Wow. That is all I really can say about watching Sidney Crosby return to the NHL for the first time in about 10 months. One word. One syllable. WOW! Not only did Sid step on to the home ice in Pittsburgh after many months of uncertainty, he did so with authority. When he was forced to leave the game last January due to the concussion, everyone doubted what level he could he possibly be at. The months preceding the hit, Sid was shredding through the NHL and had raised his game to a level no one else could touch last season. Is that the level he would be at or a few tiers lower? Well, we got our answer last night.
Sidney Crosby followed in the steps of Penguin legend Mario Lemieux by making history in his NHL return, just as Lemieux did multiple times during his injury plagued and brilliant career. Sid did not just look good in his return to the NHL against the New York Islanders, Sid looked out of this world.
The highlight, of course, was the moment Sid gained speed through the neutral zone and split the Islanders defense. He then lifted an amazing back hand goal top shelf. My jaw hit the floor and I was amazed. He was not just back, he was dominant. Sid finished up with 4 points last night, 2 goals and 2 assists. Not too bad for someone who would have been praised for just making it through the game without incident, but he decided to kick down the door and let the NHL know…..”I am back!”
(Reaction after the first goal )
What made the moment so much enjoyable to me was sharing it with fellow Penguins fans on Facebook. It is the first time since I have been a fan of the team that I was able to discuss the game with a group of other Penguins fans. I am from Nova Scotia, and although there are more Pens fans now thanks to Sid, I grew up in an area that people cheered for Montreal, Toronto or Boston.
This is the moment Penguin fans that the season took a turn for us. We were a very good team that was considered a contender and now are a great team that is considered a favorite. Can one player mean this much to a team?
I guess we need a history lesson. It all starts with a young man from Montreal named Mario Lemieux…….