The Return of the Kid

 

In a recent interview with THN, former NHL’er Joe Mullen said that his favorite player to watch in this era is Sidney Crosby.  When I read this, I laughed, knowing the former Penguin still has close ties with Pittsburgh, but also laughed at the irony of the comment. 

Sid hasn’t played in a long time and for most regular hockey fans, we have found that the NHL moves on without him.  Frankly, I am one more “No Crosby, No Problem” headline away from traveling to the NHL’s headquarters in New York and punching their entire staff in the back of the head. 

On Friday, 11/11/11, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be at home playing the Dallas Stars. Crosby has yet to return because in his words “I haven’t had the contact in practice yet that we are looking for”. 

Well, this is it.  This is all of the practice time he needs.  The contact, the bonding, the rest and the intense overview of doctors are everything he needed to make his return.  There is nothing that could make this more believable.  Oh wait, did I mention the date?

If you haven’t noticed by now, Sidney Crosby is very superstitious.  His jersey number is 87, his contract was ten years at 87 million total for 8.7 million a season, and his birthday is August 7th, 1987.  Every year, before camp, he visits the local St. Jude’s hospital for children with cancer to get a new hat.  

A few years back a young player asked Sid to take his hat and wear it before and after a game so he could show all his family that Crosby was wearing his hat.  Sid took that to another level.  The game in which he promised to wear the hat, he scored a hat trick, and then wore the hat the next game, in fact he never took off the hat, he never washed the hat, he wore it all the way to the cup finals.  He kept that disgusting mustache on his face during his 25 game point streak last year even though it looked like a Matt Cooke prank. 

With all the practice time ahead and the superstitious lore of 11/11/11, it seems as if Crosby will be making his way back on Friday.  If that is true, only one question really remains, can he win the scoring title? 

Seems like a long shot with just 67 games ahead of him, but even at his normal pace, he has a shot.  His career PPG average is 1.39, which could possibly give him around 90 points by the season’s end.  If he plays close to last season’s level, a crazy 1.6 PPG, a season of 107 points is possible(better than last season’s Art Ross).  If Crosby is able to finally make his long awaited return, we as fans can probably expect him to be close to the 90 point mark and roughly 35 to 40 goals. 

So, as I asked earlier, can Crosby win a scoring title? Most likely not, but I still wouldn’t bet against him.  If he can produce at this pace and help the Penguins into the top spot of the league, he might be able to win the Hart without winning the Art Ross or Richard.

When all is said and done though, this article is only pure speculation.  We are still very unsure of Crosby’s return date and still are unsure if he returns 100%; but if you ask me, he will be back on Friday at nothing less than 100%.   One thing we knowingly don’t have to worry about is his attitude.  If Sid is able to return, he will certainly be ready.

4 Comments

George Prax's picture

Considering you're speculating on whether he'll even return, I don't think it's fair to even say that he'll have a shot at the scoring title. The guy's coming off one of the worst injuries to ever hit the league, if I were you I'd take it one game, even one shift at a time. Don't be surprised to see him have a soft return, or even race out to a hot start and then level off quickly.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Yes, it is going to be about impossible to judge how he will play once he returns, but I truly believe his return is right around the corner. It would be more sensible to go one game at a time, but were is the fun in that Prax? I think that Sid will only return at 100% so it won't shock me if he starts off hot.

But yes, this is pure speculation on if he will even return, so everything written is up to pure opinion.

George Prax's picture

Thing is, I'm not exactly sure how anyone can know if he's 100% until he plays a game. When he's been out this long, the only way to know is by having him play. There's no doubt that he'll be great when he comes back, but I would go as far as to say that he won't come near the scoring title. I think he'd be luck to score at pace frankly.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

I don't think he will be behind his pace that much. I know how serious this injury was and obviously game speed and physicality cannot be matched in practice, so by 100% I mean pure health. It will take him time to get up to game speed, but I still do not think he will be behind his pace. This is still a guy that has been on pace to break 100 points every season he has been in the NHL, so I just find it hard to count him out of everything. Like I said in the bottom, I expect about 90 points if he plays about 65 games, but I don't think the scoring title is within reach.