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Top 2012: Not one, but two Sidney Crosby comebacks

Dec 25, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

When Sidney Crosby went on the shelf in early January 2011, few expected him to need until late November to return. The Pittsburgh Penguins star was worth the wait, though, as he made a bombastic return – and then did it again after another setback.

Let’s reminisce about his triumphant comeback(s) from concussions.

Echoing Mario

Crosby’s four-point reemergence against the New York Islanders on Nov. 21 reminded many of Mario Lemieux’s triumphant comeback in 2000.

One of Crosby’s four points came on his first shot – and second shift – against the Isles:

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Crosby indeed left Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick flabbergasted after that memorable night:

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Overall, Crosby produced two goals and 10 assists in an eight-game span that ended with a Dec. 5 game against the Boston Bruins when his concussion issues resurfaced after a collision with David Krejci. Crosby eventually returned to the injured reserve on Dec. 12.

Another comeback

Kris Letang accompanied Crosby off the injured list on March 15 as the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 5-2. Amazingly, that victory pushed Pittsburgh’s streak to 10 straight wins.

For a while, Crosby was piling up far more assists than goals, but that didn’t stop him from becoming the seventh-youngest player to hit the 600-point mark on March 30.

Sid the Kid’s second regular season set of games was truly impressive; he scored six goals and 19 assists in 25 games to finish the season. Overall, he had eight goals and 29 assists for 37 points in just 22 regular season games.

A wild (and ugly) postseason

Crosby’s production in a 4-2 series loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was just fine, particularly on paper. He had eight points – all in the first four contests.

Still, to many, that series was all about Claude Giroux getting the upper hand, with this hit saying the most:

Those matches often brought out the dark side of Crosby and the Penguins. Here’s some video evidence:

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(There’s also the claim that Crosby’s slashes forced Giroux to undergo surgery. Crosby sort of denied that.)


Overall, Crosby has shown that he can return with aplomb. Just imagine how he’ll react to coming back from a lockout, not injuries …

  1. hotloinsofsid - Dec 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    girioux is a sid wannabe. my great and allmighty soup can sid is the best hockey player of all time!!!! i cant wait until this lockout is over so i can watch hin make a mockery of this league again as usual!!!

    • nyrnashty - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Bahahahhahahaha the best player of all time! You must be new to hockey.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        This person is a penguins fan, of course he/she is new to hockey

      • blomfeld - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        I’ve been watching hockey since ’67 and I also don’t know what this “soup can” stuff means? … I believe that it’s some kind of take on a “marketing effort” that’s been done, however I also detect some sort of a malicious “un-hetero” angle too, which I reject outright. Crosby is an excellent player and arguably one of the “best” in the game today, along with the likes of Malkin, Carter, Ovechkin, Doughty, Sedins, Penner, Stamkos and Martinez.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      What does soup can mean?

      • martysbetter - Dec 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        you must be new here…

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

        Can someone tell me as opposed to the thumbs up/down thing? Idk what it means to like or dislike that last post, it’s a question

  2. husky2score - Dec 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    This article just reminded me of how much I hate this guy, which led me to sorrow because I won’t get to see my Capitals take on the Pens. Best rivalry in hockey that I won’t see this year.

  3. blueballz77 - Dec 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I keep hearing this word hockey.Can anybody tell me what that is.. it must be some kind of sport cuts this is a sports site but…??

  4. id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    One question to ask yourself when you want to identify the best player at any level of the game is, around which player do I want to build a championship team? Strictly from a talent and leadership perspective, and notwithstanding age or injuries, for me it would be Crosby. Here’s why;

    Great leader
    Respect of the game
    Team player
    Works hard during training on or off the ice
    Never quits
    Brilliant hockey mind
    Contributes to the community

    Physical strength
    Powerful legs
    Strong upper body
    Strong forearms

    Best at using his body to protect the puck
    Great puck control
    Power skater
    Best backhand in the league
    Deceptive forehand shot
    Good slap shot
    Great feet movement
    Can turn very well either side
    Can reverse direction very easily
    Great tape to tape passer
    Great vision
    Very few give aways

    What he must do moving forward is less chirping at the referees, and stay away from one on one altercations. The Pens are partly responsible for the latter point because they need to provide on ice protection. As strange as this may sound, he has not peaked yet. He will continue to improve what he does and more importantly at the speed which he does it.

    • id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      His defensive play, and overall positional play in all three zones are very good, plus his ability to find the open ice to put himself in the clear to receive a pass.

    • zetaone - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      You also left off that he’s probably the best draw taker in the league. Toews at a very close 2nd.

      • id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        You bet. He’s the best at that.

    • colonelfancy - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Very well-stated. His defense is overlooked in the eyes of fans who berate him for reasons that are opaque to me and he’s much tougher than his babyface appearance leads on. I’ve heard people argue that Malkin is better, but until he becomes an on-ice leader like Sid, I think it’s nonsense.

  5. isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    What Cindy needs to do is stop starting fights with people and leaving the mess to the rest of the team to clean up for him. People like me wouldn’t hate him if he wasn’t the biggest coward in the sport, maybe he is the best player talent wise but great leaders dont start fights and run off

    • id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Like I said, he needs protection otherwise teams will continuously try to run him off the ice. No one ever tried that with Gretzky because he always had an enforcer(s) on the ice close to him. Today’s rules make this a little more difficult. Anyway! I don’t think this one flaw is enough to exclude him from being a great leader. Only time will tell whether or not he will be part of the history of great leaders. He was the youngest Captain ever to hoist the Stanley Cup. No small feat.

  6. isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Protection is far different than someone cleaning up his mess…all he did vs the flyers last year was start altercations and then bail once someone else got involved. he has plenty of protection as the pens are a fairly tough squad, he just needs to stop pretending to be tough, that’s not his game because he can’t stand up for himself

    • id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      My point is there would be no mess if he had a McSorely, Probert, or Semenko protecting him. These guys were tough. I suppose we can agree to disagree.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Dec 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

        Fair enough, and I’m not saying your wrong by thinking that, he might stop being such a punk if he had serious protection but it could also work the other way and he’d go buck wild with all the cheap stuff knowing nobody will touch him…oh well, good to talk about hockey and not it’s legal issues for a change

  7. ml3939 - Dec 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    @husky2score how are the capitals-pens the best rivalry in hockey. Are you familiar with Flyers-Pens rivalry? It’s not even close and as a Flyers fan I can say, Ovi can’t even hold Crosby’s jock.

  8. blomfeld - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Attention Id4joey !

    Merry Christmas and praise the good Lord! Hey man, I didn’t realize that you were such a big Crosby fan? Look, I’ve been poking fun at the guy here from “time to time” as you know and so I’d like to apologize for that. Anyway, my Crosby bashing has always been in jest, same with my Ovi bashing and others. But you do have to agree with my reservations about his “interview” skills eh? Every time I see him speaking “post game” on CBC or whatever, it’s like I’m watching some official from the TSA or FBI … he’s gotta lighten up man! :)

    • id4joey - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      blomfeld, no worries. I’m no more a Crosby fan than I am a Giroux fan. If anything, I’m a hockey fan and watch the game with objectivity rather than partisanship.

  9. csilojohnson - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Well what we do know is split personalities does not effect ones intelligence.

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