twice and makes his way through it unscathed. He needs to take a hit to have the confidence that the concussion episode is behind him.

        Doesn’t need to be run though which is what Flyer fan was suggesting.

      • dmacirish - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        I agree with you that it is wrong to wish for someone to get injured but in eagles comment he didn’t actually wish for an injury as much as a hard hit. Got to defend my fellow Flyers fans even when they aren’t the brightest. This all being said, he is more susceptible to concussions – just doesn’t currently have symptoms of the one he suffered (Lindros, Primeau, and a bunch of other players would back that up).
        Answer me this though, do you think the refs are going to treat him the same or will they be instructed to protect him. I am going to be seriously dissappointed if there is a good clean hit on Crosby, just as would be on anyother player, but there is a penalty called. Everyone is going to be walking on broken glass here.

    • michiganhockey11 - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Spoken like a true idiot Philadelphia fan….you guys hate everything.

  2. bcisleman - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Cappy has put the entire NYI team on notice that their play has been unacceptable. Ox will be back in the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch for several games, so he will be enormously motivated. Matt Martin (yes, THAT Matt Martin) is the NHL hits leader. Plus it cannot have escaped the team’s notice that, after all the waiting, Crosby and the Penguins chose this game right after they were humiliated on home ice by the Bruins for his comeback. Players like Martin and Travis Hamonic (whose WHL nickname was Hammer for good reason–just ask Taylor Hall) will be enormously motivated to make this a VERY unpleasant evening for Sid.

    • miketoasty - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      This is a home game for the Pens, you think that Bylsma is going to let Crosby get paired up against these guys? With Crosby only playing 15 minutes I see him getting favorable match ups against other players with actual skill instead of the muckers and grinders.

      • bcisleman - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Fair point, but I suspect that Cappy will be mixing his lines & pairings so that Byelsma may not get his perfect scenario.

      • bcisleman - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Another point is that JT, Grabs, & Matt have had their scoring limited because they have faced the other team’s best defensive forwards and pairing, Byelsma puts Sid out against JT instead of Staal and he may wish he hadn’t.

  3. michiganhockey11 - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I would be very surprised if we see him get even close to 15 minutes of ice time tonight. I’d go 10.

  4. eagleswineagleswin - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I did not see where I wished injury on Crosby. Just said I hope someone drills him. If he were playing the Flyers tonight then I would wish that fag gets driven head first into the boards

    • dmacirish - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      wow, really helped the argument there. got to say there are a few things i do not like about crosby but kind of going at it the wrong way here man. pretty much liable to get some people wishing the same for you after comments like that.

    • tk1966 - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      Its clowns like you that cause just about everyone to hate everything Philly.

      And while we’re at it, its nice to see that in your name, you chose to honor almost every Eagles win this year.

    • cshearing - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      You almost, ALMOST, redeemed your comment. Then you toss a slur like a match to get the fire going again.

      • tk1966 - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        Yeah, you’re right. I just couldn’t help myself; wanted to poke the moron a bit while I was at it. But you are right, it was unnecessary and uncalled for. My apologies.

    • crambow - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      I don’t know which is funnier, your comments or your username shows up as eagleswine on the iPhone.

      Technology – crazy, huh?

  5. 8man - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Oooh, oooh, oooh. Boston fan here. I want some of this.

    I hope someone drills Crosby tonight.

  6. eagleswineagleswin - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    8man…. I hope he gets drilled like a vietnam hooker. Would love to see his teeth all over the ice. This way he would look like the rest of the trash that lives in Pittsburgh

  7. feywit - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    How sad this commentary is on man’s cruelty to man. Every head injury leaves a permanent effect on the brain. Concussions are cumulative, so I wouldn’t wish that on any person.
    However, does lead me to wonder what y’all have as an excuse for such crude behavior.

  8. carol6645 - Nov 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Looks like Crosby has turned over a new leaf! Drill Crosby Drill! Learn the tricks to stay out of the penalty box while you’re at it!!

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