Crosby return good for NHL, bad for Eastern Conference
When Sidney Crosby returned to the Penguins exactly a week ago the NHL rejoiced as it got its best player and face of the league back. Crosby missed nearly an entire calendar year due to a concussion suffered last season.
Everyone around the league and especially us here in Boston know the danger of concussions and how a few bad ones can end players season and/or careers (miss you Savard), so to see Crosby return and to be 100% symptom free is an encouraging sight.
“I am happy to hear that not just for him as a hockey player but for him a person first and foremost,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron who has suffered from concussions in the past. “I think his health is the most important thing and I’m very happy to hear that. It’s obviously a good thing for the league and good for him.”
As good as Crosby’s return has been, and will continue to be for the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins, it’s a bad thing for the Eastern Conference.
Before Crosby returned to game action Monday, the Penguins were tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the lead in the Atlantic Division, and Eastern Conference with 25 points.
The Pens were doing just fine without Sid as they were being led by the surprising James Neal who had 20 points prior to Crosby’s return. The return of “Sid the kid” only makes the Penguins much more dangerous.
In the four games Crosby has played in since his return the Penguins have gone 3-0-1 and Crosby has eight points (two goals) in the four contests. The Penguins now lead all of the NHL in points, and have a two-point-lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the East.
“The goals and assists were great obviously, but just being back out there I can’t really even describe it,” said Crosby who scored twice, and added two assists in his first game Monday night. “It was exciting. I was anxious. There were a lot of different things going through my mind. The main thing was to enjoy playing. That’s something that I’ve missed over the last 10 months.”
If anybody in the East has yet to notice the Penguins, now’s a good time to throw some attention there way. Even though the Bruins are the ones defending Lord Stanley’s Cup, it seems in order to reach the Stanley Cup Finals this year you will need to go through Pittsburgh.
The Bruins will get there first taste of Crosby and the Penguins when the B’s travel to Pittsburgh next Monday, a game that many people nation-wide will be be interested in.