Welcome back Sidney Crosby !!!
After sitting out 10 months with post concussion symptoms suffered on January 5th, Sid the Kid returned to the ice Monday scoring two goals and adding on two assists in a Pittsburg Penguin 5-0 win over the NY Islanders. Crosby played 16 minutes in the romp and will work his way up to his usual 20-22 minutes of ice time per game that he’s accustomed to. Crosby was physically and mentally spent after the game but showed no bad residual effects as he participated in a spirited Penguin skatearound Tuesday morning.
It didn’t take Crosby long to breal the ice. Sid the kid charged down the center of the ice with an Islander defenseman draped across his back and powered home a backhand at the 5:24 mark of the first period. A sweet little Crosby backhand drop pass to to the point resulted in a goal for Brooks Orpik on a one-timer. The Penguins took a 2-0 lead into the second period when Evgengi Malkin tapped in a bunny on the power play, Crosby picking up his second helper. Crosby wasn’t done yet. After a goal made by Steve Sullivan made it 4-0 at the end of two periods, Crosbey closed out the scoring, once again on the backhand, to seal the 5-0 final.
Since bursting on the scene as an 18-year-old in 2005. Sid the Kid has scored 215 goals along with 357 assists for 572 points in 412 career games. Crosby won the Hart Trophy as MVP in 2006-2007, was the NHL scoring in 2006 and led the NHL in goals in 2009 with 51. Crosby led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2009 and scored the winning goal in OT for Canada in the Gold Medal game at the Vancouver Olympics.
From a betting standpoint, look for the Penguins to go on an extended run with Crosby in the lineup. The Penguins opened up the season 9-3-3 before a 2-3 skid heading into Monday’s divisional showdown with the Islanders. The Pens lead the East and the Atlantic Division with 27 points, two better than the surprising Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburg’s next two games are in the Igloo where they are 7-1-1 and have an opportunity to get fat on St Louis and Ottawa. That should have Sid razor sharp and with additional legs as they leave on a tough four-game road swing against at the Canadiens, Rangers, Caps, and Hurricanes.
Crosby makes the already potent Pen’s power play (18.7%) that much better and linemate Evengi Malkin will post even better numbers with Sid the Kid centering his line. The Pens were the best in the East without Crosby and it’s nothing but “buy” signs with him back in the lineup.