November 21, 2011: It’s a day that will go down in history for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and, to a lesser degree, the National Hockey League. It was the night the “saviour” came back. And what a night it was.
As a sports reporter, I felt privileged to cover Sidney Crosby’s much anticipated return after being sidelined for almost 11 months by a devastating concussion.
When you’re already the best player in the world, it’s not easy to surpass expectations. They’re just so high to begin with that it takes something spectacular, something amazing, something almost impossible to amaze and awe the fans again.
No one really knew what to expect from Sid the Kid last night. Would he be his same dominant self? Would hesitation have crept into his game like it has and did for so many players who got dinged before him? The answer, of course, is no.
“He’s Sidney Crosby. Nothing surprises me from him anymore. He loves the stage," Matt Cooke said following the Penguins’ 5-0 win against the New York Islanders.
Still, a four-point night? A goal on his third shift? Unexpected dominance under the circumstances? I mean, are you kidding me? Not only did Crosby exceed expectations, he shattered them. Just like a few very special athletes, all sports combined, can do.
The Cole Harbour, N.S., native showed zero signs of rust. And if he wasn’t 100 percent, watch out.
Crosby showed everyone exactly what they had missed. He proved he is beyond any doubt the best player in the world. It’s sad to see that no one really was able to challenge for that title during his absence.
Not the Sedins, not Alex the Great, nobody.
Crosby is back. It’s good for the Pittsburgh Penguins, It’s good for the NHL. Most of all, it’s good for hockey. Welcome back, Sid. We sure missed you. Something tells me, we haven’t seen anything yet.